The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

What Is The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management?

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management—often referred to simply as “Cornell Johnson”—is a graduate business school based at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Originally founded in 1946, it received its current name following a $20 million gift by the family of businessman and philanthropist, Samuel Curtis Johnson.

The school is home to roughly 100 faculty members and offers a variety of well-respected programs, including a two-year Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, an accelerated 1-year MBA, and a dedicated Executive MBA program.

Key Takeaways

  • Cornell Johnson is a graduate business school based at Cornell University.
  • It is known for its emphasis on immersive learning through internships, business cases, and consulting.
  • Its MBA program is consistently ranked in the top 15 worldwide.

How Cornell Johnson Works

The Cornell Johnson MBA program is known for its emphasis on providing a highly immersive experience. This is achieved through internships, case studies, and visits to relevant companies. Additionally, students are required to select an area of focus relatively early in the MBA curriculum. Examples of these areas of specialization include investment banking, strategic operations, capital markets and asset management, and digital technology. Once chosen, students benefit from a carefully tailored curriculum of academic and hands-on experiences focused on the current best practices and emerging challenges of that sector.

For students unable to commit to a two-year MBA, an Accelerated MBA is also available. This one-year program is oriented toward students who already have advanced degrees in a scientific or technical discipline, such as a PhD, JD, or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. This program allows students to take classes at Cornell University’s technology-oriented campus, Cornell Tech, in addition to their core MBA courses.

Overall, Cornell Johnson’s MBA program has historically performed very well on international B-School rankings. In 2019, for example, Forbes rated it as the 9th-best MBA program in the world, whereas U.S. News rated it at #15 worldwide in 2021.

Real World Example of the Cornell Johnson

As is typical of Ivy League schools, the cost of attending Cornell Johnson is among the highest of any business school, with annual tuition of nearly $144,000 per year. At the same time, Cornell Johnson’s graduating class of 2018 received an average starting salary roughly equal to the annual tuition cost, along with an average signing bonus of just over $30,000. 

Historically, over 94% of Cornell Johnson graduates have received job offers within 3 months of graduation.

Upon graduation, Cornell Johnson students join an alumni network over 15,000 strong. Among them are many notable members, including Ken Durr, former CEO of Chevron (CVX); Daniel Hesse, former CEO of Sprint Corporation (S); and Anne Chow, CEO of AT&T Business.

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  1. U.S. News and World Report. "2021 Best Business Schools." Accessed Feb. 2, 2021.

  2. Forbes. "The Best Business Schools." Accessed Feb. 2, 2021.

  3. Cornell, SC Johnson College of Business. "Graduate Business Programs." Accessed Feb. 2, 2021.

  4. Cornell, SC Johnson College of Business. "2019 Employment Report Data." Accessed Feb. 2, 2021.