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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 unofficial 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 official transcripts from each of the colleges or universities you have attended. Offers of admission are not binding until academic records have been verified.

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GPA

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

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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.

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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. 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.

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Essays

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (100 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“After my MBA I want to join a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy and power companies.”
“I hope to work in business development for a media company that is expanding its reach in Asia. ”
“My goal is to work for an investment firm that focuses on community development projects.”

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

Essay 2:
Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world's business capital - Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (Maximum 250 words)

Please view the videos below:
New York City - limitless possibilities
New York City - fast paced and adaptable

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)

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Recommendations

All applications require two recommendations. 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 add personal insight into 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:

  • Your relationship to the applicant.
  • The applicant’s performance.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the applicant.
  • The applicant’s interpersonal skills.
  • The applicant’s written and spoken communication skills.
  • How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts?
  • How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace?
  • The most important thing you would like the Admissions Committee to know.

 

Please be aware, the Admissions Committee does require all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations.

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Interview

Applicants may be invited to participate in evaluative interviews conducted by alumni or current students. 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.

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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.

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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).

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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. If you are admitted as a Regular Decision candidate on or before January 31, 2014 you must deposit by February 20, 2014. If you are admitted on or after February 1, 2014 you must deposit by May 1, 2014. Early Decision and Regular Decision admitted students are required to submit a second deposit on June 2, 2014 in order to secure their spaces in the class.

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Did you Know?

37%

of the 2012 incoming class were international students

 

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alumni in the Columbia Business School network

 

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