Bridging Coasts and Building Careers

Syracuse University’s programs in Los Angeles allow students to explore their dreams in the entertainment world.

A look at a map would suggest that Syracuse and Los Angeles could hardly be more distant. But for many Syracuse University students, the experience of living and learning in LA—the sunny entertainment capital of the world and an epicenter for culture in every form—is an integral part of their college journey.

Through the University’s Dick Clark Los Angeles Program, students have opportunities to explore the industries that interest them, expand academically and get a taste of life on the West Coast. They learn from industry professionals, gain hands-on experience in internships and connect with a huge and supportive network of accomplished alumni. Syracuse’s study away programs in LA allow students to experience the best of both worlds: a close and supportive community and extraordinary access into the expansive educational and professional opportunities of LA.

In Training for Sports Journalism

“Los Angeles has every sport—as much as it’s known for Hollywood, it’s also known for sports,” says Luke Backman ’25, who is majoring in broadcast and digital journalism in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and aspires to a career in sports broadcasting. “I knew this would be a great opportunity.”

a reporter is being filmed and holds a microphone while standing on a basketball court
In the Newhouse sports media and communications program, Luke Backman ’25 gains experience as a sports broadcaster for a range of sports in the Los Angeles area.

One of the most impactful aspects of his Newhouse Los Angeles experience has been the sports production class he is taking with seasoned sports media executive Jeff Proctor. “This has been the greatest class I’ve ever taken. Professor Proctor has connections everywhere—he’s done Clippers games, Lakers games, the Angels, boxing—and he brings in the greatest guests,” Backman says. “This course has given me a whole new perspective on sports production and really helped me understand the industry.”

Backman took an internship with MSM Productions, an Emmy Award-winning production company known for its sports-related storytelling, which complements his classroom learning with professional experience. “MSM Productions is doing the best of the best, the biggest of the biggest. This is an amazing place to be for someone who wants to be in sports media.”

a person sits in a class with 2 other students and gesticulates as they talk
In his sports media pitch course, Backman and classmates produce weekly news caps for social media and learn to brand and market themselves.

Backman has also appreciated the community fostered in the LA program. “The Los Angeles program does a really great job making everyone feel included. We do events together—we toured Warner Bros.—and we have dinners together. I’ve made so many new friends and it really feels like a family,” he says.