• MFA in Screenwriting
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

MFA in Screenwriting

» Develop your unique storytelling voice through the exploration of the intricacies of story structure and character development

The 2-year MFA 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 MFA 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.

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Learning Outcomes

In mastering the curriculum of the MFA in Screenwriting, students will gain competence in the following areas:

  • Demonstrate competency with industry standard writing style and presentation. 
  • Identify, create and write fully dimensional, complex, and dynamic characters.
  • Write screenplays that demonstrate a distinctive personal voice in a variety of formats and genres.
  • Write short and feature length screenplays which demonstrate effective storytelling craft and narrative structure for a variety of genres.
  • Apply the theoretical concepts to the creation of distinctive and original screenplays.

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


FP 531

Production Workshop I


SW 557

Film Script Analysis


SW 627

Feature Screenwriting I


spring requirements (9 credits)

SW 555

The Short Film Form


SW 647

Feature Screenwriting II


SW 648

Seminar in Adaptation


summer requirements (6 credits)

SW 587

Short Script Workshop


FTV 690

Independent Internship


second year (21 credits)

fall requirements (9 credits)

FS 502

Evolution of Narrative Film I


SW 631

Seminar in Television Writing I


SW 698

Thesis in Screenwriting


spring requirements (12 credits)

FTP 562

The Development Process of Film and Television


SW 632

Seminar In Television Writing II


SW 698

Thesis in Screenwriting



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



total credits



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.


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

 Other Required Materials:

  • Official copy of your undergraduate transcript from your degree granting institution

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

Contact Dodge Admissions

Phone: (714) 997-6996


Info Sessions

Dodge College is hosting both in-person and online informational sessions for prospective graduate students.

Learn more and register

Want to see more?

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

Dodge College Showcase