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HBS Announces Admissions & Campus Visit Changes Due to Coronavirus

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Harvard Business School posted several planned changes to admissions and campus visits in the Direct from the Director blog due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). While Round 2 MBA applicants can still expect a final decision on March 31st, the Admitted Students Weekend for the group has been cancelled. Campus tours will also come to a halt effective March 16th, with interested parties being directed to online options.

Here is the full message from Chad Losee:

The situation around COVID-19 has continued to evolve globally.  In an effort to help slow the spread of the virus globally and protect the broader community, Harvard University has released a set of guidelines for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus. Today, I want to share how we are implementing these guidelines for MBA admissions (this is a long post).

First, our admissions criteria and process remain unchanged. With our mission to educate leaders who make a difference in the world, we are looking for students who exhibit a habit of leadership, analytical aptitude and appetite, and engaged community citizenship. In short, we want to get to know you and the difference you want to make in the world.

Round 2
For those of you who applied and interviewed with us for Round 2, we plan to release our decisions on 31 March 2020 at noon Eastern time as planned.

Part of the university’s guidance includes prohibiting gatherings of more than 25 people through 30 April 2020. As a result, we will not hold a traditional Admitted Student Welcome (ASW) on campus for Round 2 admitted students. We are working hard on virtual alternatives for you to learn more about the HBS experience and have all of your questions answered before you need to make a decision on our offer. We will have more information about the virtual ASW offerings by 31 March 2020 when we share our offers of admission.

2+2 round
[Update 3/19: The 2+2 application deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020 at noon EST. See the full report here.]
This round for college seniors applying for deferred admission will proceed as planned. The application deadline is 2 April 2020 and we plan to release final decisions on 3 June 2020. As always, please submit your application online. We will continue to offer Skype interviews as needed, and all interviews will be conducted by a member of the MBA Admissions Board.

Peek Weekend and SVMP
As of now, we are still planning to hold our Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) and our Peek Weekend program for college students in June 2020. These programs bring you to campus to stay in HBS residence halls, participate in MBA case studies, and learn more about Harvard Business School. The deadline to apply to either of these programs is 21 April 2020. You can learn more about these programs here.

Campus visits
Starting on 16 March 2020, and given the guidance prohibiting gatherings, we will stop holding our campus tours, information sessions, and in person class visits. We apologize to those who had already made plans to come visit us over the next few months. We love to showcase our campus and especially the case method learning model, so we have a few options for you to do that virtually. Please conduct a virtual campus tour here, check out the case method here, and learn about student life at HBS here.

Global information sessions
This is the time of year when we fan out across the country and the world to meet with prospective students like you in your home cities. The university has restricted travel to help avoid spreading the virus, so we are working diligently to come up with virtual gatherings and ways to connect with you digitally. We plan to tailor these opportunities by geography, industry, and other affinity groups so that you can learn more about what HBS offers for someone with your background and interests. We will be adding these options to our events page in the coming weeks.

Please know that given the fluid nature of COVID-19 situation, with new information coming out daily, the above plans may be extended further into the summer or may change altogether. Please check back here for any updates to these admissions plans. We will also communicate updates to those directly impacted.

We understand that this disruption to our normal slate of admissions activities may be disappointing to some of you. Truth be told, we are sad too. We love the rhythm of traveling out into the world to bring HBS to you, getting to know you through your application and interview, and then celebrating an offer of admission with you during ASW. We hope you understand our desire, and the university’s guidelines, to put your health and safety first. As a global community, we are all trying to manage through a very challenging situation. Thank you for your interest in Harvard Business School and for your patience with us.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.