Best Colleges for Screenwriting in the US

Though screenwriting may come as a natural talent to the rare few, others must go to college to hone their skills and master their craft. The United States has numerous colleges offering a screenwriting program from coast to coast. Choosing a screenwriting curriculum will depend on your current location, where you want to go to school, tuition costs and types of courses offered.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a popular screenwriting program and is known for their arts programs. The Writing for the Stage and Screen program is offered as a minor in the Communications Department. To be eligible for the minor, students must submit a writing sample which can include a short story, twenty five pages of a screen play or play or two chapters of a novel. For more information, visit UNC’s Writing for Stage and Screen overview.

University of Southern California

On the west coast, the University of Southern California offers a minor in screenwriting through their School of Cinematic Arts. To apply, you must have declared a major, been accepted to the school already and not be under any probationary terms. USC’s screenwriting minor consists of sixteen units. For full details, visit the University of Southern California’s Screenwriting Requirements page.

Ohio University

Ohio University offers a selection of courses on filmmaking, including several on screenwriting. Ohio University is devoted to the arts and offers multiple majors in their School of Film department. For more details and to view course offerings, visit Ohio University’s School of Film page.

University of Michigan

Screenwriting is offered as a sub-concentration of the University of Michigan’s Screen Arts and Cultures program. Students must take several prerequisite classes in order to enter the major and then an additional few classes to enter the screenwriting sub-concentration. Students must have a C average in the prerequisite classes in order to qualify. For more information, visit the Screen Arts and Cultures program page.

Chapman University

Chapman University offers screenwriting as a major. Chapman offers both an undergraduate and graduate screenwriting program. For more details on the undergraduate program, visit Chapman University Screenwriting Undergraduate requirements. For graduate requirements, visit Chapman University Dodge College site.

In addition to the colleges above, Central Christian College, Emory and Henry College and Bennington College all offer screenwriting programs.

Whether you live on the east coast, west coast or somewhere in between, you’re not too far from a college offering a screenwriting program. Though the list is short, there are many other screenwriting programs available at other colleges. These are just some of the best available. Screenwriting minors are often combined with acting, writing or production majors. Few colleges offer screenwriting as a major, though some universities do allow you to take the minor without having a major.

Always research potential colleges before applying to ensure they have the curriculum you’re looking for. View courses and course descriptions to be sure you’ll be learning what you need to become a screenwriter.


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