Los Angeles Certificate Program: The Writer in Hollywood

College-graduated students who have interest and experience in writing and/or development for film and television have the opportunity to continue their education in writing at the Los Angeles Certificate Program: The Writer in Hollywood. This program is offered in conjunction with Boston University College of Communication (COM).

During this intensive four-month program, students will acquire the tools and knowledge needed to begin pursuing careers as TV and film writers as well as many industry contracts which will be invaluable as they enter the world of Hollywood.

The program is designed to be a “bridge to the professional world” of Hollywood, and has attracted the participation of some of the industry’s most important professionals.

Program Includes:
  • Focused class study combined with internships in literary agencies, production and development offices in both film and television
  • Industry professionals speaking to/coaching students on a regular basis
  • One-on-one professional review and critiques of student writing
  • Showcasing writers and their work to agents, managers, producers and executives through meetings, mailings and/or “pitch” opportunities

Program Curriculum

Concurrent with their internships, students enroll in a core course. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Students will qualify for one of the following courses:

COM FT 586: The Writer in Hollywood 1: Essentials for the Emerging Writer (4)

(Formerly CFA DR 580/TH 503/COM FT 522.) This course is geared towards writers who want to write for film and television but may not have extensive experience or training in those disciplines. It will emphasize re-enforcement of film fundamentals, developing professional samples, and workshopping of material. Students will attend guest-speaker lectures and will have the opportunity to pitch to one or more industry professionals at the end of the course. Syllabus

COM FT 587: The Writer in Hollywood 2: Preparing Your Script for the Entertainment Market (4)

(Formerly CFA DR 580/TH 503/COM FT 552.) This course is geared towards writers who have completed MFA screenwriting programs or the equivalent. It will emphasize extensive workshopping of writers’ material, networking in the business, and an end-of-semester Pitch Festival. This course will also feature a number of high-level guest speakers. Syllabus

All students also take the following course:

The Writer in Hollywood Lab

Guest speakers from the industry as well as BU LA faculty lecture about the business of writing. Syllabus

Participants will intern at one or more literary agencies, production or development offices, televisions shows or networks.

CFA TH 540/COM FT 953/954: Internship in Hollywood (4)

(Formerly CFA DR 582.) The internship is one of the primary academic and professional pillars of the Los Angeles Certificate Program. Students are introduced to industry environments in their respective fields at sites where they will see the work of industry professionals and participate “in the business.” Students are required to intern for a minimum of 20 hours per week, however, they are expected to intern at two companies for up to 40 hours per week. Progress is monitored through student journal entries and a final paper in which students reflect on their education and experience over the semester.

Past internship placements have included Lionsgate Films, Red Wagon, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Donners’ Company, The Weinstein Company. (Please note these are examples of past internship placements only. While BU Study Abroad guarantees an internship to program participants, specific placements vary from semester to semester and may not always be available. Likewise, internship placements may be available in academic areas not listed.)

Program Details

Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: late August to mid December
  • Fall 2016 Tuition & Fees: $14,188 per semester
  • Cost includes tuition, housing, and excursions. Download the 2016 to 2017 academic year budget sheet, including cost of living expenses. Financial aid is available.
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn eight Boston University credits.
Application Deadlines
  • Fall Semester: March 15

Download a description of the Los Angeles Certificate Program: The Writer in Hollywood.

Program Faculty & Staff

The Boston University Los Angeles programs are administered by staff in both our Boston and Los Angeles offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in LA. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In LA, the staff comprises a resident director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.