Screenwriting degrees are offered at the certificate, bachelor, and master degree levels. Students may enroll in programs through the film departments of various 4-year colleges and universities. Screenwriting classes and programs often have limited class size due to the nature of the hands-on instruction.
10 Schools with Degrees in Screenwriting
Below is a list of the top 10 schools that offer programs in screenwriting at various degree levels:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $50,277; Graduate: $39,384|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Certificate, Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $47,750; Graduate: $38,592|
|American Film Institute||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||Master's||$44,082|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||Certificate and Master's||In-state: $11,220; Out-of-state: $26,322|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Master's||$42,280|
|Chapman University||Orange, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $47,260; Graduate: $25,331|
|Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $42,795; Graduate: $17,471|
|Emerson College||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Certificate, Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $41,052; Graduate: $28,728|
|University of Texas at Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state: $10,934; Out-of-state: $20,762|
|Boston University||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $48,436; Graduate: $47,422|
Source:*National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for a screenwriting school :
- Students may want to consider the education and achievements of faculty. Instructors with experience in the field may offer more relevant and industry-specific instruction.
- Students may want to consider an area of concentration such as writing for television, theater, or film. When selecting a program, make sure the program offers training and courses in the selected concentration.
- Consider the opportunities for networking. Some schools may offer complementary analysis of scripts and assignments by industry professionals. Programs might also include internship opportunities that can be helpful in making contacts.
- Students who are currently working full time might want to look for an online program or a program with flexible scheduling.
Screenwriting Certificate Programs
Screenwriting certificate programs may provide an overview of the profession or focus on a concentrated specialty within the industry. Graduates may have the option of applying credit toward a degree program.
Bachelor's Degree in Screenwriting
Bachelor's degree programs in screenwriting develop a student's creative writing ability and may offer a focus on writing for film, stage or television. A degree can typically be achieved in four years, which includes completion of general education requirements. Screenwriting courses may be included within English, journalism or film studies majors and often emphasize on creating and rewriting scripts and writing for film and/or television.
Master's Degree in Screenwriting
A 2-year master's degree program in screenwriting is designed for those with a bachelor's degree in another creative arts field. Courses may focus on the craft of screenwriting, including the areas of storytelling, style, tone and character.
There are many options for individuals interested in pursuing a degree in screenwriting, so it is important to consider career goals when looking at schools and choosing a degree level.