Johnson Graduate School of Management Overview

Introduction of Business School & MBA Program

Cornell offers a full-time Two Year MBA program at the school’s main campus in Ithaca. Applicants may also choose from an Accelerated MBA program that is one year in length, an Executive MBA program that meets on weekends just fifteen miles from Manhattan, and a Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA program that involves team-based videoconferencing. Needless to say, Cornell has plenty of options for both Full-Time and Part-Time Business School applicants.

First year full-time MBA students will build a rich foundation as they balance eight essential required courses such as Microeconomics and Accounting with their choice of electives. The following year students take the reins and create their own elective-based schedule, paving the way for future leaders.

Fields of Expertise

The program’s strength lies in its finance curriculum. Johnson even offers a financial engineering program that focuses on subjects such as: derivatives, portfolio analysis, stochastic processes, and computer-based modeling

Finance and Consulting are two of Cornell’s strongest suits. There is an emphasis placed on hands on leadership training, which allows students to utilize analytical and quantitative reasoning in real life situations.

Those pursuing Assets Management gain experience working in the student-run training floor with a hedge fund and investment studio in the Parker Center for Investment Research.

Small Class Size

Johnson’s Two-Year MBA program enrollment totals 280 students, which is considerably smaller than many of the top tier MBA programs. At the same time, Johnson has about 100 faculty members, which is on par with many of the MBA programs that have a considerably larger student body. This small student to teacher ratio allows for greater professor accessibility that often extends outside the classroom and into their professor’s homes. Professors at Cornell have a compassionate interest in their student’s well-being and long-term success.

"Semester In Reality"

For the “Semester in Reality”, Cornell MBA students visit companies and are exposed to the every day life within a corporation. The students are provided with real business challenges, and are evaluated based on their responses to these challenges. The “Semester in Reality” is a unique opportunity that sets the Johnson School of Business apart from other MBA programs.

A Soft Side

Praised for its small size and accessibility, students are able to achieve rigorous pursuits with a warm support system. No required courses are offered on Fridays to allow students to participate in sports, hobbies, and take small trips. Johnson is truly the type of atmosphere where students can receive personal attention.

Application Deadlines for Fall Admission

o Round 1: Mid-October
o Round 2: Late November
o Round 3: Late January
o Round 4: Late March


MBA Application Elements - Cornell Johnson Business School

Essay Tips

Your application should highlight your ability to think in an analytical manner. This could manifest itself through a discussion of how you focus on developing solutions, your approach to analyzing problems, or an analytically driven business idea that you have. Analytical in this sense doesn’t purely mean numbers oriented (although Johnson will take a close look at your quantitative GMAT score), but rather it means based on rational and in-depth thought and examination. Examples you can provide along those lines will help you establish fit with the analytical strength Johnson values in addition to its application-focused learning model.

Examples of essay prompts previously used by Johnson:
1. Describe your greatest professional achievement and how you were able to add value to your organization. (400 word limit)
2. What career do you plan to pursue upon completion of an MBA degree and why? How will the Johnson School help you achieve this goal? (400 word limit)
3. (Optional) Complete this essay if there is other information you would like to add regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate GPA or test scores) does not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School. (400 word limit)
This and dozens of other top business schools are covered in detail in Your MBA Game Plan, the definitive guide on MBA admissions, now in its second edition.

GMAT Score

The Average GMAT score for full-time students in the recent class was 691, with 80% of full-time students scoring between 630 and 740.


An invitation to interview will be offered to select candidates after a complete review of the written application.

If offered an interview invitation, this will be another proving ground on which leadership will be discussed. You should anticipate that you will receive several questions on leadership, especially questions asking you to provide examples of displayed leadership. You should also anticipate being asked a question on current business events, so make sure you have a decent understanding of what’s going on in the business world before your interview.

Letters of Recommendation

Cornell recommends at least one letter be from an immediate supervisor. If you are unable to obtain an evaluation from an immediate supervisor, use your best judgment in supplying a substitute. Indicate why you selected an alternate to your supervisor in the optional essay.


Cornell Johnson MBA Program - Key Statistics

o Full-Time Tuition: $51,480 per year
o Full-Time Enrollment: 546
o Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.29
o Average GMAT Score: 691
o Acceptance Rate: 27.1%
o Average Starting Salary and Bonus: $122,239
o Full-Time Graduates Employed at Graduation: 74.7%
o Average Age of New Entrants: 27
o Average Work Experience: Approximately 5 years
o Executive MBA Offered
o Accelerated MBA Offered