CTVA

Master of Arts in Screenwriting - Curriculum

COURSE SCHEDULE BY SEMESTER

ALL 500-600 LEVEL GRADUATE CLASSES ARE OFFERED ONLY ONCE A YEAR.

A maximum of 6 units from 400-level course work can be applied to the degree. All required graduate courses are offered in the evening, 7–9:45 p.m. once a week.

The Master of Arts in Screenwriting degree requires a minimum of 30 units.
(A new 42-unit Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting degree that will overlap and add to this curriculum is pending approval.)

First Semester, Fall

Required:

  • CTVA 500 Theory and History of Cinema (3 units)
  • CTVA 510 Screenplay Scene Writing (3)

Electives:

  • CTVA 595F The Business of Film and TV (Recommended) (3)
  • Or 400-level courses with approval of the Graduate Coordinator

Second Semester, Spring

Required:

  • CTVA 505 Contemporary Film Analysis (3)
  • CTVA 525 Graduate Screenwriting (3)

Electives:

  • CTVA 595D Writing One-hour Episodic Television – (Recommended) (3)
  • Or 400-level courses with approval of the Graduate Coordinator

Third Semester, Fall

Required:

  • CTVA 625 Writing the Feature Screenplay (3)
  • CTVA 692 Thesis Script Preparation (3)

Electives:

CTVA 595F The Business of Film and TV (3)

  • CTVA 425 Advanced Screenwriting (3)        
  • CTVA 421 Writing the Short Film (3)
  • CTVA 420 Screenwriting Adaptation (3)     
  • CTVA 428 Writing Screenplay Comedy (3)
  • CTVA 694(A, B, or C) Internship (1-3)      
  • CTVA 696  Directed Research
  • Or other 400-level courses with approval of the Graduate Coordinator

Fourth Semester, Spring

Required:

  • CTVA 698C Thesis Screenplay (3)

Electives:

  • CTVA 595D Writing One-hour Episodic Television (3)
  • CTVA 694(A, B, or C) Internship (1-3)       
  • CTVA 696 Directed Research 

 

Required Course Descriptions

Only courses at the 400, 500, or 600-level carry credit toward the master’s degree in Screenwriting.

CTVA 500. THEORY AND HISTORY OF CINEMA AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3)
Prerequisite: Graduate status. Survey of the history of cinema/electronic media and cinema and electronic media theory and criticism from the silent era through the fifties.

CTVA 501. CONTEMPORARY FILM ANALYSIS (3)
Prerequisite: Graduate status. Exploration of screen story structure and the screenwriting tools of dramaturgy used in contemporary motion pictures to impact audiences emotionally and intellectually. Effective story outlining paradigms are investigated, and story strengths and weaknesses are analyzed. Written film analysis assignments are required.

CTVA 512. ADVANCED SCREENPLAY SCENE WRITING (3)
Prerequisite: Graduate status. Investigates the techniques and dramatic tools used to write powerful scenes for the screen. Emphasis on the creation of fully dimensional characters, use of visual elements, tempo, timing, descriptive style, and dialogue. This workshop course is product-oriented and students complete a screenplay project.

CTVA 525: SEMINAR IN SCREENWRITING (3)
Prerequisite: CTVA 512. Focuses on mastering the tools of screen story structure for outlining and writing feature-length motion pictures. Demonstrates how, in visual storytelling, character is revealed through behavior, and how good plotting means communicating with viewers about character development through progressive, linking story actions. This lecture and workshop course is product oriented. Students create and polish a detailed story outline and treatment for a complete, original feature-length film, and write the early pages of the screenplay that will be completed and rewritten in CTVA 622.

CTVA 622: WRITING THE FEATURE SCREENPLAY (3)
Prerequisite: CTVA 525. In this course, screen story structure creation undertaken in CTVA 525 will be continued to the completion of a feature-length screenplay. This is a product-oriented course.

CTVA 692: THESIS SCRIPT PERPARATION (3)
Prerequisite: CTVA 525. Instruction in the steps of thesis publication and individual guidance in developing original story ideas into full outlines for thesis screenplays. The first act of a feature-length thesis script is also written as preparation for final thesis completion and publication in CTVA 698C. This is a product-oriented course.

CTVA 698C: THESIS SCREENPLAY (3)
Prerequisites: CTVA 692, 622, 525: Approval of Graduate Advisor