Writing for the Screen and Stage Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


Courses Units
Core courses (6) 6
RTVF 561 - Foundations of Writing for the Screen and Stage Parameters of media writing (character, dialogue, tone/voice, scope, context, intent, etc). Structure. Story analysis. What distinguishes one medium from another. Product: 30-page screenplay. 1
RTVF 562 - Writing the Full-Length Play 1
RTVF 563 - Writing the TV Episode 1
RTVF 564 - Feature Thesis 1 With an emphasis on understanding the structure of a feature play, film, innovative theatre piece, or interactive narrative (student's choice) Students produce: Outline, first act. 1
RTVF 565 - Feature Thesis 2 With an emphasis on writing the first draft. 1
RTVF 566 - Feature Thesis 3 With an emphasis on adaptation, revision, and preparing the writer for the business of writing. 1
Topics courses (4) 4

RTVF 360 Topics in Media Writing or RTVF 464 Advanced Writing or other media writing electives with approval of the Director of the MFA.
Sample courses include:
Writing the Production-Ready Short Film
Writing Romantic Comedy
The Art, Business, and Ethics of Assignment Writing
Writing Horror/Fantasy/Supernatural
Writing the Dramatic Pilot
Writing the Comedy Screenplay
Writing the ½ Hour Spec Script
Writing the Sci-Fi Script
Advanced Sitcom Writing
Writing the Anti-Hero
Writing the Fact-Based Drama
LGBTQIA for Theater, TV, and/or Web
Improv for Writers
Pitching the TV Series
Writing and Performing Stand-Up
Political Drama Between Stage and Screen
Writing the Historical Drama
Activist Video for the Web
Creativity and Flow in Screenwriting
Writing the Feature Film
Workshopping the Full-Length Project
Writing Styles
Advanced Scene Workshop

Production course (1) 1
RTVF or Theatre (300-level or higher) with the approval of the Director of the MFA.
Theory/history/culture courses (300-level or higher) (1) 1
From Screen Cultures/RTVF, Performance Studies, Art Theory and Practice, Theatre, or other departments with approval of MFA program director.
Electives (5) 5
From Production, Screen Cultures, or Writing/RTVF, Performance Studies, Art Theory and Practice, Theatre or other departments with approval of MFA program director. Maximum of two screenwriting, playwriting or television writing electives.
One internship (349 or equivalent at the discretion of the Director of the MFA). 1
Total required units: 18

Other MFA Degree Requirements

MFA students will be allowed to take a maximum of 20 credits.

Grade average: Students must maintain a B average. If a student's average is not a B or higher by the end of the first year, he or she may be asked to leave the program.

Final portfolio Review/Defense: In consultation with the Director of the Program, each student will choose a committee of two faculty members to review his/her final portfolio (at least 3 substantial scripts created within the context of courses) and to judge his/her final defense of that portfolio.