Screenwriting Online { College of Extended Learning }

Image: Online Screenwriting class

Academic Credit Certificate (Online)

Presented by SF State Department of Cinema &
SF State Extended Learning

Learn character, plot and thematic development, story structure, and in-depth writing skills as you prepare for an exciting career as a screenwriter or script consultant. Discuss the development of your screenplays across multiple courses with professional screenwriting faculty. Students who earn the Certificate will graduate with one to two 'spec' screenplays they can either pitch or produce. Graduate students are prepared to craft film and TV screenplays, write coverage, and "doctor" scripts in the development process.


Offered during Spring & Fall Semesters

The curriculum is made up of courses listed below. All courses are three (3) units and are offered online in 15-week sessions. Not all courses are offered every semester.

  • CINE 200 Intro to Cinema Studies
  • CINE 202 Intro to Filmmaking
  • CINE 331 Hollywood Representation of Race & Ethnicity
  • CINE 344 Horror Film
  • CINE 356 Fundamentals of Screenwriting
  • CINE 373 Film & Society: 1950s Film
  • CINE 441 Signs of Aliens: Semiotics of Film and Popular Culture
  • CINE 456 Feature Screenwriting I
  • CINE 541 Race, Sex, & Identity Online
  • CINE 556 Feature Screenwriting II

To qualify for the certificate of completion, the following courses are required:

  • CINE 200 Intro to Cinema Studies
  • CINE 202 Intro to Filmmaking
  • CINE 356 Fundamentals of Screenwriting
  • And two upper-division cinema studies courses
    (300 series courses or above)

Certificate of Completion

Students may take one or any combination of the courses in the curriculum. To be eligible for the Certificate you must complete all the required courses, and then an application for the certificate of completion must be submitted. Applications for the certification are due, along with a $50 non-refundable fee and your unofficial SF State transcripts, after all grades have been submitted.

Classes & Program Structure

All courses are offered online in 15-week sessions. Students need a total of 15 units to complete the Certificate, although you may take individual courses according to your interests. All courses are transferable to the B.A. in Cinema program on the main campus, as well as other universities across the country.

The fee for each course is $1,170, making the total cost of the certificate $5,850.

Students who plan to apply units earned for completion of certificate courses toward the B.A. in Cinema must follow the prerequisites for each course that are published in the SF State Bulletin.

How to Begin Taking Classes

1) No application process to begin
2) Obtain SF State ID and password
3) Register for classes based on individual goals
4) Apply for Certificate of Completion after all classes are completed

For SF State ID and registration questions, please contact Enrollment Services at 415.405.7700 [press 5] to speak with a staff person.

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