The simplicity of programming the CRISPR-associated nuclease Cas9 to modify specific genomic loci suggests a new way to interrogate gene function on a genome-wide scale. We show that lentiviral delivery of a genome-scale CRISPRCas9 knockout (GeCKO) library targeting 18,080 genes with 64,751 unique guide sequences enables both negative and positive selection screening in human cells. First, we used the GeCKO library to identify genes essential for cell viability in cancer and pluripotent stem cells. Next, in a melanoma model, we screened for genes whose loss is involved in resistance to vemurafenib, a therapeutic that inhibits mutant protein kinase BRAF. Our highest-ranking candidates include previously validated genes NF1 and MED12 as well as novel hits NF2, CUL3, TADA2B, and TADA1. We observe a high level of consistency between independent guide RNAs targeting the same gene and a high rate of hit confirmation, demonstrating the promise of genome-scale screening with Cas9.