Guide to Harvard Business School

Business Schools In The M7 MBA List

Guide to Harvard Business School

Without doubt, HBS produces some of the most powerful MBA graduates in the world. Of the 150 FT500 CEOs with an MBA, 28 hailed from HBS. Since 2006, HBS alumni have raised more than US$48B from VC (US$20B more than alumni from Stanford or Wharton).

About Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School (HBS) is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The school offers a large full-time MBA program. Harvard Business School invites students into two years of leadership practice immersed in real-world challenges. Into a diverse community of colleagues and faculty reflecting a world of talents, beliefs, and backgrounds. Into an intense period of personal and professional transformation that prepares you for challenges in any functional area‚ÄĒanywhere in the world.

The Business School at Harvard University offers these departments and concentrations: accounting, consulting, e-commerce, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics, finance, general management, health care administration, human resources management, international business, leadership, manufacturing and technology management, marketing, not-for-profit management, production/operations management, organizational behavior, portfolio management, public administration, public policy, real estate, sports business, supply chain management/logistics, quantitative analysis/statistics and operations research, tax, and technology.

Full time tuition costs are $73,440 per year. HBS also offers Tuition Assistance such as scholarships, fellowships and students loans to more than 50% of it’s students.¬† Upon graduation, 89% of graduates are employed, earning an average annual salary of $204,800.

HBS MBA also has a unique 2+2 MBA program. This is a deferred admission process for current students, either in college or full-time master’s degree programs. It comprises of at least two years of professional work experience followed by two years in the regular HBS MBA Program.Upon graduation,  2+2 students will spend a minimum of two years (maximum of four) working in a professional position in the public, private, or nonprofit sector.

College seniors from any academic background are eligible to apply for the 2+2 program. Students pursuing a PhD, Law or Medicine are not eligible for the 2+2 Program and should apply through the regular admissions.To be considered for admission to the 2+2 Program Class of 2024 (entering fall 2022), students must be graduating between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020.

Harvard's Specialty

Harvard Business School is best known for

  • Management
  • International
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Finance

Application Deadlines

Round 1: September 8, 2021 | Round 2: January 4, 2022 | 2+2 Round: April 28, 2022
Application Fee: US$250 | 2+2 Application Fee: US$100

Admissions Facts

Program length: 2 years, 4 years for 2+2 program
Acceptance rate (both programs): 9%
Average age of new entrants: 25-27
Required standardised test: GMAT/GRE
Average GMAT score (both programs): 730 | Average GRE Verbal/Quant score: 164 | Average GPA: 3.69
Require work experience: Only for regular MBA admissions | Average work experience: 3 – 5 years

Application Essays

  • Season: 2021
  • Number of Essays: 1 for regular program applicants, 2 for joint program applicants
  • Submission Deadline: Same as application deadline

Essay Topics
As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program? (No word limit)
 Additional Essay for Joint Program: How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (400 words)

Letters of Recommendation

  • Season: 2021
  • Number of Recommendations: 2
  • Submission Deadline: Same as application deadline

Choosing Recommenders:
Select someone who knows you well enough rather than someone higher up the ladder. For instance, a recommendation from your direct supervisor will be preferable over the recommendation from the CEO of the company. You have collaborated with the supervisor often, whereas you may have barely interacted with the CEO. The aim is to look for a more personalized recommendation than a generic one.

Additional Questions: Personal qualities and skills grid, plus two questions which are as follows,

  1. How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)
  2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

Our Verdict

 Highly Selective

“Harvard is a very selective university, with the best of the best all competing for spots. Even if you're at the top of your class academically, to get in here, you need to stand out with your extracurricular activities and your essay and really show them the impact you can make on campus.”