Academics at Columbia
What Columbia Is Known For
Lots of electives. Columbia does not have formal majors or concentrations. Instead, the flexible curriculum allows students to design their own course of study by choosing from electives under several Areas of Focus, which are not noted on transcripts. Last summer, Columbia made substantial changes to its first-year MBA core curriculum. Four major changes were moving the leadership course to orientation, increasing the opportunity for first-year electives, moving technical components of some courses online, and emphasizing Big Data.
Dual degrees. Columbia University has numerous graduate programs that are among the elite in their respective fields. MBA students can leverage the many strengths of the university as a whole by pursuing one of 11 established of dual-degree tracks. However, you cannot start the two programs simultaneously and Columbia Business School does not offer deferred admission to a future class, so you must apply for the MBA portion of your program for the term in which you plan to enroll. This means that most applicants will have already applied to and started at least the first year of the other graduate program in their intended dual-degree track.
International programs. Since its founding in 1991, more than 2,500 Columbia MBA candidates have taken advantage of funding provided by the Chazen Institute to study foreign languages (Arabic, Business English, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish) with a distinct emphasis on applied business contexts. The Chazen Institute also offers Columbia students the chance to spend their third semester at a partner school abroad while earning full credit toward their Columbia MBA. Chazen Institute study trips abroad are also popular. During these seven- to 10-day trips, groups of 20 to 40 students and a sponsoring faculty member meet with business leaders, government officials, and alumni while visiting businesses, factories, and cultural offerings in the foreign destination. Trips often have a specific theme as well. Second-year students can take their interests and develop them further by applying to become Chazen Society Fellows. These fellows receive a stipend to undertake research, interview global business executives, and report on conferences and events in Chazen Global Insights, the Institute’s official online publication.
Real estate. If your career aspirations tend toward the tangible, Columbia should make your short list. The real estate program is built around the three pillars of capital markets, entrepreneurship, and global business. Directed by Professor Lynne Sagalyn, the Paul Milstein Center is Columbia’s hub for all things bricks-and-mortar, uniting the theoretical and practical aspects of the field. The Center sponsors events throughout the school year.