Columbia Business School’s Financial Studies Program and Increasingly Flexible Curriculum

Already well known as a finance powerhouse, Columbia Business School (CBS) stepped up its finance game in 2010 with the establishment of the Program for Financial Studies. This umbrella initiative connects faculty who approach financial studies from a variety of disciplines with students, alumni, and external organizations. The program’s main goals are to support research, to enhance the CBS finance curriculum and related resources, and to create opportunities for the exchange of ideas between CBS students and faculty and members of the external finance community. The program’s recent studies have included “ABC Coalition Game: Relationships and Bargaining,” “Amazon: Taking on India,” and “Anheuser-Busch InBev and ZX Ventures: Thirst for Self-Disruption.”

The structure of CBS’s core curriculum has also evolved throughout the years and now includes an increased emphasis on cross-disciplinary thinking. The program’s core courses utilize online teaching tools in an attempt to “free up more classroom time for deeper dives and discussions,” as a 2013 Poets&Quants article explained. In addition, students may take exemption exams in areas in which they are already proficient, thereby accessing the option to replace core courses with electives. This revised curriculum was developed in response to student feedback that a full term was not needed to cover the “core” elements in certain courses, and the change has given students significantly more flexibility in the first year.

CBS has attempted to find a middle ground where students learn what the school considers fundamentals while having the latitude to specialize, and anecdotally, students have responded favorably.

For a thorough exploration of what CBS has to offer, download a free copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School or one of our 16 other complimentary Insider’s Guides.

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