Experience the possibilities. Columbia offers the largest selection of electives among business schools anywhere. Electives give you an opportunity to explore new career paths or delve into specialized areas to enhance your professional prospects. With every course, you will learn from a faculty member at the forefront of innovation.

What you need to know:

  • Once you finish the core curriculum, you’ll immerse yourself in the weeklong international seminar. This is the perfect opportunity to apply the global concepts you learned in class and is required of students from all EMBA tracks.
  • You may choose to participate in global electives. During these intensive, cross-cultural learning experiences, you’ll join students from our partner programs in London, Hong Kong, and other locations.
  • Electives offered in our Full-Time MBA Program are now available to you. Many meet on weekday evenings.
  • This is also the time to take advantage of choosing from the more than 4,000 graduate-level courses available in other graduate schools throughout the University.

The bonus at the end of the road? All alumni are welcome to audit classes free of charge for life.

Popular Electives

Advanced Corporate Finance

In this comprehensive examination of selected corporate finance issues, we focus on the design of financial policy, financial transactions, and the valuation of firms, both in the United States and internationally. Topics may include security issuance, debt policy and liability management, dividend policy and share repurchases, design and valuation of equity-linked instruments, private equity and venture capital financing, leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, and financial restructuring.

Behavioral Economics & Decision Making

Future managers and consultants will benefit from understanding the decisions and associated biases of customers. First, gain a broad overview of important research in the behavioral sciences (e.g., behavioral economics, behavioral decision research, social and cognitive psychology, consumer research) that clarifies how managers and customers make choices. Second, learn how how the research results can be leveraged to design original and more effective marketing and business strategies, as well as design more effective organizations. Applying such insights to business and marketing strategies can be a significant competitive advantage.

Catching the Growth Waves in Emerging Economies

Learn how to improve the odds of placing winning bets in emerging markets by thinking strategically about the waves of opportunities that arise as countries develop. The underlying theory is that, in spite of many apparent differences, emerging markets develop by following common patterns that result from similar consumer priorities, needs, and wants. As a result, development tends to follow certain predictable paths. Understanding these patterns gives foresight into opportunities ready to be fostered or likely to emerge in particular markets.

Economics of Strategic Behavior

Examine the underlying economics of successful business strategy: the strategic imperatives of competitive markets, the sources and dynamics of competitive advantage, managing competitive interactions, and the organizational implementation of such strategy. Taught by Professor Bruce Greenwald, the course offers excellent background for all consultants, managers, and corporate finance generalists.

Executive Leadership

This course sets out to help you develop your leadership potential. Beyond intelligence and technical savvy, what separates leaders from average managers is a set of individual skills, such as the ability to make sound decisions under ambiguous circumstances, along with a set of social skills, such as the ability to build productive working relationships among team members. We identify critical individual and social skills and illustrate how you may use them to gain an extra edge in your career.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Designed as an applications-oriented course, we draw heavily upon real-world, change-of-control case studies. Regardless of whether you "practice" M&A, the course affords an insider's look into what is undeniably a major force on today's corporate landscape. Particularly if you are interested in investment banking, consulting, equity research, corporate development, corporate lending, strategic planning, private equity, leveraged finance, or proprietary trading, you may wish to consider this course.

Napoleon's Glance

Develop a key skill for strategy, leadership, and decision making in business, your career, and your personal life. While other courses may teach the science of management through analytical tools and techniques, Professor William Duggan teaches the art of management through strategic intuition — otherwise known as Napoleon’s glance.

Power and Influence in Organizations

Power and influence processes are pervasive and important in organizations. Leaders need to be able to both understand power and to act on that knowledge. Organizations are fundamentally political entities; power and influence are key mechanisms by which things get done. This course has three objectives: to increase your ability to diagnose and analyze power; to expose you to effective and appropriate methods of influence; and to explain how power and influence can be used to build cooperation and promote change within organizations.

Starting and Running an Entrepreneurial Company

Delve into all aspects of starting, buying, building, running, and exiting from an entrepreneurial company. Looking at varied styles of entrepreneurial leadership, learn how to create an effective corporate culture and empower the people on your team. Examine how to implement selling and marketing strategies, which are vital to the success of entrepreneurial companies. We cover everything from raising cash and setting up a company to taking on partners, dealing with families, and learning other practical lessons.

Foundations of Entrepreneurship

Foundations of Entrepreneurship is designed to expose 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.

Supply Chain Management

In this course, we cover two primary objectives important to supply chain management: Gaining competitive edge via superior customer service; and reducing costs through efficient procurement, production, and delivery systems. Examine strategic activities, such as capacity expansion or consolidation, make/buy decisions, and initiation of supplier contracts. Look closely at tactical activities, such as production, procurement, and logistics planning. Delve into operational activities, such as operations scheduling and release decisions, batch sizing, and issuing of purchase orders. For a sampling of the current semester’s elective offerings, visit Courses at Columbia Business School.

Global Electives

Whether you work in the heart of New York City or on the other side of the world, you’ll find a versatile schedule of offerings, tailored to the needs of busy executives. Special weeklong global electives, held in New York, Hong Kong, and other locations, bring together students from all our EMBA tracks—EMBA-Americas, EMBA-New York Friday/Saturday, EMBA-New York Saturday, EMBA-Global Americas and Europe, and EMBA-Global Asia. These intensive, collaborative, hands-on learning experiences are geared to helping you expand your network and perspective, as well as become a better leader in an increasingly global marketplace.