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Program at a Glance

College of Arts and Humanities
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges - Most Innovative 2024

Open Doors to the Themed Entertainment Industry With A Master’s in Themed Experience

The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, Themed Experience track prepares students to be the next generation of creative leaders in the themed experience industry. The program teaches the unique creative and production skills, process and concepts utilized to design and produce themed environments such as theme parks, zoos, aquariums, themed retail, dining, museums, virtual worlds and exhibitions.

Pulling from the strength and diversity of UCF’s School of Performing Arts 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.

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.

Students applying for entrance into the MFA programs must have successfully completed a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree program. Concentration or experience in the visual, written or performing arts is preferred.

Related Programs:

Example of themed experience in a restaurant setting


The first university to offer an MFA in themed experience
Hub of the international themed-entertainment industry
Advisory council with leaders from Disney, Universal, Falcon's Creative Group, Orlando Magic, Hershend Entertainment and Feld Entertainment, among many others
Median annual wage for art directors is $92K

Application Deadlines

April 1

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Course Overview

Visualizing Themed Environments

Utilize 3D software and virtual reality tools to gain experience in the fundamentals of virtual placemaking and creating 3D interactive environments.

Create mid-sized themed experiences designed to engage guests for 1-4 hours — from design space and guest flow to timing and themed interaction.

Work collaboratively on a large-scale themed experience concept and design to get a first-hand look at what it takes to work in a professional production environment.

Gain Themed Experience Skills

  • Tell stories that create compelling guest experiences
  • Learn about the design and production of themed environments from visualization through implementation
  • Create interactive environments that educate, entertain and inspire

Career Opportunities

  • Creative Director
  • Show Set Producer
  • Show Set Designer
  • Theme Park Designer
  • Production Artist
  • Show Writer

Admission Requirements

Students interested in the Theatre MFA, Themed Experience track should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Although an undergraduate concentration or experience in the visual, written or performing arts is preferred, it is not required. A number of factors are considered when reviewing a student’s application — from past performance and recommendations to career/academic goals and the potential for completing the program.

In addition to the university’s general admission requirements, applications should submit:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • Bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Statement of interest (500-750 words)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Creative portfolio
  • Complete the general entrance prerequisites

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