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Admissions FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

I would like an application package mailed to me.
Will I qualify for admission with a three-year undergraduate degree?
May I submit my application if I have not yet taken the GMAT, GRE, and/or TOEFL?
Do I need to take the TOEFL/IELTS?
How do I schedule an interview?
My transcript(s) and/or letter(s) of recommendation are not in English. What should I do?
If I’ve been denied admission, may I receive feedback on my candidacy?
If I’ve been denied admission, may I appeal the decision?
What is the average GMAT or GRE score for a person accepted into the PhD Program?
Why do applicants have to take the GMAT or GRE?
Does the Doctoral Program prefer GMAT or GRE?
Do you offer a distance-learning program?
I have a master’s degree. Can I transfer some credits toward my Business PhD course requirements?
Reapplying
Is there any financial aid available to students? What about TA positions?
May I apply to more than one department within the Business PhD Program?
Other Questions


I would like an application package mailed to me.

All applicants are required to use the online application process. In extreme cases, alternate processes may be accommodated with the approval of the PhD Office.

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Will I qualify for admission with a three-year undergraduate degree?

We do accept applications from candidates with three-year undergraduate degrees. We review such applications on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, applicants who hold three-year degrees demonstrate exceptional academic performance and strong professional promise may be offered admission.

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May I submit my application if I have not yet taken the GMAT, GRE, and/or TOEFL?

We require self reported test scores from all applicants, which must be submitted with the completion of your online application. The application deadline is Jan. 5th, 2014. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

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Do I need to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

All foreign applicants must take either the TOEFL or IELTS unless they received a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction.

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How do I schedule an interview?

Interviews are conducted by invitation only. They are made after a preliminary review of the completed application. We will contact you if you are selected for an interview. Please keep in mind that many of those who do not receive interviews are admitted and many of those interviewed are declined admission.

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My transcript(s) and/or letter(s) of recommendation are not in English. What should I do?

Materials that are not in English must be transcribed by an official and notarized transcription agency. Columbia Business School does not provide referrals to such agencies.

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If I’ve been denied admission, may I receive feedback on my candidacy?

Our review process is exhaustive, and our decisions are made only after thoughtful deliberations. Unfortunately, given the volume of the demand for feedback, we simply do not have the resources to be able to offer individual feedback to candidates who have been denied admission.

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If I’ve been denied admission, may I appeal the decision?

We are well aware of the depth of investment our applicants make while participating in our selection process. Accordingly, the Doctoral Program reviews each candidacy with great care and thoughtful consideration. Our review process is extremely thorough and all decisions are final. Thus, there is no process for appeal.

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What is the average GMAT or GRE score for a person accepted into the PhD Program?

Successful candidates have shown a tendency to score 90% and higher on each section (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) of their chosen standardized exam.

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Why do applicants have to take the GMAT or GRE?

All applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These tests report to the Doctoral Program the verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills of the applicants and assess their suitability as a candidate for the program.

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Does the Doctoral Program prefer GMAT or GRE?

For applicants to all Departments, the GRE or the GMAT will be accepted for application.

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Do you offer a distance-learning program?

The Columbia Business School Doctoral Program does not offer a distance-learning program. Our Program requires a five-year full-time, in-residence commitment.

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I have a master’s degree. Can I transfer some credits toward my Business PhD course requirements?

All admitted student requests for advanced standing are submitted to their departmental adviser and the doctoral office for consideration. A maximum of 10 courses of advanced standing (out of a 20-course requirement) may be transferred from your graduate studies. Most students do not receive the maximum allowable transfer of credits.

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Reapplying

Prior to reapplying, we urge candidates to seek to strengthen their applications in any way possible.

If you are considering a reapplication, please consider the ways in which you might strengthen your candidacy. Consider the following:

  • Improved GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL scores
  • Refinement of your research goals
  • New essay
  • New recommendations

Please be aware that you must file a completely new online application, in addition to paying the current application fee.

From a previous application, we will allow re-applicants to use the following towards their new application: transcripts, test scores, and recommendation letters are all transferable towards your new application.

All students reapplying are required to provide a new statement of purpose.

When reapplying, please use a new application form with the same login credentials from your previous application. THe School's online technology will allow users to import the already mentions pieces of a given application.

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Is there any financial aid available to students? What about TA positions?

All applicants who apply to the Columbia Business School Doctoral Program are considered for merit-based fellowships and tuition. There is not a separate financial aid application. TA positions are not a part of the financial aid package but may be sought by individual students.

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May I apply to more than one department within the Business PhD Program?

You may apply to only one department within the Columbia Business School PhD Program. You are welcome to apply to other Programs at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Applicants must complete the application requirements for each school.

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Other Questions

If you have other questions, please contact the Doctoral Program.

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Doctoral Program News

Wong wins Deloitte Fellowship

We are proud to announce that Yu Ting (Forester) Wong is one of the recipients of the 2014 Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting.

Read More About Yu Ting >

The PhD Program Congratulates John Yao

PhD student John Yao was a finalist in the 2013 M&SOM (Manufacturing & Service Operations Management) student paper competition.

Read More About John >

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Sept 2014

Doctoral
Deadline: 01/05/14

MS Marketing
Deadline: 02/02/14

MS Financial Economics
Deadline: 02/02/14

MS Leadership
Rolling admission

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Top Ten Doctoral Admissions Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions by phd students.

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International students who do not have a degree from an institution in which all instruction is conducted in English must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), PTE (Pearson Test of English), or IELTS ( International English Language Testing System). You may be exempted from the TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS only if you have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction only degrees earned before the start date of the program of application will be given this waiver. We will not accept requests for exceptions to this policy.

We do not. Our review process is holistic and we review each transcript in depth to analysis individual courses as well as the grade point average.

We do not have minimum score requirements for applicants, and do not make admissions decisions based solely on test scores. Most admitted students score 90 percent and upward on each section of the standardized exam of their choice.

Students are permitted to apply to one divisions per application period. You are welcome to apply to one of our five divisions: Accounting, Decision, Risk and Operations, Finance and Economics, Management, or Marketing. If you are having a difficult time finding a division suiting your interests, a more nuanced understanding of these fields can be seen in the areas of expertise of the Business School’s faculty research.

Contacting faculty prior to application is not necessary or recommended. Faculty receive hundreds of emails from prospective students and regret that they are unable to respond to all inquiries. Prospective students are encouraged to learn about faculty and doctoral student research using the following the directory.

We do not require official transcripts or test scores for application to the Program. Applicants are asked to upload transcripts and self-report test scores using our online application technology. If a student is admitted we ask that all official copies of the uploaded documents be submitted and verified.

Apply using our online application. We ask that you do not send any documents directly to the School, all materials can be submitted online. Please comply with the posted application deadlines, being sure to include all required components of the application.

The aim of our Program is to accept 23 students per year (Accounting: 4, DRO: 4, Finance: 6, Management: 5, Marketing: 4).

We review all applications after the posted deadlines. However, we encourage applicants submit early enough to give their recommenders time to submit their letters and evaluations.

We do not accept reapplications requests as the application is completely online. Applicants are welcome to apply again using a new essay, and updated materials. Many admitted students have applied before and are successful because they updated their materials and showed us the progress that was made since their last application.

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