Cornell’s $95K One-Year MBA In New York

An artist's rendering of Cornell Tech's New York City campus to be built on Roosevelt Island

U An artist’s rendering of Cornell Tech’s New York City campus to be built on Roosevelt Island

The Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University expects to initially enroll up to 50 students in its new one-year MBA program in New York City which debuts next summer. But it won’t come cheap: Cornell is pricing the three-semester program at “$95,000 or higher,” nearly $10,000 more than its existing one-year accelerated MBA program on the university’s main campus in Ithaca, N.Y., and $15,000 more than the one-year MBA option at higher-ranked Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Ultimately, the school said it expects to enroll hundreds of students a year in the New York City program.

The program begins with a summer at the university’s main campus in Ithaca, N.Y., where students will be taught the foundations of business. The 10-week term includes orientation, core business courses, leadership training, and professional development work.  Students would then relocate to Cornell Tech in New York for the remaining nine months where they will be exposed to multi-disciplinary learning and put coursework into practice through projects with tech companies.

Cornell is aiming the program at a broader group of applicants than its existing one-year MBA on the Ithaca campus. The school says that an undergraduate degree in engineering, computer science, mathematics or a related technical field is required except in exceptional cases. Regardless of their undergraduate degree, students will need to fit within the entrepreneurial and innovation-driven mission of the campus.


“For the first class, we’re targeting 35 to 50 students, depending on the quality of the applicants,” said Doug Stayman, associate dean for MBA programs at Johnson. “We think it has the potential to be in the hundreds of students each year.”

The first cohort will spend the bulk of its time in Google’s New York headquarters in Chelsea, where Cornell Tech is currently based. The program will move to the Cornell Tech campus being built on Roosevelt Island in New York and dramatically expand in August of 2017. The school will begin accepting applications for the program on Aug. 1 and review them on a rolling admissions basis (see admission schedule below).

Stayman said the program and the curriculum were shaped by market research and consulting help from Bain & Co. and Deloitte Consulting. “We visited tech companies in New York, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle,” he said. “We talked to everyone from three-person startups to Intel. We asked, ‘What industry needs are not being met well by the traditional MBA?’ And then, we worked back from there on what would meet those needs.”


The research yielded several surprises, according to Stayman. For one thing, most technology companies seemed to favor the one-year length of the MBA program. “We had thought there would be some resistance to a one-year MBA and there was some,” said Stayman. “But not nearly as much as we thought. The general feeling is that technology is moving so quickly that most people can’t afford to be out of the industry to go back to education for two full years. The opportunity costs to attend a traditional MBA are too high in technology.”

Secondly, though most one-year master’s programs in business tend to attract younger candidates, the technology companies said they preferred students with three to five years of work experience. “They don’t want the younger people,” said Stayman. “There may be some exceptional young people who we will take into the program but they will be the exception.”

And finally, the companies told Cornell that the real market need was for people skilled in both technology and business. “Over and over again, we heard variations on this statement: ‘I can find people who know and understand business, and I can find people who know and understand technology. But I can’t find people who can bridge these two disciplines and who can move an organization forward by putting these two things together.’”

  • rubicx

    You can get the same education at ITT Technical Institute.

  • rubicx

    Just means that NYU has lost half of its local applicants who will now have another over priced commuter school for the sake of a fancy sounding name that does not have “State” in it.

  • rubicx

    Cornell isn’t really even an Ivy League school anyway. It’s 80% SUNY and 20% Ivy, and the Johnson school is in the former. Besides, it has never been nor ever will be a top 10 B-school, so why pay that kind of money. If you want a one year MBA school worth the investment go to Oxford’s business school.

  • BigRed

    TechLover – Just from your name it sounds like you might be a good candidate for the NYC Tech MBA program. As a current full-time student, its my understanding that they are looking for people like you, who are active in the tech industry and have very strong interest in startups. Cornell is also know for its strong focus on startups. I recommend contacting the admissions office. Good Luck..!

  • TechLover

    Love the idea! However it’s sad that they only want to attract students who have undergrad degrees in mathematics, and relevant Tech fields. I, for example, am a undergrad business student. I’ve interned and worked for local Tech companies (marketing & biz dev) and I’m currently developing my own startup. What about students like myself? Who are Active in the Tech industry and would benefit from Cornell Tech MBA but lacks a degree in Tech?

  • FutureCandidate

    Agreed! I think “consulted and/or collaborated with” would have been a better choice – I agree! Thx!

  • Braxton Bragg

    Just to be clear, I don’t think that Cornell “partnered” with Bain and Deloitte–the article suggests that the two firms consulted for them during program designed.

  • currentjohnsonmba

    As a current full time Johnson student I believe there are merits to both the traditional Johnson MBA taught in Ithaca and to the one year MBA in NYC. Many people for one reason or another cannot make the move to somewhere remote like Ithaca and this will afford that group the opportunity to still experience many of the exceptional aspects of the Johnson MBA program while also fulfilling personal needs related to location. Like North-Face, I wanted the rural experience, but for those that want a top business school with a small, tight-knit class and alumni base but need to stay in a city, this is a great option.

  • North-Face

    It is Ithaca…and it is my personal goal is to attend Cornell Johnson, Virginia Darden, or Dartmouth Tuck – I enjoy outdoor activties and thus prefer a more rural setting over one that is urban. My view here is that Cornell is simply trying to better serve a growing constituency and is hardly thinking of abandoning Ithaca. I think it is a brilliant move and shows very forward thinking…should be applauded…

  • Harry Potter

    anything to get out of ithica

  • Shaniqua James

    Columbia has done well by playing the “Ivy b-school in NYC” card. Cornell may feel that’s a tree begging to be chopped down, if you see what I mean.

  • FutureCandidate

    @ ElMismo,

    So let’s see here. Cornell Johnson has ramped up to bring an MBA offering to NYC from Ithaca, and in doing so has consulted and partnered with dream employers like Google, Bain, and Deloitte.
    With all due respect to your “puppets of the same system” comment – it sounds like a great grouping of companies combined with a great University – all in a great new location. I will take my chances and give it a go….

  • ElMismo

    Deloitte and Bain don’t know anything about how MBAs are not serving the market. They’re puppets of the same system