Columbia Executive MBA and Part-Time MBA Programs

In addition to its prestigious full-time MBA program, Columbia Business Schools offers the following Executive MBA programs:

* Friday-Saturday program

* Saturday-only program

*Global Executive MBA Programs:

Offered together with London School of Business and Hong Kong University. The available programs are EMBA Global Americas and Europe, and EMBA Global Asia.


To understand the differences the programs, review the Columbia EMBA-Global class profile  and the Columbia Friday-Saturday MBA profile. Despite their names, the Friday-Saturday and Saturday-only EMBA programs are closer to part-time MBA programs in terms of class profile and global experience. To identify the best program for your needs, you should think about your career goals, your schedule, and the different kind and caliber of network you would develop in these programs as opposed to the full-fledged EMBA.

Weekend MBA and Part-Time MBA programs

The Friday/Saturday and Saturday-only EMBA programs are competitive, but less so than the full-time program. In terms of class profile I would say that they are probably similar to the NYU Part-Time MBA program.  The average GMAT score is expected to be lower than 700, but still close to that range.  I have seen a candidate who got called for an interview at the Columbia EMBA program with a mid-600 GMAT score, and was asked, during the interview, to retake and improve their GMAT. This is not a bad situation – this kind of pressure (and affirmation that the school wants you) is probably one of the best motivators to help people improve their score.

I have also seen very young candidates (25 and 26 years old) get into the Weekend Executive MBA program at Columbia. One case was a candidate with strong support from a top financial brand, and the other was a young project manager who reported to senior management. 

Executive MBA – Global Americas, Europe and Asia

Since these programs are closer in nature to traditional Executive MBA programs, the average age (and level of work experience) is higher, but the GMAT score is lower. In one recent brochure I saw an average GMAT for the Columbia EMBA of 630, and work experience of 10 years. There are also fewer women in this program (often the case across top EMBA programs). The Columbia EMBA online application requires student to self-report their GMAT/GRE score. At this point, I have not seen an option for a waiver, but they might be in the cards (as other top EMBA programs are now offering this option, including Chicago Booth and NYU Stern). 

Application Essays for Columbia Executive MBA Program

If you are looking for some advice on the Columbia EMBA application, I have already analyzed the Columbia EMBA application questions here.

Do I need Sponsorship to get into the Columbia EMBA?

You don’t need to have corporate sponsorship to attend the Columbia Executive MBA program – if you are self-employed, you can sponsor yourself. Being a self-sponsored applicant is more difficult, because you don’t have the backing of a strong brand, or an external indication of your professional success and career trajectory. This means you have to be smart about your recommendation letters, essays and resume.

Here are the deadlines for 2013, from the Columbia website:


January 2013 entry
Regular Decision: November 12, 2012 


May 2013 entry
Regular Decision: February 13, 2013


August 2013 entry
Early Decision: March 6, 2013
Regular Decision: June 5, 2013

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 Read testimonials from my students who got into Columbia MBA programs: Low GPA EMBA Applicant, Re-applicant to Columbia MBA,and more