We live in an increasingly visual society. The online Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Screenwriting program at Southern New Hampshire University is an advanced exploration of the world of film and video, from shorts and episodic serials to feature-length blockbusters and documentaries. This English and creative writing degree is based on a comprehensive study of the visual medium of film, with a special focus on story structure, character development and creative writing. At the culmination of the degree program, you'll have developed your own screenplay, one that takes you deep into subjects that matter to you.
While an understanding and analysis of literature – whatever the genre – is at the core of this MA degree, the screenwriting concentration places a special emphasis on visual storytelling. Designed by experienced and distinguished faculty, this master’s in screenwriting program will give you a powerful understanding of how story, character, theme, action, visuals and dialogue intertwine to create a visual moment in time. Collaboration is encouraged, and direct interaction with faculty and peers pushes the imagination to new heights.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your master’s in English at SNHU include:
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.
Candidates must also submit a personal statement. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. Based on your educational background, some Master of Arts provisional students may be required to take SNHU 501 – Introduction to Graduate Studies – which will provide students with the scholarly tools to be successful in their Master of Arts program of study.
The visual arts (film, television and video) are as popular as ever, engaging audiences around the world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the arts, entertainment and recreation industry is expected to grow 6% by 2026.* From scripts for news anchors to commercials, television and films, the work of professional screenwriters is essential. Whether you pursue an independent career and develop scripts on your own or write for specific projects, including rewriting and editing, the future is wide open for talented graduates of the master's in screenwriting program at SNHU.
The curriculum for the screenwriting concentration exposes you to powerful examples of screenwriting and provides an outlet to experiment and refine your skills. Courses are taught by accomplished instructors, with deep insights into the industry.
Reading is an essential part of the writing process. To write an effective piece, an author must first read the essential creative works that have informed the genre and delivered on similar themes. In this course students will study the craft of creative writing in close detail. Understanding and identifying the core, foundational elements of quality storytelling, regardless of genre, is crucial to the advancement of a creative writer. In preparation for the development of their own creative works and techniques, students will analyze self-selected texts for their strategic use of the core storytelling elements, and determine whether or not the author was successful in delivering on his/her concept.
How do authors generate creative ideas? How do they know when to reveal certain information? Do the chapters flow naturally from the broader story concept, or should they be planned? What makes for a rich environment? These are the types of questions we will consider in this course. With these in mind, students will conceptualize a writing project of significant length. The focus will not be on the writing of actual scenes or chapters from this work, but on the drafting of plot arcs, detailed outlines, character sketches/development, world-building, and thematic development. The concepts developed in this course may indirectly or directly inform writing projects in future courses.
This course is an introduction to the following topics in English linguistics: history of English, etymology, vocabulary 'morphology', phonology, dictionaries, syntax, semantics, dialects, discourse analysis, and child language acquisition. The course is designed for students who want to learn about the English language as preparation for teaching, or becoming better writers, or for studying literature. Students will have the opportunity to research, write about, and present on a linguistic topic of individual interest, such as the language of advertising or propaganda.
This course is an introduction to the major schools of contemporary literary theory, and an examination of principal exponents of these theories. The student will become familiar with the most important features of psychoanalytic criticism, Marxism and feminism and examine the meaning of structuralism and post-structuralism. In addition, the course affords an opportunity to practice applying the theories to specific literary texts.
In this course, writers will learn the essential elements of screenwriting, including plot structure, character, scene, dialogue, and the craft of visual storytelling. Beginning with the mechanics of scripts for television and film and the process of script outline and written synopses ("treatments"), attention is then given to storytelling through script structure with a focus on feature-length film. Existing movie scripts and films will be examined as writers create and build on scenes and dialogue in preparation for the course's final project a short one-act screenplay.
This workshop-oriented course is designed for writers who seek to write a feature-length screenplay for their theses. Writers will share script treatments (plot summaries), outlines, and written script pages, and offer constructive feedback on other class members' scripts, as well as watch films, read scripts, and discuss screenplays. Through the writing and revision process, writers will submit final feature-length script treatments, outlines, and the first act of their feature-length screenplay theses.
In this course, writers will work on their screenplay theses through rewrites and group feedback, and offer constructive feedback on other class members' scripts. Focus at this stage will be given to examining character development, motivation, and subtext through visual storytelling, and in identifying plot inconsistencies and weaknesses. Writers will complete their feature-length screenplay theses.
Total Credits: 6
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
$40 Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...