Screenwriting and Playwriting

Bachelor of Science Degree: 182.0 quarter credits

About the Program

The Westphal College Screenwriting & Playwriting program is designed to guide and prepare students for a writing career for the stage or screen. The program emphasizes both the principles of dramatic writing and a practical hands-on approach to instruction. Graduates are armed with the skills, experience, and confidence to gain an edge in a growing and competitive field.

Students in the Screenwriting & Playwriting program begin the lifelong process of accumulating a writer’s capital: the ideas, understandings, facts, and methods of perception, as well as the technical knowledge, needed to write compellingly for performance. Students learn to create scripts that meet industry standards for theater, feature film and television and acquire hands-on experience in the techniques of stage, film and video production. Graduates of this program are prepared to pursue careers in any of numerous fields that require dramatic writing or to enter one of the highly competitive graduate programs in the field.

For more information about this major, visit the College's Screenwriting & Playwriting page.

Degree Requirements

 


 

 

General education requirements
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Arts and Humanities electives (excluding ENGL courses)9.0
Natural science electives8.0
Social science electives 9.0
Electives31.0
Visual Studies Requirements
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
ARTH 103History of Art: Early to Late Modern3.0
DIGM 220Digital Still Imaging I3.0
MUSC 130Introduction to Music3.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
Screenwriting and Playwriting Requirements
Literature requirements
ENGL 315 [WI] Shakespeare3.0
Select one of the following Western Literature survey courses:3.0
Classical to Medieval Literature
Renaissance to the Enlightenment
Romanticism to Modernism
Select one of the following Non-Western Literature survey courses:3.0
Post-Colonial Literature I
Post-Colonial Literature II
Literature (ENGL) electives6.0
Cinema studies/Theatre studies requirements
ENGL 216 [WI] Readings in Drama3.0
THTR 121 [WI] Dramatic Analysis3.0
FMST 101Film History I: Emergence3.0
FMST 102Film History II: New Waves3.0
Theatre (THTR) choice elective (any advanced acting, directing or production course)3.0
Cinema studies (FMST Film Studies or TVST Television Studies) elective3.0
Methods requirements
FMVD 110Basic Shooting and Lighting3.0
FMVD 115Basic Editing3.0
FMVD 120Basic Sound3.0
THTR 210Acting: Fundamentals3.0
THTR 211Acting: Scene Study2.0
THTR 240Theatre Production I3.0
THTR 320Play Direction3.0
Writing requirements
SCRP 220Playwriting I3.0
SCRP 225Playwriting II3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
SCRP 275 [WI] Screenwriting II3.0
SCRP 280 [WI] Writing the Short Film3.0
SCRP 310Literature for Screenwriters3.0
SCRP 370Screenplay Story Development3.0
SCRP 495Senior Project in Dramatic Writing I3.0
SCRP 496Senior Project in Dramatic Writing II3.0
SCRP 497Senior Project in Dramatic Writing III3.0
WRIT 225 [WI] Creative Writing3.0
Writing Choice: select one of the following courses:3.0
Fundamentals of Journalism
Public Relations Principles and Theory
Creative Nonfiction Writing
Select one of the following two-course sequences:6.0
Playwriting Workshop I
   and Playwriting Workshop II
Screenwriting Workshop I
   and Screenwriting Workshop II
Total Credits182.0

 

CONCENTRATION OPTIONS

Concentration in Writing Comics & Graphic Novels

SCRP 260Writing Comics3.0
SCRP 263Comic Book Editing3.0
SCRP 266Graphic Novel Art and Industry3.0
SCRP 384Comic/Graphic Novel Writing Workshop I3.0
SCRP 385Comic/Graphic Novel Writing Workshop II3.0

 

 Concentration in Narrative Game Writing

GMAP 260Overview of Computer Gaming3.0
SCRP 290Game: Universe & Story3.0
SCRP 295 Future of Narrative Games3.0
GMAP 377Game Development: Workshop I3.0
GMAP 378Game Development: Workshop II3.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Center. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.


 Sample Plan of Study

 

Term 1Credits
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
FMST 150American Classic Cinema3.0
SCRP 220Playwriting I3.0
THTR 121 [WI] Dramatic Analysis3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 2
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
SCRP 225Playwriting II3.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
Natural science elective 4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 3
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
FMVD 110Basic Shooting and Lighting3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
Natural science elective 4.0
Free elective 3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 4
FMVD 115Basic Editing3.0
MUSC 130Introduction to Music3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
ENGL 204
or 203 [WI]
Post-Colonial Literature II
Post-Colonial Literature I
3.0
Literature (ENGL) elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 5
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
ENGL 216 [WI] Readings in Drama3.0
FMST 160European Cinema3.0
SCRP 275 [WI] Screenwriting II3.0
THTR 210Acting: Fundamentals3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 6
ARTH 103History of Art: Early to Late Modern3.0
FMVD 120Basic Sound3.0
SCRP 370Screenplay Story Development3.0
THTR 211Acting: Scene Study2.0
Western literature survey course*3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 7
DIGM 220Digital Still Imaging I3.0
SCRP 280 [WI] Writing the Short Film3.0
SCRP 310Literature for Screenwriters3.0
Film Studies/Television Studies elective*3.0
Free elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 8
ENGL 315 [WI] Shakespeare3.0
THTR 240Theatre Production I3.0
THTR 320Play Direction3.0
SCRP 382
or 380
Playwriting Workshop I
Screenwriting Workshop I
3.0
Arts and Humanities elective (excluding ENGL courses) 3.0
Free elective 3.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 9
SCRP 383
or 381
Playwriting Workshop II
Screenwriting Workshop II
3.0
Writing choice 3.0
Arts and Humanities elective (excluding ENGL courses) 3.0
Literature (ENGL) elective 3.0
Social science elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
SCRP 495Senior Project in Dramatic Writing I3.0
WRIT 225 [WI] Creative Writing3.0
Free elective 3.0
Social science elective 3.0
Arts and Humanities elective (excluding ENGL courses) 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 11
SCRP 496Senior Project in Dramatic Writing II3.0
Free electives 6.0
Theatre elective*3.0
Social science elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 12
SCRP 497Senior Project in Dramatic Writing III3.0
Free electives 13.0
 Term Credits16.0
Total Credit: 182.0

*

 See degree requirements.


Co-op/Career Opportunities


Dramatic writing is writing for production — work intended for performance on the stage or screen. These days, “screen” can mean movie,TV, or computer, and the work can be anything from full three-act stage plays to 15-second commercials.

Co-Op Experiences

By working for professional writers, entertainment management companies, television stations, magazines and advertising and public relations firms, Screenwriting & Playwriting students gain valuable insights into how the entertainment industry works.

In an industry where the process of building a career often begins with a few key contacts, the co-op program gives Drexel students the chance to begin meeting people and networking.

In the Program's first few years, co-op students were placed with Disney Video Animation, several prominent Hollywood talent managers, the editor and publisher of a screenwriters' magazine, at Marvel Comics and in the production office of "Star Trek: Enterprise."

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Courses

SCRP 220 Playwriting I 3.0 Credits

Introduces the basic tenets of playwriting and their use in writing a 10-minute play.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: HUM 106 [Min Grade: D] or ENGL 101 [Min Grade: D] or ENGL 105 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 225 Playwriting II 3.0 Credits

Builds on the writing tenets learned in Playwriting I. Requires students to write a one-act play.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 220 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 241 Writing TV Comedy 3.0 Credits

Teaches the essentials of situation comedy writing for TV. Students will be expected to conceive and write their own thirty-minute pilot script plus a ‘bible’ for their show.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 270 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 242 Writing TV Drama 3.0 Credits

Teaches the essentials of writing the one-hour television drama. Students will be expected to conceive and write their own thirty-minute pilot script plus a ‘bible’ for their show.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 270 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 250 Creating Stand-up Comedy 3.0 Credits

Deals with the conception, writing and performance of a stand-up comedy routine. Includes exploration of creating a comic persona, structuring an act, construction of jokes, and aspects relating to perfromance. "Final exam" will be given before a live audience at a public venue.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCRP 260 Writing Comics 3.0 Credits

This course will introduce the student to the history, theory, language and disciplines of writing the American comic book and graphic novel. Students will be learn about comic script-writing formats, the collaborative relationship between writer and artist, and techniques to strengthen both their writing and critiquing abilities.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 270 [Min Grade: C]

SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I 3.0 Credits

Workshop course that covers the fundamentals of writing scripts for film and television. This is a writing intensive course.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: HUM 106 [Min Grade: D] or ENGL 101 [Min Grade: D] or ENGL 105 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 275 [WI] Screenwriting II 3.0 Credits

Workshop course that builds on the fundamentals of screenwriting learned in Screenwriting I. Each student develops and completes a short dramatic screenplay. This is a writing intensive course.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: SCRP 270 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 280 [WI] Writing the Short Film 3.0 Credits

This course will focus on creating scripts for films under thirty minutes in length. This is a writing intensive course.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 270 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 310 Literature for Screenwriters 3.0 Credits

This course provides exposure to literary traditions from the classics to pop culture, analyzing how the selected books have affected the film industry, both in terms of direct adaptations and by influencing generations of filmmakers and screenwriters.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: SCRP 270 [Min Grade: D] or FMVD 270 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 350 Writing the TV Comedy Series 3.0 Credits

This course gives students practical experience in writing a pilot episode for an original, single-or-multiple comedic television series. Following the network primetime model and working in collaboration, students meet deadlines and operate under budget and production contraints similar to those faced by professional writers.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCRP 353 Writing the TV Drama Series 3.0 Credits

This course gives students practical experience in writing a pilot episode for an original dramatic television series. Following the network primetime model and working in collaboration, students meet deadlines and operate under budget and production contraints similar to those faced by professional writers.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

SCRP 370 Screenplay Story Development 3.0 Credits

This course provides a thorough understanding of methods used to develop story ideas from initial concept to complete screen story, including pitching, structuring, and creating treatments. Students pitch and develop several stories which can then be used to create full-length scripts in advanced workshops.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: SCRP 275 [Min Grade: D] or FMVD 275 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 380 Screenwriting Workshop I 3.0 Credits

The first of a two-course sequence in which students write a feature film script, telefilm, or television pilot.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: SCRP 275 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 381 Screenwriting Workshop II 3.0 Credits

The second of a two-course sequence in which students write a feature film script, telefilm, or television pilot.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: SCRP 380 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 382 Playwriting Workshop I 3.0 Credits

The first of a two-course sequence in which students write a 90-minute, two-act play.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: SCRP 225 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 383 Playwriting Workshop II 3.0 Credits

The second of a two-course sequence in which students write a 90-minute, two-act play.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: SCRP 382 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 399 Independent Study in SCRP 0.5-12.0 Credits

Independent study on a topic selected by the student. Independent study is supervised by a faculty member and guided by a plan of study. Department permission required.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

SCRP 465 Special Topics in SCRP 3.0 Credits

Examines a particular genre in dramatic writing (comedy, the thriller, etc.) or issues of particular interest to students interested in writing for the stage or screen (e.g., Literature for Screenwriters). The course, but not the same topics, may be repeated for credit.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman

SCRP 495 Senior Project in Dramatic Writing I 3.0 Credits

The first of a three-course sequence in which students write a feature film script, telefilm, full-length stage play, television pilot, at least two spec episodes of an existing one-hour TV drama or four of an existing TV comedy.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 381 [Min Grade: D] or SCRP 383 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 496 Senior Project in Dramatic Writing II 3.0 Credits

The second of a three-course sequence in which students write a feature film script, telefilm, television pilot, at least two spec episodes of an existing one-hour TV drama or four of an existing TV comedy.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 495 [Min Grade: D]

SCRP 497 Senior Project in Dramatic Writing III 3.0 Credits

The thid of a three-course sequence in which students write a feature film script, tlelfilm, full-length stage play, television pilot, at least two spec episodes of an existing one-hour TV drama or four of an existing TV comedy.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: SCRP 496 [Min Grade: D]

Cinema and Television Faculty

Jocelyn Motter, MFA (American Film Institute). Assistant Teaching Professor. Editing.
Glen Muschio, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media, society, communication.
Lise Raven, MFA (New York University). Assistant Professor. Filmmaker.
Philip W. Salas, BS (Temple University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Utilization of advanced set top box data to measure fragmented viewing behavior. Impact of new television distribution technologies on traditional broadcasters and multichannel program providers.
David A. Schwartz, BA (Rider University). Associate Teaching Professor. Steadicam operator; cameraman.
Andrew Susskind, BA (Harvard University) Program Director of TV Production & Media Management. Associate Teaching Professor. Independent television producer and director.
Albert S. Tedesco, MA (University of Pennsylvania) Director of the Paul F. Harron Graduate Program in Television Management. Associate Teaching Professor. Impact of digital media on broadcast television; broadcasters' response to the challenge of new media; management of publicly and privately held communications companies.
Jervis Thompson, BS (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Digital media, interactive multimedia.
Christine Vachon Visiting Professor. Independent film production.
Gregory S. Wolmart, MFA (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Cinema studies; film history.
Jichen Zhu, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Developing humanistic and interpretive framework of computational technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), and constructing AI-based cultural artifacts; interactive storytelling, games and software studies.

Interdepartmental Faculty

Lawrence Epstein, MBA (Cornell University) Interim Department Head, Arts & Entertainment Enterprise. Associate Teaching Professor.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees
LEARN MORE