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Columbia Business School

Coordinates: 40°48′36″N 73°57′39″W / 40.80998°N 73.96096°W / 40.80998; -73.96096
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Columbia Business School
TypePrivate business school
Established1916; 108 years ago (1916)
Parent institution
Columbia University
Endowment$869 million (2022)[1]
DeanCostis Maglaras
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

Columbia Business School (CBS) is the business school of Columbia University, a private research university in New York City. Established in 1916, Columbia Business School is one of six Ivy League business schools and is one of the oldest business schools in the world.


Bulletin for 1978–1980, when known as the Graduate School of Business

The school was founded in 1916 with 11 full-time faculty members and an inaugural class of 61 students, including 8 women. Banking executive Emerson McMillin provided initial funding in 1916, while A. Barton Hepburn, then president of Chase National Bank, provided funding for the school's endowment in 1919. The school expanded rapidly, enrolling 420 students by 1920, and in 1924 added a PhD program to the existing BS and MS degree programs.[2][3]

In 1945, Columbia Business School authorized the awarding of the MBA degree. Shortly thereafter, in the 1950s, the school adopted the Hermes emblem as its symbol, reflecting the entrepreneurial nature of the Greek god Hermes and his association with business, commerce, and communication.[4]

In 1952, CBS admitted its last class of undergraduates. The school currently offers executive education programs that culminate in a Certificate in Business Excellence (CIBE) and full alumni status, and several degree programs for the MBA and PhD degrees. In addition to the full-time MBA, the school offers four Executive MBA programs: the NY-EMBA Friday/Saturday program, the EMBA-Global program (launched in 2001 in conjunction with the London Business School), the EMBA-Americas program launched in 2012,[5] and the EMBA-Global Asia program (launched in 2009 in conjunction with the London Business School and the University of Hong Kong Business School). Students in jointly run programs earn an MBA degree from each of the cooperating institutions.

In 2004, economist R. Glenn Hubbard became Columbia Business School's eleventh dean. He was succeeded in 2019 by Costis Maglaras.[6]


From 1961, Columbia Business School was primarily located housed in Uris Hall, at the center of Columbia's Morningside Heights campus.[7]

In October 2010, Columbia Business School announced that alumnus Henry Kravis, the billionaire co-founder of private-equity firm KKR, pledged $100 million to fund an expansion of Columbia Business School, the largest gift in its history. The donation went toward construction of the business school's new site on Columbia's Manhattanville campus.[8] In December 2012, Ronald Perelman also donated $100 million to the construction of the second business school building. In September 2021, David Geffen pledged $75 million to support the new campus' construction.[9] The buildings are designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and are named Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall, respectively.[10] Columbia Business School officially moved to Manhattanville in January 2022.[11]

The cost of the new campus, which stands at $600 million, makes it the most expensive business school ever built.[12]

MBA program[edit]

The Columbia MBA Program is one of the most competitive in the world with an admission rate of 13.6% for the Class of 2021.[13] Students in the class that entered in 2009 come from 61 countries and speak more than 50 languages.[14]

The revised core curriculum, launched in the fall of 2008, represents about 40% of the degree requirement.[15] It consists of 2 full courses and 12 half-term courses including Corporate Finance, Financial Accounting, Managerial Statistics, Managerial Economics, Leadership, Operations Management, and Marketing Strategy.[16] While the first year of the program is usually devoted to completing the requirements of the core curriculum, the second year provides students with the opportunity to choose from the more than 130 elective courses available at the school and supplement them with more than 4,000 graduate-level classes from the university's other graduate and professional schools.[17] Among the most popular electives at Columbia Business School are the Economics of Strategic Behavior, Financial Statement Analysis and Earnings Quality, Launching New Ventures, Modern Political Economy, and the Seminar in Value Investing.[17]

Columbia Business School has a firm grade non-disclosure policy, which states that students may refrain from disclosing specific class grades, GPAs, or transcripts until they accept full-time, post graduation positions.[18]

Students enter Columbia's MBA program in two tracks. The traditional fall term is approximately 550 students, while the January term "J-Term" is approximately 200 students. Students entering in the fall are divided into eight clusters of approximately 65 students that take all first year core classes together. J-Term students are broken into three clusters. The J-Term is aimed at students who want an accelerated 18-month program who usually plan to return to their previous job, are company sponsored, and will not pursue a summer internship because they take classes during the summer.

The average starting base salary and bonus for Columbia MBAs in 2020 was $171,436, a sum that places it as the 6th highest among business schools.[13] According to Forbes magazine, 90% of billionaires with MBAs who derived their fortunes from finance obtained their master's degree from one of three schools: Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, or The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.[19]

Academic divisions[edit]

The school's faculty are divided into six academic units:[20]

  • Accounting
  • Decision, Risk, and Operations
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Economics
  • Marketing

MBA rankings[edit]

Business Rankings
Bloomberg (2024)[21]5
QS (2024)[22]5
U.S. News & World Report (2024)[23]8
Global MBA
QS (2024)[24]7
Financial Times (2024)[25]3

Recent national rankings of Columbia's MBA program include 7th by Forbes,[26] 5th by Bloomberg Businessweek,[27] and 6th by U.S. News & World Report.[28] In global rankings, Columbia was ranked No. 4 by The Economist in 2022[29] and No. 1 by the Financial Times in 2023.[30]

Dual-degree programs[edit]

Columbia Business School students can combine an MBA with one of ten other professional degrees. In general, a dual degree requires one less year than it would take to complete the two degrees separately. Candidates must apply separately to Columbia Business School and the other degree program.[31]

Dual degrees offered with the following schools include:

Student life[edit]

The Columbia Business School Follies is a student club that works throughout each semester to put together a production in which students write, choreograph, and perform comedy skits. It achieved notoriety in 2006[34][35][36] for "Every Breath Bernanke Takes", its video parody of the Police song "Every Breath You Take". It purports to be from Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Business School, in response to Hubbard's being a runner-up to the Fed Chairmanship assumed by Ben Bernanke.

Executive MBA programs[edit]

Columbia offers various executive MBA programs.

The Executive MBA (EMBA) Friday/Saturday Program is a 20-month graduate program designed for individuals that are looking to enhance their education without interrupting their careers. The EMBA program is taught on campus at Columbia University by full-time faculty. The first year of classes consists of the same core curriculum as the Full-Time MBA program. Executive education is the focus of the second year. This Friday/Saturday program is targeted at individuals with approximately 10 years of work experience.[37]

The Executive MBA (EMBA) Saturday Program is a 24-month graduate degree program designed for individuals that are looking to enhance their education, but cannot take any time away from work. This program is the same as the Friday/Saturday program, with the exception that classes only meet on Saturdays over a longer period of time.

In addition to the New York-based EMBA Program, Columbia offers three partner programs to meet the differing needs and geographical distribution of prospective students.[38] Because students in the partner EMBA programs must satisfy the separate requirements of each school, they earn an MBA degree from each participating university. Likewise, they become alumni of each university and business school and may avail themselves of all programs and privileges afforded to alumni.

  • The EMBA-Global Americas & Europe program is a 20-month program administered in partnership with the London Business School. The program enrolls approximately 70 students from around the world per year. Courses are taught by the full-time faculty of both schools. During the first year, the core curriculum classes alternate monthly between the campuses of Columbia University and the London Business School. The core curriculum is similar to that offered in the regular EMBA programs offered separately by each school, but with a more transnational-business emphasis. Second year classes may be selected from the portfolio of EMBA classes offered at either or both partner schools.[39]
  • The EMBA-Global Asia, run jointly with the London Business School and the University of Hong Kong. This 20-month program follows a curriculum similar to the EMBA-Global program. Classes are held in Hong Kong, London, New York, and Shanghai.

EMBA rankings[edit]

  • No. 2 worldwide, No. 2 US program, BusinessWeek, 2011 Executive MBA Rankings[40]
  • No. 2 worldwide, Financial Times, 2010 Executive MBA Rankings, Global-EMBA program[41]
  • No. 3 US Program, No. 13 worldwide. Financial Times, 2010 Executive MBA Rankings, Berkeley-Columbia program[41]
  • No. 4 US Program, No. 15 worldwide. Financial Times, 2010 Executive MBA Rankings, NY-EMBA program[41]
  • No. 5 U.S. News & World Report 2010 Rankings[42]
  • No. 4 BusinessWeek Executive MBA Rankings, NY-EMBA program[43]
  • No. 9 Wall Street Journal Executive MBA Rankings, 2010, NY-EMBA program[44]

MS Programs[edit]

Columbia Business School offers three separate Master of Science degrees in Accounting and Fundamental Analysis, Financial Economics and Marketing. Admission to the programs is extremely competitive: in 2021, there were 837 applicants to the Financial Economics program and only 20 students were accepted.[45]

Doctoral program[edit]

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and is administered by the Business School. Admission is highly competitive with 894 applicants in 2010 for positions in an entering class of 18 students (2%).[46] In 2021, the Finance division received over 500 applications and admitted 3 students (Acceptance rate of 0.6%) A PhD in Management or Business is a common precursor to an academic career in business schools.

Executive education[edit]

Columbia Business School Executive Education offers custom non-degree programs for organizations[47] and open-enrollment non-degree programs for individuals[48] in topics including management, finance, leadership, marketing, social enterprise, and strategy. The school also offers executive certification programs, including the Advanced Management Program,[49] the Certificate in Business Excellence[50] and the Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals.[51]


The Certificate in Business Excellence (CIBE) is awarded to students who complete a total of 18 program days of executive education within a four-year period.[52] Any executive education program at Columbia Business School can be applied toward the completion of the certificate.[52]

Research centers, programs, and institutes[edit]

Research centers, special programs, institutes, and cross-disciplinary areas at Columbia Business School include:[53]

  • Arthur J. Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence
  • The Behavioral Lab
  • The Center for Decision Sciences
  • Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis
  • Center on Global Brand Leadership
  • Center on Japanese Economy and Business
  • Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
  • Columbia University Center for International Business Education Research
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Decision Making and Negotiations
  • Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program
  • The Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing
  • Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business
  • The Media Program
  • The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate
  • Private Equity Program
  • Program for Financial Studies
  • Program on Social Intelligence
  • Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy
  • The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics
  • The Social Enterprise Program
  • W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness



Columbia Business School employs 136 full-time faculty members,[54] including Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel laureate in economics who also teaches at the university's School of International and Public Affairs; and Bernd Schmitt, the Robert D. Calkins Professor of International Business. The current Dean is the former Presidential Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Glenn Hubbard. Hedge fund gurus Joel Greenblatt and Ken Shubin Stein are currently adjunct professors. Bruce Greenwald teaches Value Investing and Economics of Strategic Behavior electives. Adam Dell, brother of Dell Inc. CEO Michael Dell, is a venture capitalist who teaches Business Innovation and Technology. Jonathan Knee teaches Media, Mergers, and Acquisitions and is the author of a book titled "The Accidental Investment Banker". Frederic Mishkin, member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, returned to teach at CBS starting fall 2008.[55] Rita Gunther McGrath is a well known member of the strategy faculty and the author of four books on the subject, most recently The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business (2013, Harvard Business Review Publishing) Steve Blank created the Lean Launchpad class that he teaches a scientific method for teaching entrepreneurship that combines experiential learning with the three building blocks of a successful Lean Startup.[56]


Columbia Business School has over 44,000 living alumni. Some of the more notable alumni include the following:

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
David Dodd, father of value investing
James Gorman, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley
Douglas Hsu [zh], chairman of Far Eastern Group
Timothy Kopra, NASA astronaut
Henry Kravis, founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, former chairman & CEO Sanford Bernstein, former CEO of Citigroup Global Wealth Management
Frank Lautenberg, US Senator
Shelly Lazarus, chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather
Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup
Harvey Schwartz, CEO of The Carlyle Group, former president and COO of Goldman Sachs
Robert F. Smith, founder of Vista Equity Partners, wealthiest African-American
Soren Thompson, world champion and Olympic épée fencer


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External links[edit]

40°48′36″N 73°57′39″W / 40.80998°N 73.96096°W / 40.80998; -73.96096