When a traditional schedule doesn’t meet your needs, the J-Term option at Columbia Business School allows you to join a smaller cohort for four consecutive terms beginning in January. The condensed format provides you with a built-in network of a diverse student body as well as faculty mentors, alumni, and C-level connections. In this program video, hear from two students who share why the J-Term was the right choice for them.

Start Late, Finish On-Time

Columbia Business School recognizes that the traditional two-year MBA schedule may not be right for every student. Our January-entry option allows qualified students to skip the summer internship and get their degree in just 16 months, thereby reducing the opportunity cost of being out of the workforce during their studies.

One MBA, Two Paths

The January term is identical to the August-entry option in every way but the schedule: same professors, same rigorous core curriculum, same highly selective admissions standards. J-Term students attend orientation in the spring, while August-entry students are beginning their second terms, and finish their core courses over the summer, while August-entry students take summer internships.

In the fall of the second year, the two tracks become one, and all MBA students choose from the same pool of electives, gain access to the same career management resources, lead the same clubs, and graduate as a single class. About 30 percent of full-time MBA students enter in January.


The primary requirement for the January term is that you do not feel you need an internship. This tends to attract students who wish to remain in the same industry (including sponsored students), entrepreneurs, and students in family businesses.

Please note that there is no early decision option for January entry and that, due to the timing of the application cycle, January term applicants are not eligible for merit fellowship consideration. We begin reviewing applications for January entry once the application becomes available in June. The final application deadline is in late September.

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