Columbia Business School

by John A. Byrne on

Columbia Business School is ranked fifth among the best U.S. B-schools by Poets&Quants.

7. Columbia University

Columbia Business School

3022 Broadway
Uris Hall, Room 216
New York, NY 10027
Admissions: 212-854-5553
Apply Online:

Admission Deadlines for Class of 2015:
Rolling Admissions
Early Decision: 10/3/12
Round Two: 4/15/13

January 2013 Entry: 10/3/12

As Wall Street goes, so do Columbia Business School. It’s fortunes are so closely aligned with the financial sector, that a prolonged downturn inevitably has a big impact on the uptown school. Roughly half of all the students go into finance after graduating with their MBAs. So with the bloom off Wall Street, which continues to layoff large numbers of people, the cascading effect on Columbia has been obvious. For the incoming class of MBAs in 2012, for example, applications plunged 19%, vastly exceeding the decline at any other big brand school in the world. The drop in applications pushed the school’s acceptance rate up five full percentage points to 21% in 2012 from 16% a year earlier.

The bad news comes on the heels of the provocative documentary Inside Job, which chronicles the origins of the global financial crisis of 2008, Columbia Business School endures a nasty beating due to its close and cozy alignment with Wall Street. Dean Glenn Hubbard, who had been chief economic adviser during the Bush administration, and finance professor Frederic Mishkin, a member of Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2008, both nearly make fools of themselves. No matter. If you’re headed into financial services, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more direct route than Columbia which probably has more alums on Wall Street than any other business school in the world (Wharton and NYU also are good bets but even they don’t exactly rival Columbia).

Despite the recent setbacks, including a steep decline in the latest Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking (see below), Columbia has a much brighter future ahead. Dean Hubbard has been able to raise considerable funds  toward the construction of a sorely needed new home for the business school in the Manhattanville section of New York in West Harlem where Columbia University is developing another campus.  The business school will eventually be housed in two new buildings on that 17-acre campus at a cost of $500 million. And it’s location in New York City allows the school to tap into one-of-a-kind executive talent in a world capital.

Until it can occupy its new home, Columbia Business School remains centered in Uris Hall, a 12-story high concrete building that opened in 1964 following protests from architecture students who objected to its design, and Warren Hall, a 1999 facility it shares with the law school. Cramped conditions mean researchers share windowless cubicles and former basement space was cleared out to use as a laboratory. The problem is that the new campus won’t be complete until 2030, though the business school is expected to be among the first to move there years earlier.

The school’s revised core curriculum, unveiled in fall 2008, provides students with tools for success applicable across industries and functions, giving them the tools they need to address the questions facing business leaders today. The core curriculum represents about 40 percent of the degree requirement — two full courses and 12 half-term courses. A specific feature of the new core is the introduction of a “flexible core.” In the second half of the second term, students select their core classes from three pre-specified menus (Organizations, Performance, and Markets), choosing a single course from each area. The redesigned core curriculum combines the content necessary for solid business management with a flexibility that allows students to choose core classes that best enhance their skills and experience.

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  • Dude

    Hahaha MIT Sloan a safety for Columbia applicants

  • Guest

    Damn, impressed even 84% of CBS students will be alive in 2912 :-)

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