13 Aug 2014


We’re officially in Back-to-School mode and want you to know how we welcome visitors to campus.

Registration for our September class visits opens on Friday, August 15. A couple of things about these first few weeks of visits:

• The date that you can first visit a class is September 10th. This is after the Round 1 deadline. While we would love for you to see a class in action (we think our classroom experience is distinctive, special, magical, etc.), whether you visit or not does not influence the evaluation process one way or the other. Should you be invited to interview and choose to come to campus to do so, you will have an opportunity to sit in on a class. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the case method through our video Inside the Case Method.

• September visits are for SECOND YEAR CLASSES. Faculty like to give our new first year students a chance to settle in a bit with the case method and their sectionmates before visitors arrive. Visitors begin to sit in on first year classes in early October. Registration will be available in early September.

In addition to class visits, in September, our second year students begin leading our tours and information sessions. This is a great way to hear from current students about the MBA program. We will also always have an admissions staff member at these sessions as well. Please check the events section of our website for the schedule of tours and info sessions.

I must close with another enthusiastic plug for Inside the Case Method. While we do love you to come see us in person, there is truly no need to make an expensive pilgrimage. However, we do want you to understand that the case method is the signature pedagogy here at HBS – every day! Watching this video will give you a good sense of how and why we are so committed to this provocative way of learning.

10 Jun 2014

Class of 2017 Application - the Starting Line!

It's ready.

We've tried to provide instructions that are as down-to-earth as possible. We know that starting this process can feel unsettling. You may be wondering if doing b-school applications (and thinking about b-school applications) is going to be a full-time job.

We hope not.

We'll work hard here to be very transparent about what's going on here. By the end of June we'll post a recorded info session on the website that is a walk-through of the application. We'll also be hosting webinars where you can get questions answered.

And you're always welcome to come to campus - no students or classes but it's beautiful and there's food. And information sessions conducted by the Admissions Board on Mondays and Fridays at 2pm. No reservations necessary.

That's all!

02 Jun 2014

A Sneak Peak at the Class of 2016 and some other things . . .

Here's a sneak peak into the Class of 2016. These numbers will change slightly - there will be some “summer melt” and we hope to still be able to make a handful of waitlist offers. Class will end up somewhere in the 930-939 range. But this is how things look today. These are the barebones stats we capture from applications. Our admits are polled later so we can add some more colorful information about them. Those responses are still coming in so we’ll post here again in a couple of weeks.

We’re also planning on posting more information about how our GMAT and GRE scores break out - subscores, how many take each test, etc.

We’re on target to launch the Class of 2017 application on June 10. Until then, there simply isn’t a way to start an application online - so please don’t get frustrated. It won’t be long!

15 May 2014

Getting started: The Class of 2017

I’m quite surprised (ok, make that “happy” and “impressed”) at the number of inquiries we’re getting from those of you who would like to get started on the application for the class entering in August, 2015. So, with Round 3 Class of 2016 notification yesterday’s news, here we go.

This is what the (optional) “essay” question will be:

"You're applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career intentions, test scores, and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?”

Use your judgment as to how much to tell us. We don't have a "right answer" or "correct length" in mind. We review all the elements of your written application to decide who moves forward to the interview stage.

Why are we repeating this question when we usually dream up something new? In fact, I went on record last year as saying that we’d ALWAYS be changing the essay question. I was wrong. We liked it. When we look at the responses of admitted candidates, there was a wider-than-usual range of how folks approached it. Some are completely about professional lives, others barely mention work experience. Some are very brief, others are not.

And, sorry to repeat myself, but getting into HBS isn’t an essay-writing contest. If we were to publish 50 “essays that worked” and another 50 that “didn’t work”, I would challenge anyone to make a perfect distinction. It’s just one element of the application.

Now, on to recommender questions:

• 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)

• 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)

The application itself will go “live” in mid-June. I’ll post here when we’ve got a definite date. And please watch our website for both our in-person information sessions around the world and our informational webinars.

And finally, something you may want to know: Round One application deadline will be September 9, 2014. Interviews, by invitation only, will be conducted from mid-October through end of November. Notification will be on or around December 10.