Writing for the Screen and Stage MFA

Degree Requirements

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


Total Units Required: 18

Course Title
Core Courses
RTVF 561-0Screenwriting Workshop 1
RTVF 562-0Television Writing Workshop
RTVF 563-0Playwriting Workshop
RTVF 564-0Full Length Project (Feature Thesis 1) 2
RTVF 565-0Full-length Project II (Feature Thesis 2) 3
RTVF 566-0Full-length Project III (Feature Thesis 3) 4
Topics Courses
RTVF 360-0Topics in Media Writing (or other media writing electives with approval of the Director of the MFA)
or RTVF 464-0 Advanced Media Writing
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
RTVF or Theatre (300-level or higher) with the approval of the Director of the MFA.
Theory/history/culture Courses (300-level or higher)
From Screen Cultures/RTVF, Performance Studies, Art Theory and Practice, Theatre, or other departments with approval of MFA program director.
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.
RTVF 490-1Professional Experience Practicum
RTVF 490-2Professional Experience Capstone

Required in 1st and 2nd year. There is no need for these classes to be taken in a particular sequence.


Workshop in class first draft of thesis.


Public readings of thesis / focus on collaboration, revision.


Public productions of thesis / focus on the business of writing.

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.