Screenwriting programs are designed to teach students the fundamentals of screenwriting, including the structure and development of stories. While many screenwriting programs have different philosophies and methods, they all target the same skills.

The American Film Institute offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes courses in script analysis, character development, dialogue, scene construction, and more.


Best Screenwriting Programs

What Are Screenwriting Programs?

The best screenwriting programs are like the best teachers.

They teach you how to write, how to structure your ideas and how to develop them into something more than just a bunch of words on paper. But even more importantly, they teach you how to become a better writer.

Screenwriting courses often include an introduction to the craft of writing and some basic tips on structuring your screenplay.

They also give you plenty of time to work on your own projects before meeting with other students in class or online.


The University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts offers a one-year certificate program called The Screenwriter’s Workshop. This course is designed for aspiring screenwriters who want to hone their craft before applying it to their own projects.

It also provides students with an opportunity to develop their own screenplays in addition to learning proper industry terminology and practices.

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) offers a dual degree program with its School of Theater, Film & Television as well as its Department of Film & Television Production. Students can earn both degrees at UCLA over four years while studying film production techniques such as script writing and directing techniques.

The Best Screenwriting Programs

Screenwriting is an art form that’s all about storytelling. It’s not an easy thing to learn and master, but with the right resources and instruction, you can be on your way to becoming a screenwriter in no time. Here are some of the best screenwriting programs available today:

Scriptapalooza (In-Person)

Scriptapalooza is a popular screenwriting course that offers a variety of in-person classes across the country. It teaches students to write scripts from scratch by providing them with professional advice and feedback from industry professionals.

The Screenplay Workshop (Online)

The Screenplay Workshop is an online course that teaches students how to write original screenplays for film or television. The course includes several modules, each of which focuses on different elements of writing a script, including plot structure and character development.

The program also provides students with access to professional writing coaches who offer ongoing feedback during their development process.

University Of Southern California

USC is a private research university located in Los Angeles, California. It is the largest private research university in the United States, with over 40,000 students enrolled and a student to faculty ratio of 14:1.

USC also has the largest enrollment of any American university outside of the Ivy League. It offers a large variety of bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree programs, doctoral degree programs and professional degree programs through its 10 schools and colleges.

USC’s athletic teams are known as the Trojans and compete in Division I of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). In addition to being an NCAA member school for men’s basketball, football, tennis and volleyball; USC fields teams in 18 sports for both men and women; 12 for men only and 6 for women only.


These sports include baseball, basketball, cross country running, golfing, gymnastics diving equestrian (horses), lacrosse swimming track & field (track & field) tennis volleyball water polo wrestling

University Of California Los Angeles

 The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the oldest undergraduate campus in the state’s system.

It offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines.

UCLA is regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious universities and ranks 11th among American research universities, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 ranking. In 2018 Times Higher Education ranked UCLA 15th in its list of America’s most innovative universities , putting it behind only Harvard and Stanford.

In 2015-2016, UCLA ranked 12th in the world by Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), while also being ranked 25th worldwide by QS World University Rankings).

The university enrolls about 598,000 students every year, making it the second largest employer in Greater Los Angeles after Walmart and ahead of Sony Pictures Entertainment . The UCLA incurred $2 billion dollar deficit during its first year as a public institution until tuition fees were raised to cover costs from the 2010–2011 academic year onwards .

Chapman University Dodge College

Chapman University Dodge College is a private, co-educational college. It was founded in 1901 and is located in Orange, CA. The school offers associate’s degree programs as well as bachelor’s degree programs.

Students enrolled in Chapman University Dodge College can choose from more than 100 areas of study, including nursing, business administration and accounting, criminal justice and psychology.

The school offers a variety of student organizations including academic clubs, religious groups and social groups. Students also have access to library resources like computers with internet access, study guides and tutoring services.

Some of the other amenities available include health services such as physicals and day care centers for students’ children.

Dodge College has an acceptance rate of less than 50 percent for students who apply for admission to the school through regular channels. Students who are interested in applying for financial aid should apply early so that they can receive an offer from the institution before November 1st each year.

Columbia University

 Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Founded in 1754, it is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of New York and one of the nine Colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution.

Its enrollment is approximately 20,000 undergraduate students and our academic programs attract students from over 120 different countries.

Columbia University offers more than 200 majors across four schools: Arts & Sciences, Engineering & Applied Science, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Science.

Columbia has been ranked among the world’s top universities by U.S. News & World Report since 1998, putting us in a league with only Yale University, Harvard University and Stanford University (the only other Ivy League members). Columbia also has one of the most diverse student bodies on campus: 67% of our students identify themselves as students of color!


Columbia’s Medical Center is a world-class teaching hospital that draws patients from around the world for treatment of acute and chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and organ transplants. The center also provides clinical services to thousands of patients each year who have no health insurance or cannot afford medical care elsewhere.

Columbia is located in Midtown Manhattan at 116th Street between Broadway and Park Avenue (between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue

The American Film Institute

 The American Film Institute (AFI) is an organization devoted to encouraging, preserving, and promoting the art of the moving image. AFI receives generous support from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Ford Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Humanities.

AFI’s programs include a national film festival open to all American filmmakers; educational programming that includes lectures, seminars and workshops; an annual award program in honor of AFI founder Robert Siegel; as well as cultural programming that includes music videos, Public Television specials, CDs and DVDs.

The American Film Institute is located on North Highland Avenue in Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile district.

Boston University

 Boston University is a private research university in the Boston metropolitan area, located primarily in Brighton and Newton in the municipalities of Brighton and Newton, respectively. The university’s roots were founded in 1839 as New England’s first public educational institution for higher education.

Today Boston University has grown to be a major institution with more than 30 academic schools and colleges, including eight undergraduate colleges and schools, 15 graduate divisions with over 250 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as various research institutes.

The university is one of 28 founding members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Located on a 2,000-acre campus that overlooks the Massachusetts Bay Colony from its midsection on Commonwealth Avenue (Massachusetts Route 2), BU has 12,600 undergraduate students and 7,700 graduate students enrolled annually.

As a private research institution without athletic scholarships, BU is classified as one of fewer than 200 universities whose athletics teams compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the NCAA.

In 2018 Boston University was ranked among America’s Most Innovative Universities by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR). This includes USNWR’s annual ranking on “Top Colleges” list as well as its


Emerson College

 Emerson College is a private, not-for-profit, residential college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1880 as the Boston Normal Seminary by Edward Everett Hale, a Unitarian minister who had founded the First Universalist Church of Boston.

In 1884 it became the Emerson School of Oratory, named after Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1885 Hale renamed it Emerson College after Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose writings were an inspiration to Hale during his early years at Harvard University.

Emerson’s campus is located on Commonwealth Avenue near Brookline Village and borders the neighborhoods of Allston/Brighton and Brighton among others. The college is situated on more than 50 acres of land near Boston Common and around Kenmore Square; it includes the main academic building (the Lang Center), several dormitories, athletic fields and recreational facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasiums and tennis courts.

Emerson’s endowment in 2012 was $1 billion dollars

University Of North Carolina School Of The Arts

 The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a public university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It was founded in 1970 as the North Carolina School of Design and became a school of UNC–Greensboro in 1986.

Today it is one of four schools comprising The University of North Carolina System and offers undergraduate degrees in visual arts and film/video production. With an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students, it is the largest college within the university system.

The School of the Arts’ mission statement is “to provide creative people with high-quality programs that encourage critical thinking and discovery.” This mission is carried out through an interdisciplinary approach to education that provides students with opportunities to study art at all levels—from introductory courses on drawing or painting to advanced courses on studio art or performing arts—and across all media: visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture), digital arts (electronic media), music (composition/arranging, performance), dance (classical dance and contemporary dance), theater and spoken word.

New York University

 New York University is a private research university in New York City. Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s leading research universities. It is also a major destination for international students from around the world seeking a degree in any field and for people aspiring to pursue careers in business, finance, science, technology, communications and more.

New York University offers more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional academic programmes at its main campus in Greenwich Village and other sites across New York City.

The university consists of 16 schools and colleges offering a wide variety of courses on its four campuses: Tisch School of the Arts; Wagner School of Music; Business School; Law School; Graduate School of Arts and Science; Columbia University Irving Medical Center Teachers College; Teacher’s College at Columbia University; World Trade Center – renamed after 9/11 as the five-building complex known as NYU Abu Dhabi; NYU Shanghai; NYUAD Abu Dhabi Campus (beginning September 2016); NYU Jerusalem (beginning September 2016); Neuberger Berman Hebrew University Graduate School of Jewish Life (beginning September 2016).

Loyola Marymount University

 Loyola Marymount University is a private, co-educational university in the Christian liberal arts tradition. LMU is one of the top universities in Los Angeles and has been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report for 17 consecutive years (since 1998).

The university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional programs of study and is home to three Centers: the Center for Business Leadership (CBC), the Institute for Entertainment Television & Digital Media (IETDM) and the Center for Sports Performance.

Loyola Marymount University has been named one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Universities (west)” for 21 consecutive years as well as being ranked first by the same publication in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as “Best School with a Strong Catholic Mission.”

In addition, LMU was named one of America’s Best Catholic Schools by U.S. News in both 2010 and 2012 and was also listed among “America’s Most Innovative Universities” by Forbes magazine in 2013 — all recognition that speaks to the university’s commitment to academic excellence, community engagement, student success and service learning opportunities.

Best Screenwriting Programs – Wrapping Up

 If you’re a screenwriter, whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for years, it pays to have a program to guide you. Here are our top picks to help you get started:

Scriptapalooza is one of the most comprehensive resources for screenwriters. It offers courses, workshops and mentorship opportunities through its network of experts in film and television production. The site also features an extensive database of scripts from top writers from all genres.

Scriptapalooza has been around for a long time and has hundreds of thousands of members. It’s also very affordable for new writers with its $19/month subscription plan.

ScreenCraft is the online community dedicated exclusively to helping aspiring filmmakers succeed in the film and television industry. Its leadership team includes many successful producers who have worked on projects including Deadpool, The Avengers and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

ScreenCraft offers courses and workshops that teach how to write a script, produce an independent film or develop an animated series as well as how to find work in Hollywood after graduation