You are here

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


The Media Program at Columbia Business School recommends that students pursuing careers in media not only take courses taught by the School’s faculty experts like Media and Information Management or Mergers and Acquisitions in Media, but also explore electives across the University, such as the Business of Film (Film School), Law and the Music Industry (Law School), or the Social Impact of Mass Media (Journalism School).

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.


Notes to the Next Class

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


Upcoming Information Sessions

March 26, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Virtual Information Session: Hispanic Business Association>

March 28, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
MBA Virtual Information Session: Military in Business Association>

March 30, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Information Session>

March 31, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Virtual Information Session: Reflections on the Columbia MBA>

April 1, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
MBA Information Session>

April 2, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Virtual Information Session: Cluster Q>

April 6, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Information Session>

April 8, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Virtual Information Session: Student Leadership>

April 8, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
MBA Information Session>

April 13, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Information Session>

April 22, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
MBA Virtual Information Session: January Entry Experience>

Special Concentration in Business Management

Special Concentration in Business Management

Applications for the Special Concentration in Business Management is now closed. It will reopen Spring of 2016. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Special Concentration, please take time to carefully review the program details and FAQ.

Apply Now

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-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?


of the 2014 incoming class were non-US citizens



alumni in the Columbia Business School network


find out what the CBS community is thinking