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Application Requirements

Application Checklist

Online Application
Application Fee
GMAT or GRE scores
TOEFL scores (International Applicants Only)
Resume or CV
Enrollment Commitment Deposit

Online Application

Our PhD Program is full-time only. We do not offer a part-time course of study. The average completion time is five years.

All applicants must use the online application technology. Columbia Business School’s Doctoral Program does not distribute hard-copy applications.


A bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, representing a four-year course of study in an accredited college or university, is required for admission.

A master’s degree is not required, although many applicants have a master’s degree in such fields as economics, engineering, psychology, and statistics. Superior academic performance is expected. Those who hold American PhD or ScD degrees or their foreign equivalents are not normally eligible for admission. (Occasionally, an exception to this rule can be arranged.)

Application Fee

An application fee of $100 in the form of a credit or debit card must be submitted in tandem with your application.

An application is not considered complete until the fee has been paid. You may use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover when using our online application.


All applicants to all Divisions may take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).


  • The GRE is administered by Educational Testing Service at numerous centers throughout the United States and abroad.
  • Further information about the GMAT is available from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). There is no a minimum test score requirement for the GRE or the GMAT.
  • Test scores are only one component of the admission package, and all applications will be reviewed thoroughly.
  • There are absolutely no waivers for the GRE or GMAT requirements.


All foreign applicants must also take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS unless they received a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction.


Two referees willing to complete letters of recomendation. These are submittable online and through post.

Enrollment Commitment Deposit

Students admitted to the program are required to pay a deposit to reserve a place in the entering class. This commitment deposit can be waived for an applicant who is already a registered student at Columbia University. For those students receiving financial aid, this deposit is refunded after the successful completion of one term in the program; it is not refundable in the event that the admitted student fails to register at the School.

Application Deadline

A complete application containing all required components must be submitted no later than the deadline of January 5, 2014, for Fall 2014 entry. Applications received after this date will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Fall is the only entrance date. Applications are not reviewed on a rolling basis. All applications are reviewed together after the January 5 deadline.

Doctoral Program News

Honigsberg featured in Ideas at Work

The August issue of Ideas at Work features research that doctoral candidate Colleen Honigsberg led in conjunction with Sharon Katz.

Read More about Colleen

Wazlawek featured in Ideas at Work

Abbie Wazlawek's joint research with Professor Daniel Ames is featured in the June 24th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Ethan Rouen featured in Ideas at Work

Ethan Rouen's joint research with Professor Dan Amiram is featured in the May 15th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Rivas Wins Fellowship

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Miguel Duro Rivas, who was awarded the Nasdaq Educational Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Read More about Miguel

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 >

Honigsberg Named Postdoctoral Fellow

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Colleen Honigsberg, who was named the Postdoctoral Fellow in Corporate Governance at the Millstein Center at Columbia Law School in October 2013

Read More about Colleen >


Application Deadlines

Master of Science in Marketing >

For Fall 2015 Entry:
Deadline: January 5th, 2015


Master of Science in Financial Economics

For Fall 2015 Entry:
Deadline: January 5th, 2015


Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering

For Fall 2014 Entry:
Early Decision: Jan 6, 2015
Regular Decision: Feb 15, 2015


Apply Now
Sept 2015

Deadline: 01/05/15

MS Marketing
Deadline: 01/05/15

MS Financial Economics
Deadline: 01/05/15


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Students listening to classroom lecture

Once you've submitted your application, you can login and track your status by using the link below.

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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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