Students in Harvard Business School Doctoral Programs represent diverse backgrounds, degrees, undergraduate schools, and disciplines - including physics, economics, psychology, and engineering. Some students enter our doctoral programs upon graduation from college, while others spend a few years working before they pursue a career in business academia. However, all students in our doctoral programs have strong quantitative and analytical skills, as demonstrated by their records of academic performance and test scores.

“HBS is a place for doctoral students who are self-driven, who can capitalize on the resources and access to companies the School provides. HBS is a place where self-starters can really thrive.”

— Professor Michael Norton

Curiosity & Vision

Research that inspires innovation is driven by an insatiable desire for knowledge and a knack for seeing and defining new, unexpected relationships. As a doctoral student, you will have the opportunity to develop and test new ideas and paradigms—and to defend them vigorously before some of the world's most respected scholars. HBS doctoral students are expected to one day make a unique contribution to the field of management.

Self Motivation

To undertake doctoral studies, you must be self-directed and highly disciplined because you hold ultimate responsibility for your success. Scholarly pursuit requires the ability to work independently and to examine a topic in detail for extended study, with long periods of reading and reflection on your own.

Academic Excellence

Although there are no required courses to begin a doctoral program, candidates should have a strong grasp of the fundamentals of mathematics, statistics, and economics. Depending on your individual program of study, it may also be beneficial to have a good understanding of the principles of your chosen field; for example, psychology or sociology, if you are pursuing graduate work in organizational behavior.