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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Immersion Seminar experience is designed primarily as an intellectual capstone for students who have successfully completed the core and want to explore opportunities to test their knowledge in the marketplace. Through a combination of in-class academic content and site visits to leading organizations, students gain exposure to the challenges, opportunities, and leaders within an industry.
Example Immersion Seminar Courses include:
- Luxury Brands
- Data Analytics
- Management Consulting
- Technology Disruption
- Innovation in a Connected World
- Experience Brand Cultures in the Arts
- Shareholder Activism
- Financial Services
Foundations of Entrepreneurship
Foundations of Entrepreneurship is designed to expose MBA students to the skills, joys, and frustrations of being an entrepreneur—and for some, to prepare you to start and nurture your own business. We work together to develop your skills in opportunity evaluation, as well as an understanding of the steps and competencies required to launch a new business. Specific topics include characteristics of successful startups, techniques for finding and evaluating new ideas, customer acquisition, entrepreneurial finance, valuation and deal making, forming effective partnerships, buying and selling a business, family business dynamics, and learning how to pitch. The class is appropriate for those with an interest in the unique challenges and opportunities associated with new ventures—this includes potential entrepreneurs, those interested in the financing of new ventures, working in new ventures, or in the management of new or small organizations more generally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.