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Columbia Business School

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  • QS Global RankQS Global Rankings
    Position in the QS World University Rankings: Global MBA Rankings 2021
  • DurationHow long it normally takes to complete the program.
    20 months
  • Avg. GMATAverage GMAT score for the program.
  • Fee (USD)Cost of tuition fees for full program

Full Time MBA Overview

The Columbia Business School (CBS) MBA program curriculum prepares students to lead, build, and manage companies while instilling an awareness of the societal effects of business decisions. Students benefit from the transformative research and extensive, behind-the-scenes industry knowledge from the faculty leading the course. They also benefit from the cultural, ethnic, and sector diversity of fellow students in their learning team, or cluster group, which they join and learn with throughout the program.

The full-time MBA offered at CBS is a residential program split over two years. It includes over 200 electives as well as access to over 4,000 graduate-level courses, which are available through the university’s 12 graduate and professional schools. These give students the option to choose various career-focused concentrations including accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare and pharmaceutical management, leadership and ethics management, marketing, media and technology, private equity, real estate, retail and luxury goods, social enterprise, and value investing.

In addition, several dual-degree options are available through the university. These include: an MBA/MS in urban planning, an MBA/DDS in oral surgery, an MBA/JD in law, an MBA/MS in engineering and applied science, an MBA/MPH (Public Health), an MBA/MS in nursing, an MBA/MS in journalism, and MBA/MS in social work, an MBA/MA in private school leadership, an MBA/MD in medicine, and an MBA/MIA in international affairs.

In the first year, the full-time MBA’s intensive core curriculum provides the foundation of broad management skills necessary to succeed in any industry, with core courses and electives in the first and second terms, with a ‘Global Immersion Program’ also in the second term. This involves working on team projects with a chosen country of focus; they are held in New York prior to a one-week visit to the country of focus to meet with executives and government officials, after which students return to CBS for a wrap-up session. Recent Global Immersion trips have featured China, Costa Rica, India, Brazil, and South Africa.

Immersion seminars are designed as intellectual capstone courses for students who have completed the core and want to test their knowledge and readiness to apply this in today’s marketplace. The seminars combine in-class tuition with site visits to leading organizations for an in-depth encounter with the various challenges, leaders, and opportunities within a specific industry. Examples include Luxury Brands, Technology Disruption, Experience Brand Culture in the Arts, Shareholder Activism, and Media, among others.

In the second year, students select courses relevant to their career goals from a range electives, along with optional graduate-level classes.

CBS is very selective, with a 16% acceptance rate for the 2017 class. Classes are diverse, with a student body representing a mix of cultural, study/work sector, and economic backgrounds, with 41% women, 43% international (from over 90 countries), and 34% ethnic minority; all are highly accomplished, with many fluent in foreign languages. Post-graduation, 92% of students are employed within three months, with a median salary of US$125,000 three years after graduation.

Program Highlights

Start Month
Jan, Sep
Class Size
Avg. Work Experience
Avg. Student Age
Int'l Students
Women Students
Employed (Post 3 Months)
Avg. Salary (Post 3 Months)

Upcoming Events

Saturday, 30th Jan 2021
17:15 - 19:30
Saturday, 30th Jan 2021
20:00 - 22:30
Sunday, 31st Jan 2021
17:00 - 19:30
Sunday, 31st Jan 2021
20:00 - 22:30

Program Locations