• MFA TV Writing and Producing
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

MFA in Television Writing and Producing

» Acquire the skills needed to pursue a career as a television writer/producer

The small screen has become big—in fact, it’s huge, in terms of the opportunities open to the next generation of television writers and producers. From multi-episode shows available for streaming/binge watching, to innovative “concept” shows that vary from season-to-season around a theme or brand (think True Detective or Fargo), the world of television is wide open for innovation. And so the door is wide open for creative storytellers who see no limit to what “television” means today.

Our two-year MFA in Television Writing and Producing will help you acquire the broad spectrum of skills needed to pursue a career as a television writer/producer. Not only will you strengthen and polish your writing, but you will also learn about how the business works—how content is developed, pitched and sold. And, just as important, you will learn the fundamentals of production, developing an understanding of what it takes to actually produce a show, from working with actors to knowing the logistics, costs and timing of all the phases of production.

In the first year, you’ll dig deep into the fundamentals of story form, learn about what’s happening in the business in real time from a steady stream of industry guests who will screen their work and share their experiences, and you’ll study what it takes to be an effective leader, which, as showrunner, you will be called upon to be.

In the second year, you’ll be challenged to master the planning and logistics of series creation: from writing a pilot to casting and production. You will also work in a “writer’s room” developing and writing subsequent episodes of a pilot as if you were on a professional writing staff. Learning how to develop a story arc and develop characters over time is vital to moving from an idea to an multi-episode actual show.

When you graduate, you’ll leave with a portfolio that showcases your talent as a writer, with spec scripts for current series and an original pilot script, as well as your understanding of the work of a producer, based on your direct involvement in production, working on set and learning what the producer needs to know to bring a show to the screen.

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