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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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FAQ

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 $111,102 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 620 – 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 163 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 4.7 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 4.7.

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

The average starting salary for Harvard MBA graduates is $148,750, with a median signing bonus of $30,000.

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 8, 2020. The Round 2 application deadline is January 5, 2021.

What percent of Harvard MBA students are women?

The percentage of the class at Harvard that are women is 44%.

What type of interview does Harvard use for MBA admissions?

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

VIDEOS

MBA Application Tips: Introduction

Chad Losee, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, introduces the Application Tips Video Series and provides an overview of the HBS MBA Application and what we are looking for in applicants. Learn more about our MBA application process: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/default.aspx

Getting to Know 2020 Class Day Student Speaker Claire Wagner

Claire Wagner is graduating with an MD/MBA from HBS and Harvard Medical School. Inspired early by her father to work internationally, Wagner spent the last decade working on access to healthcare services and technologies around the world. After graduation, she will be joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute in Cambridge, MA. She is the first Class Day speaker to become a mother while at HBS.

Admissions

Class Profile

Admission to HBS is highly competitive, as the school typically accepts around 10% of applicants to target a class size of approximately 930 students. While 9,304 MBA hopefuls applied to be a part of the Class of 2022, only 732 students enrolled this year. HBS gave incoming students the option to defer enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a smaller class size.

The median GMAT score of first-year entrants was 730, and the middle 80% of the scores ranged from 620 to 790.  Twenty-two percent of first-year applicants opted for the GRE instead of the GMAT. Both their median verbal and quantitative GRE scores landed at 163.

Engineering was the most popular undergraduate major, as 26% had studied it. Twenty-two percent had a background in business/commerce and another 19% had majored in economics. Fifteen percent pursued math/physical science during their undergraduate years. Fourteen percent of the new class had majored in the social sciences. Of the students who attended undergraduate institutions that graded on a 4.0 scale, the average GPA was 3.70.

The HBS Class of 2022 averaged 4.7 years of work experience. Prior to attending HBS, 16% worked in venture capital/private equity, 15% worked in consulting, and 13% in tech. Eleven percent each worked in financial services and manufacturing/industrial/energy. Nine percent came from consumer products/retail/E-commerce. Another 7% came from healthcare, 6% in nonprofit and 5% each in military and media.

Thirty-three percent of the Class of 2022 claims international citizenship.  In addition, women comprise 44% of the first-year class, and 45% 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 requires 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.

HBS Essay & Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines Harvard Business School’s (HBS) MBA admissions essays for the 2020-2021 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. 2020-2021 Harvard Business School Essay Topic Analysis HBS Essay 1 As we review […]


Recommendation Questions

Find out what top MBA programs ask recommenders.

Harvard Business School MBA Recommendation Questions

The Harvard Business School 2020-2021 application is now live, which means that the HBS MBA recommendation questions are available to recommenders. Below you will find more details on elements of the application that are typically only available to recommenders after you’ve submitted their name and contact information. 2020-2021 Harvard Business School (HBS) Recommendation Questions: Recommender Information […]

Interview Reports

HBS Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / Off-Campus

I initially scheduled a Skype interview, but finally decided to fly to Dubai for an in-person interview, which is better for me as I was not sure about how convincing I seem on a webcam.  I arrived 20 minutes prior the interview as requested and the lady called me 1 min before the interview time, […]

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

I interviewed for HBS with two adcom members on Skype. I had one interviewer and one observer. Overall, the interviewer created a very comfortable environment and would nod at my answers encouraging me to tell more. My questions were very tailored to my work experience, asking me about specific assignments at each of my jobs […]

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

I flew in 2 days before my interview so I could spend the day before on campus attending all activities. I’ve never been to Boston or Cambridge and wanted to have time to get a good grasp of what HBS was like, but also what the city I was going to live in for 2 […]

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

Interview was pretty much as expected based on other interview reports. 30 minutes exactly with one interviewer who asked all the questions and one observer who rarely spoke. They knew my application and resume very well and started off the bat with a question about a job I had in college. We covered all 3 […]

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

Was 30 minutes. We went to a waiting room about 10 minutes before the interviews. Around the waiting room were ~10 small conference rooms. The adcom people came out to call us into a specific conference room where the interview would be conducted. One adcom member asked all the questions while the other observed. The […]

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

I flew in the day before my interview to sit in on a class and take part in all of the on-campus activities (lunch with current student panel, campus tour, leadership activity, coffee chat with current students). All very valuable to get a better feel for campus/atmosphere. My interview was the next day at 10:30. […]

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

Was one of the hardest interviews of my life. Maybe 25 questions in 30 minutes, but very non-chalant so I felt somewhat off-guard throughout. Asked me about everything that essentially wasn’t explored in my application, which I didn’t like given I didn’t dive into it my application for a reason (other parts were just uninteresting […]

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

I am a re-applicant and I interviewed with Andrew Elrick (Executive Director of David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It seems like he does all interviews in Brazil, and I did not have another HBS person in the room. After greeting my interviewer, he thanked me for putting together a […]

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

– What have you done with your time since arriving to Boston? – Tell me about your international assignment? How was that experience challenging? – How important is X initiative to your overall company? – I see you made a low grade in class X in college – why was that course so difficult for […]

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

Interview was quite structured. AdCom hosts interview days, where you’re encouraged to join coffee chats with current students, sit-in on a class, or join networking lunch. When it’s time to interview, interview is held in interview rooms (similar to on-campus recruiting suites if you had that for undergrad). Some of the questions asked: 1. What […]

Harvard Q&As

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

When it comes to community, Harvard Business School’s Chad Losee, current Managing Director of MBA Admissions and HBS MBA ’13, can attest: Business school classmates transcend campus relations and become lifelong friends. As we all continue to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, Losee cites the support of his HBS sectionmates in these trying times—and he […]

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

Before you submit your Harvard Business School 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, the interview process and more. Losee applied to business schools in the Fall […]

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, […]

Stats

CLASS SIZE732
FEMALE44%
MEDIAN GMAT730
MEAN GPA3.70

Contact

Mailing Address:
MBA Admissions Office
Harvard Business School
Dillon House
Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
Phone: 617-495-6128
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.hbs.edu
Blog: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/from-the-admissions-director.aspx
Twitter: @HBSadmissions

 

Harvard LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire for Harvard Business School

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
October 21, 2020 10:21am
Rejected via portal.
GPA: 3.87. GMAT: 750. India.
October 20, 2020 11:20am
Interview Invite via portal.
GPA: 3.97. GMAT: 750. Dallas.
October 20, 2020 4:22am
Interview Invite via email.
GMAT: 710.
October 19, 2020 8:21pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.74.
October 19, 2020 12:36am
Rejected via portal.
GPA: 8.65/10. GMAT: 770. India.

MBA DecisionWire for Harvard Business School

Sta
Enrolled: Stanford GSB
Admitted: Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB
GMAT: 620 GPA: 4.0/4.0
Post-MBA Career: Technology
HBS
Enrolled: Harvard Business School
Admitted: Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan
GRE: 330 GPA: 4
Sta
Enrolled: Stanford GSB
Admitted: Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, Stanford GSB
GMAT: 740 GPA: 3.7
Post-MBA Career: Entrepreneurship
Sta
Enrolled: Stanford GSB
Admitted: Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB
GMAT: 740 GPA: 3.99
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Sta
Enrolled: Stanford GSB
Admitted: Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, UPenn / Wharton
GMAT: 760
Post-MBA Career: Entrepreneurship

Academics

Faculty

A total of 233 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 21 initiatives, which cover topics from business history to U.S. competitiveness.

Curriculum

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 2019-2020 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 and an MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences with 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
MBA/MPP, MBA/MPP-ID, JD/MBA, MD/MBA, DMD/MBA, MBA/MS
http://www.hbs.edu/mba/academic-experience/joint-degree-programs/Pages/default.aspx

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
http://www.hbs.edu/doctoral/

Campus Life

Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

HBS students are provided with many opportunities for extracurricular involvement. Full-time MBA students can choose from more than 85 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. 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

Within three months of graduating, 88% of the HBS Class of 2019 had accepted full-time job offers.  The median base salary of all graduates was $148,750, with a median signing bonus of $30,000.  Twenty-nine percent of students graduated into financial services functions and 22% into consulting.  The next most popular functions among graduates were general management and marketing at 16% and 13%, respectively.  Meanwhile, 9% of the most recent class went into business development and 6% into strategic planning, while the remaining 4% selected other functions.

In terms of industry, the most common choice for 2019 graduates was financial services at 29%, consistent with the previous year, and consulting came in second at 21%.  Twenty percent of the Class of 2019 entered the technology industry, and 7% each went into healthcare and manufacturing.  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, 40%, in the region where it is located: the Northeastern U.S.  Twenty-six percent of the Class of 2019 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 3% and 7% of the Class of 2019, respectively.  Fourteen percent of the class took jobs outside of the United States, with the most popular areas being Asia and Europe.

Financing

The tuition for students entering in 2020 is $73,440.  HBS estimates, though, that with additional expenses such as course materials, student fees and cost of living, single students will pay approximately $111,102 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) $14,130
  • Board, Personal, Other (9 months, single) $15,820
  • University Student Health Fee $1,240
  • Student Health Insurance Plan $3,922
  • Total $111,102

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