The Professional Program in Screenwriting
A screenwriting workshop in action
"I had big expectations with this program but it is even better than I thought. I cannot think of anything better for my career right now, seriously. This is life-changing. Thank you so much!!"
That's what one student had to say about the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting, the only non-degree screenwriting program that has oversight by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and the only comparable alternative to the world-renowned UCLA MFA screenwriting program. In the Professional Program, students focus on the theory and craft of professional screenwriting, without having to take the critical studies seminars and related electives that are required to obtain a degree. The goal of this graduate-level program, which takes place over one academic year, is for the student to start and complete two original feature length screenplays. Upon successfully finishing the Professional Program, students receive a certificate of completion.
Don't live in L.A.? Check out the ONLINE version of this program.
Students in the on-campus Professional Program in Screenwriting attend two classes per week -- a lecture and a screenwriting workshop. The lecture takes place every Monday night, from 7:30pm-9:00pm, and is taught by UCLA Screenwriting Co-Chair Hal Ackerman, author of the book "Write Screenplays That Sell." Previous guest speakers in Hal Ackerman's classes have included Michael Colleary (Face/Off), Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl), Fernley Phillips (The Number 23), Felicia Henderson (Gossip Girl), Billy Ray (Breach), Paul Haggis (Crash), Dan Futterman (Capote), Pamela Gray (A Walk on the Moon), Ed Solomon (Men in Black), Nicholas Griffin (Matchstick Men), Scott Kosar (The Machinist), and Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal).
The backbone of the program is a three-hour writing workshop, closely modeled after the MFA screenwriting program’s “434” screenwriting class. Designed by former MFA Screenwriting Chair Lew Hunter and current Co-Chair Richard Walter, and limited to no more than eight students per class, this workshop involves round-table readings and analysis of each student's work, led by an instructor who is a professional screenwriter. The screenwriting workshop takes place on Tuesday, Wednesday OR Thursday night, depending on which one the student is placed in (schedule conflicts are taken into consideration). Workshops take place from 7:00pm-10:00pm.
The Professional Program in Screenwriting takes place over three consecutive academic quarters, starting in September. In the Fall Quarter, students are introduced to the concepts of story and structure. They develop their stories in the weekly workshop and begin writing an original feature-length screenplay from scratch. In the Winter Quarter, students complete their first screenplay. In the Spring Quarter, all students are assigned a new workshop instructor and they are guided through the creation and completion of a second original feature-length screenplay.
Because so few applicants are accepted into the MFA program each year, the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting was created to bring a greater number of promising screenwriters to UCLA. This is the perfect way to get a respected UCLA screenwriting education, to receive honest feedback on your screenplays, and to work under a regimen that will allow you to come away with two completed feature-length screenplays in only one academic year - all while keeping your day job.
There is also an ONLINE version of this program.
Check out our Screenwriting Admissions page for information about the application process and to download an application form.
Start Date: September 30, 2013
Application Deadline EXTENDED: August 9, 2013
Tuition: $4500 for the entire school year. See Screenwriting Admissions page for details.