Columbia Business School MBA Program Overview

Located in New York City, Columbia Business School offers daily access to industry leaders within a global business community. Known for its emphasis on theory and practice, the Columbia MBA program prepares its students for career success by connecting their classroom education to the real-world environments where theory is put into practice.

Given Columbia Business School students aren’t asked to declare a major/concentration, they have great flexibility in their studies. The full-time program uses the cluster system in which admitted students are assigned to clusters of 65 to 70 students who take all of their first-year core classes together. Each cluster is then split into learning teams, groups of about five students from diverse professional and personal backgrounds who complete assignments for the majority of their first-semester, core courses together.

The Columbia Business School community also provides students with numerous opportunities to build connections outside of the classroom. With over 100 student-led clubs, students have the chance to enhance their leadership skills, foster relationships with peers and alumni, and network with business leaders. These clubs include cultural, professional, athletic, and service-oriented organizations. 

The average salary and bonus for the Columbia Business School full-time class of 2021 was $174,114, and 91.7% of students received job offers within three months of graduation.

What Sets Columbia Business School Apart

  • Emphasis on Theory and Practice: Columbia Business School’s MBA program bridges the gap between MBA theory and real-world practice. Since the school is so connected to business in New York City, students have the opportunity to apply their studies to trading floors, board rooms, and other business spheres. 
  • No Major/Concentration Requirements: The MBA program does not offer official majors or concentrations. This gives students the ability to take a comprehensive, forward thinking approach to business, building the skills for success in all fields.
  • The Manhattanville Campus: Columbia’s new Manhattanville campus is designed to increase networking and collaboration opportunities among students, faculty, staff, alumni, practitioners, as well as the larger business community. The campus’s location also connects Columbia Business School with Harlem and the broader New York City community.

2023 Columbia Business School MBA Class Profile

The Columbia Business School class of 2023 is made up of 614 students and had a 15.7% acceptance rate.

From the latest Columbia Business School class profile, 48% are international students, 41% identify as women, and 40% identify as minorities of U.S. origin.

The average work experience is 5 years, with the middle 80% of students having 3 to 8 years of professional experience. These students came from a variety of industries, the most popular being financial services, followed by consulting and marketing/media.

Students also pursued a variety of undergraduate majors, though business, economics, and engineering take the lead in the school’s most recent report.

Average GMAT:
  • 729
Average GPA:
  • 3.5

Joint/Dual Degrees Offered

Columbia Business School also offers dual degrees for those interested in pursuing more than one academic discipline or area of expertise. These include:

  • JD-MBA: This joint degree program offered between Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School enables students to acquire strong legal and business knowledge. Students can choose between an accelerated 3-year JD/MBA program or the traditional 4-year JD/MBA program.
  • MIA-MBA: Columbia’s MIA and MBA program gives students the opportunity to earn a degree from Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Columbia Business School. Through this program, students will spend 3 semesters at SIPA and 3 semesters at the business school. 
  • MD-MBA: Columbia’s MD/MBA program is designed for those interested in pursuing leadership positions within healthcare. This is a dual degree program between Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Columbia Business School.
  • MBA-MPH: This dual degree program between Columbia Business School and the Mailman School of Public Health prepares students to enter leadership careers within public health. Most students can anticipate completing most of the MPH in their year of residence at the Mailman School.

2021-2022 Columbia Business School MBA Application Deadlines and Timeline

  • Application Deadline: October 6, 2021
  • Application Deadline: January 5, 2022


  • Application Deadline: April 8, 2022

Columbia Business School Client Testimonials

Class of 2024
Coming from a non-traditional, pure engineering background, I knew I needed some additional help to navigate the entire MBA application process. Hiring a consultant is a significant investment both in terms of dollar cost and opportunity cost. Therefore, I took great due diligence when choosing my consultant. Having spoken with almost all of the consultant... Read More

— Columbia Business School

Class of 2024
I really enjoyed working with Scott and the Personal MBA Coach team and can genuinely say that they added a lot of value to my essays. I saw my essays take shape through the iterations and was amazed at how specific and contextual every sentence had gotten. The process of working with the team was... Read More

— Columbia Business School

Class of 2024
I truly believe that I would not have had the same outcome had it not been for Scott and the Personal MBA Coach team! When looking for a consultant, I had initial calls with a lot of companies. Personal MBA Coach stood out to me because of its boutique nature – I knew once I... Read More

— Columbia Business School

Class of 2023
I was initially hesitant to work with a consultant during my MBA application process. However, looking back, I am 100% certain that I could not have gotten into my target schools without Scott’s guidance! I come from a nontraditional background, knowing little about the application process, and Scott provided invaluable support and generated a series... Read More

— Columbia Business School

Class of 2013
Thank you for the brilliant work on my application. I knew I had the experience but did not really know how to put it all together. Columbia has been a great experience so far and I could not have gotten here without the Personal MBA Coach expert help. I was pushed in ways I didn’t... Read More

— Columbia Business School

Class of 2018
After meeting with and chatting with over 7 MBA admissions consultants, ranging from the biggest brand names to the smallest independents, I decided to go with Scott, Personal MBA Coach, as my advisor for 8 schools. Not because he was the most optimistic or the most pessimistic, but because he seemed honest and like an... Read More

— Columbia Business School

Personal MBA Coach’s Tips For Getting Into Columbia Business School

If you think the Columbia MBA program may be a good fit for you and are ready to apply, take a look at Personal MBA Coach’s Columbia Business School MBA Application Updates: 2021-2022.

Keep in Mind:

Columbia is the only major school offering early decision and rolling admissions. If it is your first choice, be sure to apply early!

Columbia offers a January term, which eliminates the full-time summer internship. This option is ideal for candidates who do not need the summer internship to land a job and/or want to finish more quickly.

Nicole Shay Interview With Former Colleague and Current CBS Adcom Director Jordan Blitzer

Personal MBA Coach Interview With Al Drewes, CBS Executive in Residence Program Director





Columbia Business School MBA Application Advice

Client Testimonial Videos


Harvard Business School




Chicago Booth