MS in Television

The MS in Television curriculum is designed to give students the tools they need to seek professional careers in TV producing, management, writing, and programming. The program stresses that the producer is the creative driving force behind all television production, and that he or she must have a mastery of basic technical skills as well as a developed aesthetic sensibility. The producer must also be intellectually agile and have the ability and foresight to adapt to structural changes in a fast-moving industry. Management skills, essential in the successful completion of each production, are also essential to the economic welfare of the industry. Writing, the ability to tell a powerful story, remains the foundation for all TV and integrated media.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to professionally pitch TV ideas and TV program concepts.
  • Students will be able to relate national news, popular trends, and industry information to TV programming and network concepts.
  • Students will be able to write professional (or semi-professional) TV projects and proposals.
  • Students will have practical knowledge of the basics of physical production, including script breakdown, scheduling, and budgeting.

The curriculum includes courses in producing, management, writing for television series, pilots, reality shows, and documentaries, as well as electives in a wide range of television-related fields. In addition to electives, students have some choices in the courses they are required to take during their three semesters. These choices should reflect the direction they plan to follow when they leave the College and should support their ideas for their thesis projects. All students must give thought to these choices before registering for their first semester.

Students must complete a minimum of 48 credits to receive the degree. All courses are four credits unless otherwise noted.

Curriculum (Producing/Management Concentration)

Required courses (28 credits):

  • COM FT 508 Line Producing
  • COM FT 517 Television Management
  • COM FT 525 Creative Producing II
  • COM FT 701 Media Evolution
  • COM FT 727 Creative Producing I
  • COM FT 825 Thesis Project
  • COM FT 953 Internship

Curriculum offerings of potential elective courses (20 credits):

Students may choose electives (500+ level) that are not listed below.

All electives must be approved by the program director.

(These courses are not offered every semester.)

  • COM FT 503 TV to Tablets
  • COM FT 505 Television Production Hothouse*
  • COM FT 507 Studio Production*
  • COM FT 512 Writing Episodic Drama for Television**
  • COM FT 518 Media Money Trail
  • COM FT 522 Writing Situation Comedy**
  • COM FT 565 Motion Picture Editing*
  • COM FT 573 BUTV
  • COM FT 703/FT 554 Media Business Entrepreneurship
  • COM FT 707 Production
  • BULA electives

Curriculum (Producing/Writing Concentration)

Required courses (24 credits):

  • COM FT 514 Writing the TV Pilot**
  • COM FT 522 Writing Situation Comedy** or COM FT 512 Writing Episodic Drama for Television**
  • COM FT 525 Creative Producing II
  • COM FT 727 Creative Producing I
  • COM FT 825 Thesis Project
  • COM FT 953 Internship

Curriculum offerings of potential elective courses (24 credits):

Students may choose electives (500+ level) that are not listed below.

All electives must be approved by the program director.

(These courses are not offered every semester.)

  • COM FT 503 TV to Tablets
  • COM FT 505 Television Production Hothouse*
  • COM FT 507 Studio Production
  • COM FT 512 Writing Episodic Drama for Television**
  • COM FT 516 Writing the Sitcom Pilot**
  • COM FT 520 TV Theory and Criticism
  • COM FT 522 Writing Situation Comedy**
  • COM FT 554 Media Money Trail
  • COM FT 554 NBC: Anatomy of a Network
  • COM FT 565 Motion Picture Editing*
  • COM FT 701 Media Evolution
  • COM FT 707 Production
  • COM FT 808 Line Producing
  • BULA electives

*COM FT 707 Production is a prerequisite for this course.

**Students from both streams must pass a writing test as part of the application and as part of the first day’s writing class.

***Regarding electives: Students may petition to take other graduate-level (500+) courses offered in the College of Communication or other colleges at the University.

In addition to the Bulletin, master’s students should refer to the College of Communication Graduate Handbook for a comprehensive guide to policies, academic regulations, and resources.