Screws will work fine, and there's no need to pre-drill. The code technically doesn't allow screws however. They don't have the same shear strength as nails do. The minimum code requirement is two 3-1/2" (16d) toenails. Toenails are required because end-grain nailing (or screwing) into the stud has very little strength.
If your wall isn't an exterior wall and isn't load bearing, I'd say use screws.