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Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School (HBS) is located in Boston, Massachusetts, just a short trip away from the University’s main campus in Cambridge. The first school in the world to offer the Master’s of Business Administration degree, HBS has a full-time MBA program known for pioneering the case method of business instruction. The case method continues to be one of the hallmarks of the HBS MBA program today, in addition to the school’s highly structured Required Curriculum and emphasis on cultivating young leaders.

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What is the tuition for Harvard’s MBA program?

The tuition for Harvard’s MBA program is $73,440 per year. The total cost of the Harvard MBA program is $110,740 per year; this includes budgeted living expenses.

How hard is it to get into Harvard’s MBA program?

The acceptance rate for Harvard is 10% It is important to consider the acceptance rate in the context of the student profile of those who are admitted. For example the average GMAT score is 730.

What is the average GMAT score for admission to Harvard’s MBA program?

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Harvard is 730. The GMAT middle 80% range is 580 – 790.

Does the Harvard MBA program accept the GRE?

Yes. The Harvard MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.

What is the average GRE score for admission to Harvard’s MBA program?

The average GRE score for the incoming class at Harvard is Median Verbal 165 and Median Quantitative 163.

What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to Harvard’s MBA program?

Harvard does not state a minimum requirement for years of work experience. However, it is important for candidates to be aware that they are being considered against other candidates with an average of 4.5 years of experience.

What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to Harvard’s MBA program? (or, What is the average age of a Harvard student?)

The average number of years of work experience among students in Harvard’s MBA program is 4.5. The average age of a Harvard MBA student is 27.

What is the average starting salary for graduates of the Harvard MBA program?

The average starting salary for Harvard MBA graduates is $140,000, with a median signing bonus of $25,000.

How long is Harvard’s full-time MBA program?

Harvard offers a traditional 2 year MBA program.

What are the application deadlines for Harvard’s MBA program?

The Round 1 MBA application deadline is September 4, 2019. The Round 2 application deadline is January 6, 2020. Applications from 2+2 applicants are due April 24, 2020.

What percent of Harvard MBA students are women?

The percentage of the class at Harvard that are women is 41%.

What type of interview does Harvard use for MBA admissions?

Harvard offers interviews by invitation, once the initial application is reviewed. The interviews are non-blind, meaning the interviewer will have read your application, or reviews of your application.


Class Profile

Admission to HBS is highly competitive, as the school accepted just 10% of those who applied to the Class of 2020, with the entering class totaling 930 students. The median GMAT score of first-year entrants was 730, and the middle 80% of the scores ranged from 610 to 800.

The average student in the Class of 2020 was 27 years old upon matriculation. Forty-six percent of the class of 2020 majored in economics and business administration for their undergraduate degree; other popular majors were science/technology/engineering/math and humanities/social sciences at 37% and 17%, respectively. Prior to attending HBS, 16% each of the most recent entering class worked in the high tech/communications industry, venture capital/private equity industries, and consulting. Eleven percent came from financial services backgrounds. Consumer products, energy, government/education/non-profit, and healthcare/biotech contributed roughly 6% each of students in the Class of 2020. Students also hail from industries including manufacturing, the military, and other services.

Thirty-seven percent of the Class of 2020 claims international citizenship from a total of 69 different countries. In addition, women comprise 41% of the first-year class, and 26% identify as members of a U.S. minority group.


Application Procedures

Applicants can apply to HBS during one of two admissions rounds; these deadlines are typically in early September and early January. In addition to filling out an online application regarding their biographical information and career history, applicants must submit an essay, a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate academic institutions attended. The school also requires applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores and a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score if needed, as well as a $250 application fee and a signed acceptance of the school’s admissions policies. Harvard’s MBA Admissions Board conducts interviews on an invitation-only basis, and interviews are required for admission to the program. HBS also introduced a post-interview reflection exercise.


Application Checklist

  • Data Forms
  • Acceptance of HBS Admissions Policies
  • GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS/ PTE Score(s)
  • Résumé
  • Application Fee
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Academic transcripts
  • Essay

Essay Topic Analysis

Need help with your essays? Get our experts' advice.

Harvard Business School MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines Harvard Business School’s (HBS) MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. 2019-2020 Harvard Business School Essay Topic Analysis Essay 1 As we […]

Recommendation Questions

Find out what top MBA programs ask recommenders.

MBA Recommendation Questions

We know it’s a bit unnerving to solicit recommendations without knowing what your recommenders are being asked. Luckily, we’ve done all the legwork for you and have gathered all of this admissions cycle’s MBA recommendation questions from the top business schools in one easy-to-manage spot. Below you will find more details on those questions that […]

Interview Reports

Harvard Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / Off-Campus Hub

I had a great experience with the interview. The interviewer was very friendly and made me feel very relaxed during the whole process especially since the pace of the interview was quite fast. It lasted exactly 30 minutes: Questions Introduction Why did I make a decision to take a job abroad in a culturally different […]

Harvard Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On-campus

I participated in the full-day experience — went to class in the morning, went on a campus tour, etc. My interview was in the afternoon. They called a group of us up to a separate room, and then one by one the interviewers pulled us into small conference rooms. My interviewer asked me to tell […]

Harvard Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / On-Campus

The Harvard MBA admissions interview was really relaxed — I truly got the sense my interviewer was just looking to get to know me. The visit was good. There were lots of activities (classes, lunch with the director, tours, chats, etc) during the day you could pick to be a part of. I found that […]

Harvard Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On-Campus

A Harvard Business School MBA interview report with questions were submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 1 applicant.  All the candidates for my interview time slot waited in the waiting room together. Honestly, you could feel the tension and nervousness of everyone around you (people were playing with the Legos provided at each table). However, the interview […]

Harvard Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On-campus

The following Harvard Business School MBA interview questions and report were submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 1 applicant. Good luck to them! Pre-interview, I got to hang out at the hospitality room where they had refreshments and even Legos to play with! Everyone was visibly nervous including me and about 10 minutes before the scheduled interview, […]

Harvard Business School MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On Campus

The following Harvard Business School MBA interview questions and report were submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 1 applicant. Good luck to them! I spent a day on campus participating in interviewee activities (class visit, lunch with the admissions director, tour and career session), and interviewed the following morning. All interviewees hung out in a hospitality room […]

Harvard Business School Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / Off-Campus Hub

The following Harvard Business School interview questions and report were submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant. Good luck to them! I was interviewed by the Admissions Director in Mumbai. The interview was very conversational. There were four parts to the interview: 1. Introduction/Small Talk Spoke about the city I grew up in and where I […]

Harvard Business School Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / On Campus

The following Harvard Business School interview questions and report were submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant. Good luck to them! I was called in by the main interviewer, and she welcomed me into the room where the observer introduced herself. The main interviewer asked if it was good to be home (I am from the […]

Harvard Business School Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / On Campus

The following Harvard Business School interview questions and report were submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant. Good luck to them! Two adcoms were sitting in a room. The main interviewer asked questions. The other one was taking notes. Adcom asked small details in the resume, which I was surprised of. I expected them to ask […]

Harvard Business School Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On-campus

The following Harvard Business School interview questions and report were submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 1 applicant. Good luck to them! I was interviewed by two admissions people — one who had read my app in full (who asked all the questions) and one who had only read my resume (who was less engaged but made […]

Harvard Q&As

Admissions Director Q&A: Chad Losee of Harvard Business School

It’s hard to believe that the Round 1 deadline for Harvard Business School is next week!  Before you submit your application, you’ll want to read our Admissions Director Q&A with Chad Losee, the Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid.  He walks us through the life of admissions, new and exciting developments at Harvard, […]

Admissions Director Q&A: Harvard Business School’s Chad Losee

If you’re a Round 1 applicant to Harvard Business School (HBS) crossing your fingers for an interview invitation (slated to go out in batches starting next week) or even if you’re working toward a later round deadline, what better time to get to know more about the school’s new head of admissions? Chad Losee, 32, […]

Real Humans of MBA Admissions: Harvard Business School’s Chad Losee

Harvard Business School (HBS) made waves in the graduate management admissions arena last fall with the announcement that Dee Leopold, who led admissions at one of the most selective business schools in the world for the past decade, would be leaving her post. Then, spring brought the announcement that she would be succeeded by an […]




Mailing Address:
MBA Admissions Office
Harvard Business School
Dillon House
Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
Phone: 617-495-6128
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @HBSadmissions


Harvard LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire for Harvard Business School

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
October 17, 2019 11:30am
Interview Invite via portal.
GPA: 2.5. GMAT: 550. London.
October 17, 2019 9:58am
Interview Invite via portal.
GPA: 3.78. GMAT: 760.
October 16, 2019 8:48pm
Interview Invite via portal.
GPA: 3.3. GMAT: 740. DC.
October 16, 2019 6:03pm
Waitlisted via portal.
GPA: 8.1/10. GMAT: 700. Mexico City.
October 16, 2019 9:38am
Rejected via portal.
GPA: 3.50. GMAT: 770.

MBA DecisionWire for Harvard Business School

Enrolled: London Business School
Admitted: Harvard Business School, London Business School
GMAT: 730
Post-MBA Career: Undecided
Enrolled: Harvard Business School
Admitted: Harvard Business School
GMAT: 770 GPA: 4.0
Post-MBA Career: Technology
Enrolled: Stanford GSB
Admitted: Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB
GMAT: 760 GPA: 3.7
Post-MBA Career: Venture Capital
Enrolled: Harvard Business School
Admitted: Harvard Business School, UPenn / Wharton
Post-MBA Career: Venture Capital



A total of 195 full-time faculty members at Harvard Business School work across the school’s 10 academic units. These scholars and practitioners teach courses and staff the school’s ten global research centers and 19 initiatives, which cover topics from business history to U.S. competitiveness.



One of the hallmarks of HBS’s MBA program is its extensive use of the case method, in which class discussions revolve around assigned readings based on real-world business problems. Professors also use computer simulations, problem sets, and group assignments to help convey course material.

HBS divides its first-year class into 10 sections of roughly 90 students apiece, with each section constructed to mirror the class’s diversity; the students in each section take all of their first-year classes together. To allow students to collaborate with classmates from outside their section, every incoming student is also assigned to a learning team of six to seven people from different sections. Throughout the first year, these learning teams meet regularly to prepare for in-class case discussions and collaborate on graded projects.

Harvard’s MBA curriculum takes place across four semesters of 15 to 18 weeks each, referred to as Fall and Winter Terms. All students spend the first two semesters of the MBA program taking 11 courses, known as the Required Curriculum or “RC” for short. Following a three-day orientation period, Fall Term of RC classes begins in early September, featuring five semester-long courses that focus on issues businesses face internally. Fall Term ends in mid-December. Spring Term, which lasts from the end of January through late May, is comprised of five semester-long courses that examine how an organization interacts with external groups in a variety of social and economic contexts. Since 2011, an additional part of the RC has been a yearlong course called Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD). FIELD is made up of three modules on leadership development and globalization.

In the second year, known as the Elective Curriculum (EC), students may take up to five full-term courses per semester; in the 2018-2019 academic year, EC students could choose from over 120 full-time electives across 10 subject areas in addition to 17 field learning opportunities. Unlike most MBA programs, HBS does not offer any formal majors or concentrations, instead allowing students to shape their second-year curriculum however they see fit. Though HBS students may not study abroad, EC students can cross-register for up to two courses at Harvard University graduate schools or at several other institutions in the Boston area. In addition, HBS’s required Immersion Experience Program allows students to gain global exposure through short-term experiential learning opportunities in countries such as China, Peru and South Africa.


Other MBA Degree Options

In addition to its 22-month full-time MBA program, HBS offers a joint JD/MBA program with Harvard Law School, an MD/MBA program with Harvard Medical School, a DMD/MBA with Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and a MBA/MS with the Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. HBS also offers an MBA/Master of Public Policy and an MBA/Master of Public Administration in International Development in conjunction with the Harvard Kennedy School.

College students hoping to attend HBS in the near future can apply during their senior year via the 2+2 Program. Students accepted through 2+2 are granted advanced admission to the full-time MBA program upon completing two years of professional work experience in an HBS-approved position.


Required Courses at HBS

Term I

  • Finance I
  • Financial Reporting and Control
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior • Marketing
  • Technology and Operations Management • FIELD Foundations
  • FIELD 2


Term II

  • Business, Government, and the International Economy Strategy
  • The Entrepreneurial Manager
  • Finance II
  • Leadership and Corporate Accountability
  • FIELD 3


Degree Offerings at HBS

Full-time MBA Program
Joint Degree Programs

Doctoral Programs
Doctorate of Business Administration: Accounting & Management, Management, Marketing, Strategy, Technology and Operations Management
Ph.D.: Business Administration, Business Economics, Health Policy (Management), Organizational Behavior

Campus Life

Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

HBS students are provided with many opportunities for extracurricular involvement. Full-time MBA students can choose from more than 70 student-run clubs, which cover a variety of industry, regional, social, and sports interests. For example, the Outdoors Club organizes outdoor treks during the winter and spring breaks, in addition to skiing, hiking and rafting trips throughout New England. Meanwhile, members of the TechMedia Club host industry speaker series, an annual alumni panel and dinner, and visits to leading high tech and media companies. The Student Association, of which all HBS students are members, represents the school’s student body as a whole.

HBS’s clubs organize a number of conferences on campus annually. These span industry-related events, such as the Healthcare Club’s annual Healthcare Conference, as well as affinity-related events including the Women’s Student Association’s annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference. Students can also participate in a variety of business competitions. One of the most popular is the New Venture Competition, in which teams of students pitch business ideas to a panel of judges and compete for over $300,000 in prizes.


Campus Space

The HBS campus is located in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, just across the river from Harvard University’s main campus in Cambridge. HBS’s campus encompasses 34 buildings in total, with the majority of classes held in Aldrich Hall and Hawes Hall. In December 2013 the school unveiled Tata Hall, a new Executive Education building located on the Northwest corner of the campus. This seven-story glass and brick building includes residential space, classrooms, and common areas for Executive Education participants. Meanwhile, the Spangler Center is the hub of student social activity, featuring 29 project rooms, a 350-seat auditorium, and the school’s main dining facilities. Two-thirds of HBS students live on campus, with over one-third choosing to live in the school’s five residence halls, and there is a large selection of other housing options available through Harvard University Housing and private listings.

MBA Careers

Career Services

The MBA Career & Professional Development program provides HBS students with a range of services to help them clarify and achieve their career goals. The school’s dedicated on-campus interview period for first-year students takes place for four days in late January, while second-year on-campus dedicated interviews begin in late October and last for three days. In advance of the first-year recruitment period, HBS holds Industry Weeks, a series of presentations and panels that help students learn more about different job sectors. First-year students can also join Career Teams, in which they are guided through the job search process by a trained second-year leader. In addition, the school has over 50 trained career coaches on staff to offer students individual advice throughout their entire time at HBS. MBA Career & Professional Development also helps recruiting companies develop a presence on campus through events such as Company Information Days.


Career Statistics

Within three months of graduating, 89% of the HBS Class of 2018 had accepted full-time job offers. The median base salary of all graduates was $140,000, with a median signing bonus of $25,000. Twenty-nine percent of students graduated into financial services functions and 26% into consulting. The next most popular functions among graduates were general management and marketing at 16% and 11%, respectively. Meanwhile, 8% of the most recent class went into business development and strategic planning each, while the remaining 3% selected other functions.

In terms of industry, the most common choice for 2018 graduates was financial services at 29%, a two-point decrease from the previous year, and consulting came in second at 25%. Nineteen percent of the Class of 2018 entered the technology industry, and 6% and 5% each went into healthcare and manufacturing, respectively. Graduates also took jobs in consumer products, non-profit/government, retail, and entertainment/media, albeit in fewer numbers.

As is often the case at business schools, HBS placed a large number of graduates, 41%, in the region where it is located: the Northeastern U.S. Twenty-six percent of the Class of 2018 headed to the Western U.S., while 7% moved to the Midwest and 4% to the Mid-Atlantic. The Southern and Southwestern regions of the country, meanwhile, drew 4% each of the Class of 2018. Fourteen percent of the class took jobs outside of the United States, with the most popular areas being Asia and Europe.


The tuition for the Class of 2020 is $73,440. HBS estimates, though, that with additional expenses such as rent and textbooks, single students will pay approximately $110,740 for the year. The school offers need-based fellowships to help students fund their education. To be considered for these awards, students must fill out the FAFSA and a financial aid application that is made available on the HBS Intranet after admission to the program. HBS students can also finance their studies through a variety of loan options, such as federal programs for U.S. citizens and private loans for domestic and international students. The Harvard University Employees Credit Union allows international students at HBS to take out loans without a U.S. co-signer.


Program Tuition (per year)

  • Tuition $73,440
  • Program Support Fee (books, etc.) $2,550
  • Room & Utilities (9 months, single) $13,940
  • Board, Personal, Other (9 months, single) $15,904
  • University Student Health Fee $1,206
  • Student Health Insurance Plan $3,700
  • Total $110,740

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