• BFA Screenwriting Dodge College
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

B.F.A. in Screenwriting

» Learn every element of the screenwriting process to take you from story idea to script.

The B.F.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:

  • Demonstrate competency with industry standard writing style and presentation. 
  • Identify, create and write fully dimensional characters.
  • Write screenplays that demonstrate a distinctive personal voice.
  • Write short and feature length screenplays which demonstrate fundamental storytelling craft and an effective narrative structure.
  • Discover and identify the theoretical issues relating to screenwriting. 

+ - Degree Requirements

The B.F.A. in Screenwriting is an intensive program aimed at helping screenwriters develop their individual creative voices as they explore the intricacies of story structure, character development, writing believable dialogue and understanding film language and genres. Students will learn to write in a variety of forms, including the short film, feature film and episodic television.

Program Learning Outcomes and Educational Effectiveness Evaluation Plans for B.F.A. in Screenwriting.

Students pursuing the B.A.in Film Studies are required to:

  • Earn an overall GPA of 2.000 for all required major courses.
  • Complete all courses in the major for a letter grade, except for independent internships.
  • Pass courses in the major with a "C–" or higher.
  • Complete a minimum of 21 credits from upper division courses in the major.
  • Complete the thesis requirement, SW 498 (2 semesters 6 credits).

core requirements (57 credits)

SW 127*

Screenwriting Intensive


SW 128**

Character Analysis for Writers


FTV 130G**

Introduction to Visual Storytelling for Screenwriting


FTV 140

Introduction to Film Aesthetics


SW 155

Short Film Analysis


FS 244*

History of Film to 1959


FS 245**

History of Film 1960–Present


SW 257

Storytelling Strategies (enroll in SW 277 the same semester)


SW 277*

Feature Screenwriting I


SW 287**

Feature Screenwriting II


SW 317

Research for Screenwriters


SW 326

Writing the Adaptation


TWP 397

Writing the Pilot


SW 417

Writing for Evolving Platforms


FP 424

Senior Thesis Development


SW 471

Development Process for Film and Television


SW 498

Screenwriting Thesis (two semesters)


one of the following (3 credits)

TWP 327

Seminar in Television Writing: Comedy


TWP 328

Seminar in Television Writing: Drama



three courses selected from all courses offered by Dodge College or from the following (9 credits)

PHIL 101

Introduction to Philosophy


SOC 101

Introduction to Sociology


ANTH 102

Cultural Anthropology


HIST 252

History and Film


ENG 254

Introduction to Drama


HIST 256

Film and American History


ENG 270+

Foundation of Rhetorical Studies


ENG 302+

Writing About Diverse Cultures


PSY 319+

Motivation and Emotion


PSY 322+

Theories of Personality


PHIL 340

Philosophy of Mind



total credits



*offered fall semester only

**offered spring semester only

+enrollment requires prerequisite

+ - 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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