Inset images of Video projection water fall and Volcano Bay water park

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.

Programs

Themed Experience MS

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.


Theatre MFA – Themed Experience Track

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.


Faculty

Photo of Peter Weishar

Peter Weishar

Professor and Director of Themed Experience Programs

Profile Peter.Weishar@ucf.edu


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

News

UCF College of Arts and Humanities Recognized for Innovative MS Degree in Themed Experience

March 01, 2021  Orlando Business Journal, Nicholson Student Media and InPark Magazine have recognized the UCF College of Arts and Humanities for its first-of-its-kind Master of Science program in themed experience.

UCF Announces Graduate Degree Program in Themed Experience

January 28, 2021  Applications for the fall semester are being accepted for the two-year program that will allow students to live and learn in the international hub of the themed experience industry.

Themed Experience Program Collaborates with VR Pioneer Carolina Cruz-Neira

November 18, 2020  Peter Weishar, director of UCF’s Themed Experience program, shares how he and the students in the MFA Theatre – Themed Experience track collaborate with Carolina Cruz-Neira, Agere Chair in Computer Science and creator of the CAVE virtual reality system.

Column: What should Themed Experience graduates know, say, do?

April 14, 2020  Themed Experience professor Peter Weishar discusses how he gathers input from industry to build UCF’s new graduate program. (This article is part of a series of articles written for InPark Magazine.)

“The Tech Behind the Magic” begins at universities

October 22, 2019  Orlando companies are leading the way in entertainment innovation used across the globe, says Michael Keller in an article posted on the Orlando Economic Partnerships’ website, and UCF’s Themed Experience program is helping provide their necessary creative workforce.

UCF Announces New MFA Track in Themed Experience

January 16, 2019  Orlando is known as the land of theme parks — a place that people visit from around the globe to immerse themselves in the most imaginative and fantastic worlds. Located in the international hub of the themed-experience industry, UCF is poised to become a leader in the field. Starting Fall...

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