Columbia Business School

Essay Questions for 2013-2014 / Class of 2016

Early Decision Deadline: October 2, 2013
Merit Fellowship Consideration: January 6, 2014
Regular Deadline: April 9, 2014

Note: Columbia Business School uses a rolling admissions process, which means applications are reviewed—and decisions rendered—as they are received. It is always advantageous for you to submit your application as early as possible.

The Essays

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (100 characters maximum)

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

Essay 2
Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world's business capital - Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (Maximum 250 words)

Please view the videos below:

New York City - limitless possibilities

New York City - fast paced and adaptable

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

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

Knight-Bagehot Fellows
Rather than answer Essay 1, Part A above, current Knight-Bagehot Fellows applying to Columbia Business School should use the space allocated to the first essay (500 words) to complete the Wiegers Fellowship application essay.

Those reapplying more than one application cycle after their previous application should adhere to all the requirements of new applicants. As an example, if you applied for August 2012 you would not be considered a reapplicant for August 2014; however applicants who applied for August 2013 can be considered reapplicants for January 2014 or August 2014. Those reapplying for the application cycle immediately following their initial application need only do the following:

  • Submit a new application fee (US$250). Update the “Personal,” “Family,” “Employment,” “Education,” and “Extracurricular Activities” sections of the online application. 
  • Update the “How Will You Finance Your MBA?” section of the online application. 
  • Submit transcripts of any additional courses taken since your previous application. 
  • Submit one new essay: How have you enhanced your candidacy since your previous application? Please detail your progress since you last applied, and address how you plan to achieve your post-MBA and long-term professional goals. (Maximum of 500 words) 
  • Submit one new recommendation letter, preferably from your current employer, but if not, another colleague in a supervisory role or a client will suffice.

Reapplicants with questions should contact the Admissions Office at or 212-854-1961. Please note that candidates may only apply once to a given term of entry.

Visit the Columbia admissions website for more application information.