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Playwriting and Screenwriting


Programs in playwriting and screenwriting prepare people to write and edit scripts for live theater, television, and films.

In playwriting and screenwriting, students learn practical skills, including how to:

They also study:


Students begin to develop their professional portfolio during college. This includes samples of work from team projects and independent projects. Projects completed during their senior year and internship are important to their portfolio.


A few community colleges offer associate degree programs in playwriting and screenwriting. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years to complete.

Several colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in playwriting and screenwriting. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. Many of these schools offer these programs as concentrations in a general creative writing degree curriculum. For this reason, these programs are often connected to the English, creative writing, or theater departments at a school.

Several universities offer master's degrees in playwriting and screenwriting. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to master's degree programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and a strong writing sample.

Your bachelor's degree should be in English, theater, or another closely related field, if possible. Otherwise, you should take several courses in these fields.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work tends to vary from program to program. However, the outline of a typical master's degree curriculum looks like the following:

You may have to produce or direct the performance of your work, whether it is on film or on stage.

Things to Know

It's helpful to make professional contacts in the field and an internship is a good way to do this. It also gives you hands-on experience in the industry and provides you with more potential portfolio material. You could intern for professional writers, film production companies, TV stations, cable networks, magazines, and advertising agencies, to name several examples.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

King-Snohomish Area

Shoreline Community College

Tacoma Area

University of Puget Sound