Screenwriting Minor

College of Liberal Arts
Undergraduate minor

About this program

The Screenwriting minor is intended for the student who is interested in learning the basics of writing a screenplay.

A course of study presents screenwriting as a creative art form. The minor may complement other fields such as theater or creative writing, or it may be appropriate for someone who simply loves movies. Electives provide critical and practical perspectives with offerings in digital film production and film theory.

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Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

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Get started on your Screenwriting Minor

Course requirements

Requirements (16 credits) Choose any four courses listed below. Prerequisites must be followed!

SCRW 313 Beginning Screenwriting

4 credits

The process of writing narrative screenplays will be introduced through writing exercises, screenplay readings, film viewings and discussion. Writing exercises will explore creativity, individual voice and practical skills. Writing in screenplay format will also be covered. Students will finish with at least one complete short screenplay ready for production. This course provides a foundation for further study in screenwriting.

Full course description for Beginning Screenwriting

SCRW 314 New Screenplay Forms

4 credits

Through writing exercises and screenwriting assignments students will explore and practice writing in a variety of forms including adaptations, webisodes, scripted series, or other emerging episodic forms. Films and screenplays will be analyzed and discussed for critical and historical perspectives. Professional development opportunities will be introduced.

Full course description for New Screenplay Forms

SCRW 415 Advanced Screenwriting

4 credits

This course investigates the dramatic essence, creative demands, and craft of feature length screenwriting. Originality and distinctive voice will be analyzed and explored through readings and writing exercises. Students will write a rough draft feature length screenplay. Films and screenplays will be analyzed and discussed for critical and historical perspectives. Professional development opportunities will be presented.

Full course description for Advanced Screenwriting

SCRW 416 Projects in Screenwriting

4 credits

In a supportive workshop environment, students will complete a market ready screenplay and prepare a portfolio of previous work. Students will also participate in community engagement opportunities such as attending film festivals and related professional networking events. Career development strategies will be presented. This is an opportunity to enhance screenwriting skills at an advanced level, reflect, and participate.

Full course description for Projects in Screenwriting

SCRW 315 Film Production and Editing I

4 credits

The course introduces the principles and practices of electronic filmmaking as a personal and creative art form. Students will engage in exercises and projects to explore and understand editing, camera work, light, composition, and sound. A variety of cinematic forms will be examined. Student screenplays may be produced. Students will film and edit individual creative projects.

Full course description for Film Production and Editing I

SCRW 383 Writing For Video Games

4 credits

In this course, students will learn how to write narrative, stories, and dialogue for video games. Video game writing is a unique kind of writing in the sense that dialogue and other visual-written feedback changes depending on the input of the player. By learning a writing for games style grounded in character creation, episodic structure, and dialogue, students in this course will learn the skills to become excellent game writers. Careers writing for video games, sometimes called game designers, are gaining in popularity and importance. In this unit, students will gain the background necessary to successfully write for video games and the video game industry. This course is part of the Game Studies Minor core.

Full course description for Writing For Video Games

MDST 370 Contemporary Cinema

4 credits

This course uses currently playing films as entry points into a study of wider issues around film as an art form, cultural phenomenon and industry. Students attend various screenings of Hollywood blockbusters, low-budget art films and experimental works, and then analyze them and their significance relative to topics in film theory and aesthetics.

Full course description for Contemporary Cinema

IDST 370 Cinema, Self and Other

4 credits

This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing how identities (cultural, sexual, ethnic, etc.) are constructed in and through film. It provides students with the basic vocabulary and primary theoretical approaches to film analysis and asks them to consider how various points of view and social and political issues are presented and framed, and how our fears and fantasies about others are projected on the screen. Students will help select the films for viewing and discussion, keep a journal of responses to our readings and films, and present a film analysis on one of our themes.

Full course description for Cinema, Self and Other

MDST 330 Topics in Film Studies

4 credits

Subject matter for this course varies, as it is designed to allow in-depth analysis of unique topics relating to films and their audiences. Regular topics such as American Indians in Film, Women in Film, and Cinema as Literature are featured. Students should consult the Class Schedule for particular topics and descriptions. Some of the courses are cross-listed with other departments such as Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies.

Full course description for Topics in Film Studies