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Columbia Business School to Revamp MBA, EMBA Programs Next Fall

Uris Hall, standing behind Clement Meadmore's ...

Beginning in fall 2013, the curriculum for the full-time MBA and EMBA programs at Columbia Business School (CBS) will feature greater emphasis on leadership and entrepreneurial thinking, better course integration and more opportunity for students to align electives with intended career choices, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports today.

A committee made up of CBS faculty spent a year considering a range of potential options before arriving at a new curriculum it hopes will prove both integrative and innovative, according to Gita Johar, senior vice dean and business professor. “We wanted to reflect the business environment, given the financial crisis,” Johar told Bloomberg BW.

Among the changes:

• Incoming students will now focus on leadership from day one as part of a required course that will be part of August orientation. (Until now, the course wasn’t offered until the second half of the first semester.)
• A new required course, “Business Analytics,” will bring information formerly part of an elective intensive analytics course into the core to help all students learn how to use data to make better business decisions.
• Professors will ask students to watch brief (five- to -10-minute) online video lectures in advance of class to allow for more student engagement time in the classroom.
• Students will have more opportunity to choose electives during the second semester of the first year because there will be three fewer required half-courses.

Current students shared their input on what they would most like to see as part of the new curriculum, Bloomberg BW reports. Second-year MBA student Alia Smith, student government vice president of academic affairs, served as a student liaison on the curriculum committee. In this role, Smith surveyed 12 to 15 students in each of the school’s 22 clusters and brought their input back to the committee.

Smith told Bloomberg BW that students were eager to keep their clusters and the integrity of the core, but that they also wanted soft skills to have a larger place in the curriculum. “We worked really hard on the curriculum,” she said. “I hope new students like it. My biggest fear is that the first-year class will have no comparison and won’t realize how different it is.”

Read the complete Bloomberg BW article, “Columbia Set to Launch New MBA Curriculum.”


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