Hollywood's Portrayal of the American West

Hollywood's Portrayal of the American West

Session Dates: June 24, 2018 - July 7, 2018

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. 

Guided by LMU faculty in the Department of English, participants will ask and deliberate questions such as - does America still claim a manifest 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.

Students who successfully complete this program will receive 4 units of college credit. Students must have completed junior year of high school by the start of summer 2018 to attend.

  • 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. Students will also have the opportunity to visit the Autry Museum of the American West, located in Los Angeles' famed Griffith Park. 

  • 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

    Students who successfully complete this course will receive 4 units of university credit.

  • Tuition and Fees

    Application Fee: $50

    2018 Program Cost: $6,500

    The $6,500 program cost includes:

    • Tuition for 4 units of college credit
    • Housing for two weeks
    • All meals
    • Course materials
    • Use of campus recreation facilities
    • Class field trips
    • A trip to Disneyland
    • An additional weekend day trip off campus

    The cost does not include transportation to and from the program itself, personal spending money, or other incidentals.

    For additional information about program tuition and fees and payment options, please visit our Fees Page

  • 2018 Application Requirements

    This class is open to rising high school seniors only.


    • Online Application 
    • Personal Essay: Read the Prompt Now
    • Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or counselor
    • Official High School Transcripts
    • $50 Application Fee

We are no longer accepting applications for summer 2018. Check back soon for additional information on our summer 2019 courses!