Summer Institute Screenwriting

July 8–July 26, 2024

Three weeks 
Three college credits
Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. & evening workshop hours

All great films and television shows begin with a great screenplay. In this three-week screenwriting intensive, you'll explore the art and craft of writing for film and television. Our faculty of award winning filmmakers and screenwriters will guide you through the concepts of story structure and character development as you generate ideas, create outlines, write dialogue, and ultimately craft a short screenplay.


Through screenings, class discussions and exercises, you’ll learn how to conceive of a story for the screen, write a detailed outline and create a draft of a short screenplay. Workshop ideas with your classmates and turn your movie premise into a screenplay reality. 

At the end of this program, students will

  • write a short script (5–10 pages) for a film or TV/Web episode.

  • develop an ability to pitch story ideas and concepts orally and in writing.

  • recognize and analyze current and evolving narrative strategies.

  • learn critical thinking skills and revision practice through peer review and workshopping.


Core Classes

You’ll participate in the following courses. 


This afternoon workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of writing for film and TV, including formatting, dialogue, creating memorable characters and writing visually. You'll learn how to pitch an idea, develop an outline and write scripts. Live readings of your work will give you the valuable feedback you need to turn your premise into a screenplay.

Worldbuilding & Outlining 

Learn to expand the theme and setting of a story through worldbuilding, while committing to a conventional story structure in the form of an outline. You’ll build your own characters, conflict and setting, and intertwine them to create an engaging story. 

TV Writing & Dialogue Workshops 

This course will focus on the writing and rewriting process of your script, as well as writing dialogue and the specific process of writing for television. You’ll get feedback during live readings and workshops of your short film project, to strengthen and improve your work.

A week in the life

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View a sample schedule


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. & 1 p.m.–4 p.m. (classes rotate each week)

    • Week 1: Intro to Screenwriting & Character Development 

    • Week 2: Development & Story Analysis

    • Week 3: Rewriting & Professional Practices

  • 4 p.m.–6 p.m. Optional film screenings


  • Optional off-campus field trip 

Note: Students break for lunch between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. every day. Some evening activities are part of the program’s curriculum. Commuters should plan accordingly. 


Courses in Screenwriting are taught by artists and creative professionals. The majority of our faculty teach in the degree programs at UArts. Our expert faculty comprises  seasoned educators and dedicated artists who enjoy sharing their expertise and collaborate with the next generation of artists.

How to Apply

Start your application.

Application priority deadline Saturday, April 13 2024. 

Application Requirements

  • Complete the Summer Institute application.

  • Submit an essay or writing sample. Students applying for a scholarship must submit a portfolio.

    • Essay

      • Include an essay of 300 words maximum that explains why you want to attend the program and what you hope to gain from the experience.

    • Writing Sample

      • Upload at least one writing sample (screenwriting, fiction or creative nonfiction) completed within the last year. 

      • All samples should not exceed three pages in length and can be an excerpt from a longer work.

  • Pay the $15 application fee.

Tuition & Fees  

Tuition: $3,400
Program fee: $150  
Housing and meals: $1,500

Commuter total: $3,550
Residential total: $5,050


Students are expected to bring supplies with them or purchase them once they arrive on campus. Supply lists will be shared one month before the program starts, with cost estimates.

Spending & Miscellaneous Expenses

Students spend an average of $80–$100 per week on additional items including laundry, snacks, personal spending and non-required supplies.



Scholarships for the Summer Institute are awarded to students in high academic standing with significant creative potential and financial need. Scholarship awards are competitive. Students are able to apply for either a merit- or need-based scholarship. 

Learn about Summer Institute scholarships.


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Philadelphia, PA 19102

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