Screenwriting Minor


Combining theory and practice, the Screenwriting Minor prepares students to develop original stories, scripts, and screenplays for production as works of moving-image art. In keeping with the interdisciplinary spirit of the Film Studies Program, this minor integrates creative practice with critical study. In addition to developing skills for writing for the screen in a variety of forms—fictional narrative film, experimental film, documentary, animation, television, and/or new media—students will garner a foundational understanding of film history and theory and of storytelling conventions across media. Through this in-depth study of the art of screenwriting, students will be able to hone their own distinct voices, gaining crucial professional experience for careers in film and television writing. Administered by the Film Studies Program, the Screenwriting Minor is comprised of its courses and courses from ACCAD, English, Film Studies, and Theatre.

The minor in screenwriting requires the completion of 18 credit hours spread across: 1 introduction to film studies course, 1 introductory course in the history or practice of storytelling, 1 advanced film studies course, 1 course in story development, 1 course introducing students to screenwriting, and 1 course in the business of screenwriting and more advanced techniques. Students interested in the minor should meet with the Film Studies Program Coordinator to map out curricular options. Once the course work has been planned, students may declare the minor in the college/school office. Once the Minor curriculum has been completed students must file a minor form with the Film Studies Program Office. For further information about the screenwriting minor, contact the Film Studies Program.



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Minor Requirements


Courses in the area focus on critical engagement with the cinema, the history of film, and understanding film as a cultural phenomenon.

Choose 1 course.


  • ENGLISH 2263: Introduction to Film
  • HISTORY OF ART 2901: Introduction to World Cinema
  • FILM STUDIES 2270.01: Introduction to Film Studies
  • FILM STUDIES 2271: Introduction to Film Studies for Majors
  • ACCAD 3350: The History & Theory of Animation

Students should choose a course that will help them explore writing styles that will aid them in the creation of specific types of screenplays. Options include exploring classic writing styles, writing fiction, or pursuing digital media composition.

Choose one course.


  • ENGLISH 2220:  Introduction to Shakespeare
  • ENGLISH 2261: Introduction to Fiction
  • ENGLISH 2262:  Introduction to Drama
  • ENGLISH 2265: Writing of Fiction 1
  • ENGLISH 2268: Writing of Creative Nonfiction 1
  • ENGLISH 2269: Digital Media Composing
  • ENGLISH 4559: Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Theory
  • THEATRE 2110: Script Analysis
  • THEATRE 3731: Theatre Histories and Literatures

Students should choose a course that will allow them to study a mode of film production, the style of a specific director, or a regional cinema.

Choose one course.


  • FILM STUDIES 3660: Documentary Film Studies
  • FILM STUDIES 4580: Studies in a Major Director
  • FILM STUDIES 4640: Studies in Cinema History
  • FILM STUDIES 4650: Studies in Regional Cinema
  • FILM STUDIES 4670H: Cinema and the Historical Avant-Garde
  • FILM STUDIES 4895: Senior Seminar in Film Studies

This section of the minor is meant to let students move through the multiple stages of screenwriting from developing a story, creating a cinematic world, writing a short film script, understanding the business of being a screenwriter and writing a feature length screenplay.

Introduction to Development Course: (3 hours)

  • FILM STUDIES/ENGLISH 4800: Story Development for Film and Television

Introduction to Screenwriting Course: (3 hours)

  • THEATRE 5331: Screenwriting

Business of Screenwriting Course (3 hours)

Choose one course.

  • FILM STUDIES 4880: Screenwriting and the Business of Cinema
  • FILM STUDIES 4881: Screenwriting and the Business of Television

Minor Form

Once the minor program has been completed, students must file a minor checklist form with the Film Studies Program office. For further information about the minor program, or if you need a disability accessible format, please email the Film Studies Program or contact the office at 150 Hagerty Hall.



Screenwriting minor program guidelines

The following guidelines govern this minor:

Required for graduation 18 Credit hours required. 

Transfer and EM credit hours allowed A student is permitted to count up to 6 total hours of transfer credit and/or credit by examination.

Overlap with the GE A student is permitted to overlap up to 6 credit hours between the GE and the minor. Overlap with the major and additional minor(s)

The minor must be in a different subject than the major.

The minor must contain a minimum of 12 hours distinct from the major and/or additional minor(s). Prerequisites: Some of the advanced courses included in the minor have prerequisites; check with your advisor for further information.

Grades required

Minimum C- for a course to be listed on the minor.

Minimum 2.00 cumulative point-hour ratio required for the minor.

Course work graded Pass/Non-Pass cannot count on the minor.

No more than 3 credit hours of coursework graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory may count toward the minor.

X193 credits: No more than 3 credit hours.

Approval required The minor course work must be approved by the Film Studies Program Coordinator. Filing the minor program form The minor program form must be filed at least by the time the graduation application is submitted to a college/school counselor.

Changing the minor: Once the minor program is filed in the college office, any changes must be approved by Film Studies Program Coordinator Matt Swift (

*If you began the minor before autumn 2016, please contact an advisor.


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