• Screenwriting

    M.F.A. in Screenwriting

    Explore the intricacies of story structure and character development

» M.F.A. in Screenwriting

About the Program

The 2-year M.F.A. in Screenwriting is an intensive program designed to encourage the development of your unique storytelling voice through the exploration of the intricacies of story structure and character development. Working under the mentorship of industry active screenwriters, you’ll learn to write content for the screen in a variety of mediums including short and long form projects, episodic television and emerging media.

Additionally, as a student in the M.F.A. Screenwriting program, you will study the “business of the business” - the practical side of developing and selling your ideas. Students enrolled in the program also have the opportunity to collaborate with their film production colleagues to have one of their scripts produced for the screen. Upon graduation, you’ll have an understanding of how the industry works as well as several developed scripts.

+ - Learning Outcomes

In mastering the curriculum of the M.F.A. in Screenwriting, students will gain competence in the following areas:

  • Foundational skills and storytelling tools: visual writing, screenplay format, dramatic scenes, exposition, time management, motifs (planting and payoff), dramatic Irony, telegraphing, dangling causes
  • Character issues: characters drawn from life, fully-dimensional characters, character arc, economical, fresh, character-specific dialogue, effective character entrances
  • Personal vision: development of a personal vision/distinctive voice, how this is expressed through theme
  • Feature screenplay issues: three act and eight sequence structures, notions of main tension, culmination and resolution

+ - Degree Requirements

  1. Complete 48 credits at the 500 or 600 level.
  2. Successfully complete a thesis screenplay.

The following sequence of courses prepares students for successful completion of the thesis screenplay. The courses must be taken in the following order, during the semesters indicated. Any deviation must be approved by the film division chair.

first year (27 credits)

fall requirements (12 credits)

SW 527

Fundamentals of Screenwriting

3

FP 531

Production Workshop I

3

SW 557

Film Script Analysis

3

SW 627

Feature Screenwriting I

3

spring requirements (9 credits)

SW 555

The Short Film Form

3

SW 647

Feature Screenwriting II

3

SW 648

Seminar in Adaptation

3

summer requirements (6 credits)

SW 587

Short Script Workshop

3

FTV 690

Independent Internship

3

second year (21 credits)

fall requirements (9 credits)

FS 502

Evolution of Narrative Film I

3

SW 631

Seminar in Television Writing I

3

SW 698

Thesis in Screenwriting

3

spring requirements (12 credits)

FTP 562

The Development Process of Film and Television

3

SW 632

Seminar In Television Writing II

3

SW 698

Thesis in Screenwriting

3

Elective (must be approved by screenwriting advisor or graduate chair)

3

total credits

 

48

+ - Core Faculty

+ - Application Requirements

In order to apply to the Screenwriting graduate program, you must submit the required application materials, as well as a Creative Supplement. The application will go live in July, and more instructions on the application process will be updated on our website soon.

 Application:

  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Creative Supplement

 Other Required Materials:

  • Official copy of your undergraduate transcript from your degree granting institution
  • GRE (if GPA from undergraduate program is below a 3.0)

No additional information should be sent to Dodge College or the Office of Admissions outside of what is required on the application. Any outside work sent to either office will not be reviewed as part of the admission process.

View additional application details

  • Featured
  • News
  • Events
  • page loading
    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    View all News »
  • page loading
    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    TODAY TOMORROW

    »

    View all Events »

Questions?

Contact Us

(714) 628-2764

ftvgrad@chapman.edu

Want to see more?

Browse a selection of projects created by Dodge College students in our 

Dodge College Showcase