Harvard Business School

Representative name: Hilary Caplan Somorjai
Position: Director, West Coast, HBS MBA Admissions
Email: [email protected]
Open chat hours: 20:00-21:00
School brochure: click to open
Q&A with admissions: click to open

Harvard’s MBA program is among the best-known, most prestigious and most sought-after in the world. Harvard consistently appears at the top of business school rankings. Founded in 1908, it is the third-oldest MBA program worldwide and the largest in the United States, with about 1,800 students. Its main academic strength is general management and strategy. In addition, Harvard is considered strong in marketing and non-profit management.

The main quality Harvard seeks in a candidate is leadership potential, defined as the ability to influence, persuade and take initiative.

Harvard pioneered the case-study method of pedagogy, which has now spread to the overwhelming majority of business schools internationally, which quite often use Harvard’s original case studies. The program boasts a general management orientation with a unique emphasis on leadership. Its alumni network boasts 41,000 graduates of legendary power and prestige.

A full-time two year general management and leadership practice programme that’s based on real-world challenges.

  • A truly diverse student body is the foundation of the HBS experience. The case method classroom interaction is enriched by classmates from diverse industries, functions, countries and experiences. This diverse community of students reflects a world of different talents, beliefs and backgrounds.
  • 35% of the HBS student body are international.
  • At HBS, students are free to follow their inspiration and imagination while benefiting from a deep collection of resources that support the unique needs of entrepreneurs.

Two years

One year’s tuition – $73,440

Need based fellowships

General Management Program

Boston, MA 02163, USA

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Harvard Business School Chat
Harvard Business School
6/10 07:58PM
Hi everyone! Happy to help answer any questions that you have about HBS.
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Guest- Itay Varkovitzky
6/10 08:00PM
Hi! I wanted to ask how do you treat people with ~10 years of experience? Do you recommend such people (if they are good enough) to come to Harvard?
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Guest- Noy
6/10 08:01PM
Hi, I have two questions: 1. Can you share about the school’s culture and how it comes to reality in the school’s programs and curriculum? 2. Given that about 30% are international students, how effective do you find the career counseling the school offers them? Thanks!
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:01PM
Hi Itay, the HBS MBA Program is designed for students who have full-time work experience before matriculation. On average HBS students have four years of full-time work experience, but there is a wide range of experience levels. It is important for candidates to assess their own readiness when deciding to apply: there is no universal "right" time.
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Guest- Saar
6/10 08:03PM
Hi, A question about military experience effect while applying for an MBA degree. As for myself, an officer serving in the army for the past six years (Captain rank). Through my time in the army, I have both been in operational zones and staff roles, specializing in military intelligence. How is your university admission policy for veterans, having less experience in the labor market?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:04PM
Hi Noy, as for your first question -- HBS is a very collaborative environment within and outside the classroom. This is illustrated by the case method which requires students to exchange ideas to understand the case and form a decision.
Noy - 2. Our alumni end up all over the world and we have a robust Career and Professional Development office that offers career counseling to all students during school and for your lifetime afterward.
Hi Saar, thanks for your message. Rather than focus on specific categories of work experiences, applicants should focus on their roles, responsibilities, and what they have learned from the types of work experiences that they have been involved in. The Admissions Board will look at the nature of the applicant's work experience when evaluating the applicants' ability to handle the academic rigor of our MBA program. With that said, HBS highly values the diverse experiences that military applicants can bring to the classroom and encourage you to apply.
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Guest- Shahar
6/10 08:08PM
How should international students who are impacted by visa restrictions position themselves to be competitive with other applicants? Do domestic students have an advantage when applying to your programs?
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Guest- Itay Varkovitzky
6/10 08:09PM
Thank you for the answer! I'll try to add more details: I'm 32, Biologist with governmental R&D management experience. What are the main topics you would advise me to think of before applying?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:11PM
Hi Sahar - we treat domestic and international students the same. If you are admitted to the MBA program we will work with you through the Visa process.
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Guest- Koren
6/10 08:13PM
I have around 13 years of experience. Is that too high?
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Guest- Guest- Dveer
6/10 08:13PM
Hi! I have a couple of questions:
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Guest- Gal
6/10 08:14PM
Can my wife also stay in the campus, if I get an admit?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:14PM
Hi Koren, there is no maximum in terms of years of work experience, but it will be important to think about how an MBA will be the best next step in your career journey.
Hi Gal - yes your wife can stay with you on campus. There are several different options for housing on campus and also nearby off campus.
Hi Gal, Yes! Partners are an integral part of HBS life and are fully integrated into the community.
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Guest- Mika
6/10 08:15PM
How can I connect with current students/alumni?
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Guest- Tina
6/10 08:15PM
can I combine the MBA with Harvard Kennedy school?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:17PM
Hi Tina, we have a joint degree program with the Kennedy School. You can find more information here: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/academic-experience/joint-degree-programs/Pages/default.aspx
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Guest- Oren
6/10 08:17PM
What is the most important part of the application? what kind of answer are you looking for in your open essay?
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Guest- Tina
6/10 08:17PM
amazing thanks!
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Guest- Dveer
6/10 08:18PM
I am a recent BS.c graduate. I don't have a lot of experience in the industry, but I have a lot of other professional experience from the IDF etc. Will this effect my chances of being admitted?
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Guest- Keren
6/10 08:18PM
Hi, what entrepreneurship courses and programs do you offer? Do you encourage working on a venture while studying at your MBA program?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:18PM
Mika - our MBA Voices blog is a great place to hear from current students and alumni: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/blog/Pages/default.aspx
Hi Mika, we have a large number of virtual events with panels of current students and alumni. You can ask questions during these webinars via text. You can register for upcoming events here: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/admissions-events/Pages/default.aspx
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Guest- Lavi
6/10 08:18PM
my name is Lavi. I am 28 from Tel Aviv. I am getting married next month. will my wife be able to work in the US while I hopefully study at HBS?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:19PM
Keren - I highly recommend visiting our Entrepreneurship website: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/entrepreneurship/Pages/default.aspx and here is link to review the entrepreneurship courses offered: https://entrepreneurship.hbs.edu/programs/mba/Pages/courses.aspx
Hi Oren - Great question! We look at the application holistically so no one part is more important than another. When it comes to the personal statement, we want to know something about you that is not illustrated in the rest of your application and in your authentic voice.
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Guest- Oren
6/10 08:20PM
thank you!
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:21PM
Hi Lavi, Your wife would be integrated into the HBS community and would be able to meet with an HBS career advisor. Whether or not she would be able to work will depend on the type of visa she obtains.
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Guest- Liad Hare
6/10 08:21PM
Hi and thank you for your time, would you (HBS) consider army service as work experience? in my case I have 3 years of IDF experience but then I attended an undergraduate program in the US and subsequently started a career in a completely different field.
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Guest- Keren
6/10 08:22PM
Thank you!! How can I contact you for further questions?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:23PM
Hi Liad, yes we consider military experience work experience.
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Guest- Liad Hare
6/10 08:23PM
That's great - thank you
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Guest- Dveer
6/10 08:24PM
Hi, can you tell us about possible scholarships to the HBS? Thank you.
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:26PM
Hi Dveer, HBS offers need-based scholarships. You apply for these after being admitted to the program. About 50% of the class gets a scholarship and the average award amount is around $40,000 per year.
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Guest- Dveer
6/10 08:27PM
Thank you!
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:27PM
Hi Dveer, Work experience includes opportunities in which students have been able to develop their professional and leadership skills. We encourage you to highlight your specific experiences in your application.
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Guest- Shani
6/10 08:28PM
I have marksheets with me and not transcript. Can I apply with them?
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Guest- Itay Varkovitzky
6/10 08:29PM
Hi I think you missed my second massage so I'm resending it: Thank you for the answer! I'll try to add more details: I'm 32, Biologist with R&D management experience (for the government). What are the main topics you would advise me to think of before applying? (replying your answer - It is important for candidates to assess their own readiness when deciding to apply: there is no universal "right" time)
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:32PM
Hi Shani, you may submit your official grades in the manner you have them and we will be in touch directly if we require additional information.
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Guest- Guy
6/10 08:33PM
Do you give scholarships/loans?
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Guest- Shani
6/10 08:33PM
Thanks so much
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Guest- Shlomi Malka
6/10 08:34PM
Hi, my dream is to learn at Harvard, but I am worried my university grades are not high enough. I got 84/100 in my BA. how can I overcome this?
will a high GMAT or a lot of volunteering do the trick? or am I doomed for a bad university
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:35PM
Hi Guy, yes we have need-based scholarships available. Many students will also borrow a student loan to cover their portion of the cost. The Financial Aid Office will work with you to identify your student loan options. You can find more information about financial aid here: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/financial-aid/Pages/default.aspx
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Guest- Yael
6/10 08:35PM
In case, I improve my GMAT post the deadline- will you take the updated score?
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Guest- Baz
6/10 08:36PM
What will happen with job offers and summer internships? any changes due to COVID?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:36PM
Hi Itay, thanks for sending your message again. We can only give broad guidance as to what you should think about before applying. Keep in mind that the Admissions Board will look at the nature of the applicant's work experience when evaluating the applicants' ability to handle the academic rigor of our MBA program. When selecting students we put an emphasis on leadership potential, strong academic ability, and personal qualities and characteristics. So those are areas you can think about as you prepare your application.
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Guest- Guy
6/10 08:37PM
what is the total tuition fee?
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Guest- Itay Varkovitzky
6/10 08:37PM
Thank you for answering!
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:38PM
Hi Yael, When submitting your application, you may report the unofficial GMAT or GRE score given on the day of the test, or your official score if you have received it. These are the only scores that the Admissions Board acknowledges. Your official score report may arrive from Pearson (for the GMAT) after the deadline dates, and this score will be used for verification purposes.
Hi Guy, the updated cost of attendance can be found here: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/financial-aid/tuition-assistance/Pages/cost-of-attendance.aspx
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Guest- Chayim
6/10 08:39PM
Hi! I do not have any substantial extracurriculars. Can this be compensated in any manner?
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Guest- Laila
6/10 08:40PM
Hi, will there be GMAT waivers this year at Harvard? I saw there is one at MIT...
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:40PM
Laila, we will not offer GMAT waivers. We require either the GMAT or GRE.
Hi Chayim, When selecting students the Admissions Board puts an emphasis on leadership potential, strong academic ability, and personal qualities and characteristics. You can highlight experiences that you have had in that regard on your application.
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Guest- Laila
6/10 08:46PM
Hi, I saw there is an MBA/MSc in Computer science. will it be harder to get into this dual degree than just one degree?
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:48PM
Hi Laila, we have to MSMBA joint degree programs -- one in Engineering and one in Biotech. You apply for the MS and the MBA piece separately and if you are admitted to both you can do the joint degree. If your are admitted only to the MBA then you can do our traditional program. You can find more information here: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/academic-experience/joint-degree-programs/Pages/default.aspx
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Guest- Michal
6/10 08:52PM
Can you please tell me if I need to submit any sort of proof of financial support with my application?
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Guest- Laila
6/10 08:52PM
wow
so it is "two applications for the price of one" ? nothing to lose in applying to that?
Biotech sounds amazing is it new? I will look into that
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:53PM
Hi Michal, no you do not. If you are admitted you will have to show how you are financing your MBA to be able to get a Visa, but you can use financial aid to do so.
Hi Laila, yes the Biotech program is our newest joint degree!
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Guest- Shir
6/10 08:55PM
Does having a bachelor's in business administration is advantageous?
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Guest- Levi
6/10 08:59PM
I missed most of this chat. will there be other events like this
Harvard Business School
6/10 08:59PM
Hi Shir, we are interested in candidates from all kinds of academic backgrounds!
We are about to wrap up, but I highly recommend you take a look at our website for more information and also sign up for newsletters/communications! https://www.hbs.edu/mba/Pages/default.aspx
You can also contact us at [email protected]
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Guest- Levi
6/10 09:00PM
thank you!
Harvard Business School
6/10 09:01PM
Thanks for joining us!
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Guest- David Zhang
6/11 03:38AM
Thank you for all the info!
Boston, MA 02163, USA