At Digital Media Academy, we are committed to providing students and parents the best experience possible.To do this, we do our best to answer any questions you may have. Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions below.
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Where are your camps located?
Our camps are located at universities across North America. For a complete list of locations, please visit /locations/.
How many weeks of camp can students take in the summer?
Students can register for as many weeks of camp as they would like. We encourage you to pick and choose courses from a a variety of pathways and categories in order to get an interdisciplinary experience. See our course pages for recommendations.
What if the content is too easy or too hard once the course begins?
DMA two-week Academy courses and curricula are built to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities. This, along with a very skilled instructional staff and low student-to-staff ratio (average of 7:1), allows us to individualize lessons, customize the learning experience and offer plenty of personalized, one-on-one time for each student. If you have a particular goal or project idea, instructors will work with you and guide you to help you achieve it.
How many weeks do students normally register for?
Digital Media Academy Tech Camps are offered as one or two-week experiences. Many students register for two weeks in the summer in order to experience our Academies, which are an in-depth pair of courses that build upon their knowledge week after week. Additionally, our Studios courses are our fully immersive courses in our Teen programs that offer students the opportunity for in-depth exposure within a certain field. Through this uniquely designed two-week Studios experience – students are given the opportunity to create professional-level work in a simulated, professional studio environment.
Do I have to fill out any waivers before my child comes to camp?
Yes, we require signed waivers for every student prior to their attendance. They will be available in late Winter/early Spring. These waivers include:
- Behavioral Guidelines
- General Liability
- Consent to Give Medication at Camp (If applicable)
- Medical Information, Treatment, and Release of Medical Information
- Epipen and Inhaler Release (if applicable)
- Technical Account Policy
Certain universities have additional requirements
- Harvard University – students must provide proof of immunization
- Stanford University – Stanford University Risk Management Waiver
I'm having difficulties registering for camp. What do I do?
If you are having trouble with your camp registration, send an instant message to a Camp Advisor using the chat feature at the bottom right corner of the page. You can also send an email to email@example.com or call us at (866) 656-3342.
What steps do you take to make sure my child is safe in your program?
We adhere to strict background checks of each staff member and they are trained in both emergency response and child safety standards. All of our staff are well-trained and are all CPR and First Aid certified. We also require that all staff undergo stringent background checks, along with Mandatory Reporting training and Sexual Abuse Prevention training. In addition, we work with University Campus Police who are present at all time and involved in on-site training sessions. We also employ Day Camp Counselors whose primary role is to supervise students during break activities and guide students around the campus during meal times. Our Camp Director is equipped with tools and resources to ensure the safety of each student.
For our overnight program (ages 12-17), we hire Overnight Camp Counselors who supervise students after camp hours, organize nightly activities, and escort students to dining halls during meals and around campus. These staff members are also CPR and First Aid certified and are required to complete our in-depth training as well. Students are required to stay together during housing, meals, and activities. They are afforded some freedom to explore campus, but are required to adhere to a Buddy System in addition to constant communication with the camp counselors. Curfews for students are also enforced.
For any issues involving specialized diets or medications, our Camp Directors facilitate special training among camp counselors to make sure students receive any necessary or required medication as well as create an action plan each week that caters to our students’ needs. We encourage you to reach out with any questions you may have. Safety is our #1 priority.
What happens if my child needs to miss a camp day?
We understand that the summer months can be busy, however, we do not recommend missing a day of camp. Due to the fact that our programs are only one week long, missing any portion can have a significant impact on the academic component of the program and negatively affect your child’s experience. There will be a lot of pressure on your child to learn any missed material in a shorter time to catch up by the end of the week. Our staff is always willing to work with individuals as needed, but it is not recommended that any time in class is missed.
Can I sit in the class with my student?
Parents are invited to come to the class on Monday morning to see the location of the room, meet the instructor and teaching assistants, and go through the camp orientation with their students. We do not allow parents to stay in the classroom during the day while class is in session. For the safety of all our students, we can not allow any adults in our camp or classrooms who are not employees of Digital Media Academy. On Friday, we welcome you to join us during the Friday Open House, where you can see the projects your student has been working on during the week.
I can’t pick my child up right at 5:00 pm. Are there any other options?
Families who need to pick-up their camper after 5 p.m. can add-on the Extended Day Program. Within this one-hour optional program, campers can participate in free-choice activities offered by the staff, or spend time connecting with fellow campers, while they wait to be picked up. This drop-in format allows families flexibility with working schedules and commuter traffic. The program ends at 6 p.m. and all campers must be checked-out by this time. This option will be available when you check out.
My child has to bring medicine to camp. What is your process for administering medication to children at camp?
The process for administering medication is as follows:
- Medication is kept in a lock box in the camp office (unless otherwise requested by parents and approved by Digital Media Academy).
- Each day at the appointed time, the participant is brought to the office and the Program Director or Residential Coordinator/Counselor will ensure that they takes the medication.
- The Program Director or Residential Coordinator/Counselor keeps a logbook of each day that it’s administered, how many pills are taken, and what time. After the medication is provided to the participant, both the Program Director or Residential Coordinator/Counselor and the participant will initial the logbook.
Parents/Guardians will need to do the following: At check-in, provide the Program Director or Residential Coordinator/Counselor with the medication in the original container with the pharmacy label and the following:
- Name of Parent
- Name of Participant
- Telephone Number
- Name of medication(s)
- Best time to administer to student
Jr. Adventures + Adventures FAQs
Can Jr. Adventures and Adventures students participate in the overnight program?
Unfortunately, Jr Adventures and Adventures students are a little too young and cannot participate in the overnight program.
How are the younger students supervised?
Students in the Jr. Adventures and Adventures programs are supervised for the entirety of the program. Students are walked to breaks and lunch, and the teaching assistants will eat with the students and lead activities during the break times. If students need to use the restroom, they will be accompanied by a staff member and go with a student buddy.
My child is 9 years old, should they enroll in Adventures or Jr. Adventures camps?
Since your camper is 9, it is a matter of preference as to whether they participate in our Jr. Adventures programs or our Adventure programs. It comes down to where they are comfortable. If this is their first experience with this type of camp and they may not have interacted with too many older kids yet, the Jr. Adventures programs may be a good way to ease them into a camp experience.
My child is 12 years old, should they enroll in Adventures or Teen camps?
Since your camper is 9, it is a matter of preference as to whether they participate in our Adventures programs or our Teen programs. It comes down to where they are comfortable. If this is their first experience with this type of camp and they may not have interacted with too many older kids yet, the Adventures programs may be a good way to ease them into a camp experience.
I don’t want my young child to sit in front of the computer all day. How do you balance screen time and play time?
In all of our programs, we build in plenty of off-screen time, from the morning and afternoon breaks and during lunchtime. Our teaching assistants and Day Counselors will organize break activities to encourage team and community-building.
Teen Camps + Academies FAQs
My child is 12 years old, should they enroll in Teen camps?
Since your camper is 12, they actually have the option of doing either the Adventures or the Teen programs. It is a matter of preference and comfort. The Teen programs are generally more fast paced and complex than the kid-friendly Adventures programs. If your camper is comfortable around older kids and maybe has some experience with computers and technology they may find it more beneficial to participate in the Teen programs.
What's the difference between an Academy and Camp?
Teen One-Week Camps (Level 3) are standalone experiences which are designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of a specific course category. If you would like to just take an introductory or advanced course, then take a look at Teen One-Week Camps.
Academies (Level 3) are two one-week programs that we feel are complementary with each other and are offered in our Teen programs. We recommend that these courses are taken together, and offer a pricing discount for those who bundle them. Each course within an academy can also be taken independently, though some of our more advanced courses do require prerequisites.
Studios (Level 4) are our fully immersive courses in our Teen programs that offer students the opportunity for in-depth exposure within a certain field. The Studios experience is designed to take students’ knowledge and passion for creation and technology to the next level. Through this uniquely designed two-week Studios experience – students are given the opportunity to create professional-level work in a simulated, professional studio environment. Students will be led by experienced instructors and inspired by industry professionals.
Are these camps overnight?
Overnight housing is available at select locations. for teen campers ages 13-17 and is available for an additional cost. If this option is not available or not added, the camps are run as day camps Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. For more information, please visit /housing/
Is lunch included in the tuition?
At Stanford, and UCSD lunch is required and will be added to the registration fee. At all other locations, lunch is not provided automatically but is an available option that can be added to your registration. Alternatively, campers can bring their own lunch with them. Adding the lunch option usually entitles them to go into a cafeteria or dining hall and pick and choose from a buffet-style selection. Please note that availability will vary from location to location. It is also recommended that campers are sent with a water bottle and some snacks to sustain them through the day.
Where do the students eat?
In most cases, students who purchase lunches will be dining on campus within the dining hall facility. Eating within the dining hall is much like a buffet style as students will be able to choose what they would like each day once they are checked in using their issued access card. Menu and dining style can vary from location to location. If for whatever reason, the dining hall is not available, Digital Media Academy will have the lunches catered in for our students. It is also recommended that campers are sent with a water bottle and some snacks to sustain them through the day.
Courses and Curriculum
What kind of computers do you use in your camps?
Digital Media Academy Tech Camps use both Windows and Mac computers in the classroom – in addition to iPads – based on the industry standards of the topics covered in the course, and the platform most compatible with the software we are using.
Do any of your courses have prerequisites?
Yes, some of our advanced Teen courses have prerequisites:
- Advanced Java Programming – previous coding experience recommended
- Applied AI and Data Science – algebra proficiency and previous coding experience required
- VR & AR App Design with Unity and Oculus – previous coding experience recommended
- Advanced Filmmaking and Visual Effects – previous filmmaking or editing experience recommended
What are your most popular courses?
- Jr. Adventures in Minecraft Game Design
- Jr. Adventures in Game Coding
- Jr. Adventures in Acting and Filmmaking
- Adventures in Lego Robotics and Programming
- Adventures in Animation
- Adventures in Minecraft Game Design
- Robotics & Engineering Academy
- Electronic Music Production Academy
- Artificial Intelligence Academy
- Filmmaking Academy
- Studios: Film Production
- Studios: Music & Audio Production
- Studios: Competitive Robotics & Mechatronics with VEX
How do you determine your age requirements?
Each of our program age groups have been carefully chosen through years of experience running our program. We want to make sure that our classes are comprised of students that are at the same maturity and interest level in the class.
Can you make an exception if my child is on the borderline of one of the age cutoffs?
We can make exceptions for children who are on the border of the cutoffs on a case-by-case basis. Please contact our Academic Advising Team for more details on the requirements.
What’s next after camp? How can my student stay engaged?
All of our courses are hands-on and project-based. At the end of each course, students will have either started on portfolio that they can continue to build on, or have added projects to their existing portfolios. Students in our programs will receive a certificate of completion from Digital Media Academy (with the name of the university where they attended camp) and a project achievement report from their instructor that highlights each individual student’s successes. The final projects vary by class, and can include a self-edited short film, a fully-functioning app, an original game, a functioning robot, or a new laptop! At the end of the week, teachers will offer suggestions and resources for the students to continue to learn and build upon the knowledge of the week.
Do you have programs running through the school year?
Digital Media Academy will organize events and programs for students at other schools or organizations. If you are interested in organizing a customized program at your school, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Needs FAQs
Can you accommodate students with special needs?
Digital Media Academy is not a special needs camp, however, we welcome students with special needs. We can accommodate special needs at each location, and historically have had a high success rate with students and parents who are vocal about their needs and how our camp can help the child have the most positive experience possible.
If you decide to register for the course there will be a section where you can add any pertinent information that can assist our on-campus staff in making this a positive experience for you and your child. Please give us as much information as you feel necessary for us to provide a good experience for your child. We encourage you to talk to the on-site Director upon arrival at camp as well, and make sure you convey any additional information.
Can you accommodate dietary restrictions or food allergies?
Digital Media Academy is aware that students may have special dietary needs. When going through your registration process you will be asked about any medications or dietary needs the child may have. Additionally, you are more than welcome to contact us once your registration has been processed and we can add additional notes to your account for extra assurance. We also encourage you to speak with the director on-site at check in to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Campus dining halls are accustomed to preparing food for students who have allergies throughout their school year and they are happy to do the same for summer camp students. If your child has severe food allergies, we would recommend sending a sack lunch from home each day. Your child’s health and safety is very important to us! If your child has severe food allergies and will be attending Stanford or UCSD (where lunch is required), please reach out to us so we can help communicate these needs to the dining managers.
Overnight Housing FAQs
What is included with Overnight Housing?
Weekly housing includes all meals from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch, dorm space from Sunday check-in (3-5pm) through Friday morning check out, counselor supervision, and planned evening activities throughout the week. Evening activities can include but are not limited to; icebreakers, a campus tour, digital scavenger hunts, sports games, group building activities and more.
Please note that Weekend housing (Friday – Sunday) must be purchased separately for an additional fee.
What is included with Weekend Housing?
Weekend housing includes all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, dorm space, counselor supervision, and a planned off campus excursion. Weekend excursions can include but are not limited to; downtown city tours, amusement parks, water parks, museums, shows, movies and more.
Can all students participate in the overnight program?
All teen students are welcome to add the housing option to their registration.
What is the ratio of counselors to students in the overnight program?
The average ratio of counselors to students at all of our locations is 12:1 or lower.
You can also check out the Housing page for even more information.
What kind of supervision do you provide?
For our overnight program (ages 12-17), we have camp counselors who supervise students, conduct nightly activities, and escort students to the dining hall and around campus. The staff are well-trained and are all CPR and First Aid certified. Additionally, we also have the university campus police present at all times and they give their own safety presentation to students during check-in orientation. Students are kept together both in housing, meals, and activities but there is some flexibility for students to explore on their own but with strict check back guidelines. Curfews for students are also enforced. The student to staff ratios for the overnight program are usually 12 to 1 or less depending on the number of students in the program.
Where do students sleep?
Students sleep on campus in the dorms. In some cases, where housing is not available on campus, Digital Media Academy will contract with local hotels or other housing providers for lodging.
My child is staying for two weeks. Where will he/she go over the weekend?
We plan our weekend excursions during the week and like to try and consider the interests of the group as a whole. For example, if we discover that many of our students staying the weekend have been to a big attraction in the past, we would likely venture to a different type of outing. If we notice many students staying the weekend are from out of the country/state and never been to a particular attraction, we would plan accordingly.
It’s hard to determine the excursions too far in advance since we like to meet the students, understand their interests, and then plan for a fun weekend outing that they will all enjoy. The soonest we would be able to tell you the exact location of the off-campus Saturday excursion, would be Wednesday of that same week. Once the excursion is planned, our counselors proceed with purchasing any tickets, making travel arrangements, etc for the group.
How do you assign roommates?
Dorm rooms at each University may vary but there are typically two to three beds per room. Roommates are assigned by gender, age, and course topic (in that order). If you have a roommate preference, we will need both parents to confirm the request before it can be added into our system. Additionally, we will post more information online regarding the dorm location and packing lists to your MyDMA account before the summer program begins.
For more information, call Guest Services at 866-656-3342, chat with us online or send an email to email@example.com.
Do you provide transportation?
While DMA does not personally provide transportation, we can refer you local companies who specialize in getting your child safely to and from camp.
For more information, call Guest Services at 866-656-3342, chat with us online or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who do you typically hire to teach your programs?
Our instructors and staff go through a rigorous hiring process to ensure they are capable of being an effective teacher as well as providing the necessary mentorship to our students. We describe our staff as industry professionals and educators. In fact, the majority of our staff work in the various tech industries of the topics they teach. We also employ school teachers with STEM backgrounds. During our hiring process, prospective candidates are required to prepare a teaching demo (in which they teach a topic of their choice), present a lesson of their creation, and go through a topic-specific Q&A with one of our Academic team members. Every applicant is held to the same standard during the interview process and are graded against a rubric. Most often, we receive applicants who are graduate or Ph.D. students in their fields. These candidates are weighed against career professional and must meet the same standards.
Who is my main point of contact while the camps are running?
The main point contact at camp is the Camp Director. You will receive information with the camp director’s name and contact information closer to the start of the program.
What is the difference between a Teaching Assistant and an Instructor?
Instructors are subject-matter experts trained to lead the whole class. They will be directly teaching your child during the program. Teaching Assistants have strong subject-area knowledge as well, and assist with activities, classroom management and morning and afternoon breaks.
Are there any prerequisites for international students?
Along with any required prerequisites for the classes, we recommend that the students have a solid grasp of English in both understanding and reading as well as be able to communicate with our staff in English. All courses are conducted in English. Students will need to follow along with verbal instructions given by the lead instructor and TAs as well as follow some written instruction on the computer screens.
We are not able to offer ESL assistance. Our instructors do their best to keep everyone in the class up at the same level so no one falls behind and all the students can complete their big main project by the end of the week for the Friday open house. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. This tool is a great place for students to see if they can follow along with our teachers in class.
What kind of visa does my student need if he/she is coming from abroad?
Students only need a tourist visa to attend our programs. If your consulate requires an Invitation letter, please contact us with two weeks notice to provide the letter to you. We’re happy to help!
Can you provide transportation to and from the airport?
Digital Media Academy cannot provide transportation to and from the airport, but we are happy to provide recommendations for resources that are certified to transport minors. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Do international students interact with other Digital Media Academy campers?
Yes! All students that register directly online will be in fully integrated classes. For students in the overnight program, unless otherwise specified, roommates will be assigned randomly based on gender and age.