The MFA in screenwriting take a “conservatory” approach to screenwriting based on practice and repetition. As a student in the program, you will become well-acquainted with the process of pitching a story before writing it, critical and analytical approaches to filmmaking and screenwriting, and the different areas of screenwriting, including:
- Feature screenplay
- Short screenplay
- Television sitcoms
- Television dramas
- Sketch comedy
Throughout the three-year program, you will work closely with faculty with professional experience, and a variety of guests from the industry. And you will have a significant group of feature motion picture and television scripts that have been honed to the sharpest professional sensibility.
Candidates for the master of fine arts in screenwriting take a minimum of 54 credits. The candidate is required to take a minimum 36 credit hours from the following list:
- FIS 722 - Graduate Screenwriting
- FIS 723 - Ensemble Screenwriting
- FIS 724 - The Adaptation Screenplay
- FIS 725 - Writing for Assignment
- FIS 726 - Advanced Screenplay Analysis
- FIS 727 - Advanced Screenplay Theory
- FIS 728 - Graduate Production
- FIS 618 - Writing for Television I
- FIS 619 - Writing for Television II
Elective classes will include additional graduate-level film courses as well as graduate-level dramatic literature or creative writing courses taught in other departments such as English, theatre, or foreign languages.
Creative Project Requirement
Each screenwriting student will be expected to complete a minimum of four full-length feature motion picture screenplays and two television scripts. In practice, the output is actually closer to five screenplays and four television scripts. One screenplay will be selected to be the candidate’s final creative project. The oral defense of that script will serve as a capstone to the course of graduate study in the program.
Course work listed is normally open only to matriculating advanced degree students in the department of film. Other students who may qualify under Graduate College or university regulations must receive prior consent to register from the graduate coordinator.