How to Get into Johnson at Cornell

SC Johnson College of Business

Program Overview

Johnson has a small, close-knit community and amiable culture with an 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.


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).

Extra Curriculars

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.


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%

Counselors with Johnson at Cornell Experience

Blogs about Johnson at Cornell

4 Keys to Writing the Cornell Johnson Essays

Updated for the 2019-2020 admissions season Long-feared for the nebulous nature of the essay prompt and its required creativity, Cornell’s Table of Contents essay -- where you were expected to boil down your life into chapter headings as for a book – has been replaced with a new essay prompt that is … nebulous and

MBAnalysis Blog: Doppelgänger MBA Programs – If You Liked X, You May Like Y

How do you “fit”? Whether it is about you liking a school or a school liking you (to the point that they accept you), the question of fit is one that should always be top-of-mind for any applicant. Do you like a school’s teaching style? The focus of the curriculum? The location? Are these your

5 Keys to Writing the Cornell Johnson Essays

So you want to go to Johnson? Prove it! That’s the mentality espoused by the MBA Admissions Committee at this small, tight-knit school. And here are five ways to make your application essays stand out. 1. It’s about the prep At Cornell, we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that

MBAnalysis Blog: Cornell Tech, The Best of All Worlds

  What do you get when you combine a blue chip business school with a Nobel Prize winning foreign university? A piece of start-up nation in the middle of Silicon Alley? Technical know-how with Ivy League business sensibilities? Plus a $2 billion glimmering new campus? You get the Cornell Tech MBA. An MBA program that