Jun 13, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Fine Arts - Writing for Dramatic Media

Plan Description

The UNLV Department of Film offers a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Dramatic Media. This terminal degree focuses specifically on the art and craft of writing for performance. This is a three-year long creative writing discipline housed in a film department. The focus of the program is on developing feature screenplays but the candidate will also produce television screenplays, stage plays, and various types of work for digital media as it evolves. The program is based on a “conservatory” approach of practice and repetition and includes a significant amount of “pitching,” or working aloud, as part of the process. Students completing the three-year program will have a significant group of feature motion picture, television, and other scripts that have been honed to a professional level. In addition to faculty with professional experience, the students are exposed to a variety of professional guests.  

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Students are admitted in the fall term of each academic year. In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate College, the following materials must be submitted.

  1. A writing sample to the Graduate Coordinator. This sample should be a screenplay. A stage play or prose fiction will suffice if approved by the coordinator. The sample is needed to demonstrate narrative ability.
  2. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of two references.
  3. Finalists will be interviewed, by telephone or in person, by the Graduate Coordinator.

Review of applications begins January 15.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements

Total Credits Required: 54 

Course Requirements

Screenwriting Course – Credits: 18

Complete 18 credits of the following course: 

Elective Courses – Credits: 18

Complete 18 credits of 600- or 700-level advisor approved courses. 

Degree Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 54 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize an advisory committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  3. During the three years of study, each screenwriting student will be expected to complete a minimum of four full-length feature motion picture screenplays and two television scripts. In practice, the output is actually closer to five screenplays and four television scripts. One screenplay will be selected to be the candidate’s thesis script. It will undergo final revision as the work most indicative of the candidate’s art and craft.
  4. A two-hour oral examination will take place at the end of the course of study. This examination focuses on the student’s final project (1 hour) and on all remaining work completed within the program (1 hour).

Plan Graduation Requirements

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must successfully complete and defend his/her final project.