The Professional Program in Screenwriting Online
A live online screenwriting workshop in action
"The online program has been amazing. It has provided me with the opportunity to learn from the best, in a convenient way, from halfway around the world. I enjoy it and would recommend it."
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.
And because you're a screenwriter wherever you are, the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting is also offered online.
Online Screenwriting Workshop
Like the campus program, the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting Online is modeled after the UCLA MFA screenwriting program. The backbone of the program is a three-hour writing workshop, closely modeled after the MFA 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 intensive analysis of each student's work, led by an instructor who is a professional screenwriter.
The video screenwriting workshop meets live once per week. It takes place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday OR Thursday night, depending on which one the student is placed in (schedule conflicts are taken into consideration). Workshops take place from 6:00pm – 9:00pm Pacific Standard Time. If we have enough enrolled students on the east coast of the U.S. and overseas, we schedule workshops that meet at a more convenient time for those students (typically 1:00pm – 4:00pm PST).
Students in the online program also have access to a virtual campus, where they can view a weekly video lecture provided by a UCLA screenwriting instructor. Each quarter, a different series of 10 video lectures is presented. One such series, titled “Taking Vienna,” is provided by UCLA Co-Chair of Screenwriting Hal Ackerman, author of the book “Write Screenplays That Sell.”
The lectures include structural breakdowns of feature films, screenwriting techniques and exercises, thoughts on the writing process, and more. At the virtual campus, students also post their homework assignments in preparation for their weekly workshop meeting, and participate in discussions on message boards that are set up specifically for the students in each workshop. Workshop instructors have their own forum in which to post their thoughts, as well as any handouts they may have for their class.
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.
In order to participate in the Professional Program in Screenwriting Online, you’ll need the following items:
• High-Speed Internet Access
• Internet Browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari
(not Internet Explorer)
• Microphone w/Attached Headset
(you can find these at office supply stores for as little as $30)
• Web cam
NOTE: Enrolled students will receive more information on what to look for in a Microphone/Headset.
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: August 2, 2013
Tuition: $4500 for the entire school year. See Screenwriting Admissions page for details.