Stern Concentrations? Who Are They?

Eric Zhang

What does this all mean?

The Stern School of Business exterior.


You’ve decided that you want to attend Stern to learn more about business, whatever that means. You go to Stern’s website and lo and behold there are 13 business concentrations you can choose from, eight disciplinary tracks, and even a completely different degree called Business and Political Economy.

Signifying the
GIF of Michael Scott from "The Office" aired originally on NBC.
Don’t worry if this is somewhat confusing to you, it sure was to me when I was applying. So let me break everything down for you.

Degrees, Concentrations, Tracks, and More!

The Two Bachelor of Science Degrees

To start off, there are two different degrees you can get at Stern. The first one is Business Core with (one or two) concentration(s), and the second one is Business and Political Economy (BPE)In Business Core you’ll hone in on one or two of 13 concentrations. While in BPE, you’ll focus exclusively on political economy. The other big difference is that, as a BPE student, you’re required to study away your entire sophomore year in London (fall) and Shanghai (spring).

What About Concentrations and Tracks?

Let’s dive into Stern’s concentrations (areas of study) in the Business Core program. Out of the 13 concentrations, there are 10 primary concentrations and three co-concentrations. Everyone in the Business Core program will complete at least one primary concentration. You can supplement your primary concentration with a co-concentration. These concentrations range from sustainable business to actuarial science. Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you want to concentrate in yet; you have until your junior (third) year to declare one!

Stern also has eight disciplinary tracks ranging from corporate finance to luxury marketing to management consulting. These tracks aren’t too well-known to the Stern population, but don’t let that hinder your decision to pursue one. Tracks don’t show up on your transcript, but it’s a nice touch if you put it on your résumé. These tracks target courses that might be useful in specific industries.

What About the Specifics?

Now that we have a basic understanding of programs at Stern, let’s dive a bit deeper into Business Core and BPE. There are five cores the make up the Business Core program (Liberal Arts, Social Impact, Business Tools, Functional Business, and Global Business). These cores give you a wide arrange of skills that will aid you no matter what industry you’re interested in. In the program you will also complete concentration electives and general electives. Your electives give you an additional perspective that your concentration doesn’t. These elective credits can also fulfill the requirements for a second concentration, a minor, or a plethora of other academic endeavors. BPE’s curriculum is very similar, but the cores are Politics, Economics, and Capstone.

In Conclusion…

Now that you have a general understanding of all the programs at Stern, do some digging! Try doing some research on specific aspects of what Stern has to offer so that you have lots to write about in your “Why NYU?” essay. As a parting thought: high school and college are times for you to explore what you’re interested in.

Don’t come into college with a fixed mind-set. Explore different opportunities because you never know when you come across something you're passionate about!