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Columbia Business School - Executive MBA

Columbia Executive MBA Program Structure

Columbia Business School provides three different structures through which students may earn an Executive MBA. The Friday/Saturday Option meets every other week on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and lasts for five terms over 20 months, beginning in August. The Saturday Option meets each Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. for six terms over 24 months, beginning in May. Finally, the Columbia Executive MBA-Americas program meets approximately once a month for one week and lasts for five semesters over 20 months.


Columbia Executive MBA students receive the same educational quality that the full-time MBA provides: the two programs share the same professors and require the same core courses and hours spent in the classroom. Students take 11 core courses that span topics such as Corporate Finance, Marketing Strategy, and Global Economic Environment. After completing the core curriculum, students complete the remainder of their credits through an array of elective courses. During their second year, EMBA students take a week-long international seminar, joining across the three programs to apply global business concepts that they have learned through their coursework in other countries. Recent destinations have included Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Munich, Santiago, and Myanmar.

Students in the Columbia Executive MBA program are assigned to clusters of 30 to 70 classmates with whom they take all of their first-year courses. These clusters are then further divided into learning teams, consisting of approximately five to six students who complete their assignments together as a group for most of the 14 required core courses.

The Columbia Executive MBA-Americas program is designed to accommodate professional executives from across the United States, Canada, and Latin America whose location prevents them from spending every other weekend in New York City. Instead, classes meet in a week-long format once per month, and Columbia provides full accommodations during the first three semesters of core courses and cohort electives.

Executive MBA Rankings

• U.S. News & World Report: 4
• The Economist: 29

Class Profile

There are 152 students in the Columbia Executive MBA class. Forty-five percent of students are women and 16 percent are international students. Students in the class matriculated with an average age of 32 and with nine years of full-time work experience. Fifteen percent are receiving full company sponsorship, another 44 percent are receiving partial company sponsorship, and 41 percent are paying their own full tuition.

Career Statistics

Columbia’s Career Management Center gives support that is designed specifically for EMBA students, aiding them is advancing in their current position or making a significant career change. These services include individualized career advising, online self-assessment tools, professional development programs, advice on internal job-search strategies, and access to the school’s job listings targeted at MBAs. Many of the resources are available online, allowing busy professionals to access the tools they need at their own convenience.

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

The total Executive MBA tuition and fees for May 2020 and August 2020 entry is $213,240. This tuition covers the cost of the program, books, meals on all class days, conference center accommodations during residence weeks, and residence and meals during the week-long international seminar in the second year.

Students are required to have a laptop computer, to pay their own airfare for the international seminar, and to arrange their own travel throughout the program.

Many EMBA students secure federal or private loans in order to finance their degrees. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for fixed-rate federal direct loans and should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can apply for a direct unsubsidized loan with a fixed interest rate of 6 percent and 7 percent for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.


All Columbia Executive MBA applicants must be fully employed from the time of application until graduation, although case-by-case exceptions can be made. Friday/Saturday and Columbia Executive MBA-Americas applicants must have proof of sponsorship from their employer that briefly states the terms of support, but financial support is not necessary. Saturday-only students are not required to obtain employer sponsorship.

Applicants must submit transcripts from each college or university attended a response to a short-answer question, three essays, two letters of professional appraisal, and their GMAT or GRE scores. International applicants must submit either TOEFL or PTE scores unless they have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction.

Executive MBA Deadlines 2022

EMBA-New York Saturday

May 2022 Entry

Early Decision January 12, 2022
Regular Decision February 23, 2022

EMBA-New York Friday/Saturday

August 2022 Entry

Early Decision March 23, 2022
Regular Decision May 25, 2022

Columbia Executive MBA FAQs

How has the university coped with the pandemic?

Instruction is currently online to keep students and staff safe.

What graduate programs are offered at Columbia Business School?

MBA and EMBA options are available as well as Master of Science degrees in Marketing Science, Financial Economics, Accounting, and Fundamental Analysis, Management Science and Engineering, and Business Analytics.

What are some common backgrounds of current students in the Columbia EMBA program?

Thirty-five percent of the most recent class came from financial services, 11% came from technology and 8% came from media with another 8% coming from consulting. The rest of the class was from a variety of backgrounds including energy, education, and entertainment.

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