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A degree program at an accredited U.S. four-year undergraduate college/university or its equivalent (unless you are a college senior applying to our 2+2 Program). Equivalent programs include international three-year bachelor degree programs.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test taken in the timeframes on the chart below. The GMAT or GRE is a prerequisite for admission.
To apply to Harvard Business School, we ask you to assemble and prepare a variety of materials that will help us assess your qualifications. Remember, all materials must be submitted to HBS online by the application deadlines. The following serves as a preview of what you need to prepare.
Candidates must have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (unless applying through the 2+2 program — please see information for college seniors). Degrees from international universities offering three-year baccalaureate degrees are valid equivalents.
We require uploaded transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate academic institutions that you have attended (full- or part-time).
You may upload an "unofficial" or student copy of your transcript; however, we will request an official copy for verification purposes should you be admitted to HBS.
When the Admissions Board looks at your transcripts, we are looking at the whole picture — not just your GPA. We take into account where you went to school, the courses that you took and your performance. We understand the structures of different grading systems worldwide. There is no minimum GPA to apply, although our students usually have strong undergraduate records. Undergraduate academics are just one factor the Admissions Board uses to evaluate a candidate.
There is no minimum GMAT or GRE to apply and we do not have a bias toward one test or the other. If you look at our class profile, you can see that we have a wide range of GMAT scores in the current first year class. If you do test multiple times, you may report your best score, and we will only look at the scores from the single test sitting you report in your application.
HBS does not have a minimum test score to apply, however, the MBA Admissions Board discourages any candidate with a TOEFL score lower than 109 on the IBT, an IELTS score lower than 7.5, or a PTE score lower than 75 from applying.
There is one question for the Class of 2017:
You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?
There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we're going to give here. Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand.
How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (400 words)
You will need to have two recommendations submitted online by the application deadlines.
Recommenders will be asked to fill out a personal qualities and skills grid and answer our two additional questions (see below).
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all recommendations are submitted online by the deadline date for the round in which the applicant is applying.
Ideally one recommendation should come from a current or recent supervisor, but we know that is not always possible. Use your best judgment on who you decide to ask - there is no set formula for who should be your recommenders. Look at the questions we are asking recommenders to complete. Find people who know you well enough to answer them! This should take priority over level of seniority or HBS alumni status.
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)
A current business resume uploaded through our online application system.
This can be your standard business resume or CV. You do not need to have it in any special format. You can use whatever you would use to conduct a job search.
*Applicants to our 2+2 Program have an application fee of $100.
→ Application Deadlines
After your written application has been submitted and reviewed, you may be invited to interview.
The interview is a positive indicator of interest, but is not a guarantee of admission; it serves as one element among many that are considered as we complete a final review of your candidacy. All interviews are conducted by invitation only, at the discretion of the Admissions Board. If invited, however, you must participate in order to complete the application process.
Interviews may be scheduled on campus, in domestic or international hub cities or via Skype. Neither the timing of your interview invitation nor its format, whether in-person or via Skype, implies anything about the status of your application or affects your candidacy.
Interviews are 30 minutes and are conducted by an MBA Admissions Board member who has reviewed your application. Your interview will be tailored to you and is designed for us to learn more about you in the context of a conversation. Candidates will be required to submit a written reflection after their interview.
Within 24 hours of the interview, candidates are required to submit a written reflection through our online application system. Detailed instructions will be provided to those applicants who are invited to the interview process.
Applications for both Harvard Business School and the partnering Harvard graduate school must be submitted as explained on these overview pages: