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Columbia MBA Class Profile: Internationals Hold Steady Despite Pandemic Punch

columbia mba class profile

Columbia Business School released its Class of 2022 profile. The numbers in the Columbia MBA class profile reflect 782 enrolled students—211 who matriculated in January (J-Term) and 571 who began classes in August. Columbia saw an increase in applications for the current year and no significant changes in the class profile, including international students, which for a year full of uncertainty over the pandemic and difficulties with visas is an impressive success.

Director of Admissions Emily French Thomas expanded on CBS’s ability to hold steady through the pandemic, telling Clear Admit, “Our strategy to extend deadlines at the beginning of the pandemic was incredibly helpful, and most importantly, it was an effort to meet our candidates where they are. We are all human and we know how much effort goes into the application. We wanted to give candidates the best chance to apply given the unusually difficult circumstances by giving them time and flexibility. The benefit for us has been that we could admit some truly wonderful candidates much later in the year than we normally would.”

Here are some key elements of the profile:

Columbia MBA Class Profile: Undergraduate Background

Average Undergraduate GPA3.6
Percent majoring in arts, humanities, social sciences22%
Percent majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math27%
Percent majoring in business29%


Columbia MBA Class of 2022 GMAT Statistics

Average GMAT Score726
GMAT Score Range580 – 780


Columbia MBA Class Profile: Student Characteristics

Countries Represented (by citizenship)65
International Students44%
Average Work Experience60 months


CBS Sees Solid Diversity

Forty-four percent of the CBS MBA class are international students from 65 different countries. Women make up 40 percent of the new crop of MBA candidates. Students who are minorities of U.S. origin comprise a third of the class.

Breakdown of Professional and Academic Backgrounds

Twenty-nine percent of the student body received their undergraduate degrees in business. Twenty percent pursued economics and 17 percent have a degree in engineering. Another 14 percent had majored in social science while 8 percent earned degrees in the humanities.

Thirty percent of students were working in financial services before coming to the CBS MBA program. Twenty-three percent worked in consulting, and 14 percent were in marketing or media. Another 8 percent worked in technology.

Multitude of Matriculants

CBS received 6,971 applications combined for their August and January entry terms, and admitted 1,130 candidates. 782 ultimately matriculated.

“Enrollment has been healthy because of the structure of our program, which has allowed students who were unable to enter the country, to still join us this year,” says Thomas. “Learning to lead during a time of crisis is also a unique opportunity to examine in real-time, an evolving situation that has had a significant impact on all corners of the world, and all parts of the economy.”

To accommodate the pandemic concerns, Columbia has created the HyFlex teaching model, allowing students to rotate in and out of the classroom to maintain social distance requirements and bring the courses to students even if they are overseas. In addition to holding virtual classes, the school has also ensured all club activities and recruiting events are still being held in a virtual format.

“Though international students have faced additional challenges because of travel restrictions and consulate closures at various points in the year, the HyFlex teaching model that we have implemented this fall has allowed many students to start the MBA and take advantage of all that Columbia Business School has to offer – even if they have to do it from their home country for now,” says Thomas.

Posted in: MBA News, News

Schools: Columbia

About the Author

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith  

Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.

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