Writing for Television

Writing for television

Due to the coronavirus, UCLA is currently adhering to a remote teaching model. We have no decision as yet about Fall 2021. If the University, following State and Federal instructions, must continue remote teaching in the Fall, the Professional Programs on campus students will begin all courses including yearlong courses online. We will transition to on campus as soon as the University notifies us that it is safe. Please keep this in mind when applying. 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 Professional Program in Writing for Television, the only graduate-level non-degree writing for television program that has oversight by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Learn from renowned UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television MFA faculty and receive:

  • A world-class writing for television education in three quarters
  • An intimate classroom environment with a maximum of 10 students per workshop
  • Guidance from initial story concept through navigating the industry

Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a certificate from the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television.

Apply Now

Deadline Dates

Application Deadlines:

International Students: June 29, 2021

US Students: August 16, 2021

Tuition: $5,950


The Professional Program in Writing for Television takes place over three academic quarters.

Students attend a lecture series and a writing for television workshop each week.

The Lecture Series

The lecture is taught by UCLA instructors and covers every aspect of the process from initial concept though rewrite.

Guest speakers from the television industry will visit to discuss the state of the business, how to approach it as a new writer, and where the TV industry is headed.

Recent guests have included: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Damon Lindeloff (Lost, The Leftovers), Howard Gordon (24, Homeland, Buffy, X-Files) Peter Gould, Genny Hutchison, Gordon Smith (Better Call Saul), Mark Wilding and Jenna Bans (Scandal), Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (UnReal), Chris Brancato (Hannibal, Narcos), Noga Landau (The Magicians), Julia Fontana (Lucifer), Evan Shapiro (Head of Programming at Seeso), Ellen Kreamer (Friends, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and I Hate My Teenage Daughter), Janet Tamaro (Rizzoli and Isles), Laura McCreary (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Gaye Hirsch, Pamela Soper, Azie Tesfai, Brett Dier, Gary Pearl (Jane the Virgin), Sara Hess (Orange is the New Black), Bridget Bedard and Ali Liebegott (Transparent), Matthew Carnahan (House of Lies), Cameron Porsandeh (Helix), Jane Anderson (Olive Kitteridge), Sarah Watson (Parenthood, About A Boy), David Anaxagoras (Gortimer Gibbons' Life On Normal Street), Ken Lipman (Amazon Studios), Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs (Broad City), Josh Bycel (Scrubs, Happy Endings, Telenova), and Emily Cutler (The Odd Couple, Suburgatory, Community, Entourage.)


Please note that while we are adhering to remote learning during the pandemic, we have made adjustments to our Lecture Series. There will now be a Recorded Lecture Series, and an additional Live Q&A. 

The Recorded Lecture Series - All students will now be able to view a prerecorded lecture series each week. 

The Live Q&A -  Students will also have the opportunity to attend a live Q&A session with one of our lecture series instructors on Monday nights at 7pm Pacific Time to ask any questions they may have after viewing the recorded lecture. 

The Live Q&A will also be recorded and available for viewing the next day -  We understand that some of our international students may not be able to attend the live Q&A at that time. For that reason, international students will have the opportunity to email their questions to our class assistant ahead of time so the instructor can answer these questions during the Live Q&A.

Date & Time

Live Q&A - Monday nights, 7:00 pm Pacific Time

The Workshop

The television writing workshop focuses on roundtable readings and analysis of each student's work.

Students have the option of choosing between the Drama Track (one-hour dramatic shows, including one-hour dramedies) and the Comedy Track (half-hour comedic shows, including half-hour dramedies) and are guided by an instructor with professional experience in that particular genre.

  • In Fall Quarter, students write a spec teleplay of an existing television show in their chosen track.
  • In Winter Quarter, students write their first original pilot.
  • In Spring Quarter, they write a second original pilot.

Students who successfully finish the program receive a certificate of completion from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Date & Time

The workshop takes place on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night, depending on student schedules, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Pacific Time.

Apply Online

Applications for the 2021-2022 program are now available. 

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