MENU

You are here

Application Requirements

Application Checklist

Transcripts

A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission to Columbia Business School. Applicants should scan and submit PDF versions of transcripts from each college and university they have attended as a registered student.

Do not send paper transcripts via mail when first applying. If offered admission, you will be required to provide sealed hard copies or encrypted digital copies of your transcripts from each of the colleges or universities you have attended. Offers of admission are not binding until academic records have been verified.

Back to top

GPA

Applicants should report their grade point average as it appears on their transcript.

Back to top

GMAT or GRE Score

All applicants must submit a self-reported GMAT (preferred) or GRE score. Scores are valid for five years. Your scores must be valid when you submit your application. Both the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections are required if you take the GMAT.

If admitted, you must submit an official GMAT or GRE score. Columbia Business School’s GMAT code is QF8-N6-36 and its GRE code is 6442. The Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score when reviewing your application and will not combine subscores from multiple exams into a single composite score.

Back to top

International Applicants

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) or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). You may be exempted from the TOEFL or the PTE only if you have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction. We will not accept requests for exceptions to this policy.

The TOEFL and PTE scores are valid for two years. Your TOEFL or PTE score must be valid when you submit your application.

Be sure to self-report your TOEFL or PTE score when completing your application. If admitted, you must submit an official score report. For the TOEFL, Columbia’s ETS code is 2174, MBA department code 02 - Graduate Schools of Management. For the PTE select "Columbia Business School" from the list of schools provided by Pearson. The Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score when reviewing your application.

Back to top

Essays

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy.”
“Work for an investment firm that focuses on real estate.”

Essay 1:
Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words)

Essay 2:
Please view the video below:
The Center
How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)

Essay 3:
What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

Optional Essay:
An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

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)

Back to top

Recommendations

All first-time applications require two recommendations. Reapplicants are required to submit one new recommendation. If you have been working full-time for at least six months, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor. The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can share their insights on your candidacy.

If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for fewer than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from a person who can comment on your managerial abilities. You may ask a summer employer or another person whom you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor.

We ask recommenders to consider the following guidelines when writing their recommendations (recommended limit - 1000 words):

  • How do the candidate's performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response.
 

Please be aware: The Admissions Committee requires that all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations.

Back to top

Interview

Applicants may be invited interview with one of our alumni. In most cases, interviews are offered in the applicant’s geographic area, and invitations to interview can be sent at any time after a completed application has been received by the Admissions Office. Interviews are by invitation only and cannot be requested.

Back to top

Application Fee

The nonrefundable application fee for the Columbia Business School MBA Program is US$250. Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay this fee via credit card (Visa or MasterCard only) within the online application system in order to expedite the processing of their application.

Applicants unable to pay by credit card should contact the Admissions Office at apply@gsb.columbia.edu for directions regarding alternative methods of payment.

Fee waivers are available to full-time students, active duty military personnel, and members of the Peace Corps, Teach for America, Teach for China, or Teach for India who are currently in service. Proof of current service is required. Applicants who qualify for a fee waiver should email a fee waiver request, as well as proof of service, to apply@gsb.columbia.edu and explain their need for a fee waiver in the optional essay. Please allow up to one week for an update to your online status confirming that your fee waiver has been approved.

Back to top

Re-applicant Checklist

Please note that candidates may only apply once to a given term of entry. Candidates may not apply twice to the same term of entry.

To reapply to the MBA Program at Columbia Business School, please use the following checklist to ensure smooth processing. Please note, information and requirements are subject to change without notice.

The Admissions Office retains all applications for one year after a decision is rendered. If you are reapplying no more than 12 months from your initial term of entry to Columbia Business School, the checklist below will help ensure that you submit everything the Admissions Committee will need to reassess your candidacy. For example if you applied for August 2013 your will be considered a reapplicant for January 2014 or August 2014. If you are reapplying more than 12 months after your initial term of entry, you must submit a new, fully complete application.

Please submit the following to the Admissions Committee for your reapplication. If you have trouble starting a new application, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.

  • Reapplication fee: U.S.$250.
  • One new recommendation letter, preferably from your current employer. If you have already used your current employer for a recommendation, please choose someone else in a supervisory role or a client.
  • Please update the following sections "Personal," "Family," "Employment," "Education," and "Extracurricular Activities".
  • How will you finance your MBA?
  • Submit transcripts of any additional courses you have taken since your previous application.
  • Please remember to indicate the dates and self-reported scores of the standardized tests that you wish to be considered in your admissions decision.

    Please note:
    GMAT scores are valid for five years. Your scores must be valid at the time of application submission.

    TOEFL scores are valid for two years. Your scores must be valid at the time of application submission.

    International students who have a degree from an institution in which all instruction is conducted in English are exempt from the TOEFL.

    Reapplicants are NOT required to submit additional essays. Only the reapplicant essay is required.
  • How have you enhanced your candidacy since your previous application? Please detail your progress since you last applied and reiterate how you plan to achieve your immediate and long term post-MBA professional goals. (Maximum 500 words).

Back to top

Deposits

All admitted students are required to submit two nonrefundable tuition deposits to secure their place in the class after admission. Admitted students for January and Early Decision must submit deposits within two weeks of admission. Students for the January-entry are required to submit a second deposit by November 14, 2014.

Back to top

Application Links

Apply Now>

Access Your Application>

Check Application Status>

 

Admitted Students Site

Congratulations! You're in. But before you can get started on this exciting new phase of your career, there's lots to do.

MBA Log In>

Voices of Columbia Business School

Get a glimpse into the experiences of MBA and EMBA students, and connect with Admissions officers for events and application information.

VISIT VOICES >

Notes to the Next Class

Discover tips on how to make the most of your time at Columbia Business School.

VISIT NOTES >

 

Watch the Video:
At the Very Center of Business

See how Columbia Business School puts you at the very center of business, where chances for success revolve all around.

Watch the video

Google+

Expand >

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.

< Collapse

Surf the Social Stream

Follow the School's social conversation on our Connect Online page, which puts #CBSAtTheCenter of social media.

Connect online

Expand >

The strength of our School lies in our community, and the community connects online. Our Connect Online page makes it easy to see what the community says about what puts #CBSAtTheCenter of so many lives.

< Collapse

The Core: Experience the Impact of Knowledge

The Columbia Core Curriculum imparts unparalleled perspectives that inspire and challenge, and connect the dots to success.

More about the Core

Expand >

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.

< Collapse

Apply Now

MBA
Entry: January '15
Final: 10/8/14

Entry: August '15
Early: 10/8/14
Merit Fellowship Deadline: 1/7/15
Final: 4/15/15

EMBA-Americas
Final: 10/29/14

EMBA-New York Saturday
Early: 1/12/15
Final: 3/2/15

EMBA-New York Fri/Sat
Early: 3/18/15
Final: 6/3/15

Did you Know?

38%

of the 2014 incoming class were non-US citizens

 

41,000

alumni in the Columbia Business School network

 

find out what the CBS community is thinking