Application Process

The Special Concentration in Business Management combines financial and managerial coursework — taught by Columbia Business School professors — with electives in economics, psychology, and sociology.

To pursue a Special Concentration in Business Management, students apply and are accepted into the program by Columbia College and Columbia Business School. 

To apply for the Special Concentration, please fill out an application form here. The application deadline is February 22, 2021.


To apply for the Special Concentration in Business Management, students must meet three requirements:

  • Be of sophomore or junior standing;
  • have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher; and
  • have received a B+ or better in at least one, but preferably two, prerequisite program courses in the following three required areas: statistics, economics, and psychology. Students who have completed only one prerequisite at the time of application must be currently enrolled in at least one other; acceptance is conditional on achieving a grade of B+ or higher in the second course.

  • Exceptions to this policy:
    Spring 2020: Given the mandatory Pass/Fail policy across Columbia University for Spring 2020, all courses taken Pass/Fail in Spring 2020 will count toward the Special Concentration prerequisite, core, or elective courses as if they were letter grades.
    Fall 2020: Columbia College and General Studies students are able to elect the pass/d/fail option for one class this semester without restriction. The course chosen for this grading option can fulfill a prerequisite, core, or elective requirement for the Special Concentration.

    Prerequisite Courses
    The economics course:

    One of the following statistics courses:

    One of the following psychology/sociology courses:

    NOTE: Students may not receive credit for two or more of PSYC BC1136 Social Psychology, PSYC BC1138 Social Psychology, and PSYC UN2630 Social Psychology.

    ECON UN1105 Principles of Economics
    (4 points)
    Corequisites: ECON W1155 recitation section with the same instructor
    How a market economy determines the relative prices of goods, factors of production, and the allocation of resources and the circumstances under which it does it efficiently. Why such an economy has fluctuations and how they may be controlled.
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    STAT UN1001 Introduction to Statistical Reasoning
    (3 points)
    CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
    A friendly introduction to statistical concepts and reasoning with emphasis on developing statistical intuition rather than on mathematical rigor. Topics include design of experiments, descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, probability, chance variability, sampling, chance models, and tests of significance.
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    STAT UN1101 Introduction to Statistics
    (3 points)
    CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
    Prerequisites: intermediate high school algebra

    Designed for students in fields that emphasize quantitative methods. Graphical and numerical summaries, probability, theory of sampling distributions, linear regression, analysis of variance, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Quantitative reasoning and data analysis. Practical experience with statistical software. Illustrations are taken from a variety of fields. Data-collection/analysis project with emphasis on study designs is part of the coursework requirement.
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    STAT UN1201 Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics
    (3 points)
    CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
    Prerequisites: one semester of calculus

    Designed for students who desire a strong grounding in statistical concepts with a greater degree of mathematical rigor than in STAT W1111. Random variables, probability distributions, pdf, cdf, mean, variance, correlation, conditional distribution, conditional mean and conditional variance, law of iterated expectations, normal, chi-square, F and t distributions, law of large numbers, central limit theorem, parameter estimation, unbiasedness, consistency, efficiency, hypothesis testing, p-value, confidence intervals, maximum likelihood estimation. Serves as the pre-requisite for ECON W3412.
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    PSYC UN1610 Introductory Statistics for Behavioral Scientists
    (4 points)
    Lab Required
    Lecture and lab. Priority given to psychology majors. Fee $70.
    Prerequisites: PSYC W1001 or PSYC W1010
    Recommended preparation: one course in behavioral science and knowledge of high school algebra
    Corequisites: PSYC W1611

    Introduction to statistics that concentrates on problems from the behavioral sciences.
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    SOCI W3020 Social Statistics
    (3 points)
    This course introduces methods of empirical social research for describing and drawing inferences from quantitative data. Emphasis is on basic but very serviceable methods of statistical analysis for information drawn from surveys or archives. The course includes several exercises in analysis of sample survey data.
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    PSYC UN1001 The Science of Psychology
    (3 points)
    CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
    Enrollment may be limited. Attendance at the first two class periods is mandatory.
    Broad survey of psychological science including: sensation and perception; learning, memory, intelligence, language, and cognition; emotions and motivation; development, personality, health and illness, and social behavior. Discusses relations between the brain, behavior, and experience. Emphasizes science as a process of discovering both new ideas and new empirical results. PSYC W1001 serves as a prerequisite for further psychology courses and should be completed by the sophomore year.
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    PSYC UN1010 Mind, Brain and Behavior
    (3 points)
    CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
    Introduction to the biological approach to the experimental study of behavior. Includes consideration of the types of biological data relevant to psychology, as well as the assumptions and logic permitting the interpretation of biological data in psychological terms.
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    SOCI UN1000 The Social World
    (3 points)
    Identification of the distinctive elements of sociological perspectives on society. Readings confront classical and contemporary approaches with key social issues that include power and authority, culture and communication, poverty and discrimination, social change, and popular uses of sociological concepts.
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  • The application is composed of:
    • an application form;
    • current class schedule;
    • short answer essay;
    • an unofficial transcript;
    • a resume; and
    • contact information for a Columbia University professor who has agreed to serve as your reference

Application Timeline:

Application Opens: December 21, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET

Application Closes: February 22, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET

All Application Decisions Released: March 8, 2021