The Harvard Business School has a brand like no other business school in the world. This magnetic appeal that persuades over 9,000 hopefuls to compete for one of the roughly 900 places in the Harvard MBA program every year. The HBS Admissions team is made up of only five key individuals, so it is no surprise that many applicants very quickly fall by the wayside, given their lack of professional credentials and academic excellence. Indeed for some, the process is akin to burning a dozen or so $20 bills. Such limited staff resources may, in part, explain the school’s move towards a shorter, more streamlined application in recent years. HBS only requires two recommendations and just one optional essay. Your resume and recommendations have never carried so much weight. HBS boasts more CEOs of Fortune 500 companies than any other MBA program, a couple of former Presidents (U.S. and Mexico), and an unrivaled global network of influence. This conservative symbol of success, with its old red brick university campus and the highest admissions yield, nevertheless faces a battle to win the hearts and minds of the tech industry. For many applicants the closest they will get to a Harvard MBA is a T-shirt, but for a select few it will be the experience of a lifetime.
Strengths And Specializations
With a world-renowned college, HBS can claim academic excellence in many fields. Perhaps best known for General Management and a dedication to the case method, the school can point to Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and CSR among the top areas of study. Students often go on to excel in related jobs.
Number of Applicants: 9,773
MBA Class Size: 1,010
Career Sector: Financial Services 35%; Technology 19%; Consulting 23%; Healthcare 6%; Starting Own Business 8%
Top Recruiters: Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Procter & Gamble, Citi, JP Morgan, American Express, Merrill Lynch
Avg Base Salary: $150,500 Salary Increase: 104%
Employment in 3 months: 96%
Harvard MBA Admissions
Avg. Age: 27
Avg. GPA: 3.69
Avg. GMAT: 730
Int’l Students: 37%
Female Students: 46%
Deadlines for 2021-2022: R1: Sep 08, 2021, R2: Jan 04, 2022
Sources: HBS, BusinessWeek, Financial Times, US News, MBA50
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?
A noteworthy change in 2022 is the new 900-word limit for this question. Staying authentic while being pithy and succinct takes discipline and humility.
View our team’s essential advice for the HBS Essay: 5 Key Tips on What Harvard Wants
As part of the Harvard MBA application process, HBS requires interviewees to complete a Post-Interview Reflection. This is not intended to be another formal essay. Think of it instead as an email you might write to a colleague or supervisor after a meeting. HBS will be much more generous in our reaction to typos and grammatical errors than they will be with pre-packaged responses. Reflections that give any indication that they were produced BEFORE you had the Harvard MBA application interview will raise a flag for the Admissions Committee. Your Post-Interview Reflection is due within 24 hours of the conclusion of your interview. There is no word limit for the Post-Interview Reflection.
Request a copy of our team’s Insider Tips Report on Applying to HBS.
You can also request a Fortuna Deep Dive Analysis of the HBS Class of 2020, the most detailed analysis of a business school class ever published.