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16 things every NYU Stern MBA student should know


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NYU Stern School of BusinessThe New York University Stern School of Business was founded in 1900 by Charles Waldo Haskins, co-founder of Deloitte’s predecessor Haskins and Sells and a nephew of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was then known as the School for Commerce, Finance, and Accounting, and prepared students for careers in the financial markets of New York City. Also read Best MBA in New York

In 1988, following a $30 million gift from alumnus Leonard N. Stern (MBA 1959), the school improved its facilities, and was renamed the Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Ten years later, in 1998, a $10 million gift from Henry Kaufman (PhD 1958) supported a major upgrade of Stern’s facilities. In 1999 came a similar gift from Kenneth Langone (MBA 1960). In 2000, Stern celebrated its centenary with the launch of a $100 million Centennial Campaign, which helped the school double its endowment, enhance the number of named professorships, and increase financial aid to students.

Here are more facts about the school, with a focus on its full-time MBA program.

16 facts about NYU Stern every MBA applicant should know



NYU Stern is located in the center of Greenwich Village, near Washington Square Park in downtown Manhattan. New York City was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, an island bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers.

Manhattan is the headquarters of the UN and often described as the financial, media, and entertainment capital of the world. Three of the most-visited tourist destinations in the world (as of 2013) are in Manhattan: the Times Square, Central Park, and the Grand Central Terminal. Besides, the Empire State Building, the New York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ are located in Manhattan.

Universities such as Columbia and Rockefeller, besides NYU, and various educational institutions such as the Weill Cornell Medical College are located here. Manhattan, with a population of 1.64 million, along with the rest of New York City (pop. 8.5 million), attracted 61 million tourists in 2016.

As for the climate, New York City experiences cold and damp winters, with a daily mean temperature of 0.3 degree Celsius in the coldest month of January. Spring and autumn can be chilly to warm, and summers warm to hot and humid, with daily mean temperatures touching about 25 degrees C.


Stern occupies the Shimkin and Tisch Halls and the Kaufman Management Center on NYU’s Washington Square campus. In 2010, a renovation of 84,500 square feet of the three buildings was completed as part of the donor-aided Stern Concourse Project.


In FT’s Global MBA Ranking 2017, Stern is ranked 19th, the same position that the school received in the two previous years. In US News’ Best Business Schools ranking 2017 (for US schools), Stern is at rank 12 along with Duke Fuqua. Stern is the third-best b-school for MBA in Finance in the US, according to US News.

Faculty, research

The leadership team at Stern is headed by Dean Peter Henry, the youngest person to hold the position. He assumed deanship in 2010 and joined the faculty as the William R. Berkley Professor of Economics and Finance.

Stern professors have made regular contributions to research and are authors of books and articles in top journals. In 2011, Stern Professor Thomas J. Sargent won the Nobel Prize for Economics in the wake of other Nobel Laureates from Stern — Michael Spence (2001), and Robert F. Engle (2003). Besides academic departments such as those of accounting, finance, and marketing, Stern has developed research centers including the Berkley Innovation Labs, Center for Business Analytics, and Center for Globalization of Education and Management.


Stern has a variety of MBA programs, such as Full-time MBA (two years), Tech MBA (one year), and Fashion and Luxury MBA (one year); part-time MBA at Manhattan and Westchester (two to six years); dual degrees, such as MD/MBA, JD/MBA, MBA/MFA; executive MBA programs, such as EMBA New York City (22 months) and EMBA Washington, DC (two years); TRIUM Global MBA for senior executives offered by Stern, LES, and HEC Paris (17 months); undergraduate courses; master’s programs; PhD programs; executive programs for companies and individuals; and certificate programs.


The two-year full-time MBA at Stern is customizable. The first-year curriculum comprises the required core and menu core courses. The required core courses consist of financial accounting and reporting, and statistics and data analytics.

Under the menu core, which includes firms and markets, foundations of finance, global economy, leadership in organizations, marketing, operations management, and strategy, five areas are to be chosen.

In the second year, up to three specializations can be chosen from over 20 options and electives from over 200 options. Twenty-five percent of courses (five courses) can be taken at other NYU graduate schools. Students can also participate in the semester exchange at 47 Stern partner schools in 30 countries.

The DBi (Doing Business in) program of one or two weeks is available around the world between semesters and other breaks. Additionally, Stern offers experiential learning opportunities to tackle real-world problems in real time.

Application requirements

One Stern MBA application is adequate for candidates to apply to four MBA programs (full-time, part-time, tech, and fashion and luxury). An application for both a primary and an alternative program can be made if the candidate so chooses. Candidates who represent Stern’s core values of “IQ + EQ” and demonstrate excellent intellectual ability, interpersonal skills, and a desire to serve business and community are preferred.

Their academic profile, personal achievements and aspirations, and personal characteristics are also evaluated. The candidate needs to submit three essays—an essay each on professional aspirations and program preferences, and a personal expression essay. The personal expression essay should consist of six images (photos, infographics, drawings, etc.) with captions that best describe the candidate to the admissions committee and future classmates.

An additional 250-word essay can be submitted if the candidate desires, explaining gaps in employment, plans to retake GMAT, etc. Besides, two professional recommendations have to be submitted, one of which from the current supervisor.

An emotional intelligence (EQ, self-awareness, empathy, communication) endorsement from a professional or personal recommender (excluding family) is also required. Other requirements: GRE/GMAT score, TOEFL/IELTS score (if English is not the native language of the candidate or if he/she holds a university degree not taught in English); transcripts, degrees, and professional information. The application fee is $250. An invitation is sent to candidates selected for an interview.

Fee, expenses

The first-year full-time MBA tuition is about $72,000. The registration fee is approximately $4,000. Living expenses include room and board (~$26,000), books and supplies (~$2,000), transportation (~$1,100), and miscellaneous (with health insurance) ~$8,750. The cost of attendance for the first year comes to around $111,000.

Scholarship, aid

About 25 percent of admitted two-year MBA students receive merit-based scholarships. The scholarships include Dean’s Scholarship, Named Faculty Scholarships, Consortium Fellowships, Stern Scholarship, William R. Berkley Scholarship, Advancing Women in Business Scholarship, and Forté Fellowship. International students can apply for private loans with or without a US cosigner.

Admission statistics

Here’s the Class of 2019 profile: Applicants – 3,927; enrolled – 399; women – 38 percent; international – 37 percent; average age – 28; age range – 21-38; average GPA – 3.48; GMAT average – 714, range – 580-780; undergraduate majors in business – 36 percent; economics – 18 percent; engineering, math, science – 17 percent; humanities, arts – 16 percent; social science – 13 percent; students with prior work experience – 99 percent; average work experience – 4.9 years; work experience range – 0-15 years; prior industries include financial services – 29 percent, consulting – 13 percent; retail/government/tech – 7 percent; nonprofit/arts – 6 percent; PR/media/real estate – 4 percent.

Career development

Stern’s career development team maintains relationships with all industries and ensures that thousands of recruiting interviews are conducted at the school every year. The Office of Career Development hosts sessions around industry discussions, resume reviews, networking workshops, and mock interviews.

The Office is made up of relationship managers, career counselors, and a director for international career development. Second-year-MBA career-coaches counsel first-year students on career search plans and interview skills. Student-run professional clubs also provide career coaching, and the Career Center for Working Professionals offers lifelong career services to alumni.

Jobs after MBA/employers

Ninety-four percent of “Sternies” of the Class of 2016 received a job offer within three months of graduation. 28.5 percent went into (by industry) consulting, 28.2 percent into investment banking, and 9.6 percent into technology/telecom.

Forty percent took up finance jobs (by job function), 33.8 percent consulting, and 15.1 percent marketing/sales. Companies from various sectors have hired Stern graduates for internships or full-time jobs (see link in Resources No. 18 below, “employer-list” for details).


Stern graduates (Class of 2017) received an average base salary of about $121,000, an average signing bonus of ~ $33,000, and an average other guaranteed bonus of ~$30,000.

Alumni network

NYU Stern’s alumni network consists of 105,000 executives in 120 countries from Argentina to India, Russia, and Venezuela. NYU SternConnect enables alumni to stay in touch among themselves and reconnect with the school and faculty. “Stern Inside,” a monthly e-newsletter, provides alumni news and information about faculty research, campus events, and career opportunities.

Notable alumni

Apart from the Nobel Prize winners mentioned under “Faculty, research” in this article, among other notable Stern alumni are Edward Altman (economist), William R. Berkley (President, WR Berkley Corp.), Robert Greifeld (CEO, NASDAQ), Alan Greenspan (former Chairman, Federal Reserve), Nomi Prins (former MD, Goldman-Sachs), Ismail Merchant (film producer), and Daniel Shulman (CEO, PayPal).


One of the oldest b-schools in the world, NYU Stern is a founding member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. There are three Nobel laureates on the Stern faculty. Stern’s the place for any candidate who wants to specialize in finance, sales, trading, or luxury brand management.

Its location in New York City, just 5 km from Wall Street, and its various campus events provide its students and graduates with an additional advantage when it comes to networking.

Also read:
– NYU Stern MBA – New York University grad turns Entrepreneur in India
– NYU professor shares Insights on Bollywood – Hindi Film industry in India
Resources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 | Image credit: 21

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  1. Bitun says:
    November 21, 2017 at 10:47 am

    This might not be a great or worthwhile question – but why do you think Stern does poorly with the Economist and Bloomberg rankings? Since US News and FT both rank NYU within the top 10-12 US B-schools regularly, I wonder which ranking is the best for International students to follow?


  2. Sameer Kamat says:
    November 21, 2017 at 11:20 am

    It definitely is a worthwhile question, Bitun.

    At the outset I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of rankings. They can never capture what’s truly relevant for each and every applicant from every part of the world.

    The reason Stern doesn’t rank well in every ranking has a direct correlation to the methodology followed by the publication.

    Some like FT  Forbes give a lot of importance to salaries (and NY salaries clearly have an edge over the other cities). US News is relatively more qualitative, but it also relies on the opinions of deans and employers. The Economist methodology generates more shock value than real insights. Businessweek has been constantly tweaking it methodology, so there are consistency issues over the years.

    The bottomline is, for an international student, it’s best to take the rankings with a fistful of salt and create an independent methodology using parameters that are more important from a personal perspective.

    For instance, if your aspiration is to work on Wall Street, your odds of breaking in improve dramatically if you attend Stern, Columbia or even Cornell – as opposed to INSEAD which might be ranked number one in the world by FT.


  3. Bitun says:
    November 21, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Gotcha – Thanks Sameer bhai.


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  3. MBA School Choice: NYU Vs. Columbia
MBA School Choice: NYU Vs. Columbia

MBA School Choice: NYU Vs. Columbia

Columbia and NYU are among the world’s best schools, which enjoy the advantages of being based in a commercially dynamic city. What are the strengths of each school’s MBA?

New York City is a commercial dynamo, one of the major centers of the global economy and historically a leader in media, finance and fashion. Such advantages are not lost on NYU Stern and Columbia Business School, the two top MBA providers in the Big Apple. 

“NYC’s urban business setting is definitely an advantage for many career paths, including finance,” says Stacy Blackman, an admissions consultant in Los Angeles. “At Columbia and NYU, accessibility to recruiters and world-class industry experts and professors is unparalleled.” 

The Financial Times Global MBA ranking 2018 put Columbia at number seven in the world, with NYU in 23rd place. Bloomberg’s Businessweek list placed Columbia in ninth place in the US, and NYU at number 18. Applicants almost always prioritize reputation in selecting between Columbia and NYU, according to admissions consultants, and brand is often signalled by relative ranking across the major media publications.

Aside from rankings, MBA applicants should turn to other criteria to make their choice, such as: student culture, admissions processes offers and career outcomes. 

NYU vs. Columbia: MBA program comparison

Both NYU and Columbia run high-quality MBA courses. 

Columbia offers greater flexibility of study, with full-time students joining in either August (a 20-month program) or January (a breezier 16 month curriculum). NYU Stern students start in the fall and study for two years. “The option to start in January instead of August can be a major attraction to students who are coming from family businesses or are sponsored by their firms and don’t have a need to complete a summer internship,” says Chioma Isiadinso, an admissions consultant in New York City. 

Top 10 MBA Programs in New York

Another differentiating factor is class size. Columbia’s MBA is considerably larger at 753 total students, compared with NYU’s 399-strong cohort. Both schools divide students up into clusters. “Given Columbia’s large entering class size, it offers a broader network compared to smaller programs like NYU,” says Isiadinso. Columbia boasts a global network of 39,000 full-time MBA alumni alone. 

Columbia Business SchoolBoth schools rely on case studies to teach their MBA courses, along with guest speakers — a benefit of their New York City base. Columbia commonly hosts C-Suite speakers comparable to Harvard Business School, admissions consultants say, including the CEO of Anheuser Busch International and representatives from McKinsey & Company. 

A student’s choice between NYU and Columbia also can be driven by their fit with particular programs. NYU’s new one-year Tech MBA and Fashion & Luxury MBA programs are drawing interest from specialized candidates. Media, tech and retail are seen to be stronger at NYU than Columbia, say admissions consultants. 

[Related Article:  An MBA in New York City: If You Can Make It There, You Can Make it Anywhere ]

NYU’s full-time MBA offers a whopping 20 specializations—such as Banking, FinTech, and Product Management—from which students can select up to three. On the other hand, while Columbia’s MBA doesn’t have any official specializations, it does offer a range of electives.

NYU vs. Columbia: admissions process comparison

For the schools’ full-time MBA programs, the 2018 admission rate to NYU is 21 percent, while Columbia’s is 16 percent, so getting into either of these two schools is very competitive. 

Columbia is on a rolling admissions basis, except for its Early Decision option where applicants have to apply by a certain date to be considered for admission to the MBA. NYU has four deadlines (on the 15th of October, November, January and March). 

Both schools rely on essays, resumes and reference letters in evaluating prospective students. In addition to the essay requirement at NYU, the school asks applicants to pick six images that best describe who they are. Applicants at NYU also have the option to choose a personal reference in addition to a professional reference and the school describes this as “EQ recommendations”.

Interviews at both schools are on an invitation-only basis. The interviews are held both on campus or in the country where the applicant resides. The main difference is that Columbia relies on alumni to interview their applicants and the interviews are blind — the interviewer only has the applicant’s resume and not the application. NYU is different in that interviewers are admissions staff and they have read the entire application. 

According to Blackman, NYU typically shows more flexibility in admitting candidates. The school is more willing than Columbia to accept a candidate whose employer is not well-known or whose GMAT score is not high, the consultant says. One potential upside of this relative flexibility by NYU is that the program tends to “attract a down-to-earth, humble student class”. 

“Any sign of competitiveness or arrogance was a turn off,” says a former NYU admissions officer who works at Stacy Blackman Consulting. “We also were sensitive to those ‘leaders’ that were pushy or always needing to lead.”

NYU Stern MBA student Vikram Gulati says: “I really identify with the student population, and I am proud to say that we are probably the most collaborative among the top MBA programs”

Gulati adds that, “from what I hear from my friends in other schools, Stern is way above and beyond everyone else in terms of sheer niceness of students — everyone is super helpful and willing to put in tons of time, often with absolutely no reciprocity or even the expectation of anything”. 

Columbia did not put forward a spokesperson for this article. 

NYU vs. Columbia: MBA career outcomes comparison 

Both NYU and Columbia have been trying to move away from being perceived as “finance schools”, consultants claim. 

NYU can be an attractive choice for students with varied interests that go beyond finance. According to NYU’s 2016 employment report, the school’s top three recruiters were Deloitte Consulting (22), Citi (14) and Amazon (13). The school also had plenty of opportunities in luxury and consumer goods, “so students with a broader career interest base would find a great home at Stern”, says Isiadinso. 

NYU - SternColumbia has slightly higher placement into consulting and finance than NYU, but candidates also enter the media and technology industries in large numbers, and manufacturing, to a lesser extent. In fact, according to the school’s Employment Report, the three top employers of 2017 graduates were consulting firms (McKinsey — 55, the Boston Consulting Group — 36, and Bain & Company — 27). 

The bottom line: both NYU and Columbia are top schools whose students enjoy unparalleled advantage, being based in the Big Apple. 


  • Columbia Business School by Michael Filtz
  • NYU-Stern by Memorial Student Center Texas A&M University / CC BY 2.0



Jul 17, 2018 17:06

Columbia is better, hands down and objectively.

FACT: Columbia is ranked in the top 10 of the FT Ranking. NYU is not.

FACT: Columbia is ranked in the top 10 of the Bloomberg ranking and is rising. NYU is almost out of the top 20.

FACT: Columbia MBAs have better career growth in the long term.


Jul 25, 2018 21:54

I’m primarily concerned with which school gives out the most scholarship money, especially full tuition scholarships. Any ideas?


Oct 02, 2018 12:33

The FT ranking shows career growth. Out of 100 schools, Columbia was 20th and NYU was 22nd in 2018. In 2017, Columbia was 40th and NYU was 20th. Both of these schools are well above average for career growth.

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      Flexible Curriculum


      Core Curriculum



      Electives and Specializations



      Required Core:
      • Business Communication
      • Collaboration, Conflict, and Negotiation
      • Financial Accounting & Reporting  
      • Firms & Markets
      • Foundations of Finance
      • The Global Economy
      • Leadership in Organizations
      • Marketing
      • Operations Management
      • Professional Responsibility
      • Statistics & Data Analysis
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      Establish proficiency in a core course through prior degrees, a proficiency exam, or a CPA.


      Elective and Specialization Options:
      • Select up to three specializations
      • Choose from 200+ electives
      • Take electives during the day or evening
      • Take up to 25% of your courses (5 courses) at other NYU graduate schools
      •  Leverage Stern’s 47 partner schools in 30 countries through a semester exchange
      •  Participate in a Doing Business In (DBi) course in over 10 locations worldwide
      • Tackle real world issues in real time through Stern Solutions experiential learning opportunites.


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