The Frontier and the American Character

The Frontier and the American Character

Session Dates:
July 16, 2017 - July 29, 2017

Students intrigued by the mythology of the American West, or those looking for an introduction to the western genre of literature and film, should apply to take part in LMU's pre-college course exploring the western frontier and its impact on the American character. 

Guided by LMU faculty in the Department of English, participants will ask and deliberate questions such as - does America still claim a manifest (obvious) destiny? Do we still believe, as the Nation’s founders believed, that civilization always moves west? If our values and character were shaped by the frontier experience, who are we now that the west has been settled?

Using frontier literature, classic Hollywood western films, and conversations on contemporary politics, students will find themselves immersed in the fast-paced world of westward expansion, contemplating not only the wild frontiers of America’s past, but whether or not there are currently any frontiers left for us to explore.

  • Los Angeles Area Excursion

    The Santa Monica Mountains become our classroom for the day as we continue our exploration of the American frontier amid former Hollywood western film sets at Paramount Ranch.

  • Program Outcomes
    • Learn to read literature with imagination and view film with a critical eye 
    • Develop an understanding of the cultural and historical context of frontier literature and Hollywood Westerns
    • Connect modern day events with historically significant moments using the artistry of literature and film
  • 2017 Application Requirements

    This class is open to current high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors


    • Online Application & Essay
    • Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or counselor
    • High School Transcripts
    • $50 Application Fee
    • TOEFL Scores (for International applicants whose primary language is not English)

For additional information regarding full program tuition and fees, please visit our Fees Page.


We are no longer accepting applications for the Frontier and the American Course. Please check back in the fall for our Summer 2018 course offerings.