Admissions

Will I qualify for admission with a three-year undergraduate degree?

We accept applications from candidates with a three-year undergraduate degree. Those applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

May I submit my application if I have not yet taken the GMAT, Executive Assessment, or GRE?

No.  A valid test score is required when you submit your application. Scores will be verified after admission to the program.

Read more about our GMAT, Executive Assessment and GRE requirements.

How do I schedule an interview?

Interviews are by invitation only; applicants cannot request an interview. The Admissions Office will contact you if you are selected for an interview.

After submitting my application, when will I receive a decision?

Columbia Business School uses rolling admissions. The Admissions Office will begin reviewing January-entry applications and August-entry Early Decision applications once all required materials have been received.

Our goal is either to invite for an interview or deny admission within six weeks of receiving a completed application. Our goal for interviewed applicants is to render a final decision within two weeks of the interview report being completed.

Please note that the Admissions Committee will first review all of the Early Decision and January-entry applications before we review Regular Decision applications. Regular Decision applications will be held and read in the order they are received. We begin reviewing these applications in November.

Check your application status.

After admission, can I request a deferral to a future term?

No. Students must start the program at the entry point for which they were admitted. For example, a student who was admitted to the January-entry for 2020 must start in January 2020.

If admitted to the Deferred Enrollment Program, you may enter at any entry point within the two to five year deferral period as long as you have submitted the required deposits and notified the program of your intention to start the program by the notification deadline.

If I’ve been denied admission, may I receive feedback on my candidacy?

We understand the enormous commitment of time and energy that goes into applying to business school; unfortunately, we are not able to offer individual feedback on denied applications. Please know that this is a competitive process and we are only able to admit a portion of the many strong candidates who apply.

If I’ve been denied admission, may I appeal the decision?

All decisions are final. There is no process for appeal.

Do you have any advice for reapplicants?

Please note that candidates may only apply once for each term of entry. If you are considering a reapplication, please review the class profile and consider how you might strengthen your candidacy. Candidates who are successful in the reapplication process have demonstrated an understanding of Columbia’s programs, what she or he will contribute to the school, growth through academic, career or community achievements. We encourage you to note any changes since your original application, including:

Significant change in your responsibilities at work

Improved standardized test scores

Refinement of your career goals

New recommendations

New interests pursued outside of work

Do you offer an Executive MBA?

For students who would like to continue working while enrolled in an MBA program, we encourage you to consider one of our Executive MBA programs: EMBA-New York Saturday, meeting for six semesters on Saturdays, EMBA-New York Friday/Saturday, meeting for five semesters on alternating Friday/Saturdays, and EMBA-Americas, meeting for the first three semesters on a modular one week per month format, followed by block week electives throughout the remaining two elective semesters. We also offer two partnership programs: EMBA-Global Americas and Europe in partnership with London Business School, and EMBA-Global Asia in partnership with University of Hong Kong and London Business School. Please visit the EMBA website for more information.

May I request a fee waiver?

Fee waivers are available to full-time students, active duty military personnel, 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 email a fee waiver request, as well as proof of service, to [email protected] 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.

Please note, there is no application fee for the Deferred Enrollment Program.

Read more about the application fee.

Can I apply to Columbia Business School through the Consortium?

Columbia Business School is a proud member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of leading American business schools and top US corporations. The Consortium's mission is to enhance diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership by striving to reduce the significant underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both member schools' enrollments and in the ranks of global management. For more information about applying to Columbia through the Consortium, please click here. 

Academics

Do you accept transfer credits?

Columbia Business School does not accept transfer credits for MBA programs. Before each semester, exemption exams are offered, giving students the opportunity to test out of that core course and replace it with an elective. Passing an exemption exam does not reduce the required number of courses that all students must complete in order to graduate — it merely allows students to take additional elective courses.

How many credits are required to complete the MBA program?

Students must complete a total of 60 credits in order to graduate with an MBA from Columbia Business School. Students typically enroll in 15 credits of coursework each semester for four semesters of study, though this distribution may vary. Full-term courses are worth 3 credits; half-term courses are worth 1.5 credits.

Learn more about our course offerings.

Tuition and Financial Aid

What types of financial aid are available, and who is eligible to apply?

Columbia Business School offers need-based scholarships, merit-based fellowships, and federal and private loans. Domestic students (US citizens and permanent residents) are eligible to apply for need-based scholarships, merit fellowships, and all loans. International students are eligible to apply for need-based scholarships, merit-based fellowships, and private loans with or without a creditworthy US cosigner.

Read more about financial aid at Columbia Business School.

What is the cost of attendance?

The cost of attendance is the maximum amount of financial aid and other aid a student can receive during the academic year. The number includes the cost of tuition, fees, and moderate living expenses. You can find an up-to-date breakdown of our cost of attendance (or budget) in the Student Budget section of our website.

How are fellowships awarded at Columbia Business School?

Columbia Business School fellowships for first-year students are merit-based and awarded on the strength of a candidate’s application. Merit fellowships can be awarded at the time of admission or at any point thereafter. No special application forms are required.

Fellowships are awarded only to students who begin the MBA program in August. Unfortunately, students who begin in January are not eligible for fellowship support at this time. Admitted students who apply by the merit fellowship deadline will be given priority consideration. Applicants may not apply for individual fellowships.

Read more about fellowships at Columbia Business School.

Is there an income limit for need-based consideration?

Admitted students may apply for need-based scholarships. There is no set limit, however, our need assessment includes consideration of all resources (including cash, savings, investments, IRA and retirement accounts, trust funds, real estate equity, G.I. and Social Security benefits, income of both student and spouse, other familial resources, income tax refunds, sponsorships from companies, as well as prior educational debt levels). Decisions are made by committee and based on the available budget as well as certain donor preferences. Lastly, we also take into account merit-based awards made possible by the Admissions office. Additional information might be requested to best assess a candidate's ability to pay and late applications are subject to a different process.

When do I apply for loans and scholarships?

You should apply for loans and scholarships after you are admitted to the MBA program. Based on your admission date, you will have a specific deadline for scholarship applications. To expedite the application process, we encourage you to prepare your tax return early and complete the FAFSA (domestic applicants only) as soon as possible.

Read more about scholarships at Columbia Business School.

If I get a scholarship for my first year, will it renew automatically for the second year?

It depends. Some merit-based fellowships are awarded as one-year awards. Some are renewable for the second year based on maintaining a 5.5/10.0 GPA. Need-based scholarships are renewed for the second year automatically, provided students demonstrate receipt of loan funds for their first year. Dual degree students are only eligible for aid through the school charging and collecting their tuition.

Read more about scholarships at Columbia Business School.

What is Columbia Business School’s Title IV FAFSA code?

Columbia Business School’s code is 002707.

How is the FAFSA used?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a required supporting document for the scholarship application, as well as any federal loan applications.

What is the average amount of need-based scholarships?

Scholarship amounts vary for each student; however, the award is typically in the $7,500-$30,000 range (amounts can sometimes be higher in certain circumstances).

Read more about scholarships at Columbia Business School.

Are grants or scholarships taxable?

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 states that grant assistance is taxable income to the extent that it exceeds tuition, required education fees, and course-related expenses. Course-related expenses are defined as those for books, supplies, and equipment required for courses. For nonresident aliens, the University is required to withhold federal income tax on grants received in excess of the expenses described above.

Are there any other outside sources that I should consider?

You should determine whether any organization you belong to might have aid funds available. Support is often available from religious, fraternal, or athletic organizations, clubs, veteran groups, ethnic groups, unions, employers, rotary clubs, and others. For your convenience, we've identified several outside scholarship sources as well as other resources on the Financial Aid website.

Once admitted, how do I defer my outstanding student loans?

Columbia Business School is a member of the National Student Clearinghouse. Once you are a registered student, your information will be sent directly to the clearinghouse and reported to your lender(s), so that they can defer your outstanding loans. You can also obtain a certificate of registration from the Columbia University Registrar’s Office to forward to your lender.

International Applicants

My transcript(s) and/or letter of recommendation are not in English. What should I do?

Materials that are not in English must be translated and submitted electronically. Applicants may translate their own transcripts for the review, but must not participate in the translation or submission of their own recommendation. If offered admission, we require official transcripts from each institution for verification. Official transcripts must be received through a secure online point-to-point delivery system that bypasses the student and is delivered directly to our office. The authenticity of recommendations may also be verified.

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

International students are not required to submit a language test such as the TOEFL. Your verbal score on the GRE or the GMAT is sufficient. Your interview will also be conducted in English.

What do I do if I cannot obtain a financial guarantee statement?

It is optional until you are admitted, but it will be required to obtain your I-20 (visa).

Is financial aid available to international students?

International students may be considered for merit-based fellowships for August entry. To receive priority consideration for fellowships, we encourage you to submit a complete admissions application by the merit fellowship deadline.

International students may also apply for need-based scholarships once admitted. Additional information on how to apply is located on the Admitted Students website.

Non US-citizens can apply for a private loan to cover the cost of attendance through a loan program that does not require a US cosigner or with a creditworthy US or permanent resident co-borrower. More information about international student loan options can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Many students rely on family funds, personal savings, government or company sponsorships, and/or loans secured in their home countries. For more details, see the Financial Aid website.

Deferred Enrollment Program

Am I eligible to apply to the Deferred Enrollment Program?

The following students are eligible for the Deferred Enrollment Program:

Students graduating during the current academic year from a bachelor's degree program.

Students completing a graduate degree program. Candidates must have started the graduate degree program directly after completing their undergraduate degree to be eligible for the Deferred Enrollment Program.

Students enrolled in Ph.D. programs, law school, or medical school are not eligible. Please apply through the standard MBA or EMBA application process.

If I'm graduating from my undergraduate degree program a semester early, am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. If you are graduating during the current academic year, you are eligible to apply. For example, if most of your class graduates in May, but you are graduating a semester early in December, you are still eligible to apply.

What is the application fee for the Deferred Enrollment Program?

There is no application fee for students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or eligible graduate-level program.

Can I apply to a dual degree program through the Deferred Enrollment Program?

No. Once matriculated in the MBA program (whether through Deferred Enrollment or the traditional application process), you may apply for a dual degree program during your first year. Please note that some programs such as the three year JD/MBA or the MD/MBA will not be available through this process.

Is an interview required for the Deferred Enrollment Program application?

Yes. Interviews are by invitation only and will be conducted by a member of the admissions committee. There will be on campus and virtual interview options.

If I’m not admitted to the Deferred Enrollment Program, can I re-apply?

Yes. While some candidates are successful through Deferred Enrollment, others will become stronger candidates with time. Many of our students do not gain admission on their first attempt, but are successful in a subsequent application and thrive at the Business School. Applicants who are not offered admission via the Deferred Enrollment Program, are NOT considered "re-applicants" if they decide to submit a future application.

If admitted to the Deferred Enrollment Program, will I need to submit a deposit?

Yes. If admitted you will be required to submit a $500 non-refundable tuition deposit to secure your spot. You will then submit a deferral continuation fee each year that you defer.

If admitted to the Deferred Enrollment Program, how long can I defer my admission?

You are welcome to defer for two to five years and you have the option to matriculate in our August-entry or January-entry program.  You must give your intent to matriculate by the notification deadlines.