Columbia Business School - Admissions & Profile

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Quick Facts

Successful Applicant Profile

Competition is strong to gain admittance to Columbia Business School (CBS). Almost 40% of the students come from countries outside of North America. The typical CBS applicant has a strong interest in finance and accounting. Indeed, more than half of the 2008 graduates gained employment in the financial sector.

With approximately 6,000 applicants, the prospective student would do well to be able to distinguish himself or herself from other applicants in the financial world. One way to do this would be to exhibit international work experience.

Applicants with a strong interest or experience as entrepreneurs might be interested in the CBS Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program. This program provides some funding to help select students with normal business start-up costs. Experience as an entrepreneur is a plus.

  • GMAT Score: 710+
  • Work Experience: 6 years
  • Undergraduate Education: Tier 1 University
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.5
  • Future Career Path: Finance, Consulting

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Reputation & Job Prospects

See the rankings page for the school's rank in various publications.

With a strong international representation both on campus as well as with the school's 38,000 living alumni, CBS is very well respected around the world. Its location in New York City, headquarters for many world renowned businesses as well as Wall Street, provides a rich opportunity for real-world training.

The CBS graduate typically has ample opportunity to put into practice their skills and knowledge with many Fortune 500 companies. Starting salaries are normally in excess of $90k with many positions offering an additional signing bonus.

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Notable Faculty (Past & Present)

  • Dell, Adam - venture capitalist
  • Hubbard, Glenn - current Dean and former Chairman of the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors
  • Mishkin, Frederic - member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Stiglitz, Joseph - 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics

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School History

The Columbia School of Business was started in 1916 with 11 full-time faculty and 61 students. In only 4 years the school grew to 420 students and then 4 years later, added a PhD program. CBS began offering the MBA degree in 1945 and 7 years later admitted the final class of undergraduates.

CBS has developed a strong portfolio of both degree and nondegree programs such as four Executive MBA programs and several programs in conjunction with other schools. These programs provide ample opportunity for business managers and executives to grow in knowledge and experience.

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  • Cesar Alierta, CEO, Telefonica, 4th largest telecommunications company in the world
  • Erskine Bowles, Former White House Chief of Staff; President of the University of North Carolina system; Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
  • Diana Fortuna, CFO of the Metropolitan Opera; Former Deputy Director of the NYC Office of Management and Budget
  • James P. Gorman, MBA, President and COO, Individual Investor Group, Morgan Stanley
  • Barbara E. Kahn, MBA, Dean of the University of Miami School of Business Administration
  • Paolo Scaroni, MBA, CEO, Eni S.p.A., largest industrial company in Italy
  • Joseph Vittoria, MBA, Retired Chairman and CEO, Avis, Inc.
  • Peter Woo, MBA, Chairman, Hong Kong Trade and Development Council

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