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Columbia Business School MBA Program 2024 – All you need to know

Columbia Business School MBA Program 2024 – All you need to know
A 8 min read

Columbia Business School is the business school of Columbia University. Located in Manhattan in New York City, it is one of the oldest business schools (Established in 1916). It is also one of the six Ivy League business schools and one of the most selective top MBA programs. In this article, we take an in-depth look at the Columbia Business School MBA Program, its profile of the incoming class of 2024, career outcomes, and employment report 2022.

Columbia Business School MBA Program - Class Profile _ Employment Reports & Salaries

Columbia Business School MBA by the numbers

With its location in uptown Manhattan, Columbia Business School (CBS) MBA epitomizes what an urban school can offer to students who seek such an environment. Situated in New York city which is itself a melting pot of cultures with 40% of its population born outside the United States.

Columbia Business School MBA taps into this melting pot spirit, where 48% of the incoming class is from overseas, and another 40% is composed of U.S. minorities. It rightly prides itself on being “At the very center of business.”

Here is a look at the statistics of the full-time MBA program at Columbia Business School:

Sr. NoColumbia Business SchoolNumbers
1Average GMAT729
2Average GPA3.6
3Class Size844, divided into 12 clusters
4GMAT Range550–780
5Work Experience Average5 Years
6Tuition Cost (per year) 2021-2022$77,376
7Average Age28
8% of students that accepted the offer after 3 months of graduation92%
9Median Base Salary$175,000
10median Signing Bonus $30,000

Getting into the Columbia MBA program requires an envious 720+ GMAT score. We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on GMAT Club with more than 2600+ reviews. Why don’t you take a free trial and judge it for yourself?

Columbia Business School is a part of the M7 group of business schools. The other business schools in the M7 group of business schools include Stanford GSB, HBS, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, and MIT Sloan.

Columbia Business School MBA application deadlines 2023 intake

Columbia Business school MBA follows a rolling admissions process. This means application decisions are given out as soon as an application is completed and submitted by a prospective applicant.

There are two intakes – January and August. For January intake, the MBA application deadline is on September 28, 2022.

The following are the MBA application deadlines for 2023 at Columbia Business School:

August 2023 Intake Application DeadlineInterview InvitesFinal Deadline
Early DecisionSep 28, 2022RollingRolling
Merit Fellowship DeadlineJanuary 11, 2023N/ARolling
Final DeadlineApril 5, 2023RollingRolling

Take a look at the Columbia MBA Essay tips for 2023 intake. 

Difference between the August and January intakes

Columbia Business School MBA - August and January Intake Schedule

CBS has 2 intakes for its flagship 2-year MBA program, one in August and the other one in January. Both these intakes merge in the fall term of the second year to complete electives as a single class.

The only difference between these 2 intakes is timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship (January intake does not offer the option of a summer internship).

The following deadlines are based on the application process for the class of 2023, for up-to-date information, please visit the programs page of Columbia Business School.

Deferred Enrollment Option

Apart from the two different intakes, CBS also offers a deferred enrollment program. This program offers current undergraduate students the opportunity to gain a few years of work experience with a guarantee of admission to Columbia’s highly selective MBA program.

Additionally, the deferred enrollment program affords such students the flexibility to begin a full-time program 2-5 years after college graduation.

Many of the top business schools offer differed enrollment programs; our experts have written in-depth articles about the deferred enrollment programs at the following business schools: ISB YLP Program: Admissions Guide and HBS 2+2 Program.

Columbia Business School MBA Philosophy and Strength

A Strong Reputation for Finance

Long known as the ‘Finance School,’ CBS has defied that moniker in recent years with consulting rising as the leading employer of its graduates. McKinsey itself hired 55 graduates which is more than the hires made by Goldman, JP Morgan, Citi, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America combined.

It’s a reflection of the strength and diversity of the MBA program. Besides its consistently high-ranked program in finance, CBS offers world-renowned programs in management, marketing, and international business.

If a career in Finance is your Post-MBA career goal, do not miss our article on Best Business Schools for Finance.

Core Curriculum and Electives

CBS has a comprehensive core curriculum that helps students build strong foundations in traditional areas of business. And it also offers a lot of electives for students to specialize in an area of their choosing.

To further this, CBS offers various career-focused pathways in the areas of Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Leadership, and Ethics. A full list of the different career-focused paths offered can be viewed here.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Besides the core curriculum and a large number of electives, CBS also offers a lot of experiential learning opportunities.

From internships and extracurricular projects to organizing and hosting events with high-profile speakers and consulting projects, there is something for everyone.

Add to that its location in New York City ensures that you have unparalleled access to business leaders from influential practitioners that teach as adjunct faculty to business icons and heads of state who visit campus to speak mentor and network with students.

Previous speakers include:

  1. Warren Buffett
  2. Bill Gates
  3. Henry Paulson
  4. Ratan Tata

Columbia Business School Cluster Learning System

The cluster learning system of the MBA program at CBS further ensures that you learn with and from people having different skills and ideas, leadership styles, and backgrounds.

Sharing so much of the academic experience invites a more vibrant learning environment. One where students are more comfortable challenging ideas and each other while working together.

Outside the classroom, the 46,000-member strong alumni network of CBS ensures that you can find a Columbia connection anywhere in the world.

Columbia Business School MBA- Incoming Class 2022

Following are some statistics related to the latest incoming MBA class profile at Columbia Business School (incoming students Aug + Jan 2022):

Applications received6177
Enrolled844, divided into 12 clusters
GMAT Scores Range550 – 780
Undergraduate GPA (middle 80%)3.1 – 3.9
Average Work Experience5 years
Average age28 (21 – 44)
% of women in the class44%
% of international citizens51%

Columbia Business School attracts a diverse and accomplished student body from around the world. With 51% of the class coming from other countries, it truly offers a global classroom environment.

Add to this the high representation of women in the class is another advantage for students who wish to learn not only from faculty but also from each other.

5-year Trends Columbia MBA Class Profile

S.NoColumbia School of Business202020212022
1Average GMAT730727726
2Average GPA3.63.5  3.6
3Class Size755762729
4Work Experience (Average)5 years5 years 5 years
5Tuition Cost (per year/Single student) $ 77,376$80,472
6% of students reported job received after 90 days90%94% 
7Median Base Salary$150,000$150,000 
8Median Signing Bonus$30,300$30,000 

Pre-MBA Industry of the incoming Class of 2022

Following is a breakdown by pre-MBA industry of the latest incoming class of 2022:

Pre-MBA Industry – Columbia Class of 2022Percentage
Financial services29%
Real Estate5%
Military/ Government5%

Pre-MBA Undergraduate Major

Following is a breakdown by the undergraduate major of the latest incoming class:

Pre-MBA Undergraduate Percentage
Social Science12%

Columbia Business School  Employment Reports and Salaries

As mentioned earlier, CBS was long known as the “Finance School”. However, now it sends its graduates to a multitude of industries such as consulting, financial services, media/technology, and manufacturing.

This speaks not only of the strength of the program but also of the career management center as it has been able to successfully diversify the portfolio of companies and organizations that recruit from the campus after the 2008 financial crisis which saw the demise of Lehman Brother (a major CBS recruiter). Credit should also be given for this to the class of students who have increasingly diversified their career choices.

92% of all students accepted the job offers within 3 months of graduation. The median salary offered to CBS graduates was $150,000 with a median signing bonus of $30,000. It is important to note that this figure can vary according to industry and function. However, they are solid numbers any way you slice or dice them. The following are some more statistics from the CBS 2021 employment report.

Employment by Industry

Financial Services and Consulting are the two largest employers of Columbia graduates of the class of 2022, with a third of the class choosing careers in either.

IndustryPercentageMedian Base SalaryMedian Signing Bonus
Consulting                                                          33.6%175,00030,000
  Financial Services                                                          36.9%  
Consumer Finance & Analytics                                                2.1%125,00040,000
Investment Banking                                               16.7%175,00050,000
Investment Management                                               8.2%162,50056,000
Private Equity                                               4.7%162,50030,000
Venture Capital                                               3.3%180,00040,000
Other                                                1.9%145,00035,000
  Manufacturing                                                           3.2%  
Consumer Products - Beverages                                              1.8%120,00039,000
Consumer Products - Luxury Goods                                              0.3%--
Consumer Products - Other                                               0.8%123,75017,500
Manufacturing - Other                                               0.3%--
  Media/Technology                                                          16.0%  
Entertainment (Film / Music / TV                                                1.9%127,50012,000
Fintech                                               2.2%165,000-
Hardware / Software / Telecom                                               2.5%140,00035,000
Internet Services / E-Commerce                                               9.0%145,00045,000
Other                                              0.4%--
  Other                                                          10.3%  
Education / Government / Nonprofit                                                            1.4%90,00015,000
Healthcare - Pharma / Biotech                                                1.5%125,00030,000
Healthcare - Providers & Services                                                1.1%62,7456,500
Real Estate                                               3.6%150,00030,000
Retail                                               0.6%130,00027,500
Other                                               2.1%203,75020,000

Getting into the Columbia MBA program requires an envious 720+ GMAT score. We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on GMAT Club with more than 2500 reviews. Why don’t you take a free trial and judge it for yourself?

Employment by Function

Employment By FunctionPercentageMedian Salary $
Management Consulting33%1,65,000
Internal Consulting/Strategic Planning3%1,37,500
Finance ( Internal)3%
Business/Corporate Development2%1,47,500
Corporate Finance1%1,24,000
Financial Services33%
Investment Banking/M&A16%1,50,000
Sell Side Research1%1,45,000
Investment Management8%1,40,000
Private Client Services/Wealth Mgmt1,50,000
Private Equity/LBO's5%1,50,000
Venture Capital3%1,50,000
Leadership Development/Rotational Program5%1,26,000
General Management3%1,16,000
Brand/Product Management7%1,30,000
Business Development/Product Development1,45,000
Real Estate3.50%
Other Functions3%

Columbia Business School: Top Employers

Top recruiters of graduates from Columbia Business School from different industries include:

  • McKinsey & Company
  • Bain & Co.
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • Amazon
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • PwC Strategy&
  • A.T Kearney
  • J.P. Morgan
  • KPMG
  • Microsoft
  • Adobe
  • Citi
  • IBM
  • Lazard
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Apple
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • The Estee Lauder Companies
  • L.E.K Consulting
  • Moelis & Company
  • Oliver Wyman
  • Samsung
  • Accenture Strategy
  • Mastercard
  • Uber

Columbia Business School Notable Alumni

Columbia Business School MBA Program Alumni

The following business leaders are a few of the notable alumni of the Columbia Business School

NameAccomplishment of Note
Warren BuffettCEO of Berkshire Hathaway
Henry KravisCo-Founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Vikram PanditFormer CEO of Citigroup
James P. GormanCEO of Morgan Stanley
Rochelle LazarusChairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather
Michael GouldCEO of Bloomingdale
Lionel PincusFounder Warburg Pincus

Other MBA Programs you should consider

The following are some other schools that are a close match to Columbia Business School in terms of GMAT and GPA, age, and work experience. We have listed the programs by stretch, match, and safety. Note that these options are presented on the basis of the schools’ brand image and ranking status as a general yardstick.

Stretch Schools: HarvardStanford
Match Schools: Chicago Booth, WhartonDartmouth Tuck, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
Safety Schools: MIT SloanBerkeley Haas, Duke FuquaVirginia Darden

Getting into the Columbia MBA program requires an envious 720+ GMAT score. We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on GMAT Club with more than 2500 reviews. Why don’t you take a free trial and judge it for yourself?

FAQs - Columbia MBA Program

How long is MBA in Columbia?

The Columbia full-time MBA program is to be completed across two years of study.

What GPA do I need for Columbia MBA?

The average GPA for the incoming class of 2022 is 3.6.

How much is an MBA at Columbia?

For the incoming Columbia MBA batch, 2021-2022 is $77,376. However, there are other costs such as accommodation and the cost of living that you incur. Learn how to reduce your MBA cost here.

What GMAT Score do I need for MIT Sloan MBA?

You need at least a 700+ GMAT Score for top business schools like MIT Sloan. The average GMAT score for Columbia MBA incoming class of 2023 is 729, with a GMAT range of 540-780.

Which are the top Business schools in USA?

Some of the top MBA programs in the USA are:
1. Stanford GSB
2. Wharton School of Business
3. Kellogg School of Management
4. Harvard Business School
5. UC Berkeley
Planning to pursue an MBA in the USA? Here is a guide for MBA in USA

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