MBA Heroes


Guide to Applying for an MBA at Columbia

Applying to Columbia University’s Executive MBA Program

Columbia University is renowned for its world-class business education, and if you’re considering an Executive MBA (EMBA), you might find the Columbia Business School’s program a perfect fit for your career goals. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the application process for the EMBA program.

Understand the Application Requirements

Before you embark on your application journey, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the program’s requirements. Columbia University’s EMBA program requires the following:

  • Employer Sponsorship: One of the distinctive features of Columbia’s EMBA program is that it requires employer sponsorship. Ensure that your employer is willing to support your pursuit of an EMBA degree.
  • Transcripts: You’ll need to provide official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you’ve attended. Be sure to request these transcripts well in advance, as processing can take time.
  • Test Scores: While the EMBA program does not require English language proficiency tests like TOEFL, you will need to submit test scores. You can choose between the GMAT, GRE, or the Executive Assessment (EA). Ensure that you prepare adequately for your chosen test and achieve competitive scores.
  • Resume: Your resume should highlight your professional experience, including key achievements, responsibilities, leadership roles, and any notable career progression. Make sure to present your qualifications clearly and concisely.
  • Essays: Columbia’s EMBA program typically requires applicants to write essays that reflect their career aspirations and fit with the program. These essays are an opportunity to showcase your unique qualities and perspectives.
  • Recommendations: You’ll need to secure letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your qualifications and potential for success in the program. Choose recommenders who know you well in a professional context.
  • Interview: If your application is shortlisted, you may be invited for an interview. Use this opportunity to further demonstrate your passion for the program and your commitment to personal and professional growth.


Useful videos

We share several links on different tips for applying to Stanford. The first link talks about How To Get Into Columbia | Essential Advice from an MBA Admissions Expert. In this video Angela Guido takes you beyond the Columbia admissions requirements in this week’s MBAMonday, and has an expert strategy on how to tackle your MBA application essay. Looking for Columbia MBA tips? (Hint: start by getting your career game plan in order to prepare for future career success!)

The second link talks about Welcome to Columbia Business School’s New Home in Manhattanville. In addition, it discusses the following topics: The new home for Columbia Business School, Bright and open a boundless desing, For the limitless potential within, that never sleeps always dreaming, full of hope and ambition and evolving defining.

The third link talks about Columbia Business School Tour by MBA Students at CBS. In this video, students Wangene Hall and Timothy Cobau are here to give you a tour of the most expensive B-school buildings in the world, the Kravis and Gaffen halls at Columbia Business School at Columbia University in the city of New York.

The fourth link talks about MBA Student Chat. In this video, learn about the culture and community at Columbia Business School from current MBA students at a virtual student chat.

The fifth link is about Columbia MBA vlog | A day in my life as an mba student in nyc 2023. In this video, tells the experience of a student who started her MBA last year.

The sixth link is about: Week in the life: Columbia MBA | business school grad student, living alone in NYC vlog & diaries.

The seventh link is about: Columbia AdCom Live Q&A. In addition, it discusses the following topics: Welcome to the very center of business, One columbia MBA, At the very center of business, The center of the global Hub of Business, Application deadlines and questions.

The eighth link is about: Columbia CBS | MBA Spotlight Oct 2020. In addition, it discusses the following topics: Entry points, Academics, Favorite classes, Community, Deadlines, Recommendations strategy, Application strategy, Student experience, Current situation, Gaps in career and Deferred Enrollment.

The ninth link is about: Columbia Business School MBA Class of 2023 Ceremony.

Essay Questions

Summary: Columbia MBA Essay Questions & Analysis 2023-2024

Columbia Business School has released its MBA essay questions for the 2023-2024 admissions season. Here’s a breakdown of the essay questions:

1. Short Answer Question (50 characters):

  • What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?
  • Applicants are required to provide a concise description of their short-term career goal upon graduating from business school. This question has a strict limit of 50 characters.

2. Essay Question 1 (500 words):

  • Through your résumé and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years, and what would be your long-term dream job?
  • Applicants are expected to focus primarily on their career goals in this essay. They should provide context regarding how their past professional experiences have influenced their post-MBA path, and highlight transferable skills. The “dream job” reference suggests aspirational yet realistic long-term plans.

3. Essay Question 2 (250 words):

  • Tell us about a time when you were challenged around one of these five skills: Creating an Inclusive Environment, Mitigating Bias and Prejudice, Managing Intercultural Dialogue, Addressing Systemic Inequity, and Understanding Identity and Perspective Taking.
  • Applicants must reflect on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their lives. Columbia offers a structured approach to address the challenge, including Situation, Action, and Outcome. Applicants should show themselves as ethical and inclusive leaders who actively participated in achieving a positive outcome.

4. Essay Question 3 (250 words):

  • Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you academically, culturally, and professionally?
  • This essay requires a detailed response explaining how Columbia’s offerings align with the applicant academically, culturally, and professionally. It also asks how the applicant sees themselves contributing to the community and benefiting from New York City as an extended campus.

5. Optional Essay (Maximum 500 Words):

  • If you wish to provide further information or additional context around your application to the Admissions Committee, please upload a brief explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or personal history. You may submit bullet points.
  • The optional essay allows applicants to address any concerns in their application, such as gaps in employment or a weak quantitative record. It’s an opportunity to offer explanations without making excuses and to bring mitigating factors to the committee’s attention.

Applicants should carefully consider each essay question and provide thoughtful, concise responses to enhance their chances of gaining admission to Columbia Business School.


Letter of recommendation questions

Summary of Columbia MBA Recommendation Questions

Columbia Business School’s MBA recommendation form is streamlined compared to other leading MBA programs. It asks recommenders to address two prompts in 1,000 words or less:

  • How does the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Recommenders are advised by Columbia to be specific and provide examples in their responses. They should also be honest and objective, but highlight the applicant’s strengths and potential.

Here are some tips for recommenders writing letters of recommendation for Columbia Business School:

  • Be specific and provide examples to support your assessments.
  • Be honest and objective, but also highlight the applicant’s strengths and potential.
  • Take the time to write a thoughtful and insightful letter.
  • Address both of the Columbia MBA recommendation prompts directly.
  • Use the word limit to your advantage. A one-page letter is ideal, but you may need to write more or less depending on the applicant’s background and accomplishments.
  • Proofread your letter carefully before submitting it.

A strong recommendation from a highly respected individual can be a valuable asset to an MBA application. Recommenders should take the time to write a thoughtful and insightful letter that highlights the applicant’s strengths, potential, and contributions.


Admissions events in your area

All the information you need is in this LINK

If invited for an interview this resource is useful: Interview reports submitted by interviewees.

All the information you need is in this LINK