Television Writing Certificate Program

The summer non-credit certificates from the Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing introduce you to all aspects of writing: playwriting, screenwriting, and television writing. A certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete the four required courses within one year or two successive summers.

Students must complete Writing the One-Hour Television Drama and Writing the Half-Hour Comedy plus any two additional summer dramatic writing courses to earn this certificate.

Please note: You must enroll in the non-credit (NCRD-UT) sections of the courses below to earn the non-credit certificate. Credit-bearing courses do not count toward the non-credit certificate.

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Required Courses

The following two courses must be completed to earn the Television Writing certificate.

Intro to Writing the Half-Hour Comedy

NCRD-UT 8005

This intensive TV writing class answers the question, "What do I need to break into TV writing?" The student is guided through the step-by-step development of a spec episode for an ongoing half-hour TV show, from premise line to one-page outline, to pages and revisions. The course requires the completion of a polished draft while introducing students to the rigors of professional standards through weekly story goals. The course is taught by a professional television writer.

Non-credit tuition: $3,135

View Course Schedule in Albert

Writing the One-Hour Television Drama

NCRD-UT 8008

Pre-requisite: Intro to Writing the Half-Hour Comedy

This intensive TV writing class focuses on what it takes to write a one-hour TV show. This course takes the student step by step through writing their own spec episode for an ongoing one-hour television series. The course will go from premise lines, through the outline, to writing a solid draft of the script. This is a high-level course that prepares students for the professional world.

Non-credit tuition: $3,135

View Course Schedule in Albert

Additional Courses

You may choose 2 of the 3 following courses to complete the Television Writing Certificate.

Late Night Comedy

NCRD-UT 8013

Joke writers aren't allowed to wait until they feel funny. This intensive introduction to the craft of writing topical jokes exposes students to the rigors of producing news-driven jokes and short comedy pieces on demand. Students will be required to keep abreast of the news and come to class prepared to write jokes and desk-pieces on subjects selected by the instructor. They will create material appropriate for different programs and hosts, including Colbert, Bee, Noah. Occasional guests from late-night comedy shows may critique student work. The goal is to get fast and steady at joke-writing, while compiling a late-night writing packet to be used to seek work in the field.

Non-credit tuition: $3,135

View course schedule in Albert

Playwriting I

NCRD-UT 30

A playwriting workshop required of all students. Students are required to complete 50-70 pages of a full-length stage play with an outline of the complete play. The first third of the course focuses on exercises to help students develop a story idea with the complexity and depth to sustain a full-length play. The reading and analysis of four to six dramatic texts is required in conjunction with the student’s original work. Students must come to the first class with two ideas for a full-length play. Each idea should be described in a one page summary.

Non-credit tuition: $3,135

View Course Schedule in Albert

Screenwriting I

NCRD-UT 8003

A screenwriting workshop required of all Dramatic Writing majors and designed for the beginning screenwriter. Students are required to complete 50-70 pages of a full-length screenplay with an outline of the rest. The first third of the course focuses on exercises to help students develop five story ideas with the complexity and depth to sustain a full-length screenplay. One of these ideas will serve as the basis for the required work. The reading and analysis of four to six screenplays is required in conjunction with the student’s original work. Students must come to the first class with three ideas for full-length screenplays. Each idea can be described in one or two paragraphs.

Non-credit tuition: $3,135

View Course Schedule in Albert

Sketch Comedy Writing

NCRD-UT 8012

This is a sketch writing workshop class. A survey of sketch genres and approaches will be integrated with writing assignments and rewriting of one's own sketches: both privately and collaboratively. The goal is for each student to emerge from the class with several polished sketches. For this class, it helps to have a good sense of humor that you want to get even better at putting down on the page.  There will be a lot of group critiquing and occasionally group rewriting.  So it helps to stop thinking that your first draft is perfect.  Because it isn't.  This can be a pretty wild class, so it also helps to never think that comedy can go "too far."  The course may have a guest lecturer.

Non-credit tuition: $3,135

View Course Schedule in Albert