MBA Admissions: Columbia Business School & Finance

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ColumbiaA quick glance at Columbia Business School: Columbia currently ranks in eighth place as one of the best business schools, according to US News & World Report (March 2012). It was ranked #4 for finance.

Columbia's Class of 2013 and Finance

6669 people applied to Columbia Business School; 1062 applicants were accepted (16% acceptance rate). The middle 80% of accepted students had GMAT scores in the 680-760 range. The Columbia Business School class of 2013 has an average of four years of work experience and a median GMAT score of 720.

29% of class of 2013 students have undergraduate degrees in business.

The greatest number of students entered CBS with industry experience in financial services (28%). 7% had prior experience in private equity.

CBS Academics Related to Finance & Economics

Students are required to take two full core courses and 12 half-term core courses, three of which are chosen from the "flex-core" menu.

First Term Core Courses

Second Term Core Courses

“Flex-Core” Menu

With more than half of Columbia Business School's MBAs securing jobs in finance-related jobs, it's no surprise that the Finance and Economics Division is CBS's largest division. Students who wish to pursue careers in this industry would take their first year electives and second year courses from the courses listed below.

Courses Focused on Finance

The table here shows which courses would be appropriate for specific finance-related careers. And this table shows a similar chart for PE/VC careers.

Columbia CaseWorks Cases that will be of interest to students pursuing careers in the finance sector include:

(See full list here.)

Financial Research Centers at Columbia Business School

CBS Finance-Related Clubs

Finance Hiring Stats at Columbia Business School

In 2011, 50.3% of CBS graduates accepted full-time job offers in the finance industry.


Industry Percent Base Salary Range
Commercial Banking <1

114,500 – 125,000


Diversified Financial Services 2.6

90,000 – 130,000


Hedge Funds/Mutual Funds/Fund of Funds 5.5

95,000 – 300,000


Investment Banking/Brokerage 27.2

90,000 – 150,000


Investment Management 6.7

85,000 – 225,000


Private Equity/Venture Capital 5.7

90,000 – 180,000


Research and Ratings <1

85,000 – 120,000


Other (including Insurance/Microfinance/

Public Finance/Treasury)


80,000 – 110,000


For internships for the class of 2012, 54% of students landed interns in the financial services. The monthly salary range by industry:

Industry Percent Base Salary Range
Diversified Financial Services 2.4 2,000 – 7,200
Hedge Funds/Fund of Funds/Mutual Funds 7.1 2,500 – 13,000
Investment Banking/Brokerage 28.8 1,923-12,000
Investment Management 5.5 3,000-9,616
Private Equity 5.7 2,000-18,000
Venture Capital 2.7 1,000-10,400
Other (including Commercial Banking/Insurance/Ratings) 1.8 5,120-10,000


Top hirers include:

  • Goldman, Sachs & Co. –18 graduates
  • Citi – 16 graduates
  • Deutsche Bank AG – 13 graduates
  • Credit Suisse – 12 graduates
  • American Express Company – 11 graduates
  • Barclays – 11 graduates
  • Bank of America/Merrill Lynch – 10 graduates
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. – 9 graduates
  • Morgan Stanley – 8 graduates
  • UBS AG – 8 graduates
  • Nomura – 6 graduates
  • Jeffries & Company, Inc. – 4graduates
  • Standard Chartered Bank – 4 graduates
  • Fidelity, Lazard, PIMCO – 3 graduates each


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This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of

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