The Columbia Business School at Columbia University offers these departments and concentrations: accounting, consulting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, health care administration, international business, leadership, marketing, not-for-profit management, production/operations management, portfolio management, real estate, quantitative analysis/statistics and operations research, and technology.

During the course of the MBA, students will gain firsthand insights into their faculty member’s transformative research and a behind-the-scenes perspective from their extensive industry experience. With this knowledge in hand, students and their learning teams will be able to work to develop innovative solutions to real-world business problems.

An MBA from Columbia Business School, will multiply the career prospects of a graduate exponentially. Students can kickstart the transformation of their professional life with a visit to the Career Management Center. The CMC serves to connect students to various opportunities, from internships to full-time employment, and provide guidance throughout the cycles of their careers.

Columbia Business School students may enroll into the MBA in either January or August. The two paths, each comprised of four terms, merge in the fall of the second year to complete electives as a single class.The paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, differing only in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

Tuition costs are $71,544 per year with the Financial Aid Office providing multiple opportunities to help students finance their MBA. CBS MBA 2019 graduates made history by securing the highest-ever median base salary of US$150,000.

All admitted students are required to submit two nonrefundable tuition deposits to secure their place in the class after admission. The first deposit of US$6,000 must be submitted within two weeks of admission. The submission date of the second deposit of US$1,000 will depend on the intake the student has enrolled into (January or August).

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Application Deadlines

Deadline: Apr 10, 2020

Application Fee: $250

Admissions Facts

 Acceptance rate (full-time): 19%

Average age of new entrants: 28

 Requiring standardized test: GMAT

 Average GMAT score: 727

Average Undergraduate GPA score: 3.6

Require work experience: Yes

 Average work experience: 5 years

Application Essays

Season: 2020

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

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

Essay 3

Who is a leader you admire, and why? (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)

Letter of Recommendation

Season: 2020

  • All first-time applications require two recommendations.
  • Reapplicants are required to submit one new recommendation.

If you have been working full-time for at least six months, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor. If you are unable to secure a recommendation from your direct supervisor, please submit a statement of explanation in the Employment section of your application.

The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can share their insights on your candidacy. If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for fewer than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from a person who can comment on your managerial abilities.

You may ask a summer employer or another person whom you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor.

Please note that Columbia Business School and several of our peer institutions use similar, if not identical, recommendation questions. This is an effort on our part to make the process easier for your recommenders. We expect that you, the applicant, will not participate in the drafting of these recommendations. Applications are not considered complete until all required information is submitted. This includes recommendations.

We ask recommenders to consider the following guidelines when writing their recommendations (recommended limit – 1000 words):

  • How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles?
  • Please provide specific examples.
  • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant.
  • Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Admissions Verdict



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