So, you want to get a Columbia graduate school degree? How much do you know about the admissions requirements for Columbia’s graduate programs?

This quick guide will look at the most critical aspects of applying to grad school at Columbia including:

  • Columbia graduate school admissions requirements
  • Average GRE, GMAT, LSAT scores for Columbia grad school programs
  • Minimum GPA for Columbia grad programs
  • Acceptance rates for Columbia graduate school programs
  • Other important Columbia grad school admissions statistics

Let’s see how easy it will be for you to get into a Columbia grad school program.

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Columbia University Graduate School

Columbia University is one of the oldest universities in the United States. The university was founded in 1754.

In addition to being one of the oldest universities in the county, Columbia is one of the top universities in the world. It was ranked as the #3 university in the United States by US News in 2018.

Graduate school programs at Columbia are a big focus of the university. There are approximately ~8,500 undergraduate students and ~19,500 graduate students enrolled at any given time, so the size of the graduate school is more than twice the size of the undergraduate.

In U.S. New’s 2019 rankings, Columbia is ranked in the top ten graduate programs for:

  • Accounting
  • Executive MBA
  • Finance
  • International MBA
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Nonprofit MBA
  • International Law
  • Anesthesiology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Theory
  • Earth Sciences
  • Geology
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • And more

If you find this article interesting, then you should check out our article on the grad school admissions requirements for Cornell.

Columbia University Admissions Statistics – How Hard is It to Get into Columbia?

The admission requirements for most of the top grad school programs at Columbia are very competitive. How good do your standardized test scores need to be to get into Columbia?

Most of Colombia’s graduate school departments don’t explicitly list their GRE score statistics. The information below was put together by Magoosh.

You can read more about the methodology they used to come up with their estimated Columbia GRE scores on their blog.

Average GRE Scores for Columbia University

These statistics were compiled on Magoosh’s GRE Blog.

Columbia University Graduate School Acceptance Rate

Columbia University Graduate School Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rates and admissions statistics for individual graduate programs at Columbia varies. You can find admission statistics and graduate class profiles on some of the department’s web pages, including program acceptance rates, average GPA, and standardized test score averages (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc), on their website.

Columbia MBA Program – Class of 2018

Total MBA Applications: 6,029
Total MBA Students Accepted: 1,028
Columbia Business School Acceptance Rate: 17%
Total MBA Students Enrolled : 756

Median Columbia MBA GMAT Score: 732
Low GMAT Score (bottom 10%): 700
High GMAT Score (top 10%): 760

Columbia MBA Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.60
Low GPA (bottom 10%): 3.20
High GPA (top 10%): 3.90

Average Work Experience: 5 years
Low Work Experience (bottom 10%): 3 years
High Work Experience (top 10%): 7 years

Getting Into Columbia Business School (A video by MBA Podcaster)

Columbia Medical School – Class of 2017

Total Medical School Applications: 8,258
Total Med Students Accepted : 285
Columbia Medical School Acceptance Rate: 1.84%
Total Med Students Enrolled : 152

Median Columbia MCAT Score: 519
Low MCAT Score (bottom 10%): 508
High MCAT Score (top 10%): 528

Columbia Med School Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.87

Columbia Master of Data Science – Class of 2018

Total MS Data Science Applications: 1,200
Total Students Enrolled : 143
Columbia Master of Data Science Acceptance Rate: 11.9%

Columbia Data Science GRE Averages:
Average GRE Quantitative Score: 166
Average GRE Verbal Score: 157
Average GRE Essay Score: 3.8

Columbia MS Data Science Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.7

Columbia Law School – Class of 2018

Total Law School Applications: 6,957
Total Law Students Accepted: 1,161
Columbia Law School Acceptance Rate: 16.7%
Total Students Enrolled : 412

Median Columbia LSAT Score: 172
Low LSAT Score (bottom 25%): 170
High LSAT Score (top 25%): 174

Columbia Law School Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.75
Low GPA (bottom 25%): 3.63
High GPA (top 25%): 3.84

7 Things You Don’t Know About Law School Admissions (A Video by Bloomberg Law)

Columbia Master of Finance Program – Class of 2018

Total MSFE Applications: 618
Total MSFE Students Accepted: 43
Columbia Master of Finance Acceptance Rate: 7%
Total Students Enrolled: 24

Average Columbia MSFE GMAT Score: 765

Columbia Master of Finance GRE Averages:
Average GRE Quantitative Score: 169
Average GRE Verbal Score: 159

Columbia MS Finance Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.85

Columbia Graduate School Application Requirements

Columbia Graduate School Application Requirements

The application requirements for each graduate program at Columbia varies.

  • Some programs require two or three letters of recommendation but some programs don’t require any.
  • You might be required to take the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc.
  • You may need to write several essays on various topics

We have simplified the application requirements for a few Columbia grad school programs below, which should make the whole process more clear.

Columbia MBA Application Requirements

Your first step for applying to the MBA program at Columbia is to create an account on the Columbia Business School website.

You will need to submit the following documents for your application:

  • A completed Columbia GSB Online Application
  • $250 Application Fee
  • A short answer response to “What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?”
  • A 500 word essay discussing your career goals for the next 3-5 years
  • A 250 word essay on how you would take advantage of being in the MBA program at Columbia
  • A third essay about a team error that your were a part of and what you would do differently (250 words)
  • An option fourth essay if you want to explain something to the admissions team (weird gaps in your work experience, poor grades in a course or two, etc)
  • Transcripts from each college or university you previously attended
  • Your GMAT or GRE score report
  • Two letters of recommendation (preferably professional letters of recommendation)

Columbia University MBA Deadlines

You can apply to start the program at Columbia in August or January.

  • October 3rd – Deadline for an early decision application for an August start
  • April 10th – Regular decision application deadline for an August start
  • October 3rd – Application deadline for a January start

If you are applying to the Columbia school of business program in October, try to have your application requirements (GMAT, letters of recommendation, etc) wrapped up in August.

You don’t want to miss the application window because you are waiting on someone else!

More Information for Applying to the MBA Program at Columbia

You can find more information on the Columbia GSB webpage, including FAQ’s, degree requirements, scholarship and tuition information, etc.

If you’ve already applied to the Columbia MBA program, then you can check your Columbia application status here.

Columbia University Master of Data Science Application Requirements

Your first step for applying to the Data Science Master’s program at Columbia is to create an account on Columbia University’s website for engineering graduate programs.

You will be required to provide the following documentation:

  • A completed Columbia Data Science Online Application
  • Official transcripts from every university you attended as an undergraduate student
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An official copy of your GRE scores
  • A personal statement essay
  • $85 Application Fee
  • Your resume

Columbia MS Data Science Application Deadlines

The Master of Data Science program follows the application schedule of most of the engineering programs at Columbia.

  • February 15th – Deadline for the Fall application to the MS Data Science program
  • End of March – Application decisions begin to go out.

More information for Applying to the Columbia Master of Data Science Program

You can find more details on the Columbia Data Science Institute’s website, including FAQs, tuition & fee information, and curriculum details.

If you have already applied to the program, you can check your application status at any time by logging back into your application account.

Columbia Master of Financial Economics Application Requirements

The first step to applying to the MSFE program at Columbia is to create an account on the Columbia Business School’s application webpage.

You will need to submit the following:

  • $100 application fee
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation and a maximum of five
  • An update resume
  • Official transcripts from all the colleges and universities that you have attended.
  • Your GMAT or GRE scores
  • Two essays, 250 to 500 words each
  • A completed Columbia Master of Finance application

Columbia MSFE Application Deadlines

You can apply for the Columbia Finance program nearly a year before the program begins, on August 1.

  • August 1st – Application opens for the following Fall semester
  • January 7th – Deadline for the Master of Financial Economics application

You might want to have your application wrapped up in the beginning of December. Getting a letter of recommendation during the holidays could be a challenge!

Additional information for Applying to the Columbia Master of Finance Program

You can find more information about the MSFE program on the Columbia Business School webpage, such as a degree timeline, costs and fees, student profiles, and housing details.

If you’ve already applied to the Master of Financial Economics program, then you can check your Columbia application status by logging back into your application account.


Applying to a Columbia graduate school program is a big decision. Columbia’s grad programs are prestigious and competitive, so your application will need to be excellent to have of chance of getting you accepted to the university.

This simple guide laid out the application process, average GRE/GMAT/LSAT test scores, median GPAs, and acceptance rates for some of Columbia’s graduate program applications.

Hopefully this information will clarify whether you should put Columbia University on your list of potential graduate schools.

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