Now that application season is in full swing, questions from prospective students are rolling in. We’ve received quite a few questions recently about eligibility for the 2+2 Program, so we thought we’d put together a blog post to outline the basics and share answers to some FAQs.  

First of all, what is the 2+2 Program? Well, it’s a deferred admission application process for current students, who are either in college or a full-time master’s program. It is comprised of at least two years of professional work experience followed by two years in the HBS MBA Program.

So, here’s the bottom line about eligibility: If you are in your final year of study, you are eligible to apply in the current application cycle. This timing applies to:

-          Candidates from bachelor degree programs

-          Candidates from joint bachelor/master's degree programs

-          Candidates from master’s degree programs who have not held a full-time work position.  To be eligible for the 2+2 program, candidates need to have gone directly from undergraduate to graduate school. Students enrolled in PhD programs, law school or medical school are not eligible for 2+2.

To be considered for admission to the 2+2 Program Class of 2021 (entering in the Fall of 2019), you must be graduating from your program between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017.

If this does not apply to you then you should apply through our regular admissions process.

Here are a few FAQs prospective students have had:

What round should I apply to the 2+2 Program?

2+2 applicants will have ONE DEADLINE (April 3) and ONE DECISION NOTIFICATION (mid-May). That means no more picking rounds for college seniors. No more worrying about which round is best. You will all be reviewed together in April. Why? This way we get to see fall term grades and activities. And we can review the entire pool at once - a luxury we don’t have in the (much larger) work-experienced pool. So if you’d like to submit earlier than April, that’s fine. But this isn’t a “rolling” process so your application won’t be considered until the April deadline.

Are international students eligible to apply to the 2+2 Program?

Yes. Domestic and international students alike are welcome to apply.

I'm supposed to be graduating in the early fall, but I have the option to extend my studies for a few months...should I do it? 

You should only do it if it makes the most sense to you professionally. If you do extend your studies and graduate within the timeline, then yes, you are eligible. But you are always welcome to apply through our regular admission process. 

I went from high school to undergrad and then to a PhD/MD/JD program with no gaps in school or full time employment…am I eligible?

2+2 is not meant for applicants with professional degrees (PhD’s, MD’s or JD’s).  These programs are typically longer and have some sort of work component (lab or otherwise) to them.

My bachelor's degree program did not follow a traditional four year timeline (i.e. it was shorter or longer), am I still eligible to apply to HBS through the 2+2 process?

Yes. You can apply to HBS through the 2+2 program as long as you are in your final year of undergraduate study. There are no minimum or maximum requirements for the length of time spent working toward your bachelor's degree.

Do co-ops or long internships during school count as full time work experience? 

No. And it’s fine if these are part of your school's academic program – you are still eligible.

I took a gap year (or 2) between high school and college…am I eligible?

Yes, you are still eligible. 

I served in the military and then pursued my undergraduate degree…am I eligible?

You are still eligible. However, you may want to think about applying via the regular application process depending on the extent/tenure of your military service. 

I have a gap of 10 years between attending high school and college. Can I apply through the 2+2 program after graduating?

If you have a large gap in the completion of your degree, you should apply to HBS via the regular admissions process.  The 2+2 program is meant for college seniors who have not had any full-time work experience.

I'm getting a medical degree in another country, which is an undergraduate degree (as opposed to an MD in the U.S.)…am I eligible?

Yes, that is fine. You are eligible. 

I took a year during undergrad to start my own business, but then came back and finished my degree…am I eligible?

Yes, you are. 

I graduated from college in May but am not starting my master’s program until September. Am I still eligible to apply in the final year of my master’s program? Can I get a full time job in between my two degrees?

Yes, that’s fine. You are still eligible.

You can also find answers to more general 2+2 FAQs here, and feel free to email us with any additional questions at 2plus2@hbs.edu.

We hope this is helpful, and best of luck in your application!