Professional Dramatic Writing (Master's)
Cultivate your passion for creating texts that are meant to be performed in person, on film, on radio, or in new media such as podcasts at the University of Denver. In the Professional Dramatic Writing concentration you will progress toward mastering the fundamentals of writing for the most popular kinds of performance. Designed for aspiring playwrights, screenwriters, and spoken word artists, this master’s concentration helps you hone the practical skills needed to excel in writing for the stage, screen, and beyond. Explore the rich tradition of dramatic arts and influential masterworks that have inspired generations. You’ll learn to:
• Identify and analyze key elements of powerful drama
• Apply knowledge of drama fundamentals and genres to your own creative work
• Discover and cultivate personal habits of thought and behavior to sustain your creative efforts
• Create strategies for discovering your audience and connecting with them directly
Professional Creative Writing Outcomes
This program prepares students to:
- Craft writing with a keen awareness of the limits and opportunities of the writing's genre
- Cultivate writing routines and habits that support creative productivity
- Develop a sophisticated knowledge of literary structures and reader expectations
- Apply professional editing standards to evaluate both published writing and writing for your peers
- Assess your own writing and learn how to enhance its strengths and eliminate its weaknesses
- Define your audiences and write in ways that move and entertain them
MA in Professional Creative Writing with a concentration in Professional Dramatic Writing requires completion of 48 credit hours (12 courses)Core courses - 20 qtr. hrs
Core courses help students to understand the scope of activity, historical development, future direction and trends, and typical types and roles of organizations that operate within a career field. The Capstone course is the culminating academic endeavor of our degree programs, in which students explore a problem or issue within their field of study.
- PWRI 4500 - The Writing Life: Concepts, Practices, and Professionalism
- PWRI 4510 - Literary Genres for Writers: Drama, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
- PWRI 4520 - The Writers Workshop: Responsive Critiques for Creative Revision
- PWRI 4917 - Professional Research for Creative Writers
Concentration courses allow students to focus on a specific professional area within the larger industry sector in which they are working or wish to work, and master the skills needed to excel in that area.
- PWRI 4300 - Masterworks: Drama
- PWRI 4310 - Writing Drama: Foundational Concepts, Skills, and Practice
- PWRI 4320 - Writing the Screenplay
- PWRI 4330 - Personal Performance Writing: From Page to Voicing for an Audience
Electives may be chosen from among all courses in Professional Creative Writing programs. You may also select courses from other University College graduate programs with approval from the academic director.
Your academic advisor will help you select electives that align with your career and personal goals, and your advisor will obtain any necessary approvals from the academic director.
Popular electives for students pursuing Professional Creative Writing programs include:
- PWRI 4140 - Natural Science and Literature
- PWRI 4340 - Literature to Film: Bringing Published Stories to the Screen
- PWRI 4410 - Writing and Healing
- PWRI 4420 - Literary Translation: Crossing Borders to Enrich Your Own Writing
- PWRI 4540 - Children's Literature: From Picture Books to Books for Young Adults
- PWRI 4550 - From Romance to Realism
- PWRI 4701 - Topics in Literature
- PWRI 4702 - Topics in Writing
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Careers in Professional Dramatic Writing
Writer, Editor, Screenwriter, Playwright, Performer, Teacher, Writing Coach, Copywriter, Blogger, Marketer
Research; transforming ideas into written work; crafting and adapting written content for plays, movie and television scripts, songs, and online publications; collaborating with studios or theaters for productions; editing and revising written content; preparing works for publication; promotion and marketing for produced work.
At the University of Denver, you’ll learn to overcome the most common problems faced by amateur screenplays, including underdeveloped plots, characters, and escalation according to Fivethirtyeight.com. You’ll learn what makes a piece commercially viable in a saturated market—600 movies are created in the U.S. each year according to the Motion Picture Association of America, plus nearly 3,000 professional plays produced annually so says the Theatre Communications Group.
Careers In Professional Creative Writing
Be prepared to publish!
Whether you want to be a novelist, screenwriter, poet, or literary journalist, your love for writing combined with a master's degree or graduate certificate will prepare you for a career in creative writing. From developing a professional writing presence to applying expert editing standards, you'll learn to master the fundamentals of writing for various genres and be prepared to submit your written works to an editor or agent.
The future of digital reading has arrived!
With the rise of mobile-reading—Nielsen says 54% of ebook buyers read from a smartphone on the go-be prepared to write prose people can't put down. Also be prepared to go global, with the growth of opportunity in international markets, according to the Alliance of Independent Authors.
Enhance Your Career
As a student, you'll gain access to a range of free services offered through DU Career Services. From resume and cover letter assistance to individual career counseling and assessments, you'll have valuable career support during and after your program.
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How to Apply
Need More Information
Interested in attending University College, but need additional information before you make a decision? No problem−we're here to help. You may request additional information about a specific program and specialty, review and ask questions in our Frequently Asked Questions section, or contact University College directly.
- Request additional information
- Ask a question
- Email University College or call 303-871-2291 or 800-347-2042
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Even if you missed the application deadline, you can start taking courses for one quarter before you have to submit a completed application. We know how important it is to get started when you're ready, so review the class schedule or start the registration process now.