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About Columbia Business School

New York City serves as an extended classroom for Columbia Business School (CBS), which highlights that it is at the “center of business.” That center just expanded, as the school moved into two sparkling new buildings on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus, nearly doubling its space and providing state-of-the-art space designed for collaboration and data-driven learning.

The symbiotic relationship between CBS and the business world is a major program benefit. The school claims more than 100 practitioners as adjunct faculty, and each year many business leaders visit the campus to speak to students.

Experiential learning, entrepreneurial thinking and global perspectives are the cornerstones of the CBS MBA. The school offers many entrepreneurial opportunities, and many faculty are actively involved in interdisciplinary climate science work, injecting this perspective into coursework to prepare CBS MBAs to meet climate challenges. Traditionally a strong player in finance, CBS has recently updated its core finance course to reflect changing tools, methods and career paths in the field.

Indeed, CBS notes on its website, “No other top MBA program offers our level of real-world exposure … we immerse students in business by connecting their classroom education to the boardrooms, trading floors, and retail stores where theory is put into practice.”

Strengths and Specializations

Accounting, finance, general management, entrepreneurship, economics, media, marketing, healthcare/pharma, consumer goods, real estate and more recently, climate/sustainability.

Classes Entering 2023 (January and August Intakes)

Number of Applicants: 5,895

MBA Class Size: 900 Class size (681 August class size; 219 January class size)

Avg. Age: 28

Avg. Work Experience: 5 years

Avg. GPA: 3.5

Avg. GMAT: 730

International Students: 47%

Female Students: 44%

Post-MBA Careers (class of 2023)

Sector: Consulting 36.3%; Finance 35.7%;Media/Technology 10.8%; Starting Own Business 2%

Top Recruiters: McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group,  Bain & Company, Amazon, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, PwC Strategy&, Google, JPMorgan Chase & Co., AlixPartners, Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Oliver Wyman, Alvarez & Marsal, Centerview Partners, Lazard, PJT Partners, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Evercore, EY-Parthenon, Kearney,  Moelis & Company, Visa

Avg. Base Salary: $175,000; Salary Increase: 127% (source: FT Rankings 2024)

Employment offered within 3 months of graduation: 84%

Columbia MBA Rankings


Deadlines for 2024-2025:

Round Application Deadline Interview Decisions Released Final Decisions Released
Round 1           September 10, 2024 at 12:00pm (ET) By November 15 By December 20
Round 2 January 7, 2025 at 12:00pm (ET) By February 20 By March 26
Round 3 April 1, 2025 at 12:00pm (ET) By May 1 By May 15

January 2025 Entry Application Deadline: Round 1 June 18, 2024: Round 2 August 15, 2024


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:

The Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership (PPIL) is a co-curricular program designed to provide students with the skills and strategies needed to develop as inclusive leaders.  Through various resources and programming, the goal is for students to explore and reflect during their educational journey on the following five inclusive leadership skills:  Mitigating Bias and Prejudice; Managing Intercultural Dialogue; Addressing Systemic Inequity; Understanding Identity and Perspective Taking; and Creating an Inclusive Environment.

Describe a time or situation when you had the need to utilize one or more of these five skills, and tell us the actions you took and the outcome. (250 words)

Essay 3:

We believe Columbia Business School is a special place. CBS proudly fosters a collaborative learning environment through curricular experiences like our clusters and learning teams, cocurricular initiatives like the Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership, which aims to equip students with the skills and strategies necessary to lead in an inclusive and ethical manner, and career mentorship opportunities like our Executives-in-Residence program.

Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you academically, culturally, and professionally? (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. (500 words)

For candidate’s reapplying within 1 year, they can apply with their previous application and one 500 reapplication essay: “How have you enhanced your candidacy since your previous application? Please detail your progress since you last applied and reiterate how you plan to achieve your immediate and long term post-MBA professional goals.” (500 words).

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

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