A new two-year Master of Science program in themed experience at the University of Central Florida will prepare students to lead the innovative industry into the future. Beginning this fall, students will work closely with notable academic scholars and renowned industry professionals to learn to design and lead teams in creating world-class themed experiences, ranging from educational exhibits to theme park attractions.
Thanks its proximity to world class theme parks, attractions and resorts, UCF has built strong relationships with the tourism, hospitality, engineering and design industries. Graduates of the program will be prepared to start their careers with the tools to become creative leaders in the themed entertainment industry.
The degree is housed in the College of Arts and Humanities.
The MS degree provides individual engagement in small classes and opportunities to intern in a rapidly growing field. Their courses will teach show set design, show writing, production management and producing for themed experiences such as theme parks, zoos, museums, retail, exhibitions, immersive hotels, dining and virtual worlds.
“This new degree builds upon the strength and diversity of UCF with its world-class programs in engineering, art, theatre and hospitality management. It is all here in Orlando, the perfect location for a program of this kind,” says Professor Peter Weishar, director of the UCF themed experience program. “We expect great things from our master’s students who will be uniquely qualified to have a profound and positive impact on the field.”
UCF’s popular Master of Fine Arts theatre degree with a track in themed experience was established in 2019. The theatre track is a terminal degree (the highest degree attainable in the field of study). The MFA has an extensive internship component, as well as a thesis. It is part of the School of Performing Arts and integrates multiple theatrical design courses. The MFA track in themed experience is the only program of its kind accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).
Comparatively, the Master of Science degree is a two-year program specifically focused on the design and production of themed experiences. Students in the graduate degree program will take courses such as Visualizing Themed Environments, Immersive Experience Studio and Collaborative Project Studio to prepare them for one of the many creative roles involved in creating the type of high-quality experiences for which Central Florida is known.
Bob Ward, co-founder and senior vice president of Universal Creative Development Group, emphasizes the need for the program to industry: “The premiere global themed entertainment industry continuously seeks new resources with an established foundation of the fundamental skills and knowledge required to become added value assets. UCF’s new Master of Science themed experience degree is purposely programmed to deliver the skills needed to be successful in our industry.”
Applications for the fall 2021 semester are now being accepted. Interested students can contact Peter Weishar at [email protected] or visit the degree page. Information sessions will be offered via Zoom on February 8 and February 23. Advance registration is required. The application deadline for fall 2021 is April 1.
Register for February 8 info session at https://applynow.graduate.ucf.edu/register/TE2821
Register for February 23 info session at https://applynow.graduate.ucf.edu/register/TE22321
IMAGE: Installation by Amy Avalos, Themed Experience MFA candidate. Courtesy University of Central Florida.