Columbia Business School: Everything You Need to Know

8 minute read
Columbia Business School: All You Need to Know

Back in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived at the shores of New York City in 350 pieces in 214 crates. From the establishment of the Statue of Liberty in 1876 to the pop culture it is famous for today, New York has become a hub of finance, commerce, and economics. One of the busiest and most populous cities in the world, it is an endless pool of opportunities. One such opportunity is to study at the Columbia Business School.

Columbia Business School lies at the heart of this city and is the focal point of business and finance. One of the six Ivy League colleges for business, the Columbia Business School was founded in 1916. It is one of the oldest B-schools and is well-renowned across the globe.

Set in New York, the Columbia Business School has access to some of the most influential leaders across the globe. The university boasts about regularly hosting events and conferences like the Nand and Jeet Khemka Distinguished Speaker Forum, Silfen Leadership Series, Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics and the Sir Gordon Wu Distinguished Speaker Forum. 


Columbia Business School is also known for having diverse, academically bent students who have entrepreneurial instincts. It recognizes the importance of having a diverse set of people to provide a learning environment that celebrates different cultures. Columbia Business School intends to provide students with a transformative learning experience that combines both practical knowledge along core academic learning.

Being one of the most recognized business colleges in the world, Columbia Business School offers different courses across the following programs, Executive MBA, Executive Education programs, doctoral programs and Master of Science.

Columbia Business School emphasizes various disciplines- Social Enterprise, Media and tech, strategy, finance, entrepreneurship, economy and policy, marketing and leadership.

Also Read: University of Edinburgh Business Analytics: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Fees


  • Bloomberg Businessweek ranked its MBA program as number 9 in 2017.
  • The Economist in 2018 ranked its MBA program at number 9 globally 
  • In 2018, Columbia Business School’s MBA was also ranked 7 globally by the Financial Times.
  • In its 2017 ranking of the top 20 business schools in the Americas, the Financial Times ranked Columbia Business School #2.
  • The 2011 Executive MBA Rankings ranked Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA program as number 2 worldwide. 
  • Columbia Business School is home to 42% international students. 


Being one of the most selective business schools, your application becomes an important determinant of your admission to Columbia Business School. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a brilliant opportunity to study at one of the best institutions only because you were confused about the admission process or your application lacked depth.

Thus, here is a step-by-step guide to all the things you’ll require to attain admission to one of the best Ivy League business schools- the Columbia Business School:

Step1: You need to research the courses you want to study at the Columbia Business School before you apply for them so that you can make the best possible decision

Step 2: You can apply for the desired program through the university’s online portal.

Step 3: The admission process becomes easy if you already keep the required documents handy. For Columbia Business School you will need to be ready with the following documents:

  • Transcripts 

This is a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of that from an accredited university, you will be required to scan and submit the proofs of your undergraduate or graduate degree in PDF forms. After you have been admitted you will have to produce an encrypted digital copy of your degree for verification.

  • GPA

When applying to Columbia Business School, along with your transcripts you are also required to report your aggregated grade point.

  • GMAT or GRE Score

You will also have to submit your self-reported scores on GRE or GMAT. The university holds your scores for up to five years after the test date as valid. On admittance, you will have to produce the official GRE or GMAT score. Your highest score will be considered while reviewing the application to Columbia Business School. 

  • Essays

When applying for Columbia Business School, you will be expected to write three essays and one short answer, the question for a short question that is to be answered in a maximum of fifty words can revolve around your immediate professional goal on completion of your MBA degree. The three essays will be about your long-term professional goals, the reason for choosing CBS and the leader you admire.

There is also an optional question wherein you can ask for further information and explanation, you can also clarify certain aspects of your academic and professional record in this question

If you wish to apply to Columbia Business School as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow you will have written a Wiegers Fellowship essay explaining your career goals how the fellowship will impact these goals and what role an MBA will play in that.

  • Recommendations

In case you’re applying to Columbia Business School you will need two recommendations, one should preferably be from a direct supervisor at the place you’ve been working in for at least six months and the second recommendation from another professional associate who can give an insight into your work and candidacy. If you haven’t been working with an organization for more than six months you can take on recommendation from a professor who can approve of your candidacy and skills. The recommendation must be limited to 1000 words and talk about your potential, background, performance and personal qualities as well as speak of how you can add value to the program. 

Step 4: Once your application has been accepted and reviewed, you will be called for an interview with an alumnus. Columbia Business School tries its best to offer the interview facility in your geographic area. 

Also Read: Columbia University Ranking 2024: QS, THE, and US News & World Report Rankings



The course spans across 2 academic years and is divided into 4 semesters. For completion of the course, you will be expected to attain 18 credits for core coursework and a minimum credits of 42 for elective coursework. Columbia Business School (CBS) also provides an option of dual degrees wherein you can pursue an MBA degree along with one of the professional degrees offered by the institute, these include law, international affairs, social work and medicine among others.

Columbia Business School also has a Financial Aid office that can help you plan your finances while applying and can also tell you about the offered scholarships.

Highlights of the CBS MBA Program:

  • The average GPA of students who have been admitted through the years is 3.6.
  • The average GMAT score of those who have been admitted is 732
  • The average age of the students in the course is 28.


Executive MBA at Columbia Business School is considered among the leading programs in the world. CBS expects you to have employer sponsorship which means that irrespective of the amount of financial support by your employer they must state the terms of support as well as recognize that they release you of your job responsibilities for the duration of your course. The course helps you establish a sense of community among the dynamic class you have as well as provides opportunities for global network expansion.


Columbia Business School also offers non-degree programs that are customized for organizations and focus on comprehensive management (which is further divided into an advanced management program, executive development program and Advanced Management Program), Leadership (with courses in high-impact leadership, women in leadership, enterprising families, emerging leader development program and leadership essentials ) Strategy (with courses like Digital Health Strategy, Design Thinking, implementing winning strategies, Business Analytics and Quantitative Intuition) Finance( with programs in Value Investing, Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive and Financial Analysis and Valuation for Strategic Decision Making) Marketing (which focuses on Brand Leadership, Digital Marketing Strategy and Strategic Storytelling) and Social Enterprise (focuses on Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals and Developing Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals).


Columbia Business School offers one of the most intensive Ph.D. programs, though the program is offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, it is administered by the Columbia Business School, and the course lasts a minimum of five years. You will be engaged as a research assistant in your first year of research and will work on the execution and design of research and you will have produced a paper worth publication by the end of the second year probably as a co-author with one of the professors. The last three years you will be involved in researching by yourself on original material and work on dissertations. 


Columbia Business School offers a Master of Science program for those students who wish to pursue a degree that requires a more analytical bent of mind and focuses on a particular discipline, if you wish to pursue a discipline that is industry-oriented and gives you the required knowledge to work in a field, the program is ideal as you will get to engage with research like a doctorate program but also attain practical knowledge offered in the MBA program, it is an innovative program which offers programs in the following fields-

  • MS in Financial Economics which provides the students with the theoretical and quantitative knowledge necessary for a career in finance
  • MS in Marketing Science that will equip you with the required marketing analytics you will need as an employer
  • MS in Accounting and Fundamental Analysis
  • MS in Management Science and Engineering which deals with operations and applications in the field of engineering
  • MS in Business Analytics which focuses on using statistics, data and quantitative analysis along with predictive modelling to understand business performance and use it to develop insights.    


The notable alumni of Columbia Business School include:

  • Warren Buffet- CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
  • Mitch Ablom – Best Selling author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven 
  • Robert Bakish – CEO and President of Viacom 
  • Jeff Campbell- CEO and Former Chairman of Burger King 


The top recruiters at Columbia Business School include:

  • McKinsey and Company
  • Bain and Co.
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • Amazon
  • Deloitte Consulting 
  • Goldman Sachs and Co.


A degree in Management from a good college can kickstart your career and help you build a global network. Columbia Business School with its good relationships with some of the best companies in the industry can give you the exposure to multiply your network and skills. Since the school is situated in New York which is one of the busiest business hubs of the world, you will be closer to your business and entrepreneurial skills. The environment both in the college and outside in the city will be a dynamic duo that maximizes your potential, you don’t want to let an opportunity like this pass you by.

Relevant Reads: 

List of Notable Cambridge University Indian AlumniCambridge University Masters in Economics: Entry Requirements, Acceptance Rate and Fees
5+ Notable Indian Alumni of Harvard UniversityImperial College London Postgraduate Courses: Duration, Tuition Fees and Overview
The University of Edinburgh Ranking in the World: Global Rankings 2024Imperial College London World Ranking 2024


Q.1 Is Columbia Business School an Ivy League?

Answer: Yes, Columbia Business School is an Ivy League institute.

Q.2 What is the GMAT score for Columbia University?

Answer: The average GMAT score for the incoming class is 730 at Columbia.

Q.3 Is NYU or Columbia better?

Both NYU and Columbia University are excellent institutes, offering world-class education. The only difference between the two is that Columbia University is an Ivy League institute, while NYU is not.

So, this was all about the Columbia Business School. Counsellors and mentors at Leverage Edu can help you tap into your strengths and come up with the best possible applications to reach the college of your dreams.

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