Do you want to study screenwriting at a university in the United States?
This article will help you select the best screenwriting course for you.
Continue reading to learn about 21 top college courses for screenwriting.
Jerry Sherlock founded the New York Film Academy back in 1992, inspired by the idea that one must actually make movies if they are to learn how to make movies. The producer of “The Hunt for the Red October” started the school on the principle of learning by doing.
New York Film Academy has a unique curriculum which blends traditional film school instructions and other new approaches, with students going out and actually shooting films as part of their coursework.
Its 3-year Bachelor’s Degree costs $12,251 (USD) per semester and will run for 8 semesters. You can apply for any of its three current intakes for the Los Angeles campus; September 2019, January 2020, and September 2020.
Chapman University offers an intense BFA in screenwriting. Based in South California, the institution opened its doors in the 1860s and has since developed an international reputation to add to its rich history.
Not only are students guaranteed to learn how to write content for the screen in a range of mediums, but that they will also study “the business of business,” given its proximity to L.A. and Hollywood. Chapman ranked 6th in The Top 25 American Film Schools 2017 list by The Hollywood Reporter.
Chapman accepts applications for the Fall 2019 intake which must be submitted by 1st October. Total tuition fee is approximately $27,270 per semester including other optional/additional fees. There’s more information about the requirements on the application portal.
Popularly known as LMU, the Los Angeles-based university offers a rigorous undergraduate screenwriting education in writing for both film and TV. LMU is a top-ranking university founded in 1911 and has remained rooted in Jesuit and Marymount traditions.
LMU features workshops and lectures that will give students access to some of the leading entertainment industry and high-profile insiders. They include such luminaries as Oscar-winning directors/producers such as Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) and John Lasseter (Cars, Toy Story).
Applications for the Freshman Year have a deadline of November 1st. Prospective students may apply online or get more information about tuition fees and other requirements from the university’s website.
NYU was founded in 1831 and was initially located in New York City, one of the most inspiring and influential cities in the world. It now runs campuses all over the world.
Other than the general education classes, its 4-year Dramatic Writing BFA program consists of text analysis classes, writing workshops, production and performance classes, and even pre-professional classes.
Applications for the first year of the program have a cut-off date of December 15, 1159 p.m. EST. Tuition fees average $32,914 per year including other common charges. There’s more information on the University’s enrolment page.
Popularly known as Purchase College, it was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. It is part of the 13 comprehensive colleges in the SUNY (State University of New York) system.
Purchase features a curriculum that helps students develop a sophisticated eye for the art and craft involved in making films and theatre. The institution has been lauded for its affordability which involves required and elective courses in playwriting and screenwriting.
Tuition fees are approximately $18,478 per year for non-state residents and $8,698 per year for New York residents. Application deadline is typically the 1st of March, but the institution will continue to accept applications until its enrolment goals are met.
Purchase has a simplified application process which also provides all the required information for prospective students.
Sam Houston State University provides students with advanced production as well as post-production skills to prepare them for a career in film making. The institution has been preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement for the past 137 years.
The degree includes required courses like Film History and Criticism, Motion Picture Aesthetics, Cinematography, TV & Film Production, Scriptwriting, Mass Media Law & Ethics, and more.
Application deadlines are as follows: Fall – August 1, Spring – December 1, and Summer – May 15. Tuition fees for Texas residents are approximately $9,544 per semester while non-Texas residents can expect tuition fees of around $14,608 per semester.
Buffalo SUNY is based in New York and has a long history and commitment to education. It was established in 1871 and now boasts over 100,000 alumni. The Television and Film Arts bachelor’s degree has a single aim: to create great storytellers, regardless of the medium.
The degree combines coursework from the Communications, English and Theatre departments as well as several other courses which prepare students for a variety of career paths. These include Screenwriters, Directors, Agents, Producers, Managers, and Network/Studio Executives.
New York State residents will pay around $3,435 per semester in tuition fees while non-residents can expect tuition fees of $8,325 per semester. Applications for the 2020 Spring intakes close on December 15th.
Through its undergraduate in Radio/TV/Film program, Northwestern challenges its students to hone their original visions and ideas. The university imparts hands-on training in creating, producing, and editing innovative media such as films and other video installations.
The degree program boasts practicing filmmakers, screenwriters, and leading cultural theorists as instructors and lecturers. It is offered by the school of communication which has its roots back in 1868.
Upon successful completion, students will go on to work in areas such as directing, screenwriting, media content creation, and media production, among others.
Tuition fees for full-time students average $54,120 per year excluding other expenses. Prospective students can apply for the Fall 2020 intake on or before November 1.
The University of Southern California was established in 1880 and is one of the oldest universities in California. It is based in Los Angeles, in Hollywood’s backyard. The institution offers a 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing for Screen and Television program which provides an intensive professional preparation for a career in screen and TV writing.
The rigorous degree program emphasizes smaller, workshop-style sessions and later, high level industry internships and mentorship programs. Notable alumni includes Shonda Rhimes, Matt Reeves, George Lucas, and John Singleton.
Tuition is payable in advance and comes to around $27,660 per semester. Registration for the subsequent year (summer intake) typically begins in March.
Syracuse University offers an undergraduate program through its Newhouse School of Public Communications. The New York-based faculty is focused on the creative, management, and production processes that form the foundation of the entertainment industry.
Students will then channel their studies into a narrower focus that reflects their interests. Sample courses in the program include majors such as Screenwriting, Communication Law TV-Radio-Film, Sight, Sound and Motion, and Principles and Practices, among others.
Newhouse is now recognized as one the elite schools of mass communication. Tuition Fees are in the region of $52,210 per year. Enquiries about admissions for the next Spring intake should be made before November 15.
DePaul was founded by the Vincentians back in 1898 and actually takes its name from Saint Vincent de Paul, the 17th century French priest. The Chicago based university is the largest private non-profit university in the Midwest and the 13th largest private institution in the US.
It offers the Communication and Media BA through its College of Communication faculty. The program covers majors such as Storytelling and Style in Cinema, Screenwriting, Public Speaking, and Digital Cinema Production among others.
Tuition fees come to about $40,551 per year. Prospective students for early action may apply online through the admissions page before November 15 for the classes beginning the following September.
Pratt institute is a New York-based private university that was founded by American Charles Pratt more than 130 years ago. Pratt’s 25-acre campus in Brooklyn provides students with an exceptional learning environment, both within and beyond the campus.
Pratt runs an extensive undergraduate writing program that features majors such as Playwriting Ritual and Practice, Screenplay Writing, Novel Writing, and Podcasting among others. The program includes thoughtfully designed elective courses to develop active understanding of writing-related practices not emphasized in the core studio sequence
Tuition fees per year are around $51,754 and prospective students may apply for Fall 2020 intake before November 1, 2019.
Previously known as Western Maryland College, McDaniel is a private liberal arts college based in Maryland. It was founded in 1867 and was renamed in 2002 after an alumnus who had given a lifetime service to the institution.
The Communication and Cinema degree program emphasizes the mastery of three key liberal arts-based skill areas that are the core of great cinema; Screenwriting, Production, and Critical studies. Courses include Scriptwriting, Playwriting, Film Analysis, and Fiction into Film among others.
Prospective students may apply by November 1 for early decision, and November 15 for early action. Fulltime students can expect to pay a flat tuition fee of $21,630 per semester.
SCAD was founded in 1978 with the aim of providing degrees in programs that were not yet offered in the Southeast of the United States. It is a private art school and has campuses in Savannah and Atlanta; Georgia, Hongkong and Lacoste in France.
Its BFA in Dramatic Writing Program is designed to help students to master the nuance of language as they write unforgettable stories for film, theater, TV, feature animation and much more. The Major curriculum features courses such as Introduction to Dramatic Writing, Writing for TV Comedy, Playwriting, Feature Film Screenwriting, and many more.
Students may download the submission catalogue or apply online for the 2020 Summer intake by January 15, 2020. Expected annual tuition fees will be around $37,575.
Point Park is Pittsburgh’s only downtown university. It was founded back in 1933 and was, until 2004, known as Point Park College.
The B.A. in Writing for Screen and Media program features an innovative and intense focus on screenwriting. It also guarantees exposure to the latest media writing platforms that will prepare students for careers as professional media writers/screenwriters. Courses include Introduction to Screenwriting, Narrative Structure of Cinema, Story Analysis, Writing for Theatre, and Advanced Screenwriting among others.
Admissions are on a rolling basis and it has no application deadlines. Tuition fees per year come to about $31,180.
Through its Westphal College of Arts and Design, Drexel offers a Screenwriting and Playwriting program that guides students to a career of writing for the stage or the screen. It was founded by financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel.
Drexel is one of two universities in Philadelphia to be ranked among the top 100 by US News & World Report. The program focuses on the principles of dramatic writing which it provides through a hands-on approach in small class settings.
Tuition fees average $52,146 per year. To apply for the freshman year (2020), you must have submitted all the relevant documents by November 1.
Since opening its doors in 1971, Metropolitan State University has been committed to providing quality higher education to the people of Minnesota. It is part of the Minnesota state higher education system.
The Screenwriting major features a curriculum that blends artistic growth and professional development. It provides students with the necessary practical preparation to engage in screenwriting at a professional level, including an internship to help bridge the gap from college to career.
You may apply any time of the year since it has rolling admissions. Tuition fees average $28,858 for Minnesota residents.
Ohio University is based in Athens, Ohio and is the first university chartered by an act of congress. It opened its doors in the early 1800s and is one of the top ten oldest universities in US.
Through its School of Media Arts and Studies faculty, the university prepares media professionals for a global, cultural, and ever-changing landscape. It has a strong reputation and emphasizes key areas such as Media and Social Change, Screenwriting and Producing, and Integrated Media among other areas.
Ohio university operates admissions on both early action (deadline: November 15 for Fall 2020 entry) and rolling admission on a space-available basis. Tuition fees average $12,192 per year for Ohio residents and $21,656 for non-residents.
The University of the Arts is one of the oldest art and music schools in the US. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was established back in 1876 and its campus now makes up part of the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The BFA program prepares future screenwriters, web series and television writers, and story development executives for the big, small, and smaller screens. Students get the opportunity to write feature-length screenplays, TV pilots, and to gain a sophisticated knowledge of story development through an internship experience.
Program requirements include Advanced Screenwriting, Writing for Television, Senior Script, Storytelling, and Screenplay Analysis. You can apply anytime of the year since admissions are on a rolling basis. Tuition fees average $46,530 per year for full-time students.
Based in San Francisco, California, the Academy of Art University is one of the largest privately owned art and design schools in the US. The institution boasts of an inclusive admission policy that is rare among art schools.
The program will prepare you with the necessary skills to develop engaging scripts and characters in a rigorous, supportive writing environment. Some of the courses include Screenplay Analysis, The Power of Story, Cinematic Storytelling, Dialogue, Writing for Production, and Feature Film among others.
It has open admissions and tuition fees average $26,147 per year.
Emerson College began as a small oratory school back in 1880. The Boston-based institution has since grown to international recognition. Two of Emerson College’s alumni got together to write the screenplay for the hugely successful movie Megamind by Dreamworks Film.
The Writing for Film & Television undergraduate program focuses on learning through writing, critique, and rewriting. Students get a chance to write feature-length screenplays, one-hour prime time dramas, and situation comedies, and other short scripts suitable for film, video, or other media.
Early action applications deadline is November 1 for Spring 2020 entry. Tuition fees average $48,560 per year excluding other miscellaneous charges.
Do you know of any other college courses for screenwriting in the US? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
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