Program Notes

The Boston University Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting offers the best of both worlds: a learning environment on the east coast and a working-world experience on the west coast.

Over four semesters in two cities, students build the skills, experience and community to launch a career into the television and film industry as a scriptwriter. They start with three semesters in Boston and become part of a close-knit community who want to grow together. COM keeps things intimate and nurturing by design, so students collaborate and learn from peers as well as faculty.

Then, students spend their fourth semester in Los Angeles, learning through an industry internship and gaining valuable experience from established writers and guest presenters while networking with our Los Angeles-based alumni. All students take a rewrite class to revise and polish a script started in Boston. More information about the Los Angeles semester (cost, curriculum, and housing) can be found on the Study Abroad website.

Students will write a minimum of seven scripts for:

  • Two feature-length screenplays
  • Two short screenplays
  • An existing hour-long TV drama
  • An existing half-hour TV comedy
  • An original TV pilot and series bible

Courses cover writing for television (including Writing the Pilot, Writing the Sitcom, and Writing the Episodic Drama, among them) as well as for film (Writing the Short Film, Script into Film, three feature screenwriting workshops).

Learn Alongside Professionals 

Students are mentored and taught by industry-savvy faculty — veteran creatives who earned their stripes writing for both film and television. COM’s screenwriting faculty share their own experiences in the craft as well as their insights into building a professional network.

Since the MFA in Screenwriting is known as a “terminal degree,” students may gain teaching experience while also earning a paycheck through a graduate assistant position. After teaching their own section of our undergraduate screenwriting course, our MFA students have gone on to adjunct and full-time teaching positions.

Reel Resources

Opportunities for experience abound. Students attend Cinemathèque, a series of screenings and conversations with industry professionals. They have full access to BU’s Kasker film and video resource center with 16mm prints and rarities at the Mugar Memorial Library on campus. They enjoy complimentary screenings, too, at the nearby Harvard Film Archive, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Brattle Theatre.

Purpose Driven

It may be COM’s shared values that matter most. We believe that communication requires diversity, critical thinking, and creative expression. We believe that communication must be grounded in truth, authenticity, effectiveness, and purpose. We believe that communication builds understanding among people and across society.