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Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: July 24, 2023.

Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

MBA Program Stats

Annual Tuition: $79,910

Annual Tuition Non-Resident: $79,910

Acceptance Rate: 30%

Full-Time Enrollment: 586

Average GPA: 3.35

Median GMAT: 710

International: 42%

Minority: 35%

Female: 43%

Male: 57%

Average Age: 28

What You Need To Know

Since 1946, Cornell Johnson’s pastoral upstate New York location has been a main attraction for MBAs who want peace and quiet to think hard about their future. How many B-Schools can say they offer the experience of crossing a bridge over a waterfall on the way to class? At Cornell, students literally and figuratively cross bridges alongside their close-knit and supportive community.

“We aim to produce team-players with strong leadership skills,” former Associate Dean Wishal Gaur says. “Over the years we have developed the Four Cs framework for leadership: character, compassion, courage, and competence.”

There are three guiding principles at Johnson that students can expect to encounter throughout the entirety of their MBA experience – one being the value of a solid education in all key business functions, including marketing, finance, human resources, and production. The second is the importance of strong analytical and decision-making skills. The last focuses on offering the greatest flexibility in tailoring individual curriculum.

Academics And Programs

The business school at the Ivy League Cornell University offers 2 cutting-edge and highly regarded residential MBA programs that operate across two campuses. Ithaca hosts the two-year MBA, with options to take New York City classes.

NYC is home to the majority of the Tech MBA, although the first third (one semester) of the program takes place on the Ithaca campus. The other two thirds (two semesters) of the program are delivered at Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. The Tech MBA kicks off in the summer.

Johnson also offers MBAs as part of dual degrees, with law; medicine; real estate; health administration; or industrial and labor relations.

The B-School has an intense immersion program they call “Performance Learning,” described as a hands-on semester of integrated course and field work in a specific industry or career interest. They also build in a mandatory internship between the first and second year.
The curriculum at Johnson can be described as a blend of intensive coursework with real-world experience, with the intent for graduates to make an immediate impact in today’s dynamic and fast-paced economy.

Students have the opportunity to give feedback on curriculum and therefore co-create their experiences at Cornell. “Students have a big say in what we offer. For example, they asked for grade non-disclosure, and we have implemented that. We treat our courses as a partnership with students,” says Gaur.

As could be expected, Cornell also offers many co-curricular opportunities for students such as competitions, and international treks over winter and summer breaks. Cross-pollination is a key feature of Johnson’s MBAs, with some of the 120 electives shared between all the different MBA classes, giving students huge flexibility in their choices and meaning that unlike at some schools where candidates remain stuck in streams, they can indulge their curiosity and choose a focus area for their second-year electives.

Why Students Chose

“The pay-it-forward culture is very prevalent at Johnson. Everyone I interacted with — current students, alumni, the admissions committee — was extremely supportive and helpful throughout the application process. Attending Destination Johnson in Ithaca and experiencing first-hand how invested Cornell is in its community was phenomenal. I was accepted to other business schools, but I made up my mind after attending Destination Johnson. I thrive in environments where I feel included and supported, and Cornell was the perfect fit.” Sanjana Belani (‘24)

“My hunt for higher education prompted me to seek a program that encourages leaders within family businesses. The Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell, which provides education and support for family business owners and successors, motivated me to apply to Johnson. I was looking for a program that will allow me to expand my professional network with like-minded problem solvers and decision-making entrepreneurial individuals. While attending some of the Connected Conversations hosted by the Smith Family Business Initiative, I immediately knew I wanted to join, engage, and connect with this tight-knit community of continuous innovative investors.” Maria Claudia Rengifo Cabanillas (’24)

“Immersions were one of the most appealing aspects of the program that drew me to Johnson. They are unique to Johnson and integrate what you learn in class with hands-on experience in an industry of your choosing. Before starting my MBA, I had only worked in one industry, so I wanted a program that would expose me to another business field as part of the practicum. When speaking with current students, they emphasized how insightful the immersions were for them. As a result, I thought one of Johnson’s immersions would greatly enrich my MBA experience.” Mateusz Lakomski (‘24)

“Amid America’s racial reckoning over the past two years, it was important for me to join a community that was actively fighting racism and fostering equity, inclusion, and belonging for all underrepresented groups. After all, diversity of candidates and faculty in selective programs such as Johnson could help catapult change in both private and public sectors. Seeing that Johnson has been a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management for the past 13 years reinforced its support for diversity and inclusion. Student-led organizations such as the Black Graduate Business Association (BGBA) and the Admissions Ambassadors program gives prospective MBA students someone in the program to connect with as they make their decisions about graduate school. This gave me a way to assist in attracting top diverse candidates to join our Johnson community.” Diana Pierre (‘24)

“The focus on sustainability and the Sustainable Global Enterprise concentration made the program attractive to me, as I am looking to work in the green tech space long term. I appreciate how the concentration focuses not only on the obvious industries where sustainability will play a critical role, but also on how sustainability can and must be applied to every industry and in everyday lives.” Reece Cantwell (‘24)

Career Stats

Cornell Graduate MBA Salary

Career Statistics 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Mean Base Salary $ 138,767 $ 131,150 $ 126,353 $ 123,578 $ 121,228
Mean Signing Bonus $ 36,391 $ 35,976 $ 33,503 $ 31,604 $ 30,904

Cornell Graduate MBA Employment Offers

Jobs Offered 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
% With Offer By 3 Months Post-Graduation 93% 94% 94% 93% 94%
% Accepting Offer By 3 Months   Post-Graduation 90% 93% 91% 91% 90%

Career Choices of Cornell MBAs

Year 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Consulting 30% 28% 22% 25% 25%
Consumer Products 10% 4% 10% 7% 6%
Energy and Utilities 1% 1% 1% 2% 3%
Entertainment/Media 1%
Financial Services 34% 37% 29% 33% 32%
Healthcare 4% 6% 3% 5%
Hospitality & Tourism 1% 1%
Legal Services 1% 2% 4% 6% 3%
Manufacturing 1% 6% 6% 5% 6%
Nonprofit/Other 1% 2% 2% 7% 3%
Real Estate 1% 1% 2% 2%
Retail 1%
Technology 16% 15% 18% 12% 14%

Where Cornell MBAs Went To Work

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Amazon Accenture Amazon Accenture Amazon.com Inc
Bain & Company Amazon Barclays Amazon.com Inc Bain & Company
Bank of America Bain & Company Citigroup Bain & Company Bank of America
BCG BCG Deloitte Consulting Bank of America Citigroup Inc.
Citi Citi Deutsche Bank Citigroup Inc. Corning Incorporated
Credit Suisse Corning Ernst & Young Deloitte Consulting LLP Deloitte Consulting LLP
Deloitte Deloitte Guggenheim

Securities

Ernst & Young Deutsche Bank AG
EY Ernst & Young IBM Corporation Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Ernst & Young
Evercore Evercore Johnson &

Johnson

Guggenheim Partners, LLC Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Google IBM Liberty Mutual Liberty Mutual Group JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Johnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson M&T Bank Corporation McKinsey & Company Liberty Mutual Group
JP Morgan JP Morgan McKinsey &

Company

PwC McKinsey & Company
McKinsey   &

Company

LEK PwC Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) PwC
PwC McKinsey & Company Procter & Gamble Wayfair UBS Securities LLC
SC Johnson RBC Verizon Communications
Wayfair

Admissions For Cornell Johnson

From Cornell Johnson

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, a school within the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, delivers business education that empowers students to turn ambition into impact. Johnson’s defining attributes—its tight-knit community, emphasis on leadership, and focus on immersive, experiential learning—are reflected across its programs, which include full-time and executive MBA programs, MPS and dual-degrees options, and a PhD.

Johnson’s powerful network spans the globe and includes diverse students, world-renowned faculty, and 19,000+ alumni who consistently push traditional boundaries to shape the business landscape and make a positive impact.

Johnson’s Two-Year program is offered at Cornell University’s main campus in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is known for its beautiful natural landscape, family-friendly community, and downtown area. Classes are held primarily in Sage Hall and the new Breazzano Family Center for Business Education.

Students can choose to participate in and lead any of 80+ student organizations ranging from the Women’s Management Council to the Black Graduate Student Association, and from the Old Ezra Finance Club to the Johnson Pets Society. They also participate in international treks, leadership expeditions, and case competitions. Johnson offers a unique, “two campus, one community” approach, which allows Ithaca-based residential students to take weekend courses or half-semester intensives at Cornell Tech in NYC. Opportunities for networking are endless.

Two-Year program

For career enhancers and switchers, Johnson’s flexible Two-Year MBA curriculum gives students the practical skills they need and the freedom to dive into an area they’re passionate about. Far from a lock-step sequence, students can customize their studies and focus on specific industries during their first year. They also develop leadership skills, work with second-year MBA mentors, and participate in domestic and international treks.

  • First semester: Required courses in the MBA Core—topics such as financial accounting, microeconomics, strategy, leading teams, data analytics, and more
  • Second semester: Hands-on learning and industry immersion—corporate finance, digital technology, investment banking, investment research and asset management, strategic operations, strategic marketing, or sustainable global enterprise
  • Summer internship
  • Third semester: Electives, co-curricular activities, and NYC weekend courses at Cornell Tech
  • Fourth semester: More electives, NYC intensives at Cornell Tech, and course selections across Cornell University

Learn more about the Two-Year MBA program

Request more information

Johnson Cornell Tech program

The Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program is based at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City. This one-year program is designed to transform tech-focused individuals into business leaders and entrepreneurs. MBA students work on interdisciplinary teams with other graduate students in engineering, law, operations research, and computer science to produce visionary ideas and solutions grounded in significant societal challenges. Students are surrounded by a rapidly expanding tech environment and have frequent interactions with industry leaders, startup founders, and venture capitalists.

  • Summer semester: 10 weeks of required core courses focused on business fundamentals—work on integrated teams with students in Johnson’s One-Year, Ithaca-based MBA program on Cornell University’s upstate New York campus
  • Fall semester: Move to New York City and take program-based courses like entrepreneurial finance, design thinking, digital marketing, and more, and work on interdisciplinary, team-based Studio courses with hands-on tech projects
  • Spring semester: The opportunity to participate in an international trek is followed by program courses like sales and business development, managerial decision making, and negotiations; continue working in teams for Studio courses and projects—create a startup idea or learn how to build, scale, and innovate in a complex environment.

Learn more about the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA

Request more information

Other MBA programs at Johnson

Helpful links:

Essay Questions For Cornell Johnson

Applicants complete a Goals Statement, Impact Essay, and an optional essay prompt:

Goals Statement prompt:

A statement of your goals will begin a conversation that will last throughout the admissions process and guide your steps during the MBA program and experience. To the best of your understanding today, please share your short- and long-term goals by completing the following sentences and answering the enclosed short answer question (350 words maximum):

Immediately post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].

Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:
Industry:

In 5–10 years post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].

Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:
Industry:

How has your experience prepared and encouraged you to pursue these goals?

Impact Essay prompt:

At Cornell, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. Taking into consideration your background, how do you intend to make a meaningful impact on an elite MBA community? (350 words maximum)

Optional Essay prompt:

You may use this essay to call attention to items needing clarification and to add additional details to any aspects of your application that do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson. (350 words maximum)

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application and candidacy since the last time you applied for admission. Please also review our Application Guide for additional information about reapplying (350 words maximum).

Student Features For Cornell Johnson

Meet Cornell Johnson’s MBA Class Of 2024

A look at the incoming class plus an interview with Dean Mark Nelson

Meet Cornell Johnson’s MBA Class Of 2023

A look at the new crop of Johnson MBAs

Meet Cornell Johnson’s MBA Class Of 2022

An incoming class that reflects Cornell's MBA tagline “elite but egalitarian

Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Seth Petty, Cornell University (Johnson)

“A purpose-driven leader whose mission is to inspire others to see beyond their status quo”

2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Calvin Tong, Cornell University (Johnson)

“Industrious learner who is devoted to promoting inclusion and pursuing the highest standards of professionalism”

2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Minwei Cao, Cornell University (Johnson)

“Innovative, relentless, resilient; creativity at core of everything; CPG Consultant -> Adobe Digital Strategist -> aspiring Chief Marketing Officer”

2023 MBA To Watch: Monica Mercado, Cornell University (Johnson)

“A people-centric Latina leader motivated by the power of communities and large organizations”

2022 MBA To Watch: Danielle Zarbin, Cornell University (Johnson)

“Newly-minted management consultant. Aspiring theatre producer/investor. Brooklyn cat mom to Quincy”

2021 MBAs To Watch: Ola Esho, Cornell University (Johnson)

“A bold, resilient, adaptable, and curious food scientist and entrepreneur determined to make the world better”

2021 MBAs To Watch: Lawrence Nault, Cornell University (Johnson)

“Ambitious; hard-working; curious about everything; a caring, reliable friend; good sense of humor”

School Features

Cornell Johnson’s Growth And Sustainability Mindset .. Enrollment at Cornell Johnson College of Business has grown 20% over the last two years. Courtesy photo

How Cornell Johnson Became A Model For MBA Diversity In 2023

Johnson School reports significant increases in minorities & women and for a second year avoids the MBA application downturn that has hit many peer schools

UCLA Anderson School of Management

Early Returns: 2 Top U.S. B-Schools Release MBA Class Of 2024 Profiles

Cornell Johnson & UCLA Anderson emphasize their international representation amid domestic app downturn

Digging Deeper: Behind Cornell’s Incredible 20% Jump In MBA Apps

Cornell's Andrew Karolyi talks about the reality behind the Johnson School's application growth

Cornell Releases Tech MBA Class Of 2023 Profile & Class Of 2024 App Deadlines

Class of 2023 is 31% women, 22% U.S. minority & 60% international

cornell university Sage Hall

MBA Class Of 2021 Jobs: Offers Soar For Cornell Grads

Job offer rates for Johnson MBAs jumped 4 points to 97%

Starting Salaries Up Almost 6% For Cornell Johnson’s 2020 MBAs

Bonuses up overall & total MBA compensation exceeds $170K

Work Authorization Considerations For The International MBA Applicant

A guide to help you understand what you’re up against, and how to succeed

Cornell Johnson Names Its Next Dean: Long-Time Operations Prof Vishal Gaur

Gaur, a professor of operations at Cornell Johnson since 2006, takes the reins from Mark Nelson on July 1

Cornell Johnson’s Growth And Sustainability Mindset .. Enrollment at Cornell Johnson College of Business has grown 20% over the last two years. Courtesy photo

A B-School With A Sustainability Mindset: The P&Q Interview Cornell Deans Gaur & Karolyi

In the last 2 years, Cornell Johnson's student body has grown just shy of 20% & added 23 new faculty

Congrats to Yao Cui of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.

2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Yao Cui, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University

Congrats to Yao Cui of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.

2020 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Lin William Cong, Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business

'Professor Cong has a tireless commitment to mentoring and advising students'

2017 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Kristina Rennekamp, Cornell University (Johnson)

Called a "triple threat" for her prowess in teaching, research, and service

MBA Watch For Cornell Johnson

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. SME Consulting

An allrounder strategic consultant expertising in the mineral and mining industry.

Mr. Sports Management

Sales professional with success driving revenue via sports sponsorships.

Ms. Atypical Applicant

I’m currently a Project Manager at a major beverage manufacturer.

Mr. Vigor

I have a genetic disease.

Mr. Simple Manufacturer

I am a process engineer for a small medical device manufacturing firm in the Midwest.

Mr. Chartered Accountant

I am a chartered accountant with 3+ years of experience in deal advisory (m&a) with KPMG.

Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2

I work for a Fortune 500 heavy engine manufacturer that supplies powertrains to a large majority of the US truck market, marine, mining and public transportation applications.

Ms. Nigerian Investment Banker

I graduated at 19 and have 3+ years of experience, (at matriculation, I'd have 4+ years of experience at the age of 24).

Mr. League Commissioner

High performing Big 4 audit senior (northeast market) with aspirations to transition in the sports finance/sports management industries.

Mr. Digi-Transformer

I may be the youngest candidate having the highest experience.

Rankings Data For Cornell Johnson

Cornell MBA Rankings

Ranking 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Poets&Quants 13 15 12 13 13
U.S. News 15 15 15 15 15
Forbes 9 10 10 9 10
Business Week 11 20 11 11 10
Financial Times 11 8 14 15 11
The Economist 18 NR 11 11 16

News Coverage For Cornell Johnson

Harvard & Wharton Slump In New 2023 Businessweek MBA Ranking

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

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

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

MBA Scholarships At The Leading Business Schools

At most top business schools, dozens — and sometimes hundreds — of need- and merit-based awards are available

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

UCLA & Cornell Are The Latest B-Schools To Make A Play For Tech Workers Who Have Lost Their Jobs

Seattle Albers creates 'Project Pivot' with scholarships of up to $15K

2023 new year's resolutions

‘Gut Check Time’: Why Cornell Is Shuttering Its 1-Year Accelerated MBA

Andrew Karolyi on the Johnson School's plan to lean into its NYC-based Tech MBA

Financial Times 2023 MBA ranking

$30 Million Gift Establishes Cornell Real Estate Department

SC Johnson College of Business to co-administer Paul Rubacha Department of Real Estate

Meet The Cornell MBA Bringing Equity To VC

Marlon Nichols' advice to MBAs: 'Go to all the events where other investors are & meet them'

The Cornell Connection: How Coaching Gave Me The Confidence To Lead

Leadership Fellows and Career Work Group preps Cornell MBA to lead

2021 Most Disruptive MBA Startups: Levelle, Cornell University (Johnson)

Cornell grads develop sports nutrition products that fit women's needs

All In The Family: At Cornell, A Focus On The Little Guys

Luminaries from long-time family businesses to highlight annual Cornell Johnson conference

UCLA Anderson School of Management

A Tale Of Two MBA Class Profiles: Cornell Johnson & UCLA Anderson

Cornell & UCLA have one thing in common in the newly released data for their new MBA classes: Greater diversity

2023 new year's resolutions

He Peeled Potatoes, Plays Hockey & Now He’s Dean Of Cornell’s Business College

Andrew Karolyi has been named dean of Cornell's SC Johnson College of Business