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US: Storytelling, Technology, and Digital Media in Theme Parks

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Application Deadline

Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Communication, Journalism, and Media

Program Feature

  • Gen Ed


  • United States

Program Term

  • Fall
  • Semester
  • Short-term

For more information contact

Beth Novak
Program Director

John Bowditch 
Program Director

Alexis Voisard
Program Coordinator

Apply for this OHIO Credit Program


This program examines media design, technology, and storytelling principles that are employed in the development of theme parks. Special emphasis is placed on the integration of different forms of media into one cohesive immersive environment.  
The program is a semester-long course on the Athens campus and includes an off campus field experience in Orlando for a week.

Learn how this course is adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Highlights and Excursions 

Students will experience all access tickets, workshops and speakers at Walt Disney World and a day-long visit to Universal Studios. 

Good to know

  • This program is a semester-long course on the Athens campus and includes an off campus field experience in Orlando for a week. 
  • Participants are required to attend an information session or meet with the director before applying to this program.

Information Sessions

Prior to applying, students are required to attend one information session from the following:

If you aren't able to attend a meeting, please contact Beth Novak or John Bowditch for additional information. "

Living Arrangements 

Students will stay in a Walt Disney World Resort during the off campus field experience. Two students will share a room.

Program Dates 

The course takes place for the entirety of Fall 2024.

Travel Dates: December 2 - December 10, 2024.

*Students are required to complete a form as part of this program, as they will not be attendance for one week during the semester. This process is handled with guidance from faculty directors. 

This program is offered annually and typically opens for application by the beginning of the spring semester.


Students will take COMM 4023 (T3) for a total of 4 credit hours.


The program fee for this program includes: Disney, Disney Educational Program, Universal, and Disney after hours holiday event, meals, and farewell event.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 4 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet - Fall 2024

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 
  • For programs completed over winter-break and spring break, the credit-hours associated with the program are part of the spring semester. Students taking between 12 to 20 Athens campus hours, including those associated with the program, will not incur additional tuition costs for the spring semester. Students taking less than 12 or more than 20 Athens campus credits for the spring term will see their tuition charge adjusted accordingly.  

Looking for Funding Opportunities? 

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

*School of Media Arts & Studies students may apply for an internal scholarship through the  Ralph J. Bitzer MDIA Opportunities Scholarship

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program is open to undergraduate juniors and seniors (at the time of the class) with 15 hours of COMS or ITS or JOUR or MDIA or VICO.  Applications and GPA will be considered.

As part of the applications students will need to submit:

  • Contact information for 2 references
  • A personal statement, which should address how this course will impact the student's education and what special skills or interests the student will bring to the class.

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad. Read the entire conduct policy.  

This program does not accept NON-OHIO students.

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.