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Master’s Concentration

Professional Dramatic Writing: Master’s Degree

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. You’ll progress toward mastering the fundamentals of writing for the most popular kinds of performance in this program designed for aspiring playwrights, screenwriters, and spoken word artists. Hone the skills needed to excel in writing for the stage and screen while exploring influential masterworks.

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At a Glance

Classes Begin
June 17

Term Length
10 Weeks

Master's Degree

Asynchronous and Hybrid Online


As few as 18 months

Top-Ranked University

U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Brian Cicero

Talk to an Enrollment Manager

Free Application


University College is committed to educational access, and given the difficult circumstances currently impacting millions of people, we are waiving application fees.

Skills You’ll Learn

Identify and analyze key elements of powerful drama

Define your audiences and write in ways that move and entertain them

Apply knowledge of drama fundamentals and genres to your own creative work.


Master of Arts in Professional Creative Writing with a concentration in Professional Dramatic Writing requires completion of 48 credit hours (12 courses).


Core Courses


Concentration Courses


Elective Courses

Core Courses

Learn the scope of activity, historical development, and future direction of the industry. These courses provide a foundation that you'll draw on throughout your concentration and elective courses. The capstone serves as the culminating academic experience in which you'll explore a problem of practice in your field of study.

PWRI 4500 The Writing Life: Concepts, Practices, and Professionalism
PWRI 4510 Literary Genres for Writers
PWRI 4520 The Writers Workshop
PWRI 4917 Market Research for Writers
PWRI 4001 Portfolio Foundations
PWRI 4901 Professional Creative Writing Capstone Project
PWRI 4920 Portfolio Capstone



Concentration Courses

Focus on a specific professional area within the larger industry sector 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 Writing for Personal Performance
Elective Courses

Popular electives for students in the Professional Creative Writing program include:

PWRI 4140 Natural Science and Literature
PWRI 4340 Literature to Film
PWRI 4410 Writing and Healing
PWRI 4420 Writing as Translation
PWRI 4540 Children’s Literature: From Picture Books to Books for Young Adults

Elective courses may be chosen from among non-core and concentration courses in the academic program, and you may also select courses in other University College graduate programs. Your academic advisor will help you select electives that align with your career and personal goals.

Featured Instructors

Sample Schedule

Plan out your schedule and determine your preferred timeline for completing your master's degree—finish in as few as 18 months or take up to five years.

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Interested in a graduate certificate?

Explore our four and six course graduate certificates in Professional Dramatic Writing.

Take a Course Before You Apply


We know how important it is to get started when you’re ready and that’s why you can enroll in a course before you officially apply.

Career Outcomes

Predicted outcomes for graduates of Professional Dramatic Writing

The arts and culture sector is a top sector in Colorado! According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Colorado ranks #1 in arts participation, is home to the largest non-profit theater organization, and has 38 performing arts center and 21 creative districts.

Learn what makes a piece commercially viable in a saturated market—700 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 according to the Theatre Communications Group.

Writers can expect a 9% employment growth through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Writers and authors who adjust their work for online content and social media may have an advantage.

Job Titles


Writing Coach

Writer and Author Salary: National Average


(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Get Ahead with Career Services


One-on-one career coaching and mock interviews


Job database dedicated to DU students and alumni


Résumé and cover letter guidance

Hear from Our Students

Theme: Job Satisfaction

Professional Creative Writing

“The writing assignments at that level really helped elevate my writing. It made me more keenly aware of the editing process as well as some more practical purposes.” —Bobby LeFebre, graduate.

Flexible Online Classes


We understand the demands of balancing work, friends and family, and school can be challenging. That's why at University College, you can complete your program entirely online. Our online learning platform makes it easy to work anywhere at any time.

Online Experience5



Higher Learning Commission

University College programs maintain the highest level of accreditation offered by The Higher Learning Commission, one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the federal government. The University of Denver and all of its academic programs are regionally accredited by this commission, and regional accreditation is the highest standard for universities in the United States.

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