Produce a Polished, Full-Length Screenplay
Next start date
October 4, 2016
Some of the most popular and well-known writing today isn’t created for publication — it’s crafted to be translated into television shows and movies. Before a second of film or video is shot, there is a writer with talent and an idea for a story. And you can be that writer.
In this two-course certificate program, you’ll become adept in the craft of screenwriting. We’ll explore the art of storytelling with writing exercises that prompt creativity and help you organize your ideas. You’ll learn how to pitch a story treatment for a full-length script and how to apply proven approaches for selling your work. By the end of the program, you’ll have a full-length screenplay that you can market to agents and studios.
Those interested in writing and selling their own screenplay.
Bachelor's degree required or associate's degree with two years writing experience.
If you're not a native English speaker, you’ll need to have basic English language skills to participate in this program. To learn more, see English Language Proficiency Requirements.
To enroll in this program, international students must have a visa that permits study in the United States. This program does not enable students to obtain or maintain F-1 visa status. For more information, see Admission Requirements for International Students.
You must have access to a computer, and we recommend a high-speed Internet connection.
You earn the certificate by regularly attending class and successfully completing all required courses. For more information, see Completing Your Program.
Instructors Kim Cunningham and Diane Mettler of the Certificate in Screenwriting discuss the many different options screenwriters have today to see their stories told.
You can apply for a $500 scholarship to help pay for this program. Details are provided as part of the certificate application process.
Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.
Screenwriting: First Draft & Rewrite
Certificate in Screenwriting
Approved by the UW School of Drama and the UW Department of English.
View this program's advisory board.
Each of our programs uses an advisory board to review content, guide design and recommend updates to ensure the program remains current as the field of study evolves. By tapping the minds of the top thinkers, doers and leaders in the field, we offer a transformational learning experience. The following individuals serve as the advisory board for this program.
Theo Angell, Director of Photography, Giants & Men
Jennifer Bean, Associate Professor, Cinema Studies, University of Washington
Virginia Bogert, Owner, Laughing Dog Pictures, LLC
Rovy Branon, Vice Provost, UW Educational Outreach
Daniel Brockley, Director/Screenwriter, Brockley Communications, Giants & Men
Barbara Brown, Script Supervisor, and Vice President, Women in Film
Michael Caldwell, Screenwriter, Producer, Professor
Bruce Carlson, Director
Peter Chiarelli, Screenwriter, The Proposal; Producer, Eagle Eye, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
Sandy Cioffi, filmmaker and educator
Sarah Conradt, Writer, Designer, Sarah Conradt Design
George T. Cowan, screenwriter and attorney
Terrence Dai, Program Graduate, Independent Filmmaking
Lisa Phelps Dawes, President, Loop
Tanar Dial, Screenwriter
Shannon Gee, Senior Producer, Seattle Channel
Tyson Greer, CEO and Chief Content Officer, Ambient Insight
John Gordon Hill, President, Hill Film, Inc.
Alice H. Ikeda, Co-Executive Producer at Screaming Flea Productions and Ikeda/Vanderburg Productions
Denise Kenney, Instructor, Actor, Filmmaker
George Laney, Writer/Director/Partner, Soulmoto
Susan LaSalle, Producer and Unit Production Manager
Sonya Lea, Screenwriter, Memoirist, Essayist
Andre LeDoux, Screenwriter, Northwest Screenwriters' Guild; Screenwriting Certificate Recipient
Timothy McCormack, Program Graduate, Independent Filmmaking
Sara Nickerson, Screenwriting Certificate Recipient
Shanga Kyle Parker, Associate Professor, School of Drama, University of Washington
Roxanne Ray, Assistant Director, Academic Programs in the Arts, UW Professional & Continuing Education
Tom Schabarum, Vice President, Production, Mind Opera, Inc.
Jillian Suleski, Producer, Playfish Media
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator, Mayor's Office of Film and Music
Sal Tonacchio, Filmmaker and Educator
Koyee Walker, Program Graduate, Independent Filmmaking
Diana Wilmar, Fox Wilmar Productions
Download the application form (PDF)
Apply online, or submit an application packet that includes:
Apply for the Screenwriting Certificate Scholarship by August 26, 2016. You must also apply to the certificate program.
We’re currently accepting applications and will be reviewing them in the order they’re received. We’ll accept applications until the program closes.
We’ll contact you within two weeks of receiving your application materials to let you know if you’ve been accepted to the program.
If you’re accepted, we’ll send you details about your first-term course, including information on paying your course fee. Your course fee is due two weeks before the first class.
With the exception of the one-time application fee, certificate program fees are charged on a quarterly basis. Payment is due when you register.
Course fees do not include any costs for class materials such as textbooks and software.
Drops, Withdrawals & Refunds
Attend class in person at one of our convenient locations. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. An online learning management system may be required to access some course materials and assignments.
Our special blended programs combine the convenience of online study with the vibrancy of in-person classes for a unique learning experience.
Not available for this program
Enjoy the flexibility of online learning, which allows you to participate in class activities, assignments and discussions on your schedule, from anywhere. Experience cutting-edge technology and a supportive, diverse learning community.
Discover storytelling principles that will engage your target audience and develop a powerful cross-channel content strategy with measurable goals.