GMAT, Executive Assessment, or GRE Score
Columbia Business School requires that the work contained in your application (including essays) is completely accurate and exclusively your own. Columbia University permits the use of generative AI tools for idea generation and/or to edit a candidate’s work; however, using these tools to generate complete responses violates the Honor Code.
Applicants should not participate in the drafting of letter(s) of recommendation.
All application content is subject to verification and adherence to the above requirements.
OFFERS OF ADMISSION WILL BE RESCINDED SHOULD ANY MISREPRESENTATION AND/OR OMISSION OCCUR.
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 transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution which they have attended.
If offered admission, you will be required to provide encrypted digital copies of your transcripts from each of the colleges or universities submitted on your application. Offers of admission are not binding until academic records have been verified.
Applicants should report their grade point average as it appears on their transcript.
GMAT, Executive Assessment, or GRE Score
All applicants must submit a self-reported valid GMAT*, Executive Assessment, or GRE score when submitting an application. Columbia Business School considers scores to be valid for five years after your test date. Please be sure to send your score report and submit your application at least one week before the scores expire. Please note that additional test scores cannot be added to an application after that application has been submitted.
If admitted, you must submit an official GMAT, Executive Assessment, or GRE score. Columbia Business School’s GMAT and Executive Assessment code is QF8-N6-52, 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.
*We accept both GMAT Exam and GMAT Focus Edition scores.
Applicants should upload their current professional resume or CV to the online application. Your professional resume or CV should ideally be one-page in length, but one-to-two pages is also acceptable.
Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.
Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)
Examples of possible responses:
- “Work in business development for a media company.”
- “Join a strategy consulting firm.”
- “Launch a data-management start-up.”
Through your resume and recommendation, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next three to five years and what is your long-term dream job? (500 words)
The Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership (PPIL) is a co-curricular program designed to provide students with the skills and strategies needed to develop as inclusive leaders. Through various resources and programming, the goal is for students to explore and reflect during their educational journey on the following five inclusive leadership skills: Mitigating Bias and Prejudice; Managing Intercultural Dialogue; Addressing Systemic Inequity; Understanding Identity and Perspective Taking; and Creating an Inclusive Environment.
Describe a time or situation when you had the need to utilize one or more of these five skills, and tell us the actions you took and the outcome. (250 words)
We believe Columbia Business School is a special place. CBS proudly fosters a collaborative learning environment through curricular experiences like our clusters and learning teams, an extremely active co-curricular and student life environment, and career mentorship opportunities like our Executives-in-Residence program.
Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you academically, culturally, and professionally? Please be specific. (250 words)
If you wish to provide further information or additional context around your application to the Admissions Committee, please upload a brief explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)
Deferred Enrollment candidates will answer two short essay questions instead of the essays listed above. Questions for the 2024 application cycle to be announced.
First-time applicants require one recommendation. Reapplicants are required to submit one new recommendation. If you have been working full-time for at least six months, your recommendation should ideally be from your current supervisor. If you are unable to secure a recommendation from your direct supervisor, please submit a statement of explanation in the Employment section of your application. Beyond your direct supervisor, other recommender options include: a former direct supervisor or another professional associate, senior to you, who can share their insights on your candidacy.
If you have worked full-time for fewer than six months, your recommendation 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. If you are a college senior, we encourage you to apply for the Deferred Enrollment Program.
Please note that Columbia Business School and several of our peer institutions use similar, if not identical, recommendation questions. This is an effort on our part to make the process easier for your recommender. We expect that you, the applicant, will not participate in the drafting of your recommendation. When entering contact information for recommenders, please use their institutional or professional email address. We ask that the recommender upload their recommendation on letterhead, whenever possible. 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. Applications are not considered complete until all required information is submitted; this includes your recommendation.
We ask the recommender to consider the following guidelines when writing their recommendation (recommended limit - 1000 words):
- How do the candidate's performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
- Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response.
Deferred Enrollment Program
- Please share how you feel the applicant will contribute to the Columbia Business School classroom and community.
Interviews are by invitation only and cannot be requested. The Admissions Office will contact you if you are selected for an interview.
On Monday, October 16, 2023 we will begin releasing invitations to interview for Round 1 consideration. While we plan to release the vast majority of interview invitations in October, you could receive an interview invitation any time until Monday, November 20, 2023. Additional details to follow regarding Round 2 and Round 3.
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 [email protected] for directions regarding alternative methods of payment.
Fee waivers are available to full-time students, active duty US military personnel, eligible displaced persons (view this website for displaced eligibility criteria), and members of the Peace Corps or Teach For All network partners who are currently in service. 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.
The Application fee is automatically waived for our Deferred Enrollment Program.
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 2022 you will be considered a reapplicant for January 2023 or August 2023. 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 reapplication. If you have trouble starting a new application, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.
- Reapplication fee: US$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 “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: GMAT scores are valid for five years. Your scores must be valid at the time of application submission. 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).
Admitted students are required to submit two nonrefundable tuition deposits to secure their place in the class after admission, with the exception of August Round 3, which has a single deposit deadline. Deposits will be applied directly toward your first semester’s tuition and fees. Please be aware that if you do not matriculate, your deposit will not be refunded.
Refer to the chart below for the deposit due dates and amounts for each application:
|Application||First Deposit Deadline||Amount Due||Second Deposit Deadline||Amount Due|
|January||Within two weeks of admission||US$2,000||November 8, 2023||US$1,000|
|Round 1||February 7, 2024||US$6,000||May 22, 2024||US$1,000|
|Round 2||April 17, 2024||US$2,000*||May 22, 2024||US$1,000|
|Round 3||N/A||N/A||May 29, 2024||US$3,000|
*Updated 6/6/23 to reflect corrected deposit amount.