DEFINITION of Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School is one of the top business and management schools in America and is located at Columbia University in New York City. Also known as the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration, Columbia Business School was founded in 1916 by A. Barton Hepburn. The school is highly regarded as one of the best in the world and is well known for its close ties to the Wall Street community.

As of 2018, Columbia Business School's average acceptance rate for its M.B.A. program was 16.5 percent (6,188 applied and 1,019 were accepted), and admission to its masters of science and doctoral programs can be even more stringent. The business school offers Ph.D.s  in five subject areas, and accepts only 3 percent of applicants (in 2017, only 25 out of 844 enrolled). This makes Columbia one of the toughest business schools to get into.

Areas of focus include accounting, finance, economics, private equity, social enterprise and value investing.

BREAKING DOWN Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School began in 1916 on the main campus of Columbia University. There were 11 full-time faculty members. The first class included 53 men and eight women.

The 2017 cohort enrolled 753 students divided into 11 clusters, of whom 59 percent were male and 41 percent were female. The average GMAT score was 724, and the undergraduate GPA of enrolled students was 3.5. The average student has five years of outside work experience and is 28 years old. To develop a sense of community, Columbia Business School divides incoming students into groups of 65 who take all their core M.B.A. classes together. At graduation, more than 75 percent of Columbia students enter full-time employment. Its doctoral programs also boast a successful track record of placements to academic posts.

Student Life

Columbia Business School students take classes in Uris and Warren halls on Columbia's Manhattan campus. Plans for a state-of-the-art building for the school in Manhattanville began in 2008. In 2015, the school's trustees granted approval for site work for the school's new home. The new building should give students more room and the capacity for using state-of-the-art technology. While students may live in Columbia's dorms, the school does not guarantee them a room there.

Located in Manhattan, this prime location attracts students from around the world who want to live and learn in New York City.

Changes in Programs

Columbia Business School also adds courses of study as the need arises. In 2006, it added the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program. It offers real-life experience for students planning a career in the health care or pharmaceutical fields. In 2014, the school added a consulting program to its offerings.

Columbia Business School Alumni

Columbia Business School has many notable graduates, including Warren Buffett, Gail McGovern and Harry Kravis. Forbes named Buffett, a 1961 graduate, as No. 2 in the 2014 Forbes 400. McGovern serves as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the American Red Cross. Kravis is a founding partner in Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP, a private equity firm. Many of these alumni continue supporting the school through donations, including funding for its new building.