How To Get Into Cornell University’s

SC Johnson College of Business

Cornell-Johnson Program Overview

Johnson has a small, close-knit community and amiable culture with emphasis on intense collaboration and preparing leaders for success on a global scale. The school looks for candidates who will have an impact on the program both while attending and after graduation. Leadership, teamwork skills, the ability to analyze problems, and strong interpersonal skills are key traits they like to see.

The faculty and staff are very much involved in the Johnson community and can be seen at the Coffee in the Atrium during weekdays in Sage Hall, at student run events or Sage Socials. Faculty frequently invite students to their homes for dinner.

Four hours away from New York City, Ithaca is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls and is a treat for nature lovers. Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than New York City and attracts food lovers from around the globe.


 Important Insights about Cornell-Johnson


Applying classroom concepts to real-world problem is the best way to learn and Johnson provides the training ground to its students from the first semester. Students are assigned to teams to participate in a competition allowing them to apply the core learnings to solve a problem/case and present their solution to senior leaders and professors.

As data and operations continue to dominate the business landscape, students are required to take the Data Analytics and Managing Operations courses in conjunction with any one of the 8 immersions during the second semester. Through this Performance learning program students gain the necessary hands-on experience to learn about leadership, team work and strategic thinking and how to use data for decision-making so that they are prepared to hit the ground running for their summer internship.

Leadership is an essential trait that Johnson wants to instill into each of its students through the Leading Teams practicum. During the first semester and through the principled leadership course during the second semester, students are well-prepared to lead large teams and organizations. Students also have the opportunity to get selected to serve as leadership fellows during their second year and advise the first year core team MBA students throughout their core curriculum.

Students get a lot of flexibility on how to custom-tailor their courses according to their career needs, whether it is through the customized immersion or the option to choose from electives from school of engineering, hotel administration, labor relations, law, medicine etc. During the second year, students can also chose to take up to 2 optional concentrations from 5 breadth concentrations (Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Ethics, Global Business Management and Sustainable Global Enterprise) or 7 initial depth concentration (Corporate Finance, Financial Investing, Financial Analysis, Marketing Analytics, Marketing Management, Private Equity, and Strategy).


The various clubs at Johnson provide a great opportunity for students to organize company/site visits and treks and practice their leadership skills. All academic clubs provide great resources to students to attend career sessions and prepare for interviews through mock interviews, resume workshops etc. The Old Ezra Finance Club is the largest and oldest club at Johnson and hosts a variety of evening socials and breakfasts for students to attend panel discussions and network with industry professionals. Students get various opportunities to attend conferences that are held jointly with other business school for example the Annual Emerging Markets Institute Conference is held at Cornell Tech in collaboration with Northeastern University.   Leadership Programs hosts annual Leadership expeditions to Patagonia, Chile where students test and enhance their leadership skills in the wilderness. There are various cultural programs that are held every year. Johnson’s famous Diwali night brings together the entire Johnson community including the professors and staff celebrate the famous festival of lights with music, dance and Indian food.  Students can join any of the professional, recreational, regional and cultural/diversity clubs.

Sample Counselors with Cornell-Johnson Experience


Johnson at Cornell, MB
Stony Brook University, BS

More About Uvika


Haas, MBA
University of Illinois, BS

More about Melisa


MIT Sloan, MBA
Brandeis, BA

More About Harold

 Important Facts about Cornell-Johnson


Round 1
Deadline: 10/5/17
Decision: 11/15/17

Round 2
Deadline: 11/15/17
Decision: 1/10/18

Round 3
Deadline: 1/10/18
Decision: 3/15/18

Round 4
Deadline: 4/5/18
Decision: 5/1/18

Note: The initial notification can either be an invitation to interview, waitlist decision or denial of admission. The admission decisions are communicated on a rolling basis.

Class Profile

Class Size: 279

Average Age: 28

Average Work Experience: 5 years

Women: 31%

Minority: 15%

International Citizenship: 38%

Average GMAT: 700

Average GPA: 3.39

US Military: 11%

Career Placement


  • Consulting: 25%
  • Consumer Products: 6%
  • Energy: 3%
  • Entertainment/Media: 1%
  • Financial Services: 32%
  • Health Care: 5%
  • Manufacturing: 6%
  • Real Estate: 2%
  • Technology: 13%
  • Other: 7%


  • Outside US: 8%
  • Northeast: 53%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 4%
  • South: 4%
  • Midwest: 8%
  • Southwest: 5%
  • West: 18%

Cornell-Johnson Resources

Admissions Tips & Advice for Getting Accepted

Essay Questions

Essay 1:

At Cornell, we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you have identified through engagement with our community and describe how these interactions have influenced your decision to apply to Johnson. Please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer.

Essay 2:

You are the author of your Life Story. Please create the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube, etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.

Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written Table of Contents, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Multimedia submissions should be under 5 minutes.

Articles from the Experts

How to Write the Best Essay Response for Cornell at Johnson

Understanding the Johnson community is essential before you begin answering the essay questions during your application process.

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Poet & Quants Meet Cornell Johnson Class of 2018

Few business schools have undertaken a facelift like the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. In the past three years alone, it has folded three schools into the College of Business, launched a new campus in New York City; and rolled out a new curriculum. While this transformation may have created discomfort in some circles, it has also positioned the program to make a run at the Top 10 business schools.

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