Columbia Business School vs. Dartmouth’s Tuck


Columbia is one of the largest two-year, full-time MBA programs in the world, with a total enrollment of nearly 1,300 students–not including more than 200 additional Executive MBAs. That’s more than twice the size of Dartmouth’s total enrollment of 510. Dartmouth is known for its intimate and close-knit community environment, while Columbia–as a New York City school–is an extreme opposite. Columbia is only slightly more international–merely by two percentage points which is surprising given its location. Yet there is great diversity within Columbia’s international student population: the Class of 2011, for example, colectively speaks more than 50 languages, including Sanskrit, Tagalog, Yoruba and Serbian. The numbers for women, international and minority students are for the Class of 2011.

Enrollment Stats Dartmouth Columbia
Total MBA Enrollment 510 1,293
Women 33% 34%
International 30% 32%
Minority 18% 18%


The poets seem to win out at Tuck, where 26% of the incoming class has humanities undergraduate degrees vs. 20% at Columbia. The larger difference appears to be students with engineering and math degrees, an area where you might not have expected Tuck to be as strong as it is. Tuck says 27% of its students in the Class of 2011 have such degrees compared to only 13% at Columbia.

Undergrad Degrees Dartmouth Columbia
Humanities 26% 20%
Engineering/Math 27% 13%
Business/Economics 41% 46%


Jobs and Pay:

The financial meltdown of 2009 led to a disaster of an MBA recruiting season at Columbia’s Business School. Nearly four of every ten graduating students in the Class of 2009 was without a job at commencement. Columbia was more severely impacted because it traditionally feeds Wall Street and the big banks which were largely on life support at the time. Dartmouth did much better, though nothing to brag about, because nearly a third of its class didn’t have jobs when they graduated. Grads from both schools fared much better three months after commencement, yet Columbia sill significantly trailed Tuck. Starting pay for Tuckies was more than $5,000 more than at Columbia and is also third best, after only Stanford and Harvard. The estimates of median pay over a full career come from a study by PayScale done for BusinessWeek and do not include stock options or equity stakes by entrepreneurs. Columbia grads did better than Dartmouth here by a couple hundred thousand dollars. In fact, Columbia MBAs were third behind Harvard and Wharton. Dartmouth came in fifth on this measurement, just below Stanford.

Job & Pay Data Dartmouth Columbia
Starting salary & bonus $128,282 $123,150
MBAs employed at commencement 69.2% 61.1%
MBAs employed 3 months after commencement 82.8% 77.3%
Estimated median pay & bonus over a full career $3,146,032 $3,349,669