Columbia Business School Programs and Admissions

Degree Options and Application Requirements

Columbia University
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Columbia Business School is part of Columbia University, one of the world's most esteemed private research universities. It is also one of six Ivy League business schools in the United States and part of the informal network of prestigious business schools known as the M7.

Students who attend Columbia Business School have the benefit of studying in the heart of Manhattan in New York City and graduating with a degree from one of the most recognizable business schools in the world. But location and brand awareness are just two of the reasons why students enroll in the programs at this business school. Columbia is a popular business school due to its large alumni network, 200+ electives, 100+ student organizations, an ever-evolving curriculum taught by a respected faculty, and a reputation for groundbreaking research.

Columbia Business School offers a range of program options for students at the graduate level. Students can earn an MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Science, or a Ph.D. The school also offers executive education programs for individuals and organizations.

MBA Program

The MBA program at Columbia Business School features a core curriculum that offers foundational knowledge in business topics like leadership, strategy, and global business. In their second term, MBA students are allowed to customize their education with electives. There are more than 200 electives to choose from; students also have the option of taking graduate-level classes at Columbia University to further diversify their studies.

After being admitted to the MBA program, students are split into clusters consisting of about 70 people, who take their first-year classes together. Each cluster is further split into small teams of about five students, who complete core course assignments as a group. This cluster system is meant to encourage close relationships among diverse people who can challenge each other.

MBA admissions at Columbia Business School are competitive. Only 15 percent of those who apply are admitted. Application requirements include two recommendations, three essays, one response to a short-answer question, GMAT or GRE scores, and academic transcripts. Interviews are by invitation only and are typically conducted by alumni.

Executive MBA Programs

Students in the Executive MBA program at Columbia Business School study the same curriculum under the same faculty as full-time MBA students. The main difference between the two programs is the format. The Executive MBA program is designed for busy executives who want to complete the program on the weekend or in 5-day blocks. Columbia Business School offers three different New York based programs:

  • EMBA-NY Saturday: Students take classes every Saturday for 24 months.
  • EMBA-NY Friday/Saturday: Students take classes every other Friday/Saturday for 20 months.
  • EMBA-Americas: Students take classes in 5-6 day blocks once a month for 20 months.

Columbia Business School also offers two EMBA-Global programs for students who would rather study outside of the United States. These programs are offered in partnership with the London Business School and the University of Hong Kong.

To apply to the EMBA program at Columbia Business School, students must be fully employed. They are required to submit a range of application materials, including two recommendations; three essays; one response to a short-answer question; GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores; and academic transcripts. Interviews are required for admission but are conducted by invitation only.

Master of Science Programs

Columbia Business School offers several Master of Science programs. Options include the:

All of the Columbia Master of Science programs are designed to provide more focused study options than the Columbia MBA program but less of a time investment than the Columba Ph.D. program. Admission requirements vary by program. However, it should be noted that every program is competitive. You should have high academic potential and a record of academic achievement to be considered a candidate for any of the Master of Science programs.

PhD Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program at Columbia Business School is a full-time program that takes about five years to complete. The program is designed for students who want a career in research or teaching. Areas of study include accounting; decision, risk, and operations; finance and economics, management, and marketing.

To apply to the Ph.D. program at Columbia Business School, you need at least a bachelor's degree. A master's degree is recommended, but is not required. Application components include two references; an essay; a resume or CV; GMAT or GRE scores; and academic transcripts.