SCPT - Scriptwriting


Effective 1 June 2022 through 31 May 2023

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

Course Descriptions

Global Citizenship Program
Knowledge Areas
ARTS Arts Appreciation
GLBL Global Understanding
PNW Physical & Natural World
QL Quantitative Literacy
ROC Roots of Cultures
SSHB Social Systems & Human Behavior
Global Citizenship Program
Skill Areas
CRI Critical Thinking
ETH Ethical Reasoning
INTC Intercultural Competence
OCOM Oral Communication
WCOM Written Communication
** Course fulfills two skill areas


SCPT 2900 Scriptwriting (3)

Students will learn the basic elements of scriptwriting for a number of forms, including advertising, episodic television, corporate videos, documentaries and narrative features. Prerequisite: MDST 1050.

SCPT 3110 Script Analysis (3)

Students learn the elements of a screenwriter's craft by studying scripts. The course focuses on how scriptwriters develop engaging and believable characters, how they build conflict, how they create and build tension and suspense, and how they write effective dialogue. Prerequisite: SCPT 2900 or permission of the instructor.

SCPT 3150 Topics (3)

These courses are offered periodically to feature topics in scriptwriting not covered by regularly offered courses. May be repeated for credit, if content differs. Prerequisites: May vary with topic.

SCPT 3300 Writing the Short Script (3)

Students will analyze successful short fiction and nonfiction scripts and then produce their own scripts suitable for short form video and film, including documentaries, comedies and dramas.

SCPT 3400 Television Scriptwriting (3)

Analyzing successful current and classic television series, students learn the basic principles of writing for television drama and comedy. The course examines the structure of television genres, including situation comedies, dramatic programs, and made-for-TV movies. Other topics include characterization, pacing, scene construction, dialogue, and action. The final project consists of writing a television script.

SCPT 3500 Writing Screenplays for Film (3)

Students learn the essential elements of a successful script for a feature film, including how to structure an effective narrative, how to create engaging characters, how to develop and maintain suspense and tension, and how to engage an audience's emotional response. Students will write a finished script for the first act of a feature film.

SCPT 3599 Independent Study (Junior or Seniors) (1-12)

Independent study involves research work on a specialized subject or project, artistic work, or study of an interdisciplinary nature. In contrast to a practicum, the emphasis in an independent study is usually on individual pursuit of a specific content area. Requires the filing of official form and permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

SCPT 4090 Screenplay Development (3)

Students learn the development of the screenplay, including script proposals, adaptation of scripts from other material, and the process of revising screenplays. Prerequisite: SCPT 3500.

SCPT 4400 Advanced Television Scriptwriting: Genres (3)

Each section of this course focuses on one specific television genre (i.e., situation comedy, domestic drama, science fiction, daytime drama). Students learn the structure of the genre as well as conventions, plot, pacing, dialogue, and characterization. Students will write and revise scripts suitable to the genre. May be repeated for credit if the genre differs. Prerequisite: SCPT 3400.

SCPT 4500 Advanced Scriptwriting (3)

Building on the essential foundation of writing a screenplay that students learn in SCPT 3500, students learn the elements of writing a full feature screenplay, including how to refine their first act and how to build effective second and third acts.  Students work on projects, culminating in the completion of finished feature-length screenplays. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: SCPT 3500.

SCPT 4620 Senior Overview (3-6)

Provides an opportunity for seniors to demonstrate their proficiency in writing for film or television. The student assumes responsibility for the production of a project under the direction of a faculty member. Projects will be dependent on the medium that student chooses. Course may be repeated once, up to 6 total credit hours. Prerequisites: Senior standing, acceptance into the major through portfolio review, and permission of the instructor. Students and their instructors must submit a proposal for the overview project for the approval of the department chair.

SCPT 4700 Professional Development in Scriptwriting (3)

Students will learn the elements of marketing their original scripts to the film and television industry and of making a career as a writer in film or television. The course will teach the basics of pitching stories, writing script coverage, as well as refining their work to create a professional portfolio.