A 9 minute read

Columbia Business School MBA Program – Class Profile | Employment Reports & Salaries

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 business schools. In this article, we take an in-depth look at the Columbia Business School MBA Program, particularly it’s class profile, career outcomes, and employment reports.

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

Here is a brief outline of the article:

Columbia Business School MBA: By the numbers

With its location in uptown Manhattan, Columbia Business School (CBS) 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. CBS taps into this melting pot spirit, where 47% of the incoming class is from overseas, and another 33% is composed of U.S. minorities. It rightly prides itself as being “At the very center of business.”

Columbia Business School MBA Program - Uris Hall

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

Sr. No Columbia Business School Numbers
1 Average GMAT 727
2 Average GPA 3.6
3 Class Size 754
4 GMAT Range 560 – 790
5 Work Experience Average 5 years
6 Tuition Cost (per year) $71,544
7 Average Age 28
8 % Employed after graduation 90.4%
9 Median Salary $150,000


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 acethegmat@e-gmat.com. We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on gmatclub with more than 1860+ reviews (as on Jan 30, 2019). 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.

If you aspire to get into Harvard or Stanford, both M7 business schools, read these articles for more information about their application process.

Columbia Business School – MBA Application Deadlines 2019 – 2020

Columbia Business school 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. Following are the MBA application deadlines for 2019-2020 at Columbia Business School.

Round Application Deadline Interview Invites Final Deadline
Early Decision October 4, 2019 Rolling Rolling
Merit Fellowship Deadline January 3, 2020 N/A Rolling
Final Deadline April 10, 2020 Rolling Rolling

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 2020, for up to date information, please visit the programs page of Columbia Business School.

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:

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 path 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 Profile

Columbia Business School: MBA Program Statistics

Following are some statistics related to the latest incoming MBA class profile at Columbia Business School:

Applications received 5876
Admitted 1122
Enrolled 754 (divided into 11 clusters)
January Entry Class Size 203 (divided into 3 clusters)
August Entry Class Size 551 (divided into 8 clusters)
GMAT Scores (middle 80%) 690 – 760
Undergraduate GPA (middle 80%) 3.2 – 3.9
Work Experience (middle 80%) 3 – 8 years
Average age (middle 80%) 25 – 31
% of women in the class 38%
% of international citizens 47%

Columbia Business School attracts a diverse and accomplished student body from around the world. With 47% 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.

Columbia Business School: 2019 Incoming Class Profile

Following is a breakdown by undergraduate major and pre-MBA industry of the latest incoming class of 2019:

Columbia MBA Program: Pre-MBA Industry of the Class of 2019

Columbia Business School - Pre-MBA Industry

Columbia MBA Program: Pre-MBA Undergraduate Major of the Class of 2019

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.

93.9% of all students received 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 and a median of $50,000 in other guaranteed compensation. This brings up the total compensation offered to a staggering $230,000. 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 2019 employment report.

Columbia Business School: Employment by Industry

Financial Services and Consulting are the two largest employers of Columbia graduates of the class of 2019, with a third of the class choosing careers in either.

Columbia Business School MBA Program - Employment by Industry

Base Salary Other Compensation Percentage receiving other compensation
Strategic/Management 31 80000–200000 150,000 2000–80000 30,000 80.2
Other 1.5 75000–185000 127,500 12200–55000 15,000 37.5
Commercial/Consumer Banking/Credit Cards 1.7 113500–130000 125,000 20000–30000 27,500 42.9
Investment Banking/Brokerage 14 70000–190000 150,000 15000–110000 50,000 88.4
Fund of Funds/Hedge Funds/Mutual Funds 1.5 120000–175000 150,000 15000–260000 40,000 28.6
Private Equity 7 75000–375000 152,500 10000–225000 40,000 46.7
Venture Capital 2.2 80000–250000 140,000 3000–55000 20,000 76.9
Other Investment Management 5.8 90000–200000 135,000 5000–350000 50,000 71.4
Other 1.8 115000–149400 125,000 25000–60000 43,750 42.9
Consumer Products – Beverages/Food 2.9 50000–263000 122,000 10000–140000 30,000 71.4
Consumer Products – Luxury Goods 2 95500–120000 105,000 15000–20000 20,000 75
Other 1.9 120000–142000 135,000 10000–60000 40,000 71.4
Entertainment (Film/Music/TV/Sports/Leisure) 2.4 45000–140000 110,000 5000–50000 30,000 27.3
Hardware/Software/Telecom 3.1 118000–190000 140,000 10000–50000 20,000 69.2
Internet Services/E-Commerce 6.8 63000–260000 130,000 5000–92000 35,000 75.9
FinTech 1.2 100000–190000 145,000 20000–110000 30,000 57.1
Other 106000–150000 128,000 35,000 35000 50
Education/Government/Nonprofit 1.4 86000–150000 118,000
Healthcare (including Pharmaceuticals) 3.9 72000–190000 120,000 5000–25000 20,000 68.8
Real Estate 4.1 85000–180000 130,000 6000–110000 26,250 66.7
Retail 115,000 115,000 30,000 30,000 100
Other 2.9 93000–200000 150,000 5000–25000 15,000 54.5

Columbia Business School: Employment by Function

Columbia Business School MBA Program - Employment by Function

Base Salary Other Compensation %age receiving other compensation
Management Consulting 32.9 75000–200000 150,000 2000–165000 30,000 78.6
Strategic Planning 2.1 106000–140000 130,000 10800–80000 25,000 87.5
Business/Corporate Development 3.5 100000–190400 130,000 5000–50000 19,500 69.2
Corporate Finance 1.5 107500–190000 115,000 10000–60000 25,000 75
Buy-Side/Sell-Side Research 3.3 90000–160000 125,000 5000–77000 50,000 73.3
Investment Banking/M&A 13.8 76000–190000 150,000 10000–110000 50,000 89.4
Investment Management 4.2 90000–250000 135,000 5000–350000 75,000 37.5
Private Client Services/Wealth Management + 125,000 125,000 50,000 50,000 100
Private Equity/LBOs 6.6 75000–375000 150,000 10000–225000 40,000 48.4
Venture Capital 2.6 80000–250000 140,000 3000–55000 20,000 73.3
Other 1.9 115000–175000 137,500 25,000 25,000 16.70
Development Program/Rotational 3.6 105000–136000 125,000 5000–80000 20,000 68.8
General Management 2.6 50000–263000 140,000 14000–260000 40,000 63.6
Operations/Production 2.1 65000–145000 135,000 25000–60000 35,000 54.5
Other 1.7 45000–150000 123,500 5000–45000 15,000 83.3
Brand-Product Management 5.9 90000–190000 135,000 10000–110000 25,000 73.1
Business Development/Product Development 140000–150000 145,000 17,500 17500 50
Sales + 70000–166750 130,000 20000–30000 25,000 66.7
Other 1.2 63000–125000 130,000 10,000 10000 33.3
Development/Construction + 110000–140000 135,000 15000–27500 21,250 66.7
Finance 1.4 85000–150000 130,000 10000–110000 25,000 71.4
Other + 125000–150000 137,500 6,000 6000 50
Technology 2.4 83000–260000 140,000 5000–92000 35,000 76.9
Other 3.1 70000–200000 120,000 15000–50000 15,000 36.4

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 MBA Program AlumniColumbia Business School – Notable Alumni

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

Name Accomplishment of Note
Warren Buffett CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
Henry Kravis Co-Founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Vikram Pandit Former CEO of Citigroup
James P. Gorman CEO of Morgan Stanley
Rochelle Lazarus Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather
Michael Gould CEO of Bloomingdale
Lionel Pincus Founder 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 SchoolsHarvardStanford
Match Schools: Chicago Booth, WhartonDartmouth Tuck, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
Safety Schools: MIT SloanBerkeley Haas, Duke FuquaVirginia Darden

We hope this article helps you learn more about the Columbia Business School, in case of any other queries, please write to us at acethegmat@e-gmat.com

People who read this article also read

39 thoughts on “Columbia Business School MBA Program – Class Profile | Employment Reports & Salaries”

Let's discuss further - What's your take?

Payal Tandon
Co-founder, e-GMAT
Welcome to e-GMAT Support!
I am Payal, Co-Founder of e-GMAT.
Feel free to ask any Query.
Thank you for your query.
We will be contacting you soon on