What does it all mean?
Here’s a mini-decision tree to help you interpret Columbia’s policies and evaluate your options:
- If you are in love with Columbia and see no possibility of falling in love with any other business school, ever, submit in the Early Decision option (early October deadline).
- If you are in love with Columbia and want to get through business school faster—and are an entrepreneur, will be returning to a family business, or do not otherwise need the summer internship experience—submit to the J-Term (early October deadline).
- If you really like Columbia but are not comfortable committing to attend Columbia over any other school that might eventually say “yes” to you, submit early to the Regular Decision process (between September and November).
- If you are an international candidate, submit as early as possible (Early Decision or Regular Decision), and definitely submit no later than March.
- If you are a re-applicant to Columbia, submit in the Early Decision option to emphasize your commitment to the school.
Identical applications.: You will indicate on your application to which program you’re applying; it is not dictated by the day you submit your application. The essay questions and application requirements are absolutely the same for all of these options, the only exception being the commitment that binds the Early Decision applicant.