CBS MBA Class Profile: Avg. GMAT, Work Ex, Pre-MBA & More

Are you dreaming of studying abroad and eyeing the prestigious Columbia Business School (CBS) for your MBA? Well, you’re in the right place!

Today, we’re diving deep into the CBS MBA Class Profile. Understanding who you’ll be studying alongside can give you a great insight into what to expect and how you can fit in.

Let’s unravel the dynamics of this diverse, driven, and intellectually vibrant community at CBS!


Columbia Business School isn’t just an institution; it’s a melting pot of culture, ideas, and ambition. Located in the heart of New York City, CBS offers an unparalleled experience for students from all corners of the globe. But what really makes it stand out? It’s the people – the students who bring life to its corridors.


  • CBS stands unique with its dual intake system. The program starts either in January or August, catering to diverse student needs.
  • The January intake (J-Term) is an accelerated 16-month program, perfect for students without a need for a summer internship.
  • The traditional August intake offers a full 20-month experience, with a summer internship opportunity.

A Closer Look at the Class Profile Imagine sitting in a classroom where your peers are not just fellow students but future industry leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. That’s the CBS classroom for you. Here are some quick facts from the official CBS website to give you a glimpse of who you’ll be joining:

  • Applications Received: 5,895
  • Enrolled Students: 900, divided into 12 clusters
  • January Entry Class Size: 219
  • August Entry Class Size: 681
  • Average GMAT Score: 730
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.5
  • Average Work Experience: 5 years

The diversity at CBS is not just academic; it’s global. With a significant percentage of international students, CBS truly offers a global classroom experience.


Welcome back to our journey through the CBS MBA Class Profile. Let’s get a closer look at the individuals who make up this dynamic cohort. These stats and figures aren’t just numbers; they represent the rich tapestry of experiences and perspectives you’ll encounter at CBS.

  1. Diverse Demographics:
    • Gender Diversity: Women represent a significant portion of the class, making up 44% of the student body.
    • International Flavor: Nearly half of the class, 47%, are international students, bringing global perspectives right into the classroom.
    • Age and Experience: The average age of CBS students is 28 years, with a range from 22 to 40 years. This age diversity is coupled with an average of 5 years of work experience, ensuring a mature and professionally diverse environment.
  2. Academic Excellence and Professional Background:
    • GMAT and GPA: A testament to the academic rigor at CBS, the average GMAT score stands at a robust 730, while the average undergraduate GPA is a solid 3.5.
    • Undergraduate Majors: Students hail from a variety of academic backgrounds, ensuring a multidisciplinary learning environment. This diversity in pre-MBA education fosters a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives in the classroom.
    • Industry Representation: The professional background of students is equally diverse, with significant representation from finance, consulting, technology, and more. This mix of industries enhances peer learning and networking opportunities.
  3. Ethnic Diversity:
    • CBS embraces a multitude of ethnic backgrounds, reflecting the global nature of its student body. The class includes a significant proportion of students identifying as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American, and Multi-Racial. This ethnic diversity enriches classroom discussions with varied cultural viewpoints and experiences.


Now, let’s shift our focus from numbers to the actual experience of being a part of the CBS community.

  1. A Vibrant Campus Life:
    • Clubs and Organizations: CBS offers a plethora of student clubs and organizations. Whether your interest lies in finance, tech, consulting, or cultural activities, there’s a group for you. These clubs not only enhance your learning but also provide avenues for leadership and community engagement.
    • Events and Networking: Regular events, seminars, and guest lectures by industry leaders provide a platform for students to connect, learn, and grow.
  2. The New York Advantage:
    • Location Benefits: Studying in New York City, the business capital of the world, offers unparalleled opportunities for internships, networking, and cultural experiences.
    • Industry Connections: Proximity to major corporations and startups provides an edge in gaining practical experience and understanding real-world business challenges.


As we explore the journey to joining the esteemed Columbia Business School (CBS), it’s crucial to understand the admissions process and how you can stand out. CBS seeks intellectually driven individuals from diverse backgrounds, and here’s how you can showcase your potential:

  1. Understanding the Application Requirements:
    • GMAT/GRE Scores: A high GMAT/GRE score is a key element of the application. The average GMAT score for the current class is 730, but remember, CBS considers the whole profile, not just test scores.
    • Academic Record: Your undergraduate GPA, coupled with the rigor of your coursework, plays a significant role. The average GPA for CBS students is 3.5.
    • Professional Experience: CBS values professional diversity. An average of 5 years of work experience is common among students, but quality trumps quantity. Demonstrate your professional achievements, leadership, and impact.
  2. Essays and Recommendations:
    • Essays: These are your opportunity to shine. CBS essays should reflect your personality, goals, and reasons for choosing CBS. Be clear, concise, and personal.
    • Recommendations: Choose recommenders who know you well and can vouch for your professional abilities and potential. It’s not about the title of the recommender but the insights they provide about you.
  3. Interviews:
    • Preparation is Key: Interviews at CBS are by invitation and are a significant part of the selection process. Prepare by knowing your application inside out and being ready to discuss your experiences, goals, and why CBS is the right fit for you.
  4. Application Deadlines and Decision Rounds:
    • Plan Ahead: Be aware of the different application rounds and deadlines. Applying in the earlier rounds can sometimes offer a slight advantage.


  • Research: Understand the unique aspects of the CBS program and tailor your application to reflect how you fit into this environment.
  • Showcase Leadership and Team Skills: Highlight experiences that showcase your leadership, teamwork, and cross-cultural skills.
  • Be Authentic: Authenticity resonates. Be honest and genuine in your application to stand out.


Embarking on an MBA journey at Columbia Business School (CBS) is not just about the learning experience; it’s also about where it takes you professionally. CBS graduates are known for their successful transitions into various industries and roles. Let’s explore what awaits you post-MBA.

  1. Diverse Career Paths:
    • Top Industries: CBS graduates find opportunities across a wide range of sectors. The most popular include consulting, finance, technology, and marketing/media.
    • Global Opportunities: With a vast alumni network and a strong brand, CBS opens doors for careers not just in the U.S. but globally. This is especially advantageous for students looking to work internationally post-MBA.
  2. Salary and Employment Statistics:
    • While specific figures vary by year and industry, CBS graduates typically see a significant boost in their post-MBA salaries.
    • Employment rates are typically high, with a large percentage of graduates securing jobs within a few months post-graduation.
  3. Alumni Network and Support:
    • Global Alumni Network: CBS’s vast alumni network spans across the globe, offering invaluable connections, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
    • Career Services: The dedicated career services team at CBS offers personalized career counseling, workshops, and recruitment events, assisting students in achieving their career goals.
  4. Entrepreneurial Opportunities:
    • For those inclined towards entrepreneurship, CBS offers resources and support through its entrepreneurship programs and initiatives. These provide students with the skills, mentorship, and networking opportunities to start their own ventures.
  5. Continued Learning and Development:
    • CBS’s commitment to its alumni extends beyond graduation. Graduates have access to continuous learning opportunities and resources to aid their professional growth throughout their careers.


Choosing CBS for your MBA is more than just an academic decision; it’s a career-transforming move. The school not only equips you with knowledge and skills but also opens up a world of opportunities and a network that supports your professional growth long after you’ve graduated.

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