Non-Credit Television Writing Certificate Program

The non-credit Television Writing certificate will introduce you to all aspects of writing: playwriting, screenwriting, and television writing. A certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete the four (4) non-credit required courses within one or two successive years.

Students must complete Episodic Writing I and II, plus any two (2) additional dramatic writing courses to earn this certificate.

Please note: You must enroll in the non-credit (NCRD-UT or
SPEC-NT)
 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 (2) courses must be completed to earn the Television Writing certificate.

Click the course title for more information and how to register.

Episodic/TV Writing I: The Half-Hour

NCRD-UT 8005
Course Availability: Summer


Students will write a “spec” episode of an existing half-hour television series, and will outline an original half-hour pilot. In the lecture component of the class, emphasis will be placed on teaching the form’s three act structure. The purpose of this class is to gain an understanding of how the half-hour episodic form differs from other dramatic forms.

View course schedule in Albert.
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Apply as a visiting summer student.

Episodic/TV Writing II: The One-Hour

NCRD-UT 8008
Course Availability: Summer


Pre-requisite: Episodic/TV Writing I: The Half-Hour

Students will write a “spec” episode of an existing one-hour television series, and will outline an original hour-long pilot. In the lecture component of the class, emphasis will be placed on story structure and creating serialized drama. The purpose of this class is to gain an understanding of how to create a sustainable series franchise with long-term story engines.

View course schedule in Albert.
View summer tuition and fees.
Apply as a visiting summer student.

Additional Courses

You may choose two (2) of the following courses to complete the Television Writing Certificate.

Click the course title for more information and how to register.

Late Night Comedy

NCRD-UT 8013
Course Availability: Summer


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.

View course schedule in Albert.
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Apply as a visiting summer student.

Playwriting I

NCRD-UT 30
Course Availability: Summer


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.

View course schedule in Albert.
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Apply as a visiting summer student.

Screenwriting I

NCRD-UT 8003
Course Availability: Summer


This is an introductory course that will focus on the fundamental components of screenplay writing. Produced screenplays will be analyzed for structure and student work will be presented in a workshop process.Students are required to write a short silent film, a ten minute short film and a 20-30 minute short film, as well as a synopsis and outline for a feature length film. The reading and analysis of six to eight screenplays is required in conjunction with the student’s original work. Lectures integrate writing work with presentations emphasizing understanding of basic screenplay format, structure, theme, story, plot, character development and film language. 

View course schedule in Albert.
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Apply as a visiting summer student.

Sketch Comedy Writing

NCRD-UT 8012
Course Availability: Summer


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.

View course schedule in Albert.
View summer tuition and fees.
Apply as a visiting summer student.

Writing the TV Sitcom

NCRD-UT 9045
Course Availability: Summer


Adapted from the Dramatic Writing Program’s popular “Introduction to the Sitcom” course, this intensive scriptwriting class answers the question, “What do I need to break into TV writing?” – the student will be guided through the step-by-step development of an episode for an ongoing TV sitcom, from premise line to one-page outline, to pages and revisions. The course will require the completion of a polished draft while introducing students to the rigors of professional standards through weekly story goals.

View course schedule in Albert.
View summer tuition and fees.
Apply as a visiting summer student.