Online Screenwriting Degree Programs

A degree in screenwriting or creative writing with an emphasis in screenwriting will teach you how to write compelling screenplays for movies and television. Explore your online options, common courses, prerequisites and how a screenwriting degree may help you in your career. Schools offering Script and Screenwriting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Screenwriting Degree Programs are Available Online?

You can learn the craft of screenwriting in online programs at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Many of these programs focus on creative writing or a writing- or film-related field and offer a special emphasis in screenwriting. For example, you could enroll in an online bachelor's degree program in film and media studies with a concentration in screenwriting. Another option is an online Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing program. These graduate-level programs may allow you to specifically declare a screenwriting emphasis.

Online Options Bachelor's and master's degree programs in screenwriting, creative writing or related fields are available
Online Program Requirements Computer, Internet and e-mail; specific software or hardware may be required
Prerequisites Writing sample or portfolio, statement of purpose
Common Topics of Study Script structure, characterization, dialogue, plot, marketing
Program Benefits Constructive criticism and feedback from both emerging and established writers

How Do Online Programs Work?

Like any online degree program, online screenwriting degree programs rely heavily on the use of computers, the Internet and special software or applications. You will be required to have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection; you must also have a valid e-mail address for communication purposes. For some online programs, you may need to have additional hardware or software, such as a microphone or Skype. You may also be expected to attend online sessions, turn in assignments by specified due dates or participate in virtual discussions via a chat room or learning platform like Blackboard.

What are the Admission Requirements?

Many creative writing programs, especially at the graduate level, expect you to submit a professional, quality writing sample along with your application. This sample is usually a specified number of pages of fiction, a group of poems or part of a script for a play or film. Some graduate admissions committees may prefer students who have had prior instruction in creative writing. A well-written statement of purpose is also an important factor in gaining admission into an online degree program.

What Kinds of Courses Can I Take?

Most online screenwriting programs cover the fundamentals of screenwriting at different skill levels. In a basic course, you'll study how to structure a script and learn to address elements such as plot, characterization and dialogue. For example, scripts may be written for live-action or animated films.

At the intermediate and advanced levels, you will likely produce a draft and then a final copy of a script, or part of a script, for film or television. Some courses cover how to pitch your ideas to a movie or television industry executive, as well as how to produce a 'treatment,' or synopsis of your script, to use as a marketing tool.

What are the Benefits of a Screenwriting Degree?

Although a screenwriting degree does not guarantee you'll have a career as a screenwriter, it provides you with valuable feedback from experienced screenwriters and teaches you how to create your own marketable scripts. Unless your ambition is to teach screenwriting, a degree in this field is not typically necessary for those hoping to break into the screenwriting industry.

Writing is often a solitary labor, and an online degree program in screenwriting is an opportunity to work with fellow writing students, as well as established writers. Learning to take professional criticism and use it to improve your work is the primary benefit you'll glean from an online screenwriting program. In the long run, developing a critical eye for writing may ultimately help you establish a successful career in this highly competitive field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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