If you have a question that isn’t answered here, or if you need further clarification, we encourage you to call our Admissions team at 212-854-1961 or send an e-mail to [email protected]
You can also skip to information re-applying.
How do I apply?
The application processes for all of our EMBA options are handled online. We suggest you begin with the application requirements.
Can I apply to more than one of Columbia Business School’s MBA programs at once?
Columbia does not accept simultaneous applications to its MBA programs. Please apply to the program that most closely reflects your professional, personal, and geographic interests and experience. Admissions officers will be happy to offer guidance with your choice. If you wish to explore the possibility of admission to a different program during the application process, it is possible to request that the Admissions Committee discuss your suitability for a different program. We reserve the right to withdraw offers of admission to any candidate who does not disclose a prior application to any other Columbia MBA program.
May I apply to Columbia if I already have an MBA?
If you already have an MBA or similar degree in management studies, you are eligible to apply to the Columbia Executive MBA Program. However, we would not encourage you to do so unless you have a compelling reason. You may wish to review our course offerings and talk with an admissions officer to see how much of the program would be repetitious. Then, if you decide to apply, you should make a compelling case in your application to explain why you want to have another MBA education.
Must I take the GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment (EA) before I apply?
Yes, all EMBA candidates are required to submit a valid standardized test score as part of the application process. However, test scores, while important, are only one data point used in evaluating candidates. For EMBA, work experience is the primary factor in our consideration. Learn more about the EMBA Program’s GMAT/GRE/EA requirement.
My test scores will expire before I am ready to submit my application. What should I do?
Columbia Business School considers scores valid for five years after your test date. Please send your score report to Columbia Business School and submit your application at least one week before the scores expire. Columbia Business School's GMAT and Executive Assessment code is QF8-N6-36 for EMBA-Friday/Saturday, and QF8-N6-04 for EMBA-Saturday. Its GRE code is 6442. If admitted, we will need your official scores on file before matriculation.
GMAT and Executive Assessment scores are available for reporting for up to 10 years, electronically for 5 years. If you are accepted and we do not have your scores on file, you must have GMAC send us a physical copy.
GRE scores are available for 5 years. Once they expire, you will not be able to submit official scores. If you are accepted and we do not have your scores on file you will have to re-take an examination.
My recommender doesn’t have an institutional or professional email address, is this okay?
Yes, however references submitted from personal or anonymous email accounts (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, 123.com, 163.com, qq.com etc.) will be subject to your admission being rescinded if significant discrepancies are found. Please ensure that if admitted, your recommender is aware that they will be contacted via email and phone in order to verify you recommendation.
Does Columbia's EMBA-NY program provide student visas?
Full-time employment is a requirement of matriculation in the EMBA program. Students who are not US Citizens or Permanent Residents must secure their visas through their employers, and are responsible for confirming that their visa status permits them to both study and work in the US. Some examples of acceptable visa status for matriculation in the EMBA-NY program are H-1, L-1, O-1, among others.
If you do not currently hold such a visa it is important to note that due to the program’s employment requirements, students in this program cannot be on F-1 student visa status.
Working in the US, even remotely for a foreign employer, could be a violation of US student visa regulations, so it is advisable to speak with an immigration attorney who may be able to suggest appropriate visa options based on the type of employment and company you have.
May I request a fee waiver?
Fee waivers for EMBA applications are available to active duty US military personnel. Proof of current service is required. Applicants who qualify for a fee waiver should create or log into the application and navigate to the "Review" page. Upon accessing the Fee Waiver Request form, applicants will provide proof of service and explain their need for a fee waiver. Qualified applicants who have already submitted an application should email [email protected] to request a Fee Waiver Request form. Please allow up to one week for an update to your online status regarding a fee waiver request.
How do I schedule an interview?
The invitation-only interview is a chance for us to get to know you beyond your written application and for you to ask questions. Once you submit your application, you may be contacted to schedule a time to meet.
After submitting my application, when will I receive a decision?
Our goal is either to invite you for an interview or deny admission within six weeks of a completed application being received. Our goal for interviewed applicants is to render a final decision within two weeks of the interview report being completed.
Do I need to be sponsored?
Sponsorship is viewed in two ways: Time away from work to attend class, and financial support. At a minimum, applicants for the Friday/Saturday option must submit written authorization from their employer indicating permission to attend class on workdays and to complete the program. Applicants for the Saturday-only option do not require employer sponsorship of any kind.
Many EMBA students also obtain corporate financial sponsorship, which ranges from partial to full support, but this is not required.
Can I sponsor myself?
Yes. If you are an independent professional or consultant or the head of your own firm, you may write your own sponsorship letter. Applicants for the Friday/Saturday option who are employed by an organization that can endorse their candidacy, but not provide financial support, may meet the financial requirements themselves. In this case, the organization must still provide a letter of endorsement stating that the applicant will be guaranteed time away from work to attend all classes and required program activities. Saturday-only students do not require sponsorship of time off or financial sponsorship.
Can I apply without being employed?
Employment is a requirement of matriculation in the Executive MBA Program, and candidates are expected to be fully employed at the time of application. Should your employment change during the application process, the Admissions Office must be promptly informed.
If you find yourself unemployed during the program for any reason, you are required to notify the EMBA Program Office immediately. You may use the resources available to EMBA students, including Career Management Center resources, to aid in your search for employment.
How much does the EMBA Program cost?
Are there scholarships for the program?
There are no scholarships or grants offered directly through Columbia University for the Executive MBA Program. There are, however, free online scholarship search engines that may be helpful in identifying external sources of scholarships.
Is financial aid available?
Financial aid is available through federal and private educational loans. Learn more about student loan options for Executive MBA students.
How much will I be able to customize my curriculum through electives?
Our wide selection of electives allows you to customize your curriculum. Please note: EMBA students take a total of 12 electives, primarily in their second year. Elective offerings are scheduled with the academic divisions. Typically, you are offered a selection of 30 electives over three terms. If your schedule and course capacity permits, you may also take electives from the Full-Time MBA Program or a maximum of two courses from Columbia’s other professional schools (Law, International and Public Affairs, Journalism, Medicine, Public Health, etc.). Electives are undertaken after you have completed all core courses. More detailed information about the elective offerings of EMBA-Global can be found on the program website.
What career management services are available?
As an EMBA student, the Career Management Center is designed to provide ongoing professional career development services geared to your needs. You’ll find career-related workshops, virtual programs, one-on-one advising, an extensive website, and various networking opportunities and events. These resources are dedicated to enhancing professional development for both active job seekers and students who intend to continue working with their sponsoring employers. Learn more about career management for EMBA students.
After I'm admitted, can I defer to a future term?
As a matter of policy, Columbia Business School does not defer admitted students to future terms.
What does a typical EMBA calendar look like for the length of the program?
EMBA students are on a rigorous schedule, given that they also hold full-time jobs. View calendars of sample EMBA terms.
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.
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 2021 you will be considered a reapplicant for May 2022 or August 2022. If you are reapplying more than 12 months after the initial term of entry, you must submit a new, fully complete application.
Please submit the following to the Admissions Committee for your re-application. If you have trouble starting a new application, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.
- Re-application fee: US$250.
- Submit a new company sponsorship letter.
- Submit 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: "Application," "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: test scores are valid for five years. Your scores must be valid at the time of application submission.
Reapplicants are not required to submit three new 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).