Themed Experience at UCF prepares creative minds to be the next generation of leaders in the themed experience industry.
Pulling from the strength and diversity of UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities, established programs in the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management and College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, and from the direct connection to leaders in the field, this unique program takes advantage of the university’s ideal location in Orlando, the international hub of the themed entertainment industry.
UCF’s Themed Experience graduate programs are designed to teach the unique creative skills, processes and concepts utilized to design and produce themed environments such as theme parks, zoos, aquariums, themed retail, dining, museums, virtual worlds and exhibitions. Throughout their coursework, students gain first-hand experience in creating a space where guests interact with an environment designed to convey a narrative. Students of themed experience work on projects running from single kiosks to complex, multi-narrative theme parks where they develop an understanding of planning, production, story, design and concept development.
Themed Experience track graduates will be qualified to work as an art director, show producer, designer, production artist, or creative executive for the production of themed experiences. Many graduates may work directly for theme parks, but others will find employment in exciting and innovative specialty firms producing industry-related items like custom rides, exhibitions, retail, theatrical experiences, effects, events and museum exhibits, as well as for companies that provide support and services for the themed experience industry.
UCF’s master’s of science degree in themed experience is the first and only stand-alone degree program of its kind at a public university. As a two-year, 33-credit graduate degree, this program is designed for working professionals, returning students, artists, producers, designers and writers looking to build a strong themed experience creative portfolio.
The MFA Theatre track in Themed Experience is a three-year, 61-credit program that focuses both on theatrical design as well as the creation of narrative environments. The program culminates in a thesis project where candidates will express their own, unique artistic and academic voice. There are also extensive internship credit opportunities that will help students connect with the themed entertainment industry.
Themed Experience Advisory Council
Students at UCF gain first-hand experience with leaders from the Walt Disney Company, Universal, Falcon’s Creative Group, Orlando Magic, Herschend Family Entertainment, Feld Entertainment and others
View the Themed Experience Advisory Council
Director of UCF’s Themed Experience Programs Wins a 2022 TEA Award
November 21, 2022 Peter Weishar received a Peter Chernak Distinguished Service Award from the Themed Entertainment Association, considered to be one of the greatest honors in the themed experience industry.
UCF, Universal Creative’s Collaboration in the News
October 25, 2022 UCF’s Themed Experience Program recently unveiled their collaboration with Universal Creative to bring a hands-on, immersive learning environment to its students. This collaboration will allow students at UCF to learn from Universal show producers, engineers, creative directors and more. The collaboration has been well-received by students, faculty and fans alike....
UCF, Universal Creative Launch ‘Creative Lab’ to Bring Immersive Design Learning to Students
October 19, 2022 The lab offers a unique blend of classroom and on-site learning from some of the most creative minds in the industry and builds on long-term relationship between the two organizations.
Meow Wolf Partners with UCF Themed Experience for Writer’s Workshop
October 06, 2022 Throughout the hybrid workshop series, themed experience graduate students and alumni will create new realms with one of the industry’s most innovative leaders.
Knights Do That Podcast: Reimagining Storytelling Through Themed Experience
August 15, 2022 Peter Weishar, UCF’s themed experience program director, shares how UCF is preparing graduates to make an impact in this multi-billion dollar field by providing the industry training, insight and connections needed to succeed.
First Themed Experience Cohort Graduates from UCF
May 05, 2022 UCF’s first class of students in the new Themed Experience program are set to graduate from the university this spring. A group of 10 grads will be the first to complete the unique master’s degree track for creative interdisciplinary careers in Orlando’s hospitality and tourism industry.