Oct 22, 2018  
2011-2012 University Catalogue 
2011-2012 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Writing for Film and Television - Bachelor of Fine Arts

Jeff Ryder
Interim Coordinator, Film

The Writing for Film and Television program is committed to educating students in the craft technique of screen and television script writing.  It emphasizes an applied approach to the writing courses along with an appreciation of the history and criticism of both media.  Upon completing the program, students are prepared to engage in scriptwriting professionally or to pursue advanced study in creative writing.

Program Goals:

  • To recognize and apply the elements of dramatic structure in original written work;
  • To practice creative problem solving skills, experimentation and inventiveness;
  • To gain expertise in critical analysis;
  • To demonstrate rhetorical tactics;
  • To demonstrate professional practices in scriptwriting;
  • To be able to generate or find story ideas to develop for screen, television or Web series;
  • To learn to work with video or film production crews and to participate in the filming of student scripts;
  • To distinguish historical and cultural influences on film, television or Web on students’ original written work.


Program Total Credits: 120

Writing for Film and Television is an undergraduate program that teaches future screenwriters, filmmakers, story-development executives, and producers the art of writing narrative scripts for the screen. Students write feature-length screenplays and hour-long teleplays, gain a sophiscated knowledge of story development, and create, write, and produce episodic drama series for the Web. The core of the experience is writing and revising in a workshop environment with close guidance and support from industry-experienced faculty.

Following a freshman year that comprises courses in dramatic writing, video, and the study of image and sound, students who wish to specialize in scriptwriting may declare a major in Writing for Film and Television.

A three-year sequence of studio writing courses forms the backbone of the Writing curriculum. The sophomore year provides an intensive foundation in the craft with two introductory screenwriting workshops and a course in screenplay analysis. In the junior year, students write feature-length movie screenplays and are introduced to the art of writing for episodic dramatic television. The final year allows Writing majors to choose either of two yearlong thesis-project courses, one in feature screenwriting and the other in episodic-television. Students also study the art of screenplay adaptation in their last year.

To learn about the relationship between the written word and the films and television programs that emerge from scripts, as well as to experience the collaborative nature of film and television, Writing students take courses in video production, film and TV production management, and Web-series production. Survey courses in the history of film and television and a diverse liberal arts experience give students the breadth of knowledge required of the professional writer.

Freshman Year Credits: 30

Sophomore Year Credits: 30

Junior Year Credits: 30

Senior Year Credits: 30

Fall Credits: 15

Spring Credits: 15