At the core of the Screenwriting concentration are the screenwriting workshops. In the year-long sequence Screenwriting I and II, the student writes a feature-length screenplay, beginning with the treatment and ending with the finished script. At every step of the process, individual scenes are presented in the workshops, so that each writer benefits from the constructive comments of fellow writers as well as those of the professor. The other two writing workshops in the program are Writing the Adaptation, in which students adapt material from other media to the moving image form; and Writing the Short Screenplay, focusing on scripts shorter than the feature length.
Students in the screenwriting track complement the writing workshops with course work in production and critical studies. Production courses give the screenwriter a hands-on understanding of how images and sounds are put together in the moving-image work. Courses in Critical Studies further the students' knowledge of the stylistic, narrative, and genre traditions of the various moving image media - cinema, television, and new media.
SAMPLE CURRICULUM: SCREENWRITING
The following represents the curriculum of a hypothetical screenwriting student. The elective courses shown here will vary from student to student, though the required core courses remain the same.
Issues and Perspectives in Communication *
Media Conceptualization (or other elective)
Advanced Film Theory *
Film Genres: Film Noir (or other elective)
Writing the Adaptation
Digital Editing (or other elective)
Media Industries (or other elective)
Writing the Short Screenplay
Research Skill / Foreign Language requirement
Research Methods in Communication *
After completion of coursework, students submit and orally defend a thesis prospectus to their thesis committee. After successful defense of the prospectus, students register for thesis hours until the thesis is completed and defended to the committee.
KEY OF COURSES
( * ) Communication M.A. Core Requirement
Click the link on the right for a detailed summary of requirements for the MA degree. This information is also contained in the M.A. Handbook. For information about applying to the M.A. program in screenwriting, click the Application link on the left.