The Columbia MBA Program is a highly competitive program. It is one of the 6 Ivy-league business schools and is one of the most prestigious degrees in the world. Columbia University is located in New York – one of the financial hubs of the world. The opportunities that CBS offers in terms of facilities, alumni network, and placements are several. It has a certain location advantage in that most multinational firms and global companies have offices in New York. 


The CBS MBA is a 2 year MBA program based in New York. It ranks 2nd globally in the Financial Times Global business school rankings. It comes with an admission rate of ~16%

Columbia Business School faculty members are world-renowned not only for generating new thinking in their fields but also for having a genuine impact on current business practices. 

By joining CBS you join a network you can always count on. You are connected to more than 500 speakers each year across various industries, An alumni network made up of more than 47,000 leaders and members from over 100 clubs and student organizations.

The tuition fee for one year is $80,472. The total first-year budget is $122,460 including boarding expenses etc. 

Generous scholarships are offered to outstanding international candidates on a merit basis. Here are a few types of fellowships and scholarships available.

  • The Laidlaw Foundation Scholarship
  • Columbia Fellows
  • Meyer Feldberg Distinguished Fellowship Program


The MBA cohort typically represents a wide array of industries and professional backgrounds, providing a truly global learning experience.

The industry experience of students, prior to joining is also diverse, ranging from consulting, banking, and financial services to fashion and performing arts. About 48% are international or non-US students.

The average work experience for the full-time MBA is 5 years which ensures that students contribute richly to classroom learning by bringing forward their varied industry experience Peer-peer learning beyond the classroom is also facilitated through this.

At 41%, CBS has one of the best gender diversity ratios at B-schools throughout the world. The average GMAT score for the incoming class is 729 and the 80% range is from 700-760. 

The infographic below depicts the CBS MBA class profile with statistics about the gender distribution, age, work experience, and geographical background of the students.

Source: The official school website 



Columbia Business School’s core curriculum consists of two full-term courses and eight half-term courses.

A staple of the Columbia experience, the core curriculum is designed to give students an in-depth mastery of the academic disciplines and applied functional areas necessary to every business leader’s success. The core terms include Financial Accounting, Marketing, Corporate finance, and Operations management.

Beginning in the second term, students select from one of the largest and most innovative slates of electives at any business school.

Columbia’s more than 325 offerings allow students to immerse themselves in specialized topics with faculty members who are at the forefront of innovation in their fields and practitioners who bring real-world, real-time experience to the classroom. 

Student clubs

Joining one of more than 100 student-led clubs gives you a unique set of opportunities to enhance your leadership skills, build relationships with peers and alumni, and network with business leaders through conferences and seminars.

Students can be part of the various student-led bodies of CBS such as Career fellows, Dean’s Advisory Board, Bernstein Leadership Board, etc.


At Columbia Business School, you’ll gain unparalleled access to business leaders, from influential practitioners who teach as adjunct faculty members, to business icons, heads of state, and start-up pioneers who visit campus to speak, mentor, and network with students. 


Each year, CBS  achieves high employment rates in excess of 94% of each MBA class. 

The return on investment is huge given an average alumni salary after graduation of USD 150000 with a $30000 signing bonus.

56% of placements were school facilitated while 2% were self-facilitated through networking/events etc.

These are the critical placement statistics.

Source: The official career report 2021

Management Consulting and Financial Services emerged as the 2 industries in which the majority of the class was placed. Close to 69% of the class goes to these industries post MBA.

About 33% of the class went to Management Consulting alone.

Top employers included Mckinsey & Co., Bain & Co., BCG, Amazon, Google, and Goldman Sachs.


Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Henry Kravis, co-founder of KKR & Co

Sallie L. Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest


Admission Requirements

• Bachelor’s degree

GMATExecutive Assessment, or GRE score

Letters of Recommendation

1 letter of recommendation is to be submitted before the application deadlines. 

Application Fee: $250 

Application Deadlines

One MBA, Two Paths

Columbia Business School students may enroll in either August or January. The two paths, each comprising four terms, merge in the fall of the second year to complete electives as a single class.

The paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

Source: The official school website

Essay questions

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question-

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:

“Work in business development for a media company.”

“Join a strategy consulting firm.”

“Launch a data-management start-up.”

Essay 1:

Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

Essay 2:

Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 words)

Essay 3:

Tell us about your favorite book, movie or song and why it resonates with you.  (250 words)

Optional Essay:

Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

Knight-Bagehot Fellows:

Rather than answer Essay 1, current Knight-Bagehot Fellows applying to Columbia Business School should use the space allocated to the first essay (500 words) to complete the Wiegers Fellowship application essay.

Wiegers Fellowship Essay Question:

What are your career goals? How has the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship affected these goals? How will an MBA help you achieve these goals? (500 words maximum)

Deferred Enrollment Program:

Deferred Enrollment candidates will answer three short essay questions instead of the essays listed above.

Question 1:

How is a Columbia MBA going to help you? (250 words maximum)

Question 2:

What has been your favorite class, and why? (250 words maximum)

Question 3:

Who is a leader you admire, and why? (250 words maximum)