• B.A. in Screenwriting image by Westin Ray

    B.A. in Screenwriting

    Write in a variety of art forms by exploring story structure and character development

» B.A. in Screenwriting

About the Program

The B.A. in Screenwriting program focuses on the art and craft of screenwriting through project-based, practical writing experience. In this comprehensive program you will learn every element of the screenwriting process that will take you from story idea to script. Your work is further discussed and refined in a workshop environment where you develop your own storytelling voice while receiving constructive feedback from your peers and also instructors who are all screenwriting professionals.

You will begin your course of study by exploring the intricacies of character development and story structure while learning to write in a variety of forms, including the short film, feature film and episodic television.

By your junior year you will be working on feature-length scripts and will finish the program with at least two completed feature-length scripts to jump start your portfolio

+ - You'll Study

Along with a broad liberal arts education, you’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the key components of screenwriting, including:

  • How to create and develop compelling characters
  • How to create emotional moments and story beats
  • How to write believable dialogue
  • How setting and production design fulfill vital roles in storytelling
  • The history of film as an art form, industry and cultural phenomenon
  • The essential elements of film, including basic cinematography, lighting, editing, and sound recording
  • The acting process as seen through script analysis, scene study and acting exercises
  • Managing the audience’s emotional involvement in a story

+ - Learning Outcomes

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

  • Students will be able to demonstrate competency with industry standard writing style & presentation.
  • Students will be able to identify and create fully dimensional characters.
  • Students will be able to write scripts that demonstrate a distinctive personal voice.
  • Students will be able to write a complete feature length screenplay using the classical eight sequence/three act narrative structure.
  • Students will be able to discover and identify the historical, theoretical and business issues relating to screenwriting.

+ - Degree Requirements

Core Requirements (39 credits)

SW 127*

Screenwriting Intensive

SW 128**

Character Analysis for Writers

FTV 130

Introduction to Visual Storytelling

FTV 140/140L

Introduction to Film Aesthetics/Introduction to Film Aesthetics Lab

FS 244/244L*

History of Film to 1959/History of Film to 1959 Screening Lab

FS 245/245L**

History of Film 1960–Present/History of Film 1960– Present Screening Lab

SW 257

Storytelling Strategies (enroll in SW 277 the same semester)

SW 277*

Feature Screenwriting I

SW 287**

Feature Screenwriting II

SW 326

Writing the Adaptation

TWP 328

Seminar in Television Writing

SW 498

Screenwriting Thesis (two semesters)

three-upper division elective courses (9 credits)

Electives include all courses offered by the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

*offered fall semester only
**offered spring semester only

+ - Faculty

For a complete list of Dodge College faculty, view our faculty directory.

Core Faculty

Barry Blaustein

James Dutcher

Bettina Gilois

Paul Gulino

David Ward

Paul Wolansky

+ - Alumni

Our list of notable screenwriting alumni include:

Christopher Borrelli (BA/Com ‘94) Screenwriter, Eloise, The Vatican Tapes, Wake

Kelly Galuska (BA/SW ‘06) Staff Writer, Mom, CBS, BoJack Horseman, Netflix

Rebecca Kirsch (BA/SW ‘05) Screenwriter/Producer, Leverage, Dracula, 12 Monkeys

Alex Theurer (BFA/FTV ’06) Screenwriter/Producer, Sleight

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