Advertising school launches immersive technology program

Emma Gueorguieva

A new program from the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations will give students an opportunity to create their own immersive technology experience.

This fall, the Stan Richards School announced the creation of Texas Immersive, a new interdisciplinary program focused on bringing students of all backgrounds together to create experiences for real clients using immersive technology, such as virtual and augmented reality projects, said Erin Reilly, founder and managing director of Texas Immersive. Applications are currently open until Nov. 26 and consist of two parts: an online application and the creation of a digital or physical product that showcases the student’s definition of the term “immersive.”

According to the program’s website, Texas Immersive begins in the spring and will only accept 48 students. Reilly said 20% of seats will be reserved for students outside the Stan Richards School. 

“Texas Immersive will bring different students together … to dive into the possibilities of bridging audience storytelling, emerging technologies and fostering innovative experiences.” Reilly said.

Students will take three courses focusing on different aspects in creating an immersive experience. The first is about audience engagement, the second teaches experimental storytelling and the third is on developing communication campaigns for immersive experiences. 


JoAnn Sciarrino, director of the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, said the program is hoping to get students in a wide range of different majors.

“When our students go out into industry, they will be working on more cross-functional teams solving problems that will be from different disciplines,” Sciarrino said. “Having the ability to do that here while they’re undergraduates will help them become more industry-ready.”

Corporate communications senior Jasmine Peralez took Reilly’s audience development and engagement class last fall and said it was one of her favorite classes at UT.

“It was a little confusing at first,” Peralez said. “No one in my class was very familiar with the study of immersive experiences. It was really cool to learn this new industry and engage in a way that was more about learning and creating than anything else.”

Peralez said she thinks the program is very unique and incredibly beneficial to students from all disciplines.

“The field of immersive and the ways of working are very different, and you’re only going to see that in the classes that are set for the program,” Peralez said.