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Career-Focused Paths

Columbia Business School’s core curriculum is comprehensive enough and its electives flexible enough that in just two years students can gain deep expertise in a particular business discipline. While the School does not note concentrated areas of study on transcripts, many students choose to indicate the fields they focused on on their résumés. To help you design your course load in a particular area, a number of centers, programs, and student clubs have put together informal class lists.

Popular Career Paths


All Columbia Business School students gain a foundational understanding of accounting principles through the core curriculum, and students interested in further refining their expertise in accounting may take electives offered by the Accounting Division, such as Earnings Quality and Fundamental Analysis and Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation.

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Decision, Risk, and Operations

Columbia Business School’s renowned Decision, Risk, and Operations Division offers a range of courses for students interested in pursuing careers in both operations management and decision and risk analysis, including Supply Chain Management, Operations Consulting, and Turnaround Management.

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The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center offers a balanced combination of courses, programs, and mentorship for committed students who want to gain the fundamental skills and principals of an entrepreneurial mindset, including starting and growing a business. Experienced practitioners and faculty from the NYC ecosystem teach courses ranging from Master Classes like the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program (a selective accelerator), to Digital Literacy for Decision Makers (communicating with the tech world), to Entrepreneurial Finance (taught by the dean of the school on how create, identify, and ensure value) to the Venture Capital Seminar taught by renowned venture capitalists. Additionally, a plethora of programming ensures that aspiring entrepreneurs have access to the resources, knowledge, and networks they need to thrive.

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The School’s Program for Financial Studies recommends a series of courses for career functions such as asset management; investment banking and corporate finance; sales, trading, and research; financial consulting; and risk management.

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Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management

Courses in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program at Columbia Business School are taught by faculty experts and seasoned practitioners from the healthcare industry, and include classes such as Strategy and Competition in Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, Healthcare Industry in the 21st Century, and Healthcare Investment and Dealmaking.

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Leadership and Ethics

In addition to sponsoring research, events, and orientation programming, the Bernstein Center on Leadership and Ethics offers a series of electives that explore the challenges faced by business leaders. Courses include Personal Leadership and Success, Finance and Sustainability, and High Performance Leadership.

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In addition to the management courses in the core curriculum, the School’s Management Division recommends interested students design their elective schedules to include courses that span management functions, such as Top Management Process and Managerial Negotiations.

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For students interested in pursuing careers in marketing, the School’s widely acclaimed Marketing Division offers a wealth of electives, including New Product Development, Social Media and Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Consumer Insights.

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Media and Technology

The Media and Technology Program at Columbia Business School recommends that students begin by taking Media Platforms and Content: Foundations Course before pursuing electives in their area of interest. A wide variety of electives are offered across functional topics (Digital Marketing, Sports Analytics, Media Entrepreneurship etc), Industry Topics (The Business of Sports, Managing Celebrity Brands, Digital Investing, etc) and Strategy (Media M&A, Technology Strategy, Internet Wars, etc). Students are also encouraged to explore electives across the University, and cross-register for courses of interest in the Film School, Law School, or Journalism School.

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Private Equity

Students interested in careers in private equity can deepen their knowledge in the field through a number of courses offered by the School’s Private Equity Program, including Private Equity in Emerging Markets, Venture Capital: Risk/Opportunity, and Private Equity: The Credit Markets and Leveraged Buyouts.

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Real Estate

The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate recommends that interested students begin taking real estate electives in their second semester and offers advice on building a schedule that focuses on real estate electives such as Global Real Estate Investment and Real Estate Transactions.

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Retail and Luxury Goods

The Retail and Luxury Goods Club at Columbia Business School, in addition to providing networking opportunities for students and hosting an annual conference, recommends courses such as the Master Classes Design and Marketing of Luxury Products or Creation of a Retail Enterprise to students interested in careers in retail and luxury goods.

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Social Enterprise

The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise assembles faculty expertise from across disciplines to provide students with the holistic education needed to pursue socially beneficial practices in any industry. Recommended courses include High Performing Nonprofits, The Business of Sustainable Energy, and Markets for the Poor.

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Value Investing

The Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School recommends that students interested in value investing pursue a series of courses that includes Applied Value Investing, Applied Security Analysis, and Legends in Value Investing.

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Student Profiles

Gairy Hall

Get to know past and present MBA and EMBA students and learn about their experiences as part of the Columbia Business School community.



Upcoming Information Sessions

July 27, 2015 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
MBA Information Session>

August 3, 2015 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
MBA Information Session>

August 10, 2015 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
MBA Information Session>

Apply Now

Entry: January '16
Final: 10/7/15

Entry: August '16
Early: 10/7/15
Merit Fellowship Deadline: 1/6/16
Final: 4/13/16

Final: 10/28/15

Applications for EMBA-NY Sat and EMBA-NY Fri/Sat will become available in early August.

Did you Know?


of the 2014 incoming class were non-US citizens



alumni in the Columbia Business School network


find out what the CBS community is thinking



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At the Very Center of Business

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Since 1916, Columbia Business School has lived at the heart of the business world, New York City, building symbiotic relationships with leading innovators and global trendsetters and offering students exposure to the very pulse of industry.

Today, we continue to enjoy daily insights from the influential figures driving current practices. Our renowned faculty members are leaders in their fields, producing groundbreaking research across areas, and our worldwide alumni network continues to grow and impact change. At the Business School today, we’re celebrating our place at the very center of it all.

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The Columbia Core Curriculum is informed by thought leadership from the world’s leading-edge business environment. Our faculty's groundbreaking research influences business practices in every sector while our curriculum develops leaders who can create opportunity in any situation.

In an MBA program at the very center of business, you’ll learn to respond dynamically to any challenge. You'll gain the skills you need to succeed in a fast-moving, competitive business environment and see how to create opportunities where they once seemed impossible. At Columbia, at the heart of New York City, you’ll learn it all from the most influential figures in industry today.

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