MBA & MFA Dual Degree

Students interested in leadership and the business side of the arts may wish to pursue a dual MBA and MFA degree program. Learn about a few of the different program options, their common coursework and standard admission requirements.

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Depending on personal interests, several different kinds of Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) dual-degree programs are available. These dual-degree programs typically allow students to earn both degrees faster than taking each one individually and prepare students for leadership roles in their given field. Explore a few of the different kinds of MBA/MFA dual-degree programs below.

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MBA & MFA Dual-Degree Programs

MBA/MFA in Theater Management

MBA and MFA in Theater Management dual-degree programs may be completed in 4 years and may begin with coursework in either the MBA or MFA portion of the dual degree. These dual-degree programs are usually designed for students wishing to take leadership positions within a theater and may include seminars and workshops in addition to traditional coursework. Some programs may include an optional theater management fellowship where students get the chance to work closely with a professional theater management for professional work experience. Other courses in the MFA portion of the program may include historical and contemporary theater, law and the theater, and producing, while the MBA portion often includes courses in accounting, economics, and marketing.

MBA/MFA in Art or Art History

MBA and MFA dual-degree programs in art (studio art) or art history are usually 3 to 4 years in length and prepare students for management careers in the art field, such as museum or gallery management, or improve the artistic and creative skills of business leaders in areas like marketing. Students may take art or art history courses the first year and MBA courses the second year or vice versa. The third year will often be a combination of the two. Studio art students may take courses in contemporary art, courses in their particular area of specialization and/or visiting artist seminars, while art history students take courses in art history and visiting scholar seminars for their MFA. Art students with little business background may be encouraged to take some math and economics courses in preparation for the MBA portion, but may also take MBA courses in organizational management, accounting and strategic problem-solving for organizations.

MBA/MFA in Producing

MBA and MFA in Producing dual-degree programs are typically 3-year programs that prepare students to be leaders and/or executives in the entertainment industry. Students in these programs get hands-on experience in producing through internships and a wide range of film projects. Some of these dual-degree programs may include a thesis for the MFA portion of the program that is usually completed in the third year of the program. Coursework for the MFA portion of this program may include topics in screenwriting, story development, independent films and production, while the MBA portion may include business courses specific to the entertainment industry, such as the business side of production, or more general business courses such as social media management and finance.

Common Entrance Requirements

As with many dual-degree programs, students wishing to apply to MBA and MFA dual-degree programs typically need to apply to each degree program separately. It is fairly common for MFA programs to require applicants to submit some form of creative portfolio that may include visual and/or written submissions, such as videos, photography or dramatic stories. These dual-degree programs usually require GRE or GMAT test scores. Other common application materials for these dual-degree programs include official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume/CV and essays.

Future leaders in various art fields may pursue one of several different MBA/MFA dual-degree programs that can usually be finished in 3 to 4 years. These programs usually include various hands-on learning experiences, like internships and seminars.

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