» B.A. in Screenwriting
About the Program
Our intensive undergraduate screenwriting degree is designed specifically to help fledgling screenwriters like you develop your individual creativity as you explore the intricacies of story structure and character development. You’ll work one-on-one with an outstanding faculty of Hollywood screenwriters with many years of experience in both film and television — and many awards on their shelves. And you’ll learn to write in a variety of art forms — short film and feature-length, episodic television and mini-series.
But just because we teach structure, we’re not bound by it. After all, too much structure often translates into predictability. Instead, we take a holistic approach to screenwriting with an emphasis on visual storytelling, as we help you find your own voice, sharpen your own personal sensibilities and hone your skills. And you’ll have ample opportunity to develop your skills — writing, shooting, and editing your own short films as well as contributing to the works of your fellow students. At the end of your four years, you’ll leave here with at least two finished scripts to share with the Hollywood insiders you’ve come to know through your time at Dodge.
+ - 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)
Character Analysis for Writers
Introduction to Visual Storytelling
Introduction to Film Aesthetics/Introduction to Film Aesthetics Lab
History of Film to 1959/History of Film to 1959 Screening Lab
History of Film 1960–Present/History of Film 1960– Present Screening Lab
Storytelling Strategies (enroll in SW 277 the same semester)
Feature Screenwriting I
Feature Screenwriting II
Writing the Adaptation
Seminar in Television Writing
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
+ - 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
- Undergraduate Programs
- B.A. in Film Studies
- B.F.A. in Film Production
- B.F.A. in Digital Arts
- B.F.A. in Creative Producing
- B.A. in Screenwriting
- B.A. in Public Relations & Advertising
- B.F.A. in Screen Acting
- B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production
- B.F.A. in News and Documentary
- International Initiatives