While it’s important to us that our students' lives and experiences vary greatly, they all share the following common characteristics:

Habit of Leadership

Leadership may be expressed in many forms, from college extracurricular activities to academic or business achievements, from personal accomplishments to community commitments. We appreciate leadership on any scale, from organizing a classroom to directing a combat squad, from running an independent business to spearheading initiatives at work. In essence, we are looking for evidence of your potential.

Analytical Aptitude and Appetite

Harvard Business School is a demanding, fast-paced, and highly-verbal environment. We look for individuals who enjoy lively discussion and debate. Our case and field-based methods of learning depend upon the active participation of prepared students who can assess, analyze, and act upon complex information within often-ambiguous contexts. The MBA Admissions Board will review your prior academic performance, the results of the GMAT or GRE, and, if applicable, TOEFL iBT and/or IELTS, and the nature of your work experience. There is no particular previous course of study required to apply; you must, however, demonstrate the ability to master analytical and quantitative concepts.

Engaged Community Citizenship

So much of our MBA experience - including the case method, section life, and student-organized events - requires the active collaboration of the entire HBS community. That's why we look for students who exhibit the highest ethical standards and respect for others, and can make positive contributions to the MBA Program. The right candidates must be eager to share their experiences, support their colleagues, and teach as well as learn from their peers.

We want applicants who have these traits, as well as bring a variety of skills, accomplishments and aspirations. In each class, we create a dynamic environment that mirrors the breadth and depth of our world economy. Our promise to our faculty and to every student here is to create a class of 900 students who come from as many different backgrounds and perspectives as possible. Take a look at the current first year class profile.