Television Writing and Business (BFA)

The BFA in Television Writing and Business addresses the growing need to prepare students for launching and managing entertainment projects while maintaining creative control of their productions. Today's studios, networks, and independent production companies seek creatives with high level writing skills and sound business acumen and entrepreneurial thinking. This program fulfills that need while also teaching students how to create their own opportunities for employment and engagement with the television and digital media industry.


Degrees Available

Columbia College Chicago offers two options for television-related degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Television and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Television Writing and Business. In the Film and Television BA, you'll study television production from directing to post-production to writing. If you want to develop your writing skills and learn how to launch and manage entertainment projects, then the Television Writing and Business BFA is for you.

If you plan to apply directly to the BFA program, you’ll need to include some additional materials.

View course requirements:

In the Classroom

What to expect your first year

Your first year at Columbia College Chicago will include a mix of business and television courses that will set the stage for your later work. In classes like Business of Media  or Cinematic Storytelling, you’ll immerse yourself in entertainment business practices while refining your understanding of what kinds of stories make for compelling television. 

What to expect your last year

As a senior, you’ll work on a capstone thesis project while taking writing workshops and advanced classes in executive management and digital media strategies. You’ll work in a “writer’s room” environment just as you would on a professional show, pitching stories and reading scripts around the table. You might write and produce for a student-produced web series. Many seniors also apply for Semester in LA (SiLA), a semester-long program in which you’ll live in Los Angeles and attend classes full time while interning in the field.

Outside the Classroom

You’ll have endless opportunities to engage with Columbia College Chicago’s passionate film community. Here are a few examples of exciting events that take place outside the classroom:

  • Advance Screenings: Watch independent and major studio releases in our own Film Row Cinema and around Chicago before they play in the theatres. 
  • FrameWork: A series of student-produced video interviews that allow seniors and graduate students to talk about their filmmaking processes.
  • Film Festivals: Chicago hosts several renowned film festivals. We encourage students to submit their films and volunteer.
  • Volunteer opportunities: Students are invited to volunteer at the prestigious Chicago International Film Festival and other cultural events in Chicago.
  • Cinema and television-related student organizations including the Columbia Horror Picture Show, Editors Guild of Columbia, The Experimental Film Society, and the Cult Cinema Club.

Semester in LA


Want to see what Hollywood is all about? You can participate in Semester in LA (SiLA), an intensive 15-week course that puts you in touch with industry professionals and gives you unparalleled experience in the area of your choosing. Visit the SiLA website for more information about this remarkable experience and the kinds of classes offered each semester.

Creative Spaces and Facilities

people filming on sound stage

We offer a number of audio and post-production facilities, equipment rental centers, professional sound stages, and TV studios equipped with industry-standard software and technology.

View the full list of facilities


Columbia College Chicago alums are behind some of the most innovative work in film and television, and some have even won Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes.

Alumni highlights

Here is a small sample of our alumni success stories:

  • Phillip J. Bartell '92 is a filmmaker, writer, and editor for TV and film. Bartell edited the 2014 Sundance Special Jury Prize-winning film Dear White People and the Netflix show of the same name.
  • Ayanna Floyd MFA ’98 was coexecutive producer for the TV shows Empire and Falling Skies, and has writing credits on episodes of Empire, The Chi, Falling Skies, and Private Practice.
  • Tiffany S. Griffith '92 is an Emmy Award-winning dialogue editor for shows like Stranger Things, American Gods, Insecure, and House M.D.
  • Janusz Kaminski ’87 is a two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer, whose credits include Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Lincoln, and The Post.
  • Declan Quinn ’79 has credits as a cinematographer and director of photography for Leaving Las Vegas, 28 Days, and My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
  • Christian Sprenger ’07 is the Emmy Award-winning cinematographer for the TV shows Atlanta, GLOW, Baskets, and Last Man on Earth.
  • Lena Waithe ’06 is an Emmy Award-winning writer, actress, and producer on shows and films such as Dear White People, Bones, Master of None, and The Chi, and was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2018.
  • Annick Wokan ’05 is an associate producer for the award-winning TV show Game of Thrones.

Read more profiles of Cinema and Television Arts alumni


Our faculty members are working filmmakers, producers, documentarians, and editors who stay up-to-date with industry trends and teach them in the classroom. They’re dedicated to giving you a real-world education, and they’re great resources for jobs and references once you graduate.

View all department faculty.