Best Colleges for Screenwriting

Aspiring to be a professional screenwriter? Get started with our list which has the Best Colleges for Screenwriting offering certificate or degree programs, for students of any level.

Screenwriting is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games. A degree in screenwriting can prepare you for the realities of the business and give you valuable contacts– both with your peers and with industry insiders.

If you choose to take formal colleges in screenwriting, but which school is right for you? Through our list, you can explore many schools and universities for your screenwriting interest. So go ahead, view our complete list and choose the best one. Good luck!!

University of Southern California (USC)

School of Cinematic Arts

USC has historically educated a large number of the nation’s business leaders and professionals. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing for Screen & Television is a unique, four-year program for students who want a real career in screen and television writing. The Master of Fine Arts, with a major in Writing for Screen & Television, is a two-year degree program which concentrates on training screenwriters to work in the entertainment industry and beyond. The Minor in Screenwriting covers writing for the screen from many different points of view and allows students to explore television, film and, new media writing and all of the opportunities the Division has to offer.

Founded In: 1880
Ranking: 1st
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 50,210 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 213.740.3303
Website:  https://cinema.usc.edu/writing/index.cfm

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television

The university is organized into six undergraduate colleges, seven professional schools, and four professional health science schools. It’s professional Program in Screenwriting, the only graduate-level non-degree screenwriting program that has oversight by the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. The Screenwriting program, a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Television, encourages students to concentrate upon the challenge of writing a well-structured story inhabited by vivid, compelling characters. In UCLA TFT’s Screenwriting Program students learn all the key elements of creating scripts for feature film and television, including story structure, plot, scene development, characterization, and dialogue.

Founded In: 1919
Ranking:  2nd
Tuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 12,763 USD, Out-of-state 37,471 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 310.825.6124
Website:  http://professionalprograms.tft.ucla.edu/screenwriting/

Best Colleges for Screenwriting

Loyola Marymount College

LMU School of Film and Television

Loyola Marymount is one of the largest Roman Catholic universities on the West Coast with just over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate and law school students.  The LMU Writing for the Screen M.F.A. teaches you how to think like a screenwriter through a progression of rigorous classes, using long-form feature film writing as the springboard for crafting stories for a variety of screen sizes. Coursework will help you hone your storytelling skills in a liberal-arts context under the guidance of professional screenwriters.

Founded In: 1865
Ranking:  3rd
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 42,795 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 310.338.2700
Website:  https://sftv.lmu.edu/academics/undergraduateprograms/screenwriting/

New York Film Academy

Screenwriting School

The New York Film Academy boasts a unique curriculum that encourages learning by doing. Throughout their time at the New York Film Academy’s Screenwriting School, students will write and workshop scripts in a variety of different genres and styles. The New York Film Academy’s Screenwriting School offers a number of different programs, ranging from short-term screenwriting workshops to full-fledged degree programs. While their screenwriting programs and workshops are only offered in New York City and Los Angeles, the New York Film Academy is also proud to offer online screenwriting courses that allow aspiring writers to hone their skills from anywhere in the country.

Founded In: 1992
Ranking:  4th
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 28,000 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 1-212-674-4300
Website:  https://www.nyfa.edu/screenwriting-school/

Chapman College

Chapman College operates Brandman University as a separate, fully accredited university within the Chapman University System. 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. The 2-year M.F.A. in Screenwriting is an intensive program designed to encourage the development of your unique storytelling voice through the exploration of the intricacies of story structure and character development.

Founded In: 1861
Ranking:  5th
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 47,260 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: (714) 997-6815
Website:  https://www.chapman.edu/dodge/programs/undergraduate/ba-screenwriting.aspx

New York University

NYU Tisch School of the Arts

NYU has emerged as a worldwide institution for learning, teaching, researching, building knowledge, and inventing new ways to meet humanity’s challenges. NYU’s Tisch School offers a workshop in screenwriting that is designed for new writers. Tisch Special Programs our goal is to give students access to the arts. Students must complete Screenwriting I and Screenwriting II, plus any two additional summer dramatic writing courses from the list below to earn this certificate.

Founded In: 1831
Ranking:  6th
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 47,750 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 212-998-1900
Website:  http://tisch.nyu.edu/special-programs

Best Colleges for Screenwriting

Emerson College

The college offers more than three dozen degree programs in the area of Arts and Communication and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Emerson College’s Screenwriting Program offers individuals the opportunity to learn the craft of screenwriting through a series of non-credit workshops designed to build writing skills along with knowledge of the screenplay form and structure. The focus of this screenwriting workshop will be the basics: story, structure, character development, and dialogue.

Founded In: 1880
Ranking:  7th
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 41,052 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 617.824.8500
Website:  https://www.emerson.edu/professional-studies/certificate-programs/screenwriting

Boston University

School of Communications

The university has more than 3,900 faculty members and nearly 33,000 students and is one of Boston’s largest employers. Students completing the two-year graduate program will earn an MFA in Screenwriting and be prepared to place, sell, and/or produce their work in the film and television industry. The program is small yet vigorous and nurturing. A well-rounded screenwriter is a more effective screenwriter. That’s why a well-rounded curriculum lies at the heart of Boston University’s two-year graduate screenwriting program.

Founded In: 1839
Ranking:  8th
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 48,436 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 617-353-3450
Website: http://www.bu.edu/com/academics/degree-programs/mfa-in-screenwriting/

Best Colleges for Screenwriting

American Film Institute

The American Film Institute is an American film organization that educates filmmakers and honors the heritage of the motion picture arts in the United States. The heart of the Screenwriting program lies in the relationship between the Fellow and the exemplary faculty who serve as teachers and mentors, guiding and supporting each writer’s development in an intimate workshop setting. In the core Screenwriting Workshops, Fellows grow as cinematic storytellers through critique and analysis of their work by faculty and peers.

Founded In: 1967
Ranking:  9th
Tuition & Fees Approximately:  $55,965
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 323.856.7600
Website: http://www.afi.com/conservatory/conservatoryprogram/screenwriting.aspx

University of Texas

Department of Radio-Television-Film

The institution has the nation’s eighth-largest single-campus enrollment, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculties and staff. It is nationally ranked MFA Screenwriting program is one of the most affordable, unique and successful programs of its kind in the country. The Master in Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program in Screenwriting is a two-year (including one summer), 45-hour program designed for creative individuals with a strong commitment to storytelling for the screen. The program provides a foundation of narrative skills that enables writers to succeed in both film and television, in either the Hollywood or independent arenas.

Founded In: 1883
Ranking:  10th
Tuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 9,806 USD, Out-of-state 34,676 USD
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 512-471-4071
Website:  https://rtf.utexas.edu/graduate/mfa-screenwriting