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Columbia Business School Launches Redesigned Core Curriculum Emphasizing Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Incoming first-year MBA students at Columbia Business School (CBS) will discover a redesigned core curriculum, part of the school’s efforts to keep pace with a changing business marketplace. The school unveiled 12 new videos today explaining the changes, which include a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship and leadership.

Students in the Class of 2015 will encounter one of the most significant changes to the core beginning in orientation. As part of the redesign, the core’s leadership course will be pushed forward, to take place in the weeks before regular classes start, rather than in the first semester, as has been the case in the past. Students will also have more electives to choose from during the first year, a shift intended to give them greater ability to customize their MBA course to fit individual career goals and better prepare for summer internships.

Other changes include greater emphasis on big data as part of the Decisions Models core course, the infusion of more entrepreneurial thinking into a range of courses and expansion of the school’s integrated case study, which lets students examine a real-world corporation from multiple perspectives as it confront a business challenge. Finally, CBS will shift some of the more technical components of its course content online, which will provide for more in-depth classroom discussion between professors and students.

“Coupled with our many other cutting-edge innovations in management education, the redesigned core will provide students with fundamental skills and knowledge that will help them grow into leaders that can recognize opportunity and approach challenges with an entrepreneurial mindset throughout their careers,” CBS Dean Glenn Hubbard said in a statement announcing the redesign.

Hubbard appointed a committee in January 2012 to examine the core and recommend a strategy for restructuring it based on shifts in global business. After gathering input from students, alumni and recruiters, the committee members voted unanimously last spring on the redesigned curriculum. The full faculty later approved it for implementation this fall. The school’s last curriculum redesign was in 2009, in response to the financial collapse.

Learn more about CBS’s redesigned first-year MBA core curriculum.