Dramatic Writing (MFA)

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Program Description

To earn the Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing, each student must complete several polished, full-length dramatic works. Here, the process is almost as important as the goal.

During the first year, the graduate seminars in theatre, film and episodic writing train writers in the nature of dramatic situations, character, conflict, plot, structure, dialogue and theme. Students are required to take introductory courses in play, screen, and episodic writing during their first semester and then write complete works in two of the three media by the end of their first year. Also required are production workshops, text analysis and professional training classes. They continue taking production, text analysis and professional training classes in their second year while also taking advanced writing workshops and masterclasses in any of the three media of theater, film or episodic, leading to a master’s thesis (an original full-length work) in one medium. In addition, the department offers special seminars and colloquia where students hear guest speakers: visiting playwrights, feature writers, episodic writers, directors, agents, and literary managers who either discuss their work or discuss current topics in the entertainment business as they relate to writers.

The faculty members with whom students meet in weekly workshops are all professional writers. At times, when they feel it would be of benefit to student work, they will call on outside writers to act as consultants and critics. In each student’s last semester they will discuss their thesis scripts in an individual crit panel with industry professionals.


All graduate applicants to the Tisch School of the Arts are required to submit the General Graduate Application, as well as a department-specific portfolio or creative supplement. Each of these can be submitted online.

See Graduate Admissions for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.

For international applicants, see International Applicant RequirementsApplicants with international credentials should be sure to check to see if their credentials are equivalent to an American Bachelor’s degree before applying.