The 2014-2015 Columbia Business School Application

Posted By SWatts on Jun 10, 2014 |

From The Staff of MBA
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The 2014-2015 Columbia Business School Application

Columbia Business School has officially kicked off the 2014-2015 MBA application season!

Columbia Business School Application Deadlines

Columbia Business School applicants can enroll for either January entry or August entry. The application deadlines for the upcoming application cycle will be as follows: 

January entry (J-term) deadline: October 8, 2014

August entry (A-term) deadline: April 15, 2015

Essay Requirements

Columbia requires that all applicants respond to one short answer question and three essay questions, as follows:

Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:

“Work in business development for a media company.”

“Join a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy.”

“Work for an investment firm that focuses on real estate.”

Essay 1: Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words)

Essay 2: Please view the video. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)

Essay 3: What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

Essay 4 (optional): An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

Although not drastically different from last year’s prompts, there are a couple incremental changes in this year’s topics. First, the character limit to the short answer question has been sliced from 200 characters in the 2012-2013 cycle, to 100 characters in the 2013-2014 cycle, and finally to 75 characters for this year’s 2014-2015 admissions cycle. Given the strict word limit, you’ll want to give a lot of though to being concise in the few words that you choose. Remember, less can often be more difficult than more.  

Second, although the general schema of the essay questions and their overall message is the same, the wording of prompt #2 has shifted from last year’s cycle. Still, the video, which is about the offerings of New York City as the global hub of business, focuses Columbia Business School as being at the forefront of innovation and influence. Previously, the prompt asked, “How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia?” The change in wording suggests that the admissions committee wants applicants to focus less on the specific draws of the city, and more on how they will become part of the draw of the city. Thus, it is advisable to steer clear of surface-level comments for essay #2 and to delve into how you will take action to immerse yourself into the “center of business” in New York City.

Additional Application Materials

In addition to the essay requirement, Columbia requires that all applicants submit with their application an unofficial GMAT or GRE test score (only the highest score is required to be submitted), an unofficial transcript, a TOEFL score if you did not attend an undergraduate institution where the sole language of instruction is English, and a $250 application fee. First-time applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a direct supervisor and the other of which should be from a current or former professional associate (although a professor recommendation is also allowable). Re-applicants are required to submit only one new recommendation.