About Columbia

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About Columbia

Located in New York City, Columbia Business School (CBS) highlights that its location is at the “center of business,” helping bright students think like entrepreneurs and develop as leaders through the Columbia MBA program, and other executive courses. The symbiotic relationship between CBS and the business world is a major program benefit, and each year many business leaders visit the campus to speak to b-school students, and to teach classes. Indeed, CBS notes on its website that “more business leaders visit our campus than any other top business school.” Because of its NYC location, the school also attracts more than 100 real-world practitioners as faculty (adjunct) in the business school. While fortifying Columbia’s strength in finance, CBS boasts experiential learning, entrepreneurial thinking and global perspectives the cornerstones of the program.

Columbia allows students to enroll in August or January. Each path is comprised of four terms, although January entry allows students who do not want or need an internship to begin core classes in spring, complete the second semester of classes during summer, and merge with the other track during the following fall. The January start tends to appeal to students who wish to continue in the same industry or pursue entrepreneurial interests.

Strengths And Specializations

The Columbia MBA program is known for its strengths in a wide variety of areas. Columbia MBA specializations include finance, general management, entrepreneurship, media, marketing, healthcare/pharma, real estate, and social enterprise. Students can expect a well rounded experience from their time in a Columbia MBA course.

Incoming Class

Number of Applicants:  6,971
MBA Class Size:  782
Tuition 2021:  $154,752

Post-MBA Careers

Sector: Financial Services 33.2%; Consulting 34%; Media/Technology 19.8%; Started Own Business 2%

Top Alumni Recruiters: McKinsey, Bain, Citi, BCG, Amazon, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, PwC, Strategy&

Avg Base Salary: $150,000

Salary Increase: 115%

Employment in 3 months: 90%

Columbia MBA Rankings


Avg. Age: 28

Avg. GPA: 3.6

Avg. GMAT: 726

International Student Admissions: 44%

Female Students: 40%

Deadlines for 2022-2023: Rolling Admissions. TBD

Sources: Columbia, BusinessWeek, Financial Times, US News, MBA50

Essays (2022-23)

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays in their Columbia MBA application.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a strategy consulting firm.”
“Launch a data-management start-up.”

Essay 1:
Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

Essay 2 and 3 (NEW in 2021): Please respond to two (2) of the three (3) essay questions listed below:

The Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership (PPIL) is a new co-curricular program designed to ensure that every CBS student develops the skills to become an ethical and inclusive leader. Through PPIL, students attend programming focused on give essential diversity, equity, and inclusion skills: Creating an Inclusive Environment, Mitigating Bias, Communicating Across Identities, Addressing Systemic Inequality, and Managing Difficult Conversations.

(option 1) Tell us about a time you were challenged around one of these five skills. Describe the situation, the actions you took, and the outcome. (250 words)

(option 2) Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 words)

(option 3) Tell us about your favorite book, movie, or song and why it resonates with you? (250 words)

Optional Essay:
Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

For candidate’s reapplying within 1 year, they can apply with their previous application and one 500 reapplication essay.

Fortuna Tips & Advice

View our latest articles for everything you need to know if you’re applying to the Columbia MBA program:

How to Get Into Columbia Business School: Requirements, Tips & Advice

How to Tackle the Columbia Business School MBA Essays

Contact us to request a copy of our team’s Insider Tips Report for applying to Columbia Business School.

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