HBS welcomes students from around the globe. The admissions criteria applied in evaluating international applicants are the same as those for U.S. citizens. All application materials, including transcripts and recommendations, must be submitted online and in English.

Academic Requirements

An international applicant is required to hold a college or university degree equivalent to a four-year American baccalaureate degree. Equivalent degrees include international three-year bachelor degree programs.  All post-secondary educational institutions you have attended and received a degree from, including technical and professional schools, should be listed on the application form. The complete, formal names of the institutions and the title of any diploma or degree earned must be used.

Transcripts

When providing uploaded transcripts for the application, all course names must be translated into English before submission. An unofficial translation is acceptable in your initial written application. However, if admitted to Harvard Business School, you will be required to provide an official original language paper transcript sent directly from each college or university attended to World Education Services (WES), a third-party verification agency, along with an official word-for-word English translation of that transcript. The School reserves the right to withdraw any offer of admission if there is a discrepancy between the uploaded unofficial translation and the official original language transcript and/or the official translation.

TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English (PTE)

The HBS MBA Program is built upon an immersive learning experience that encourages public speaking, group discussions, and active class participation. To succeed, students must possess a highly developed proficiency in written and oral English.

  • All candidates who received their bachelor's degree and any graduate degrees from a university or universities where English is NOT the sole language of instruction are required to take an English language test.
  • Candidates who received a bachelor's degree from a university where English is NOT the sole language of instruction but received a Master's or Ph.D. degree from a university program where English was the sole language of instruction are also strongly advised, though not required, to submit TOEFL iBT, IELTS or PTE scores as part of their initial written application process.
  • HBS accepts three English language tests: the Internet-based version (only) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT); the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
  • Scores from tests taken before January 1, 2013 will not be accepted.
  • 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.
  • Those candidates required to take an English language test must have received at least their unofficial scores prior to submitting their application. Both overall and component test scores must be reported on the application form.
  • All applicants must request that ETS (for the TOEFL), IELTS, or Pearson (for the PTE) send official copies of their scores to HBS. Please note that the HBS code for the TOEFL is 3444. For IELTS and PTE please follow instructions provided by IELTS and PTE.
  • To obtain information about these tests, visit: www.toefl.org or www.ielts.org or www.pearsonpte.com

Academic Preparation

Some international students may be asked to attend, or want to consider, the on-campus summer Pre-MBA International Program to make a smooth and effective transition to MBA studies at Harvard Business School. Pre-MBA International is an intensive learning acculturation curriculum offering integrated modules that help international students enhance their presentation skills, develop critical competencies and strengthen their effectiveness in fast-paced, rigorous HBS case discussions with peers from around the world.

When to Apply

The Admissions Board strongly encourages international applicants to apply by the second round deadline to allow admitted candidates ample time to address visa issues.