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Beginning in the second term, students select from one of the largest and most innovative slates of electives at any business school.

Columbia’s more than 200 offerings allow students to immerse themselves in specialized topics with faculty members who are at the forefront of innovation in their fields and practitioners who bring real-world, real-time experience to the classroom. The School also encourages students to take advantage of the more than 4,000 graduate-level classes available across the University, as well as the School’s many dual-degree programs. Students may assemble their own elective sequences or select from the School’s recommended courses for common career paths, such as entrepreneurship, healthcare, marketing, media, real estate, value investing, and social enterprise.

Popular Electives

Applied Value Investing

Designed to introduce the principles of value investing, the first few sessions of the course focus on how to value a business and where to look for undervalued situations. The remaining classes focus on particular applications of value investing. Topics discussed in class include portfolio management, activism, spin-offs, behavioral finance, distressed investing, and private equity. A number of value investors address the class and discuss their own investment styles.

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The Future of Financial Services

Team-taught by faculty members with diverse areas of expertise, including Dean Glenn Hubbard, the Future of Financial Services takes a cross-disciplinary approach to investigating the underpinnings and consequences of the financial crisis, and looks forward, challenging students to discover new opportunities for products and businesses by building on an analysis of the crisis and the changing landscape of the industry.

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Global Immersion

Global Immersion classes bridge classroom lessons and business practices in another country. Classes meet for half a term in New York, then culminate in a one-week visit to a country of focus. During the immersion week, students will meet with local business executives and government officials while working on team projects. Recent Global Immersion countries have included China, India, Brazil, Costa Rica, and South Africa.

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Healthcare Industry in the 21st Century

Healthcare is by far the largest and fastest-growing industry in the United States, accounting for more than 16 percent of GDP. The cost and quality of healthcare delivery has become a paramount concern for consumers, employers and employees, as well as local and national governments. Debates, controversies and problems emerge almost daily in the news, yet the complexities of the issues are not generally well understood. New technologies and methods of delivering and paying for healthcare are transforming the industry and providing new opportunities for existing and new players in the field. This course provides an overview of the U.S. healthcare industry; the major players involved in the payment, production and delivery of healthcare; and the key challenges and opportunities facing healthcare executives, investors and policymakers.

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Impact Investing

This course provides a detailed introduction to this emerging sector, equipping students with vital, practitioner-focused skills in the following areas: 1) equity, debt, and alternative investment structuring for early- through late-stage social ventures; 2) assessment of impact and financial value for companies and investment portfolios; 3) legal and governance strategies to preserve mission-focus throughout organizational scale; and 4) role of investment funds and philanthropy in building the impact investing marketplace.

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Launching New Ventures

Taught by professors at the Lang Entrepreneurship Center, this class allows students work individually or in teams to develop a comprehensive and effective presentation of a real business concept. Faculty members, industry mentors, and others help students distill business opportunities into a written and oral presentation ready to seek funding and commence operations.

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Lean Launchpad

This course provides real world, hands-on learning on what it’s like to actually start a scalable company. It's essentially a lab, not a theory or “book” class. The goal is to create an entrepreneurial experience with all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage start up. Students talk to customers, partners, and competitors, as they encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a start-up actually works. They work in teams, learning how to turn a great idea into a great company.

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Managerial Negotiations

In managing human resources in an organization, many outcomes and decisions are determined by the process of negotiation. This course involves students in actual negotiating experiences to enhance their skills as negotiators. Concepts developed in the behavioral sciences, economics and game theory are used as guides to improve negotiating. Each fall and spring, one section of the course places emphasis on game-theoretical foundations of the negotiating process.

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Managing Brands, Identity, and Experiences

Taught by Professor Bernd Schmitt, faculty director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership, Managing Brands, Identity, and Experiences explores how companies need to understand the financial value of their corporate brand and its products, manage brands strategically, and deliver implementations to customers that are relevant, differentiated, and powerful in order to build loyalty and emotional bonds. The course involves field trips to retailing locations in Manhattan that are using experiential marketing to strengthen their brand awareness, such as the Apple Store, Abercrombie & Fitch, and the Samsung Experience.

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Master Classes

Among students’ many elective options are Master Classes. Each Master Class focuses on a specific industry (e.g., media, real estate, consulting) and draws significant input from the professional community via group projects, guest speakers, adjunct faculty members, and alumni participation. With substantial project work and practitioner involvement, Master Classes provide students with unique exposure to real-time business challenges.

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Napoleon’s Glance

Napoleon’s Glance, taught by Professor William Duggan, offers a key skill for strategy, leadership, and decision making in business, your career, and your personal life. Other courses teach the science of management, through analytical tools and techniques: this course teaches the art of management, through strategic intuition — otherwise known as Napoleon’s glance.

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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



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