There's not one clear-cut path to breaking into the industry as a screenwriter; it's different for everyone. Some people feel like a scriptwriting master of arts or master of fine arts program can teach them the craft while also developing their career. There are many well-respected programs across the globe, including UCLA Screenwriting, NYU's Dramatic Writing, or USC's Writing for Screen and TV, and quite a few others. Are you interested in finding out more? Stick with me because today, I'm listing the top script writing schools around the world!
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- University of Southern California (USC) Writing for Screen and TV
USC's Screenwriting MFA is a renowned two-year program that prepares students for work in the entertainment industry. USC students will, of course, receive an incredible education in writing, but its USC's location and connections that make it one of the best film schools out there. You're so close to the action!
- The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Screenwriting Program
UCLA's Screenwriting Program is another prestigious film school. They shape their course of study to allow MFA students to focus on writing screenplays. Their thesis requirements say students must either have four completed screenplays, three feature screenplays, and two TV drama pilots, or three feature screenplays, one TV drama pilot, and one TV comedy pilot in their total body of work. High-profile guest speakers often visit the students, and the program hosts a pitch fest, and a has a screenplay competition where industry professionals act as judges.
- New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts
NYU doesn't specifically offer a degree in screenwriting but has a well-respected master's degree in dramatic writing that focuses on stage, film, and television. The program supports the belief that training creatives to write for various mediums will make for stronger and more flexible writers.
- Beijing Film Academy
Beijing Film Academy is China's most esteemed film school, as well as the largest institution specializing in film and television production in Asia. They have BA, MA, and Ph.D. programs in many subjects, including screenwriting and creative writing.
- London Film School
The London Film School offers an intense one-year MA screenwriting program that aims to develop a writer's original voice and land the writer a job. The school says it wants to embed students in professional practices and have them leave the school with maximum employability.
- University of Texas Master of Fine Arts Screenwriting Program
Highly selective, this program only admits seven MFA students a year! The program includes hands-on writers' room experiences, access to internships in Los Angeles, and a broad curriculum focused on both television and film. The school boasts that this is one of the most "affordable, unique, and successful programs of its kind."
I hope you found this list informative about the various top MFA programs in screenwriting. I feel I should point out that while some screenwriters do get their MFA, many others don't. No path is the same! Don't feel like you have to get your MFA to be a successful screenwriter because it only takes a quick google search to see all of the hugely successful screenwriters who do not have a formal writing education. For those who can get their MFA's, that's great, and for those who can't, there's most certainly a different path that can help you break into the industry. Happy writing!