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Harvard Business School Wants Its Business Fundamentals Course to Be Law of the Land

hbx coreHarvard Business School (HBS) today announced that the online business fundamentals course it launched last year will now be available to entering students at Harvard Law School. Today’s announcement follows on the heels of an announcement yesterday that HBS would likewise make its signature online business fundamentals course, known as HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe), available to undergraduate students at nearby Amherst College, with plans in place to roll it out to additional undergraduate institutions in the future. HBX CORe has been available to Harvard College undergraduates since last year.

CORe, says HBS, uses the HBS signature case-based method to teach participants the key concepts of business. As in an HBS classroom, CORe classes require active participation and social learning. Three individual courses make up the HBX CORe core offering: Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting.

Beginning in June, CORe will be available on a first-come, first served basis to applicants admitted to Harvard Law School’s Class of 2018, as well as to current law students on a pilot basis. HLS will subsidize the $1,800 enrollment costs, making the program available to law students for just $250, the schools announced.

The benefit of HBX CORe to lawyers seems crystal clear to HLS Dean Martha Minow. “To assist clients or even to launch entrepreneurial ventures of their own, lawyers need to understand and use the tools and skills involved in growing and running a business,” she said in a statement.  “We know from recent studies and surveys that law firms, businesses, and also public sector and non-profit employers increasingly value these skills. In the past several years we have added new curricular opportunities for students to develop business skills, and I am especially delighted that Harvard Business School’s innovative CORe program will now be available for Harvard Law School students.”

Indeed, the intersection between law and business seems ripe for collaboration. Just recently we shared a story about a collaboration between UVA’s Darden School of Business and the UVA Law School to provide legal assistance to entrepreneurs in Darden’s business incubator, and similar collaborations exist at other leading schools.

For his part, HBS Dean Nitin Nohria is especially excited about extending HBX CORe to HLS. “We believe that an understanding of business essentials increasingly is key in many contexts. And we think CORe is uniquely positioned to provide that understanding to Harvard Law School students as a supplement to their legal education,” he said in a statement.

The first cohort of CORe students – approximately 600 drawn mainly from regional colleges and universities – launched in June 2014. The second cohort, this one focused on corporate partners, ran in October. And the third and fourth cohorts, counting 1,500 students between them, are currently in progress. Time will tell where the HBX CORe program looks for its next set of students.

Learn more about the evolving empire of HBX CORe.