UCF School of Performing Arts Fall 2020 FAQ

College of Arts and Humanities

Theatre - Themed Experience M.F.A.


UCF’s MFA in Theatre, Themed Experience track prepares students to be the next generation of creative leaders in the themed experience industry. The Themed Experience track 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. Creating themed environments takes a unique set of skills in storytelling, design and guest management. This graduate track in the School of Performing Arts will pull from the strength and diversity of the faculty and from the direct connection to leaders in the field. Students will take classes in creating immersive experiences that include storytelling, how to visualize themed experiences and hands-on studio design.

What is a Themed Experience?

A themed experience is an interaction with a physical or virtual environment designed to convey narrative. Themed environments can educate, entertain and inspire individuals who can become participants in an immersive experience.

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.


Curriculum: 61 credits

The MFA in Theatre, Themed Experience track offers a rigorous course of study of at least 61 credit hours, culminating in a collaborative creative project and thesis as well as an extensive industry or academic internship. Of the 61 credit hours required for the degree, 44-47 credit hours are required core courses and 12-15 credit hours are electives. There is a 6 credit hour thesis project and 8-11 hours of industry internship credits.

Required Courses: 44-47 Credit Hours

Core: 6 Credit Hours

THE 5910 Research Methods in Theatre
TPA 6437 Careers in Themed Experience

Themed Experience Concentration: 26 Credit Hours

THE 5288 Period Costumes, Architecture and Decor I
THE 5289 Period Costumes, Architecture and Decor II
THE 5945L Theatre Practicum I
TPA 5085C Design Seminar for Theatre
TPA 6158 Small Project Studio
TPA 6186 Immersive Experience Studio
TPA 6187 Themed Experience Seminar
TPA 6188 Visualizing Themed Environments
TPA 6921 Collaborative Project Studio
TPP 5248C Storytelling as a Theatrical Art Form

Elective Courses: 12-15 Credit Hours

Choose 2 College of Arts and Humanities electives and 2 Rosen College of Hospitality electives

HMG Themed Entertainment Graduate courses (6 credit hours total)
CAH Graduate level courses (6 credit hours total)
Any other graduate-level courses may be permitted with school approval.

Thesis: 6 Credit Hours

THE 6971 Thesis

Internship: 8-11 Credit Hours

While the preference is a minimum of 11 credit hours, students may take as few as 8 credit hours of internship with permission of the program coordinator, the remaining credits required for the degree may be taken as additional CAH or HMG electives.

THE 6946 Professional Internship


For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • Bachelor's degree (BFA, B.A., B.S.)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • 500-750 word statement of interest
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A resume or CV with link to an online creative portfolio is encouraged. Work may be submitted in video, digital images of artwork or writing samples. Consult with the admissions committee if there are questions regarding format and appropriate submissions.
  • Complete the general entrance prerequisites.
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

For more details about these requirements, contact the Theatre Department at theatre@ucf.edu.

General Entrance and Area Specific Prerequisites

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.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant's career/academic goals, and the applicant's potential for completing the degree.

How to Apply

All candidates must apply to UCF’s College of Graduate Studies. The application can be accessed at www.graduate.ucf.edu.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a portfolio for Themed Experience from a broad range of creative disciplines. When submitting your application through UCF’s College of Graduate Studies, submit a résumé or CV with link to a digital creative portfolio (i.e. Dropbox, Google Drive, your own website).

Applicants may submit a portfolio for Themed Experience from a broad range of creative disciplines. Portfolios may contain of 2D or 3D design, photography, film, creative writing samples, industrial design, theatrical design, fine art, architectural drawings or creative work related to the field of themed experience. Work submitted should show an understanding of the fundamental tenets and process of environmental storytelling.

All work must be original in fabrication and concept. Applicants must clearly delineate their specific role if the submission was created as a group project. Any works submitted that are based upon or influenced by another artist or designer must be have proper citation and attribution.

The application deadline for the 2020 fall semester is April 1. The fall priority deadline for all subsequent years is January 15.

For more information, contact Peter Weishar at peter.weishar@ucf.edu.


Peter Weishar
Campus Location: TCH216

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