Columbia Business School EMBA Overview

Columbia Business School highlights its Executive MBA program for the access the top-ranked program provides to business leaders and industries, its extensive community—plugging its student-professionals into a world rich with connections, culturally, geographically, and vocationally—and the immediate applicability of its teachings. A place “where theory meets practice.”

“We prepare students for career success by connecting their real-world experience from the trading floors, board rooms, and retail stores with our classroom education. What’s learned on Friday can be applied on Monday, and Monday’s results can inform Friday’s discussion. This is how leading-edge theory meets real-world practice,” says the school.

While CBS’s EMBA holds special appeal for professionals from the finance sector, its curriculum focuses on big-picture business skills that are applicable to all fields, whether venture capital or FinTech; prepares graduates for change; promotes awareness of ethics and social impact; and fosters an entrepreneurial approach to the world, looking for and capturing opportunity everywhere.

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Columbia EMBA Application Essay Questions 2023-2024

If you think Columbia may be a good fit for you and are ready to apply, take a look at Personal MBA Coach’s tips for tackling the 2023-2024 Columbia EMBA essays.

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What Sets the Columbia Business School EMBA Program Apart

  • The Cluster System: At the beginning of the EMBA program, students are assigned to a cluster of 30 to 70 fellow students. Clusters, diverse groupings of people from all over the world, take first-year core classes together, sharing a unique variety of skills, ideas, leadership styles, and backgrounds. And together they bond, growing comfortable sharing ideas and challenging each other’s perspectives.
  • Learning Teams: The clusters are further broken down into small teams of 5-7 people from different backgrounds to complete assignments together and learn together, making for a well-rounded, varied learning experience.
  • The Residence Period: EMBA students spend an in-residence session off campus, at a conference facility outside New York City, to work with their cluster and team on a portion of the year’s coursework.
  • Schedule Options: There are two New York-based options, EMBA-New York Friday/Saturday (beginning in August, five terms, meeting approximately every other Friday and Saturday, over 20 months) and EMBA-New York Saturday (beginning in May, six terms, meeting approximately every Saturday, over 24 months). CBS also has partnerships with London Business School and the University of Hong Kong to pursue the EMBA there.
  • Location, Location, Location: Located in the hub of life that is New York City, the EMBA program is visited by possibly an unmatched number of business leaders, including executives of Fortune 500 companies and startup founders. This gives students access to mentorship and connections that help make careers and last a lifetime.
  • Executives in Residence: The Executives in Residence Program is composed of 25 senior executives from the C-Suite of companies in industry verticals such as technology, retail, healthcare, manufacturing and consumer goods as well as senior partners from strategy consulting, private equity, financial services and real estate. These resident executives contribute personal, one-on-one mentorship to CBS’s MBA students as well as “practice” in the form of teaching and expertise.
  • A New Manhattanville Campus: Inaugurated this year, CBS’s Manhattanville LEED-ND Platinum facility certified by the U.S. Green Building Council will create a new “living ecosystem” for the student-professionals, geared toward new ideas and interdisciplinary learning.

2025 Columbia Business School EMBA Class Profile

The latest Columbia Business School EMBA class profile reports 214 students, 120 of whom are in the Friday/Saturday class and 94 of whom are in the Saturday class.

Of these 214 students, 41% identify as women and 9% are international students.

Columbia Business School EMBA students had an average of 10 years of work experience and an average age of 33.

Top pre-EMBA industries include financial services (35%), technology (14%), and consulting (11%).


2023-2024 Columbia Business School EMBA Application Deadlines and Timeline

  • Early Decision: January 10, 2024
  • Regular Decision: February 15, 2023
  • Early Decision: March 20, 2024
  • Regular Decision: May 22, 2024