A Unique Dual Degree Program in Business and Film

Cat Richardson

Future entertainment industry leaders gain 360-degree knowledge at NYU

Female students and professor in class

Creativity and business smarts are the keys to success in today’s entertainment industry. That’s why NYU has one of the few dual degree programs in the country where undergraduate students develop both skill sets. In the Stern-Tisch BS in Business and BFA in Film and Television program, students have the unique opportunity to prepare for careers in the entertainment industry. Here, they learn everything from financing and marketing to directing and producing. It’s an opportunity to prepare to work in production companies and studios. But it is also great for future directors, media entrepreneurs, and those interested in virtual and augmented reality. The application process is rigorous: dual degree candidates have to demonstrate the analytical skills required by Stern as well as the the artistic aptitude required by Tisch. Despite the challenges, NYU students are rising to the occasion.

Dual Degree Student Journeys

Students filming on set

Trey Rittersbach, 2019, started as a Stern student. He always loved film but never thought of himself as creative. “I’ve always been good at math and thought I might get involved with film on the financial side,” he explains. But when he learned about the dual degree, he says, “It felt too perfect. I knew this was what I needed to do with my undergraduate experience.” Despite not feeling like an artist, Trey didn’t give up. “For my Tisch portfolio, I wrote a short screenplay that I edited for months.” On the other hand, for Natalia C. Bell, 2019, who started out in Tisch, the dual degree felt like a fit right away. “I had a photography business in high school,” she says. “So I wanted to continue my business education at NYU in order to support my goal of becoming a director.”

Exploring Every Angle

Students talking in a classroom.

Trey and Natalia loved delving into both sides of the dual degree. Trey found that his production courses aligned easily with his analytical skills. Natalia says, “Knowing about finance is powerful, especially as a woman in business.” But each also discovered something unexpected. Trey decided upon a new career path. “I took an animation course and fell in love with it,” he says. “It’s a new industry, and every project that comes out uses new techniques.” Meanwhile, Natalia appreciates how the dual degree changed her mind-set. “The program helped me develop a highly flexible mind,” she explains. “At first, it was really difficult to go from lectures on emotional vulnerability to ones on discounted cash flow analysis. But the challenge was rewarding, and it has made me a more hybrid thinker.”

How It Works

The Stern-Tisch BS/BFA is a five-year undergraduate dual degree. Students finish with a BS in Business from Stern and a BFA in Film and Television from Tisch. Students apply for admission to either school and will complete their first year there. At the end of the first or second year, students apply to enter the dual degree program, which means that Tisch students must show they have the analytical skills for Stern, and Stern students must show they have the artistic skills for Tisch.

 

Students on film set

NYC to LA

This fall, NYU launched a new program in Los Angeles for students at the intersection of performing arts and business. The courses are influenced by their location in a major media and entertainment hub. Students can also enhance their classroom learning experience through internships at top businesses. For any student interested in the entertainment industry, this program is a unique chance to gain real-world experience and build connections for the future.