Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: August 17, 2023.

Columbia University’s Columbia Business School

  • Financial Times 2023 MBA ranking

MBA Program Stats

Annual Tuition: $80,472

Annual Tuition Non-Resident: $80,472

Acceptance Rate: 22%

Full-Time Enrollment: 844

Average GPA: 3.6

Median GMAT: 730

International: 51%

Minority: 25%

Female: 44%

Male: 56%

Average Age: 28

What You Need To Know

The old saying at Columbia Business School had been as Wall Street goes, so does Columbia. Columbia Business School was founded in 1916, thanks in part to a generous gift from banking executive Emerson McMillin. Eleven faculty members taught the inaugural class of 61 students, which included eight women. Columbia’s mission is twofold: standing committed to educating and developing leaders of enterprises who create value for their stakeholders and society at large.

Ultimately, it’s not only the B-School’s location in New York City that enables Columbia to train their students by way of their mission, but by their long-established place at the heart of the business world. Columbia opened its $600 million dollar campus in Manhattanville last year – nine blocks north of its previous Morningside Heights home. Together, the Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall account for 492,000 square feet of space – or 293,000 more square feet than its previous home, Uris Hall. Think spacious and teched-out classrooms and offices – not to mention over two dozen interview rooms – mixed together to maximize interactions between faculty, students, employers, and guests. 

CBS courses are taught both by 150 full-time faculty members – thought leaders/researchers and by more than 100 adjuncts; practitioners from an array of industries who, because of CBS’s symbiotic relationship with New York, can take the subway uptown to teach classes on their lunch breaks.

“I expected the MBA program at Columbia Business School to be incredibly rigorous but also rewarding with seemingly endless opportunities at my fingertips. I also expected to be integrated into a powerful alumni network with access and influence in the places I want to go and others I had not yet considered. I am pleased to say that Columbia Business School has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. The coursework is certainly challenging, but it is also useful and exciting. There is a constant flow of career opportunities and development resources. Above all, one of the most special things about Columbia Business School is one of the things I didn’t foresee: the generosity of the students and alumni. So many people are giving their time and are always willing to offer guidance. There is a spirit of collaboration and support that fosters strong bonds across the Columbia Business School community,” says MBA Haley Mason.

Yale MBA Rankings

Ranking Poets&Quants
2023-2024 4
2022-2023 7
2021-2022 7
2020-2021 7
2019-2020 7

Academics And Programs

The MBA is a full-time program designed to be completed over four terms or 2 academic years. Students may enroll in either August or January, and regardless of which start date is chosen the MBA spans four terms and merges in the fall of the second year to complete electives as a single class.

CBS’s core curriculum builds the foundation necessary for success while electives offer insight into specialized areas of expertise. The curriculum consists of only 18 credits of required core coursework, and a minimum of 42 credits of elective courses. Versatile programs like Master Classes, the Individual, Business, and Society Curriculum, and Columbia CaseWorks all approach business education in new ways. Class sizes are rather large, 782 students this year, yet the schools’ cluster system encourages students to learn not only with but from their peers.

Beyond the classroom, CBS offers more than 75 student organizations, its renown alumni network, cutting-edge research centers, and countless events all which work in tandem preparing students for success amid uncertainty.

The paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources; but only students who enter in August will be able to complete a summer internship. January (J-Term) students, having completed their first-term courses in the spring, will instead complete their second-term coursework over the summer.

Students have access to numerous conferences and industry events through our partnerships with professional organizations, on campus and around New York City. Their numerous Centers and Programs offer plenty of opportunities for travel, networking, collaboration, and professional development through Columbia University’s extensive global reach. The Alumni Edge program provides additional opportunities for alumni to take courses that keep their skills sharp and maintain their leadership and marketability.

Rankings Data For Columbia

Ranking Poets&Quants
2023-2024 4
2022-2023 7
2021-2022 7
2020-2021 7
2019-2020 7

Getting Into This School

Four Ways To Show How You’ll Contribute In The Future

How do you show you are a candidate with plenty to contribute and will be a future asset to your chosen school?

Columbia Business School Essay Questions And Strategic Guidance, 2023-2024

Through your essay responses, the school hopes to better understand your experiences and career goals

How To Get Into Columbia Business School

By virtue of its reputation and location, CBS can give students unmatched and invaluable access to business leaders and insight

MBA Program Consideration Set

If you believe you’re a close match to this school–based on your scores, age and work experience, you could look at these other competitive full-time MBA programs as well. We list them by stretch, match, and more to consider. These options are presented on the basis of brand image and ranking status as a general guideline. These are meant to be a starting point for further exploration.

Stretch Schools
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Columbia Business School vs. Dartmouth’s Tuck

If you’re comparing Dartmouth College’s Tuck School with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business your application strategy is simply to get into the school with the biggest brandname.

Rankings, Rates, ROI & More: The M7 By The Numbers

All the 2021 school employment report & class profile data — and much more — for the Magnificent Seven B-schools

cost of MBA

This Is What It Costs To Get An MBA From A Top Business School

All the data on tuition, expenses & total cost when you study for an MBA from a leading business school in the United States or Europe

GMAT Versus GRE: Which Top-50 MBA Programs Prefer Which Test?

Where a GMAT or GRE score is a must for admission — and where you don't have to worry about sitting for an entrance exam

Average GMAT Scores At The Top U.S. MBA Programs

All the score averages for the Class of 2024 at 27 of the leading business schools

Acceptance Rates & Yield At The Top 50 U.S. MBA Programs

Acceptance rates rose at elite U.S. B-schools in 2022, but across all 50 P&Q-ranked schools the average rate was similar to 2021 — and some schools got much more selective

2023-2024 MBA Admissions Events By School

A school-by-school listing of MBA events for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle

Why Students Chose

“NYC serves as one of the most prominent entertainment centers in America. Given this, there was no better place to pursue a career in Media Tech. The courses at Columbia focusing on show business, such as Media Strategy Consulting Projects, and courses analyzing the internet landscape, such as Internet Wars, caught my attention because entertainment is constantly evolving. For the past few years, streaming has been altering the way people consume content. With its trek options, conferences, and panels, and the Media Management Association, CBS offers an array of opportunities to meet with potential future employers and classmates with similar interests. Given that Columbia operates strongly in my career area, applying there was a no brainer.” Alana Blaylock (‘24)

“As a public-school educator teaching in New York City for the past five years, I have worked with a diverse population of students, families, coworkers, and administrators. This experience led me to gravitate towards equity and anti-racist work, both at a school-wide and district-wide level, because that work was the most vital in shaping me to be the best champion I could be for my students. Columbia Business School’s Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership aligned deeply with my core values, and the school’s investment in this new initiative assured me that I would be surrounded by peers and faculty also focused on promoting equity and justice in all fields.” Michael Fagan (‘24)

“For me, a huge draw to CBS was the commitment to expanding diversity and inclusion in business. I was particularly impressed that the Philipps Pathway for Inclusive Leadership programming isn’t merely recommended, it’s required for all students. As a CBS student, I feel confident that my classmates and I will leave Columbia as not only sharper businesspeople but also more inclusive leaders.” Jordan DeTar (‘24)

“Leveraging its location in NYC, I wanted to immerse myself in the epicenter of the global art world and strengthen the relationships that I already cultivated, CBS therefore was my immediate first choice. Aside from classmates and location, which truly is hard to brush aside, I was drawn to The Chazen Institute and their Global Immersion program. I hope to capitalize on the access to world class executives through the Executives in Residences Program as well as the Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization, which will provide a great introduction to the NYC startup ecosystem.” Katherine Elliott-Moskwa (‘24)

“The key parts that made me choose Columbia Business School was its location, network, and the resources the school provides to both current students and alumni. I believe I will not only benefit from school during my academic years, but even after I graduate, the school will provide me with resources. For example, Executive in Residence is one great example that both students and alumni have access.” Hamid Baraywal (‘24)

Student Features For Columbia

Meet Columbia Business School’s MBA Class Of 2024

A look at promising MBAs from the incoming class

Meet Columbia Business School’s MBA Class Of 2023

From Facebook to the White House: A look at this year's impressive class

Meet Columbia Business School’s MBA Class Of 2022

A look at some of the most promising first-year MBAs at CBS

The M7 B-Schools: Everything You Need To Know

All the data on the U.S. B-schools that consistently lead the rankings & spark the imagination of applicants everywhere

High & Low MBA Salaries And Bonuses At The Top 100 B-Schools

All the most important numbers from the top business schools in the United States

MBA Pay By Region: Here’s How Much You’re Worth

A school-by-school look at how much MBAs can expect to earn by region

MBA pay

MBA Pay By Occupation & Industry: Here’s How Much You’re Worth

A school-by-school pay comparison for MBAs in Consulting, Finance, Technology, and more

Which M7 School Parties The Hardest? This Survey Found Out

In new report, 84% say grades are secondary to the social side of school

10 Movies Every Business Student Must Watch

From Wall Street to Norma Rae, a movie marathon for admits to business school, current MBAs and anyone interested in life's great truths

Career Stats

Columbia MBA Rankings

Rankings 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Poets&Quants 7 7 7 7 7
US News 8 7 8 6 9
Forbes 7 6 7 7 6
Business Week 8 6 9 9 7
Financial Times 2 NR 5 6 5
The Economist 4 NR 12 9 12

Admissions For Columbia

Essay Questions For Columbia

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

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 recommendation, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next three to five years and what is 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, an extremely active co-curricular and student life environment, 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? Please be specific. (250 words)

Optional Essay

If you wish to provide further information or additional context around your application to the Admissions Committee, please upload a brief explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

Tips, Advice & Resources

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Plus Columbia and Berkeley Haas Essay Advice

Karen Hamou

Tips For Conquering The New Columbia Business School Essay

CBS pushes candidates to get personal with a new essay question

School Features And Admissions Analysis

Architectural and exterior photography of Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall, by photographer Iwan Baan Stock photos of CBS Manhattanville campus

Columbia Business School Moves From Rolling MBA Admissions To Rounds For Its Fall Cohort

Columbia will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis for its smaller January MBA intake

Columbia Closes Out 2022 By Reporting Record MBA Compensation: Over $200K

One Columbia grad from 2022 class went into private equity for a starting salary of $400K

Columbia Is Latest U.S. B-School To Report Drop In MBA Applications

Women, internationals & minorities all up in M7 school's Class of 2024 profile

As It Relocates To A Sparkling New Home, Columbia Touts Its Shiniest Jobs Report Yet

Columbia MBAs eclipse all predecessors in total compensation

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Round one countdown: 7 strategies to start now

Karen Hamou of Fortuna Admissions

5 Things You Need To Know If You’re Applying To Columbia Business School

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Your MBA Recommender Strategy Starts Now

5 tips to secure a strong recommendation

Positioning Extracurriculars On Your MBA Application

Tips from the MBA admissions experts on how to stand out

Jody Keating, Fortuna Admissions

5 Tips To Craft A Killer MBA Resume

Insider tips with specific before/after examples

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What It Now Costs To Hire An MBA Admissions Consultant

The cost can vary from $20K to a three-school package to $195 an hour for one-on-one coaching

The Most Favorably Reviewed MBA Admission Consulting Firms

These nine MBA admissions firms stand out for their success with MBA applicants

top MBA admission consultants of 2023

The Top MBA Admission Consultants Of 2023

These MBA admission consultants are at the top of their game, winning more favorable client reviews than any other in the world

MBA Watch For Columbia

MBA Watch is where thousands of MBA applicants not only get to tell their story but have John A. Byrne, MBA admissions coaches and our audience, assess their odds of admission and get help to improve their chances of getting in!

Mr. Future Hedge Fund Manager

Since I was nineteen years old, I have been holding the vision of becoming a creative, innovative investor who has contrarian investment ideas and makes unconventional investments over the long-haul, while holding the belief that the most important quality of an investor is temperament, not intellect.

Mr. Humble Iranian Self Employed Businessman

I love stargazing, reading about natural selection, and browsing through Option Chains.

Mr. Finance

Undergrad in Business and Data Systems, interned at one of top 3 biggest tech companies but then moved to startup where I eventually lead a sales division.

Mr. Low GRE

Middle Eastern (From the Gulf).

Mr. Mumbai Consultant

Consultant with a knack for numbers and loves problem solving.

Mr. Army Engineer

I'm currently an Army Captain and engineer at heart but am looking to jump into the finance or consulting industry - an MBA seems the best way to start.

Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant

I work as a strategy consultant for Deloitte's London office.


I'm someone who's passionate about healthcare, music, and cars/motorcycles.

Mr. Energy Italian

Ex Big4 senior associate in the application of international accounting standards in the context of complex transactions, mainly derivatives and M&A.

Mr. Intel

2 years spent in Germany as Assistant Intelligence Chief, where my supervisor ranked me in the top 5% of my peers.

MBA Handicapping: Impact Investor With A Great Story So Far

In his handicapping sights: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton Lauder, and Columbia

MBA Handicapping: Bio-Tech, Female, 770 GMAT. What Could Go Wrong?

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MBA Handicapping: Break Out Of The Pack: Applying From Fidelity & Other Money Managers

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MBA Handicapping: John Goes Ga-Ga Over Cambridge Super Star

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handicapping your MBA odds

MBA Handicapping: Army Captain With Great Story & Low Stats. Here’s What You Do

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News Coverage For Columbia

Will The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Cost This Columbia B-School Prof His Career?

Assistant Professor Shai Davidai, an outspoken critic of Columbia University's handling of anti-Israel protests, believes speaking out may cost him tenure

The Implications Of AI On The Future Of Education & Work: An MBA Perspective

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‘Dream Big, Be Resilient’: How This Blind MBA Student From India Made It To Columbia Business School

Rajeev Annapragada struggled to find a job after countless interviews, turned away because he was blind. Now he's in an elite MBA program

For Columbia MBAs, 2023 Was A Historically Difficult Job Market

Median pay declines & employment offers crater to 84%, worst among M7 schools

What Does It Say About The MBA Job Market That An M7 School Has Yet To Publish Its 2023 Employment Report?

As January 2024 wanes, Columbia has still not published its 2023 MBA jobs data; its 2022 report was published in mid-December that year

MBA Apps To Columbia Were Down Big Again In 2022-2023

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Sustainability Meets Business: HEC Paris & Columbia Launch Double Degree Program

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Harvard & Wharton Slump In New 2023 Businessweek MBA Ranking

Stanford's MBA program claims first for the fifth consecutive year

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Congrats to Shai Davidai of Columbia Business School for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.

2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Shai Davidai, Columbia Business School

Congrats to Shai Davidai of Columbia Business School for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.

Stanford, Harvard & Wharton Also-Rans In Topsy-Turvy U.S. News MBA Ranking

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Poets&Quants 2022-2023 MBA ranking

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Stanford loses the crown to Wharton's MBA experience

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Columbia Announces New Dual Degree Program

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