UCLA Extension

Feature Film, Television and Screenwriting Comprehensive FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Certificate Programs in

Certificate in Feature Film Writing
Certificate in Television Writing
Certificate in Screenwriting: Film and TV Comprehensive

Q: If I enroll in the Certificate in Feature Film Writing, which courses are required?

A: Students new to screenwriting are required to take the following courses:

• X440A – Writing the First Screenplay I
• X440B – Writing the First Screenplay II
• X440C – Writing the First Screenplay III
• X400D – Writing the First Screenplay IV

Students who have completed at least one feature-length screenplay may opt instead to take the following courses:

• X431.101 – Feature Film Writing Workshop: Outline and Act I
• X431.102 – Feature Film Writing Workshop: Acts II and III
• X431.57 – Intermediate Rewrite

There are six courses total required to complete the program. Aside from the above “core” courses, students fill the remaining requirements with electives. There are also exceptions to the sequences above, and we strongly recommend speaking with an advisor for personalized guidance prior to enrolling.

Q: If I enroll in the Certificate in Television Writing, which courses are required?

A: The following courses are required:

• X430.4 – Beginning Writing for the 1-Hour Spec Drama
(or) X430.6 – Beginning Writing for the Half-Hour Spec Comedy
• X431.4 – Writing the 1-Hour Spec Drama Script
(or) X431.6 – Writing the Half-Hour Spec Comedy Script
• Any 3-unit Intermediate or Advanced Level Television Course

There are six courses total required to complete the program. Aside from the above “core” courses, students fill the remaining requirements with electives. At least one elective must be a television writing or rewriting course. There are, however, exceptions to the rule and we strongly recommend that you speak with an advisor for personalized guidance prior to enrolling.

Q: If I enroll in the Certificate in Screenwriting: Film and TV Comprehensive, which courses are required?

A: The following courses are required:

• X404 – Pre-Production for Film and Television
• X404A – Post-Production for Film and Television
• X403.31 – The Business of Entertainment
(or) X476.581 – The Language of Filmmaking
• X440A – Writing the First Screenplay I
• X440B – Writing the First Screenplay II
• X440C – Writing the First Screenplay III
• X400D – Writing the First Screenplay IV
• X430.4 – Beginning Writing for the 1-Hour Spec Drama
(or) X430.6 – Beginning Writing for the Half-Hour Spec Comedy
• X431.4 – Writing the 1-Hour Spec Drama Script
(or) X431.6 – Writing the Half-Hour Spec Comedy Script
• Two (2) additional Beginning, Intermediate or Advanced Level Television Courses

There are fifteen courses total required to complete the program. Aside from the above “core” courses, students fill the remaining requirements with electives. Students must complete 12 elective units from selections in Feature Film Writing and Television Writing, with the option of substituting one course in the Entertainment Studies’ Certificate in Development.

Q: Which courses count as an “elective”?

A: An elective course is any 3-unit course not listed as a “core” writing course. They are
indicated as such in the course catalog description. Students can also satisfy one elective requirement by combining various 2-day, or short-term courses, provided the total units add up to 3. *Note: not all short term courses are for credit. Consult your student advisor before proceeding.

Q: I’ve just enrolled in the certificate program and paid my candidacy fee. How soon can I enroll in courses?

A: You may enroll in courses anytime for the next available quarter.

Q: Do I have to take all my courses for a letter grade?

A: Yes. You must receive a grade of “C” or better to earn the certificate.

Q: How much time do I have to complete the certificate?

A: The certificate period is 18 months. If your course work is incomplete, you will be given an option to pay a renewal fee of $50, to extend your candidacy for an additional year. If for some reason a required course is not offered in a particular quarter, please consult an advisor so a reasonable substitution will be made.

Q: I have taken screenwriting courses at another UC campus or at an out of state college or University. May I apply those units/courses to my certificate?

A: While courses at other institutions will help you attain advanced status, they are not a replacement for Writers’ Program screenwriting courses. Only courses taken in the screenwriting section of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program will apply to the certificate.

Q: I have taken Entertainment Studies courses at UCLA Extension. May I apply these to complete my elective courses in my certificate?

A: No. Courses in other areas of study do not apply except for those students who are enrolled in the Certificate in Screenwriting: Film & TV Comprehensive.

Q: I have already taken screenwriting courses at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. May I apply them to my certificate?

A: Yes, provided the courses: (1) meet the curriculum requirements; (2) were taken for a letter grade and a “C” or better was earned; and (3) were taken in the past year. If they do not match required or elective courses, or if the courses are part of an outdated curriculum, the units may not apply. Consult an advisor to discuss your specific situation prior to enrolling in a certificate program.

Q: If I took previous Writers’ Program courses as pass/fail or not for credit, may I petition for the grade status to be changed?

A: No. Once a grade or grading status is assigned, it is final.

Q: I have taken many screenwriting courses or have an MFA or a certificate in screenwriting through another program. Do I still have to take introductory courses?

A: No. You may begin at the intermediate or advanced level, provided you can meet the demands of the course. Please read the course descriptions thoroughly and consult an advisor if you have specific questions. If an instructor does not feel you’ve met the requirements for a course, you will be asked to drop the course.

Q: I’ve already taken all required courses plus electives (a total of 18 units) for a letter grade at UCLA Extension in the Writers’ Program and have received a “C” or better in all. May I pay the certificate fee and receive my certificate?

A: Yes. However, you should consult with an advisor who will review your transcript. If you are eligible to receive the certificate, the advisor will process the order once the fee is paid.

Q: How do I know which instructor will be best for me?

A: Please review the instructor bios which are listed in the catalog. Also, please consult the instructor teaching statements at http://writers.uclaextension.edu/instructors/sort-by-screenwriting-instructors/ to see how different instructors approach the craft of screenwriting. If you still have questions, please consult an advisor.

Q: I’ve enrolled in the Certificate Program in Feature Film Writing but since paying the candidacy fee, have decided I would prefer to enroll in the Certificate Program in Television Writing. May I transfer my certificate enrollment?

A: Yes. You may transfer your candidacy to either of the two certificate programs. Please be advised that not all courses may transfer over. Consult an advisor for individualized guidance.

Q: Can I take Television Writing courses as part of the Feature Film Writing Certificate (or vice-versa)?

A: Yes. Most often these will count as an elective. Consult a student advisor beforehand.

Q: Can I take courses online for the certificate programs?

A: Yes. However, only the Certificate in Feature Film Writing or Television Writing may be taken entirely online.  The Certificate in Screenwriting Comprehensive is currently not available fully online.

Q: When or how do I receive my actual certificate?

A: Once you have completed your coursework, please contact us so that we may review your transcript, set up your complimentary script consultation, and process your certificate. Certificates will not be processed automatically. You should receive your certificate within two to three weeks.

Q: If I have finished my coursework, but am still working on my script, how long can I wait to use my free screenplay consultation?

A: Certificate students have up to one year after completion of coursework to submit a script for consultation.

Q: Can I use my free screenplay consultation on a script I wrote before I enrolled in the program?

A: Yes, you may submit any script you’ve written for the complimentary consultation. However, we suggest you use your most recent screenplay or one that you wrote in the classroom, as it will give you a better sense of your progress as a writer through the program.

If you have other questions not answered here, please contact:

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
310-825-9415
writers@uclaextension.edu

Chae Ko, Program Representative, Screenwriting (Onsite & Online)
310-206-2612
cko@uclaextension.edu

Jeff Bonnett, Program Assistant, Screenwriting (Onsite & Online)
310-206-1542
jbonnett@uclaextension.edu