• BFA in Television Writing and Production Dodge College

Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production

» Develop characters, write dialogue, and create on-going storylines to drive episodic television

Are you ready for Prime Time?

Want to make TV shows like The Walking Dead and Modern Family?  Are you a fan of Game of Thrones or House of Cards?  Do you want to write or direct the next great breakout show for HBO or Netflix?

You can do any and all of these things as a Television Writing and Production major.  You will learn how to develop characters, write dialogue, create a series “bible” and develop the on-going storylines that drive episodic television. You will also learn about casting, directing, working with actors, and producing as well as lighting, shooting, editing, capturing sound and creating sound effects.

Using our 4-camera, state-of-the-art high definition television studio, industry-standard technology like the Avid editing system, state-of-the-art digital cinema cameras such as the Red One and Sony F65, our students create and produce half-hour comedy and drama pilots shot over Interterm and Web series produced in our Byte-Sized Television classes.

Our students' work has won national recognition. Three years in a row (2009, Kate So Far; 2010, Rising Above; 2011, Coyotes), the Interterm TV pilots have been recognized as finalists in the New York Television Festival, a competition open not only to students but to also to independent professionals.  Work by Dodge College TV students has also won notice in festivals and other contests, including:

Higher Education screened at the Independent Television and Film Festival in Hollywood (Aug. 2011)

Two Close won Best Television Pilot Award from the Caucus for Producers, Directors, and Writers (Dec, 2012)

Called To Serve won Outstanding Drama 2013 ITV Festival and Best TV Drama at the Independent Television & Film Festival in Dover & Wilmington, Vermont (Sept. 2013)

+ - You'll Study

Along with a broad liberal arts education, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of production, including single and multi-camera shooting and directing, cinematography, editing and sound
  • How to write for episodic programs
  • The financial and social/cultural aspects of television
  • How to work in a studio environment as well as on location
  • How to create interesting characters and develop multi-part stories
  • How to produce and direct for television and how to work with actors

+ - Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate strong writing and storytelling skills that are necessary for success in the television marketplace.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze current TV market conditions and business models, including emerging platforms.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to use technology– cinematography, videography, sound, editing – to tell their stories and understand the interplay of how what is written affects production.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to work in the professional, collaborative environments that drive narrative, episodic television production—in the writers’ room and during on set production.

+ - Curriculum Structure

The major begins by giving you a solid foundation in two types of core courses:

Core courses in the art and craft of writing and producing TV comedies and dramas:

You learn the fundamentals of telling a story with pictures and sound in FTV 130 Introduction to Visual Storytelling.

You learn the nuts and bolts of capturing picture and sound and putting them together in and TWP 232 Electronic Cinematography, FP 133 Audio Techniques, and FP 115 Editing I.

You acquire the skills needed to work in a multi-camera studio environment in TWP 114 Introduction to Television: Studio.

You develop skills needed to shoot on location in NWD 116 Introduction to Television: Location.

There must be a story and a script before there can be a TV show so you’ll take SW 227 Screenwriting Fundamentals.

Budgets, scheduling and other fundamentals are taught in CRPR 234 Production and Set Management.

Core courses in the business of television:

Want to be a studio or network executive?  TWP 265 Prime Time: The Game of Television will get you started.

After that, TWP 240 The Business of Television and TWP 246 History of Television will deepen your knowledge of how television has and continues to evolve.

Intermediate and advanced courses:

After acquiring a solid grounding in the fundamentals, you will apply these skills to the writing and production of actual TV shows.

You will write a spec script for a current comedy or drama in TWP 328 Seminar in Television Writing.  You will write a half-hour comedy or drama pilot script in TWP 497 Prime Time Production: Writing the Dramatic Series.

On the production side, you will develop and produce a web series pilot in TWP 313 Byte-Sized Television I and make several subsequent episodes in TWP 413 Byte-Sized Television II.

In our capstone level production you will have the opportunity to help produce a full-length television pilot as two scripts from TWP 497 Writing the Dramatic Series are selected, shot and edited in TWP 498 Prime Time Production: Shooting the Dramatic Series

+ - Degree Requirements

The B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production prepares students to engage in narrative storytelling in episodic form, where characters may continue over weeks, months and even years. Following introductory coursework in narrative writing strategies and production technique as well as studying the historical, aesthetic and business issues that impact writing and producing work for television, students will write and produce television series concepts and episodes.

Program Learning Outcomes and Educational Effectiveness Evaluation Plans for B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production.

Students pursuing the B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production 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 capstone requirement TWP 497 or 498.

core requirements (45 credits)

TWP 114

Introduction to Television Production: Studio


FP 115

Editing I


DOC 116

Introduction to Television Production: Location


FTV 130B

Introduction to Visual Storytelling for Television Writing and Production


FP 133

Audio Techniques


SW 227

Screenwriting Fundamentals


TWP 232

Electronic Cinematography for Narrative Television


CRPR 234

Introduction to Production and Set Management


FP 239

Directing I


TWP 246

History of Television


TWP 265

Prime Time: The Game of Television


TWP 310

The New Era of Television


TWP 313

Byte–Sized Television I


FP 338

Directing II


TWP 413

Byte–Sized Television II


two of the following (6 credits)

TWP 320

Narrative Television Workshop


TWP 327

Seminar in Television Writing: Comedy


TWP 328

Seminar in Television Writing: Drama



one of the following (3 credits)

TWP 497

Writing the Pilot, Senior Thesis


TWP 498

Pilot Production, Senior Thesis


electives (6 credits)

TWP 303

Producing Reality Television


TWP 311

Advanced Multi–Camera TV Production


FP 315

Editing II


FP 333

Audio Design


FP 336

Production Design I


FP 337

Cinematography II


TWP 345

Television Pre-Production


TWP 397

Writing the Pilot


TWP 398

Pilot Production


FP 438

Directing III


TWP 490

Independent Internship



total credits



+ - Faculty

For a complete list of Dodge College faculty, view our faculty directory.

James Gardner

Steven Hirsen

Bill Rosenthal

+ - Program FAQs

If you know what you’re doing, your time at Chapman will be incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips on internships, graduation, studying abroad, and more, to help things go more smoothly.

» Television Writing and Production FAQs
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