A “tried-and-true General Management focus with no concentrations or majors and no published GPAs,” a “pedagogical approach that relies strongly on the case method,” and most of all “a reputation as the best business program in the country” make Harvard Business School one of the top prizes in the MBA admissions sweepstakes. Applicants lucky enough to gain admission here rarely decide to go elsewhere.

Overview

Applicants
8,963
Acceptance Rate
12%
Years Work Experience
4
Average Age
27

Test Scores

GMAT
550 - 780
GPA
-

Deadlines


Round 1
September 16

Round 2
January 6

Round 3
April 7

Overall

A “tried-and-true General Management focus with no concentrations or majors and no published GPAs,” a “pedagogical approach that relies strongly on the case method,” and most of all “a reputation as the best business program in the country” make Harvard Business School one of the top prizes in the MBA admissions sweepstakes. Applicants lucky enough to gain admission here rarely decide to go elsewhere.

The school’s full-time-only program is relatively large; approximately 900 students enter the program each year. Students tell us, “Despite its large size, the school feels surprisingly small” thanks to a combination of factors. First is an administration that “could be a role model for any enterprise. This place is very well-run.” Second is the subdivision of classes into smaller sections of 90 students, who together attack approximately 500 case studies during their two years here. Finally, there’s a faculty that “is obviously committed to excelling at teaching and developing relationships with the students. Each faculty member loves being here, regardless of whether they are a superstar or not, and that makes a difference. Faculty guide discussion well and enliven the classroom.”

The case method predominates at Harvard; explains one student, “I sit in my section of 90 students every day and debate business topics. My section mates come from all walks of life and all of them are incredibly successful. I prepare my 13 cases per week so that I can contribute to this environment.” Students love the approach, although they point out that “the case method is not as great for quantitative courses such as finance.” Numerous field-study classes supplement the program, especially during the second year, which is devoted to elective study. School-wide initiatives—combinations of interdisciplinary classes, field study, contests, and club work—encourage research and provide added focus in the areas of social enterprise, entrepreneurship, global issues, and leadership.

Ultimately, though, HBS’ strength resides in the quality of its instructors. One student notes, “HBS is one of the few schools where a large part of the professor’s evaluation is based on classroom teaching. The professors at HBS are wonderful teachers and take great interest in their students.” As one first-year puts it, “If first semester is representative of the whole experience, I’ll be a happy grad. My accounting professor managed to make accounting my favorite class (seems unimaginable!), and I’ll definitely take whatever he teaches during the second year of elective courses.”


Faculty Information

Total Faculty
259

85
Full-time
27
Minority
22
Female
15
Part-time

Specialities of faculty


Sustainability

Courses in Sustainability
Yes

Sustainability course is
Optional

Description
www.hbs.edu/environment/

Research Opportunities in Sustainability
Yes

Description
www.hbs.edu/environment/

Career overview

Career Rating
99
Average Starting Salary
$120,700

Graduates Employed by Area of Practice

29%
Consulting
25%
Finance/Accounting
23%
Marketing
13%
General Management
5%
Other
1%
Operations/Logistics

Graduates Employed by Region

37%
Northeast
23%
West
15%
International
8%
Midwest
4%
Mid-Atlantic
5%
South
4%
Southwest

Job Function

Job Function % of Grads Seeking Employment Who Accept
Jobs w/in 3 Months
Median Salary Mean Salary Low Base Salary High Base Salary
Consulting 29% $135,000 $125,107 $40,000 $150,000
Finance / Accounting 25% $125,000 $131,048 $50,000 $30,000
Marketing / Sales 23% $111,000 $112,612 $10,000 $195,000
General Management 13% $115,000 $115,055 $31,226 $225,000
Other 5% $97,500 $96,821 $20,000 $150,000
Operations / Logistics 1% $95,000 $96,000 $90,000 $105,000
Human Resources 0%

Industries

Industries % of Grads Seeking Employment Who Accept
Jobs w/in 3 Months
Median Salary Mean Salary Low Base Salary High Base Salary
Financial Services 26% $125,000 $131,927 $38,000 $300,000
Consulting 22% $135,000 $129,605 $40,000 $150,000
Technology 18% $115,000 $115,062 $10,000 $175,000
Consumer Products 6% $100,000 $105,539 $90,000 $160,000
Pharmaceutical / Biotechnology / Healthcare 5% $120,000 $119,592 $31,226 $225,000
Manufacturing 5% $120,000 $116,888 $75,000 $140,000
Media / Entertainment 4% $110,000 $110,373 $42,000 $160,000
Non-profit 4%
Petroleum / Energy 2% $120,000 $121,938 $80,000 $205,000
Government 2% $90,000 $92,800 $88,000 $110,000
Real Estate 1% $100,000 $98,250 $50,000 $130,000

Prominent Alumni

Michael Bloomberg
Mayor of New York City, Founded Bloomberg L.P.

Jamie Dimon
Chairman & CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Alex Maybank and Alexandra Wilson
Founders, Gilt Groupe, Inc.

Sheryl Kara Sandberg
Chief Operating Officer, Facebook

Jason Kilar
CEO, Hulu

Dates

Application Deadlines
Mar 14

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Aid Package
$65,200

Average Scholarship / Grant Aid Package
$32,000

Students Receiving Some Form Of Aid
61%

All Students Receiving Scholarships / Grants
47%

New Students Receiving Some Form Of Aid
62%

New Students Receiving Scholarships / Grants
50%

New Students Receiving Loans
44%

Tuition Full-Time (per year)

Tuition (In-State)
$56,175
Fees (In-State)
$10,173

Student Body Profile

Total Enrollment
1,851

Foreign Countries Represented
60

Demographics

25.00%
Minorities
34.00%
International

41% female
59% male

Campus Life

Life at HBS “is as hectic as you want it to be.” One student writes, “My life is pretty much moving along at breakneck speed. I wouldn’t want it any other way because the school offers an incredible amount and array of activities, from volunteer consulting to running conferences.” Because Harvard University is a magnet for innovative and prestigious thinkers in all disciplines, “this place is like a candy store for a five-year-old; you want to eat a lot more than what’s good for you. You can spend all your time on studies, lectures from academics/politicians from all over the world, visiting business leaders, conferences, sports, or the nightlife. A 60-hour day would be appropriate.”

Students generally manage to find the time to enjoy “a very social and outgoing environment” at HBS. One married student writes, “Most weekends my husband and I have a choice: the ‘college scene’ where we can hit up the Harvard or Central Square bars with the singles, or the ‘married scene’ where we have dinner, play goofy board games, and drink with our ‘couple friends.’ Either can be a great escape from the other, and both are always a lot of fun!” Close relationships are easy to forge here, as “the section system means you have 89 close friends in the program, which makes learning and being here fun. It also means in the business world there will always be 89 incredibly smart, connected people who will go to bat for me no matter what.”

The population of this program is, unsurprisingly, exceptional. As one MBA explains, “The quality of people here is unlike anything I’ve experienced. For the first time in my adult life, I’m surrounded by people whose interests and abilities fascinate and inspire me. All religions, nationalities, cultures, and sexual orientations exist here, happily, and together. I think Boston cultivates this kind of ‘meshing of all thoughts’ in such a way that everyone is comfortable, and everyone learns. The city and the school are both comfortable in their own skins, and the students take on that characteristic here.”


More Information

% of Classrooms with Internet Access
100%

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Internet Access for All Students
Yes

Admissions Office Contact

Contact
MBA Admissions
MBA Admissions

Address
Soldiers Field
Dillon House
Boston, MA 02163

Phone
617-495-6128

Email
admissions@hbs.edu
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Key Stats

8,963
Applicants
1,851
Size
12%
Acceptance Rate

Rankings & Lists