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Columbia MBA Class Profile | Breakdown   

 Columbia Business School attracts a diverse MBA class from around the world, but just who are they? Find out as we break down the 2023 Columbia MBA class profile

Thu Dec 28 2023

Columbia Business School sits on the bank of the Hudson River, down the road from Wall Street and New York City’s financial district. For MBA graduates, that means career opportunities aplenty. In the city that never sleeps, candidates come to the Columbia MBA from all over the world, intent on furthering their careers and learning new skills.

In 2022, 95% of Columbia MBA graduates received a job offer within three months of graduation. The school continues to maintain its position as one of the best places to get an MBA, especially if you’re interested in pursuing a career in finance. More than 36% of graduates went into the financial sector in 2022.

Almost a third of graduates went to McKinsey and Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain and Company. Other major recruiters included Deloitte Consulting, Amazon, PwC, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Google. 

The school’s MBA program offers students the opportunity to learn from the very best and put into practice what they learn. Besides the permanent faculty, Columbia’s Executives in Residence program offers students the chance to connect with and learn from C-Suite Executives from some of the top companies in the world.

Columbia's notable alumni include billionaire venture capitalist, Robert F. Smith, and Sallie Krawcheck, founder of female investment platform Ellevest. 

Alongside the traditional core MBA education, popular elective courses at Columbia cover the future of financial services, healthcare in the 21st century, impact investing, managing brands, identity, and experiences, and how to launch a scalable company. 

The Columbia MBA class entering in 2023 has all of that to look forward to. But who are they? Here's our Columbia MBA class profile breakdown:

Columbia MBA Class Entering In 2023 | Overview

The 2023 entering MBA class received 5895 applicants of which 900 enrolled, 219 into the January entry class and 681 into the August entry class. All the students had worked for at least one year with an average work experience of 5 years among the enrolled. 

The enrolled students were between the ages of 22 and 40 with an average age of 28. Women represented 44% of applicants and 47% of students were from outside the US. Most of the students majored in business or economics during their undergraduate courses, making up 35% and 20% of students respectively. 


The 2023 MBA entering class at Columbia is highly diverse with women making up 44% of enrolled students and students from minority backgrounds making 43%. Black/ African American students and Hispanic/Latinx made up 8% and 9% of the enrolled students respectively, while Asian American students made up 21%. 

Columbia University is strongly committed to DEI with a dedicated office and team. The university has implemented DEI policies in all of its activities and regularly conducts events and programs to enhance diversity and inclusion within the campus and in society. 

Columbia is host to a number of student groups that encourage diversity and inclusion at a time when businesses are under pressure to build workforces more representative of society as a whole. 

Cluster Q is Columbia’s LGBTQ business association, that welcomes students, staff, and administrators from the LGBTQ community. They have strong connections to potential employers and alumni and host events for prospective LGBTQ MBAs. There is also the Black Business Students Association and the Hispanic Business Association, which are vital for networking and provide opportunities for students to meet and learn from those who come from a similar background.

Women make up 44% of the students on the Columbia MBA. By comparison, 46% of Stanford's and 45% of Harvard's 2023 MBA class are female.

GMAT Scores

The 2023 MBA entering class at Columbia has an average GMAT score of 730, with the lowest successful applicant's score being 610 and the highest being 790. Compared to this, the Stanford class of 2023 had an average GMAT score of 738 ranging between 630 and 790. Harvard had a median GMAT score of 740 ranging between 500 and 790.

Compare Average GMAT Scores For The World's Top MBA Programs

Undergraduate Majors and GPA

The entering class of 2023 for MBA at Columbia has an average GPA of 3.5 for their undergraduate courses. 

At Stanford, the average GPA is 3.77 and at Harvard, it is 3.73. While most students at Columbia did their undergraduate majors in business or economics, at Stanford and Harvard, the majority majored in engineering. 

Around 17% of students at Columbia were engineering majors, while social sciences and sciences graduates make up 11% and 8% of the enrolled students. 


Work Experience 

Prior to their MBA, on average, the Columbia MBA class has five years of work experience. The middle 80% is between three and eight years, and 99% of students have at least one year of work experience. 

The majority of the students at the Columbia class of 2023 for the MBA program had backgrounds in financial services and consulting making up 29% and 21% of the cohort. All the students had at least one year of work experience before they joined the program. 

Students with a marketing/media background make up 12% of the student population and those with experience in the technology sector make up 11%. 

Compared to Columbia, the MBA program at Stanford largely attracted students with an investment background for their 2023 batch, making up 19% of the enrolled students. At Harvard, students with a consulting background led the pack, making up 17% of the enrolled students. 


Columbia University offers its MBA students a leap ahead in their careers, particularly in the financial sector. The program focuses heavily on putting theory into practice and getting students real-world experience and the connections they need to make things happen. With its strong executives in residence program and strong alumni network, students from Columbia can leave with everything they need to build and lead businesses in any industry. 

Judging by the industry background of the MBAs in the Columbia classroom, this is the degree for you if you come from a more traditional business background. 

The fact that the majority of the class come from financial services, consulting, or technology—the three most traditional career destinations for MBA grads—shows how professionals from key industries like consulting and financial services are heading to Columbia to upskill and grow.

Located in New York City, the school is also popular with media and marketing professionals, and many are using their experience in the creative world and combining it with an MBA to further their career.

How much do Columbia MBAs earn after graduation? Find out in our Columbia MBA Jobs & Salary Review.


This article was first published in March 2021 and updated by Steve Manjaly in December 2023.