Columbia Business School Unveils Redesigned Core Curriculum For First-Year MBA Students

Changes reflect the fast-changing business marketplace and place growing emphasis on the importance of entrepreneurship and leadership

Aug 28, 2013, 10:10 ET from Columbia Business School

NEW YORK, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This fall, Columbia Business School will institute a redesigned core curriculum for the class of 2015.  Today the School unveiled twelve new videos that explain and convey the importance of the new changes.


"Changes in business and the global economic environment are accelerating at unprecedented paces," said Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School.  "The changes to our core curriculum are designed to respond to these shifting dynamics and ensure that the School maintains its preeminence as a leader in global business education.  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." 

Among the most significant changes to the new core curriculum are:

  • The inclusion of the core's credit-bearing leadership course during student orientation rather than in the first semester;
  • Increasing the number of electives that first year students may take, providing greater opportunity to tailor courses to align with career goals, and better prepare for summer internships;
  • Placing some technical components of course content online, allowing for more in-depth and robust classroom discussion between professors and students; and,
  • Revamping the Decision Models core course to emphasize big data, recognition of the importance big data is now playing in the business ecosystem.

Additional changes include refreshed content that further infuses entrepreneurial thinking into various courses, and expansion of the School's integrated case study, a real-world problem-solving case that examines a corporation from a variety of perspectives across different courses.  This innovation provides students with the opportunity to see a real-world business challenge holistically, analyzing a single problem from multiple viewpoints and connecting the dots between different functional areas.

A Process for Continual Curriculum Innovations

The School conducts periodic, comprehensive reviews of the core as part of its commitment to bridge academic theory with real-world business challenges.  The School's curriculum was last redesigned in 2009 to respond to the changing business environment wrought by the financial collapse. 

"We view the core curriculum as the nucleus of an MBA, and the new core curriculum retains the School's commitment to an academically rigorous foundation for our students," said Mark Broadie, Vice Dean for Curriculum and Instruction.  "We are constantly staying abreast of changes in the business world and adapting our core to respond to the needs of the business community."

In January 2012, Dean Hubbard appointed a committee comprised of faculty to examine the structure of the existing MBA core curriculum and recommend an improved structure more in tune with the forces shaping global business.  The committee solicited student, alumni, and recruiter feedback and used this feedback to formulate their recommendations.  Last spring, the committee members voted unanimously to recommend the redesigned core model, which was later approved by the full faculty for implementation this fall.

To learn more about Columbia Business School's academic offerings and new core curriculum videos, please visit

About Columbia Business School
Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the Russell L.  Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School is at the forefront of management education.  The School's cutting-edge curriculum bridges academic theory and practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in a competitive business environment.  Beyond academic rigor and teaching excellence, the School offers programs that are designed to give students practical experience making decisions in real-world environments.  The school offers MBA, Masters, and PhD degrees, as well as non-degree Executive Education programs.  For more information, visit

SOURCE Columbia Business School