Missouri State University

Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting for Television and Film

Why consider our graduate certificate program?

  • Our graduate certificate program provides training in drama and visual storytelling, character and plot development, genre and adaptation, and an understanding of the craft of writing for both television and film.
  • The graduate certificate enables you to create a screenwriting portfolio, the necessary first-step to finding work as a screenwriter in television or film.
  • The graduate certificate is a great option for working professionals, long-distance learners and graduate students who wish to add a screenwriting specialization to their educational experience.
  • Using the industry-standard model of “workshopping” script pages, students learn from one another as well as their instructors as they work to develop, hone and polish at least one script. Every student in the program both gives and receives critical input on style, writing structure and technique, and story line.
  • The graduate certificate is recognized within the television and film industries as an indication of mastery in the field specified by the certificate, above and beyond typical academic degrees.

Certificate completion options

The graduate certificate in screenwriting for television and film is available entirely online over a two year period if this option is preferable. Seated sections of every class except the MED 567/669 Script Rewriting and Marketing will also be offered during this rotation period.

You may pursue the graduate certificate in screenwriting for television and film as a stand-alone certificate program or in partnership with another graduate program. If you are currently a graduate student at Missouri State, you may add the certificate to your graduate program by completing the Certificate Plan of Study form.

Program description 

The Graduate Certificate in Writing for Television and Film provides a 12-hour graduate-level experience to prepare the student's script portfolio for professional submissions.  The program is designed to teach students the screenwriting craft; to develop each student's potential and to help all students find their unique style; to expose students to the concept of "workshopping pages" and giving and receiving critical input on style, writing technique and structure; and to provide insight into today's film and television market.  Graduate students will complete polished drafts on multiple treatments/outlines, a short or full-length screenplay, and one to two dramatic teleplays.

Admission criteria 

To be considered for the program, a student must have a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 undergraduate GPA.  Applicants must submit a writing sample of 5-10 script pages or 5-10 pages of prose.  

Required courses 12 hours total 

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
 MED 667 Screenwriting 3 hrs
 MED 668 Writing the One-Hour Drama Teleplay  3 hrs
 MED 669 Script Rewriting and Marketing  3 hrs

Plus a minimum of 3 hours taken from:

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MED 663 Writing Adaptations for Television and Film 3 hrs
MED 664 Genre Writing for Television and Film 3 hrs 
MED 762 TV/Film Producing & Marketing 3 hrs

Completion Requirements 

Courses must be completed with a 3.00 GPA for successful completion of certificate.

Program costs and potential occupations. Gainful Employment Disclosure