• 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:

  • 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

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

3

SW 128**

Character Analysis for Writers

3

FTV 130G**

Introduction to Visual Storytelling for Screenwriting

3

FTV 140

Introduction to Film Aesthetics

3

SW 155

Short Film Analysis

3

FS 244*

History of Film to 1959

3

FS 245**

History of Film 1960–Present

3

SW 257

Storytelling Strategies (enroll in SW 277 the same semester)

3

SW 277*

Feature Screenwriting I

3

SW 287**

Feature Screenwriting II

3

SW 317

Research for Screenwriters

3

SW 326

Writing the Adaptation

3

TWP 397

Writing the Pilot

3

SW 417

Writing for Evolving Platforms

3

FP 424

Senior Thesis Development

3

SW 471

Development Process for Film and Television

3

SW 498

Screenwriting Thesis (two semesters)

6

one of the following (3 credits)

TWP 327

Seminar in Television Writing: Comedy

3

TWP 328

Seminar in Television Writing: Drama

3

electives

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

PHIL 101

Introduction to Philosophy

3

SOC 101

Introduction to Sociology

3

ANTH 102

Cultural Anthropology

3

HIST 252

History and Film

3

ENG 254

Introduction to Drama

3

HIST 256

Film and American History

3

ENG 270+

Foundation of Rhetorical Studies

3

ENG 302+

Writing About Diverse Cultures

3

PSY 319+

Motivation and Emotion

3

PSY 322+

Theories of Personality

3

PHIL 340

Philosophy of Mind

3

total credits

 

66

*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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