Prospective Students

Prospective students should be aware of our annual Spotlight On: Cluster Q event. Please visit our events page to learn more!

Please visit the Cluster Q page at the Office of Admissions for more information. Also, please do not hesitate to contact our outreach officers via the form below.

For more information and FAQs, check out the content below the form!  

Name *

Thank you for taking the steps to learn more about CBS and Cluster Q as you consider your application!  Below is some key information that will help answer some of our most common questions.  We also encourage you to fill out the form at the bottom of the page to connect you with a member of Cluster Q who can answer your questions, arrange a visit, and much more.

Events for Prospective Students

For Cluster Q specific events, you can check out the Events section of our website.  This year in December, Cluster Q will collaborate with our Admissions Team for a weekend of programming during “Spotlight On: Cluster Q”, which provides insight into LGBTQ+ life at CBS and allows prospective students to hear about the student experience and connect with Cluster Q leadership, members, and the Admissions Office.

In addition, CBS jointly with Harvard, Northwestern (Kellogg), Stanford, Dartmouth (Tuck), MIT Sloan, Virginia (Darden), Wharton, Chicago Booth, and UCLA Anderson will be hosting Check Us Out: NYC, an event in October that will include a panel with admissions officers, a panel with MBA alumni, and a networking fair. The session will address the specific interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, however, the event is open to all candidates - regardless of background.

Outside of Cluster Q programming, there are plenty of opportunities for you to visit campus, meet with students, interact with the Admissions team, and see all that CBS has to offer! Visit to learn more.

If you want to visit CBS, check out the above and fill out the form above, and we can try to arrange a class visit, introduce you to other Qs, and answer any of your questions!

Events for Admitted Students

To those who have been admitted to CBS, congratulations! If you are available, we encourage you to attend a Columbia Connect event – there is Columbia Connect I in early 2020 and Columbia Connect II in April 2020. These Friday-Saturday events offer you a chance to visit campus, meet current students, administrators, faculty, and… your potential future classmates!  There is also student-led programming, including Cluster Q specific events that will allow you the chance to connect with some of us and your other LGBTQ+ admits!

Applying to CBS

As you progress through the CBS application process, please do not hesitate to reach out to friends, family, CBS alumni, and members of Cluster Q, among others.  We are here to answer your questions, share our experiences, and provide insights into how to best prepare a compelling application.  We can also help you think about a plan for determining a fit with the program.


Frequently Asked Questions

We encourage you to read through the FAQs to learn more about common questions.  At any point though, please reach out!

How many LGBTQ students are at CBS?

The number changes from class to class.  Currently, there are approximately 60 out LGBTQ+ classmates.  Every year, we are proud to send one of the largest student groups to the Reaching OUT MBA Conference.

I'm not out of the closet. Will I be able to comfortably participate in Cluster Q events?

Absolutely.  Cluster Q is mindful that everyone progresses through different stages of coming out.  Our events are safe spaces for you to ask questions and build a network with not only LGBTQ+ students, but allies as well! CBS has such an active and welcoming Ally community that is incredibly supportive.  Diversity & inclusion is a top-of-mind topic among Admissions, Faculty, diversity organizations, other student clubs, and the broader Columbia University community.  Cluster Q also understands that some students simply do not want to be out yet to their classmates, which is totally fine.  We do not pressure anyone but rather support any student.

Should I be out on my application?

Any information shared on your application is treated as confidential (i.e. you will not be outed) and is only reviewed by the Admissions team.  If you check the box that identifies you as LGBT on the formal application, your contact information is forwarded to Cluster Q only for outreach purposes (i.e. to answer questions, etc.).   

Whether you are out on your application does not impact the likelihood of admission: there are members of Cluster Q who have self-identified on the application and those who have not. Generally, we encourage applicants to be personal, authentic, and articulate in their applications.  If being LGBT is an important aspect of your identity and can help you articulate or highlight your experiences, then we encourage you to include it.  Some are involved in LGBT organizations, some share experiences on their identity in the workplace, and some don’t mention LGBT at all.

Will I be outed to the CBS community if I disclose my LGBT identity on the application?

No. Any information in your application, including details of your personal essays, are treated with the highest degree of confidentiality by the Admissions team.

Should I be out during recruiting?

Many in Cluster Q are out during the recruiting process at CBS.  In fact, companies often host diversity events targeted for our LGBTQ members.  Also, CBS participates in the Reaching OUT MBA conference every year to build a network that at times has resulted in successful offers.

How are Better Halves (significant others) involved with Cluster Q?

Better Halves are welcome to join any Cluster Q event, or any CBS event, that is open to partners, significant others, etc.  There is also the Better Halves Club at CBS, which organizes events for the broader community. Many Better Halves have joined Cluster Q on social events, including brunches, Escape Room outings, happy hours, and much more!

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any further questions, please feel free to fill out the form above, and we will connect you with the right people.