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MBA in New York: Columbia vs Cornell vs Stern vs Simon

New York is among the best places to pursue an MBA due to the many famous programs that it hosts. In downtown New York City there are the prestigious universities Columbia and NYU, which both have world renowned business schools. Earning an MBA in a city as vibrant as New York City comes with endless opportunities. Outside of the city, there are also two business schools that are highly ranked. Cornell University and the University of Rochester are both a few hours from downtown New York City but it is still very accessible by car. All of these business schools should be considered by international students who are looking to pursue an MBA. 


Columbia Business School Cornell University – Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management NYU Stern School of Business University of Rochester – Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
Program Duration 2 years or 16 months (J-term) 1 or 2 years.  2 years. 2 years.
Tuition (2020) US$77,376 (first year) US$71,940 US$76,780 US$ 48,000/year
Locations Centered in New York City, currently home to over 9,000 startups and 100 incubators, with investors plunking down US $13 B in 2018 to fund promising ventures. The tech sector alone accounts for over 333,000 jobs. Johnson is housed entirely in Sage Hall, a 19th-century High Victorian Gothic building located near the center of Cornell’s main campus in Ithaca, NY. It is about 4 hours from NYC by car but there is also an NYC campus.  The NYU Stern campus is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, adjacent to Washington Square Park. Simon is located on the University’s River Campus in Rochester, New York. A little over 6 hours from NYC by car. 
Class Size  J-term: 211

August entry: 571

2 years: 292 students

1 year: 55 students

317 126 students enrolled
Gmat average  726 700 723 676
Average age 28 years old. 28 years old (2 years), 30 years old (1 year MBA). 28 years old. 28 years old.
Average work experience 5 years. 5 years.  5.2 years of experience. 4.9 years.
Academic Information Students complete their core curriculum during the first 2 semesters. CBS offers exemption exams that allow students who pass to trade their core courses for electives. All students are given 3 slots for full-term electives beginning in their second semester. The second year of the MBA consists entirely of electives.

For J-term, classes begin in January and end in May of the following year, continuing throughout the summer (read: no full-time internship).

2 Year MBA Program:

  • First semester: Required courses in the MBA Core topics.
  • Second semester: Hands-on learning and industry immersion
  • Summer internship
  • Third semester: Electives, co-curricular activities, and NYC weekend courses
  • Fourth semester: More electives, NYC intensives, and course selections across Cornell University

1 Year MBA Program:

  • Summer semester: 10 weeks of required core courses.
  • Fall semester: Management Practicum with a real consulting project in addition to electives and weekend courses in NYC
  • Spring semester: Immersions in certain subjects, NYC intensives, and more electives
  • May choose to complete an immersion.
The first year of Stern’s MBA program is devoted mainly to completing core requirements. The second year consists of electives, except for the required Professional Responsibility course. Students have a huge variety of electives to choose from, as the school offers more than 200 over a 2-year period. 20 classes (9 core required courses and 11 electives) and an additional course on Business Communication and Career Success. Full-time students complete the MBA course requirements in 6 academic quarters of varying lengths with an internship in the summer between the first and second years of study.
Average Post-MBA Salary Median base salary according to 2020 employment report: US$150,000 US$ 138,767 according to the 2020 employment report. Average base salary: US$ 143,858 according to the 2020 employment report. US$ 143K avg. base salary
Employment Rate  90% received an offer 3 months after graduation. 93% received an offer within  3 months of graduation. 91.9% received offers by

3 Months Post-Graduation

91% accepted employment

3 months post graduation



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- "Preparing for the GMAT and applying for an MBA requires a tremendous commitment, and that doesn’t take into consideration the personal challenges our students must face when deciding if they want to leave their friends, families, and native cultures behind to advance their careers abroad. An MBA is not for everyone and that’s precisely what makes this advanced degree so valuable. 

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