The Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing for Screen and Television, is an intensive two-year degree program that concentrates on writing for narrative film and television. During the course of their studies, students benefit from a wide array of internship and mentorship opportunities available as a result of the university’s close links to the Los Angeles film industry’s top screenwriters, directors, production companies and studios.
Course work includes practical instruction in everything a working writer needs to learn about the filmmaker’s art and craft. Writing is taught in small workshop-style classes. The approach focuses on the visual tools of storytelling, developing stories from characters and then on an Aristotelian three act structure. Fractured narratives, ensemble stories, experiments with time and points of view, as well as other idiosyncratic styles of storytelling, are also addressed. The curriculum covers other professional concerns, including legal issues, agents and the Writer’s Guild, as well as the history and analysis of cinema and television. Classes are taught by working writers with a wide variety of skills, experience and approaches.
Each fall 32 students are selected to begin the Graduate Writing for Screen and Television Program; there are no spring admissions. Applicants must submit a supplemental application and materials to the Graduate Writing for Screen and Television Program. For specific instructions, contact the Cinematic Arts Office of Admission, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-8358 or online at cinema.usc.edu.
A total of 44 units is required. A minimum of 30 units must be 500-level or above.