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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 unofficial transcripts from each college and university they have attended as a registered student.
Do not send paper transcripts via mail when first applying. If offered admission, you will be required to provide official transcripts from each of the colleges or universities you have attended. 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.
All applicants must submit a self-reported GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score (scores are valid for 5 years). Scores must be valid on the date of application submission.
If admitted, you must submit an official GMAT or GRE score. Columbia Business School’s GMAT code is QF8-N6-36 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.
International students who do not have a degree from an institution in which all instruction is conducted in English must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). You may be exempted from the TOEFL or the PTE only if you have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction. We will not accept requests for exceptions to this policy.
The TOEFL and PTE scores are valid for two years. Your TOEFL or PTE score must be valid on the date of application submission.
Be sure to self-report your TOEFL or PTE score when completing your application. If admitted, you must submit an official score report. For the TOEFL, Columbia’s ETS code is 2174, MBA department code 02. For the PTE select "Columbia Business School" from the list of schools provided by Pearson. The Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score when reviewing your application.
Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.
Short Answer Question
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (100 characters maximum)
“After my MBA I want to join a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy and power companies.”
“I hope to work in business development for a media company that is expanding its reach in Asia. ”
“My goal is to work for an investment firm that focuses on community development projects.”
Close short answer examples
Given your individual background, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words)
Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world's business capital - Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (Maximum 250 words)
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What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)
An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.
Rather than answer Essay 1, Part A above, current Knight-Bagehot Fellows applying to Columbia Business School should use the space allocated to the first essay (500 words) to complete the Wiegers Fellowship application essay.
What are your career goals? How has the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship affected these goals? How will an MBA help you achieve these goals? (500 words maximum)
Close essay question
All applications require two recommendations. If you have been working full-time for at least six months, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor. The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can add personal insight into your candidacy.
If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for less than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from a person who can comment on your managerial abilities. You may ask a summer employer or another person who you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor.
We ask recommenders to consider the following guidelines when writing their recommendations:
Please be aware, the Admissions Committee does require all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations.
Applicants may be invited to participate in evaluative interviews conducted by alumni or current students. In most cases, interviews are offered in the applicant’s geographic area, and invitations to interview can be sent at any time after a completed application has been received by the Admissions Office. Interviews are by invitation only and cannot be requested.
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@example.com for directions regarding alternative methods of payment.
Fee waivers are available to full-time students, active duty military personnel, and to members of the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and Teach for India who are currently in service. Applicants requesting a fee waiver should select the Check or Money Order payment option when submitting the online application. Applicants who qualify for a fee waiver should email a fee waiver request to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.