The Special Concentration in Business Management at the Mendelson Center for Undergraduate Business Initiatives is not a stand-alone concentration. It is intended to serve as a complement to a major or concentration.

Eligibility for Continuous Enrollment

Students must:

  • Be a Columbia College or General Studies student.
  • Take all courses for the Special Concentration in Business Management for a letter grade.

Exceptions to this policy:

  • Spring 2020: Given the mandatory Pass/Fail policy across Columbia University for Spring 2020, all courses taken Pass/Fail in Spring 2020 will count toward the Special Concentration prerequisite, core, or elective courses as though they were letter grades.
  • Fall 2020: Columbia College and General Studies students are able to elect the Pass/D/Fail option for one class this semester without restriction. The course chosen for this grading option can fulfill a prerequisite, core, or elective requirement for the Special Concentration.

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all prerequisite, core, and elective program courses in order to qualify for the special concentration. To be eligible, students must apply to the program in the spring semester of their sophomore or junior years, and they must be accepted through a process governed by Columbia Business School. The program accepts up to 45 qualified candidates each year. The size of the program may be reviewed from time to time by Columbia College and Columbia Business School and adjusted, if desired by both schools.

The core courses in the Special Concentration in Business Management cannot be double-counted toward a major or a concentration. Only prerequisites and electives may be double-counted for other majors or concentrations. Please adhere to your major's double-counting policy.

In order to graduate, students must complete a major or a full concentration, in addition to the requirements for the Special Concentration in Business Management.


ECON UN1105 Principles of Economics

How a market economy determines the relative prices of goods, factors of production, and the allocation of resources and the circumstances under which it does it efficiently. Why such an economy has fluctuations and how they may be controlled.

Co-requisites: ECON W1155 recitation section with the same instructor

One of the following statistics courses

STAT UN1001 Introduction to Statistical Reasoning

(3 points)

CC/GS: Partial fulfillment of science requirement

A friendly introduction to statistical concepts and reasoning, with emphasis on developing statistical intuition rather than on mathematical rigor. Topics include design of experiments, descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, probability, chance variability, sampling, chance models, and tests of significance.

STAT UN1101 Introduction to Statistics

(3 points)

CC/GS: Partial fulfillment of science requirement

Prerequisites: Intermediate high school algebra

Designed for students in fields that emphasize quantitative methods. Graphical and numerical summaries, probability, theory of sampling distributions, linear regression, analysis of variance, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. Quantitative reasoning and data analysis. Practical experience with statistical software. Illustrations are taken from a variety of fields. Data collection/analysis project with emphasis on study designs is part of the coursework requirement.

STAT UN1201 Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics

(3 points)

CC/GS: Partial fulfillment of science requirement

Prerequisites: One semester of calculus

Designed for students who desire a strong grounding in statistical concepts with a greater degree of mathematical rigor than in STAT W1111. Random variables, probability distributions, pdf, cdf, mean, variance, correlation, conditional distribution, conditional mean and conditional variance, law of iterated expectations, normal, chi-square, F and t distributions, law of large numbers, central limit theorem, parameter estimation, unbiasedness, consistency, efficiency, hypothesis testing, p-value, confidence intervals, maximum likelihood estimation. Serves as the pre-requisite for ECON W3412.

PSYC UN1610 Introductory Statistics for Behavioral Scientists

(4 points)

Lecture and lab required. Priority given to psychology majors.

Recommended preparation: One course in behavioral science and knowledge of high school algebra

Prerequisites: PSYC W1001 or PSYC W1010

Co-requisites: PSYC W1611

Introduction to statistics that concentrates on problems from the behavioral sciences.

STAT UN1201 Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics

(3 points)

This course introduces methods of empirical social research for describing and drawing inferences from quantitative data. Emphasis is on basic but very serviceable methods of statistical analysis for information drawn from surveys or archives. The course includes several exercises in analysis of sample survey data.

One of the following psychology courses

PSYC UN1001 The Science of Psychology

(3 points)

CC/GS: Partial fulfillment of science requirement

Enrollment may be limited. Attendance at the first two class periods is mandatory.

Broad survey of psychological science including: sensation and perception; learning, memory, intelligence, language, and cognition; emotions and motivation; development, personality, health and illness, and social behavior. Discusses relations between the brain, behavior, and experience. Emphasizes science as a process of discovering both new ideas and new empirical results. PSYC W1001 serves as a prerequisite for further psychology courses and should be completed by the sophomore year.

PSYC UN1010 Mind, Brain, and Behavior

(3 points)

CC/GS: Partial fulfillment of science requirement

Introduction to the biological approach to the experimental study of behavior. Includes consideration of the types of biological data relevant to psychology, as well as the assumptions and logic permitting the interpretation of biological data in psychological terms.

SOCI UN1000 The Social World

(3 points)

Identification of the distinctive elements of sociological perspectives on society. Readings confront classical and contemporary approaches with key social issues that include power and authority, culture and communication, poverty and discrimination, social change, and popular uses of sociological concepts.

Business School Core Courses

Students must complete one of the following core finance courses

BUSI UN3013 Financial Accounting

(3 points)

This course enables students to become informed users of financial information by teaching them to understand the language of accounting and financial reporting. It focuses on the three major financial statements that companies prepare for use of management and external parties: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows. The course examines the underlying concepts that go into the preparation of these financial statements as well as specific accounting rules that apply when preparing financial statements. It also looks at approaches to analyze the financial strength and operations of an entity. BUSI UN3013 uses actual financial statements to show how financial information is presented and to enable students to apply analysis techniques.

ECON GU4280 Corporate Finance

(3 points)

Prerequisites: ECON W3211, ECON W3213, and STAT 1201

This course presents an introduction to the economics principles underlying the financial decisions of firms. The topics covered include bond and stock valuations, capital budgeting, dividend policy, market efficiency, risk valuation, and risk management. For information regarding registration for this course, please visit the economics department website.

Students must complete two of the following managerial core courses

BUSI UN3021 Marketing Management

(3 points)

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of fundamental marketing concepts and their application by businesses and other organizations. The goal is to expose students to these concepts as they are used in a wide variety of settings, including at consumer goods firms, in manufacturing and service industries, and at small and large businesses. The course gives an overview of marketing strategy, elements of a market (company, customers, and competition), and the fundamental elements of the marketing mix (product, price, placement/distribution, and promotion).

BUSI W3701 Strategy Formulation

(3 points)

Provides an introduction to strategic management with two broad goals: to understand why some companies are financially much more successful than others; and to analyze how managers can devise a set of actions ("the strategy") and design processes that allow their company to obtain a financial advantage. Allows students to gain a better understanding of strategic issues and begin to master the analytic tools the strategists use, by studying the strategic decisions of companies in many different industries and countries, ranging from U.S. technology firms to a Swiss bank and a Chinese white goods manufacturer. Topics include what companies can do to outperform their rivals; analysis of the competitive moves of rival firms relying heavily on game-theoretic concepts; and when it makes sense for companies to diversify and globalize their business.

BUSI UN3703 Leadership in Organizations

(3 points)

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the challenges confronting leaders and to develop skills to effectively deal with these obstacles. Beyond intelligence and technical know-how, what separates effective leaders from other team members is a set of social skills (e.g., impression management, self-awareness). This course identifies these critical leadership skills and provides ideas and tools for improving them. Then, the course considers how social intelligence skills fit the needs of managers at different stages of their careers. For example, in the early stages of their careers, managers need to achieve a good job fit, find mentors, and build an effective social network. At the mid-career stage, managers need to lead an effective unit with increasing complexity and responsibilities. And later in their careers, as they become partners, CFOs, CEOs, etc., managers face additional, unique challenges.


Students must complete two of the following elective courses

Advanced Placement (AP) and Transfer Credits

AP and transfer credits are only accepted for the prerequisite courses, and only according to the policies of Columbia’s respective department. Core and elective courses must be taken at Columbia.

Specifically, the only AP credits accepted are the following:

  • For the ECON UN1105 requirement, students must have received at least one 4 and one 5 on the AP Intermediate Micro and Intermediate Macro halves of the exam.
  • For the statistics requirement, students must have received a score of 5 on the AP Statistics exam.