The program seeks a diverse group of outstanding students who have an undergraduate degree in life sciences and/or significant workplace experience in biotechnology or life sciences.

Students applying with non-STEM undergraduate degrees can be considered in rare circumstances if they have substantial life sciences background preparation. This may include extensive advanced coursework in the biological sciences or independent laboratory experience. We also welcome applicants with advanced degrees such as an MD or PhD.

If you are unsure whether your background has prepared you sufficiently, consider your familiarity with the topics covered in Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al. Students are expected to be knowledgeable with that level of material. Additionally, students should be comfortable engaging with primary scientific literature.

To enroll in the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program, candidates must apply to and be accepted by HBS and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). To simplify the process, required elements to apply to both the MBA and the Master of Science will be hosted in the HBS application system.

  1. Written Application

    • Create an HBS account and start an application here. This HBS account will be the single source of communication and repository for materials throughout the application process.
    • Indicate your interest in the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program by checking the appropriate box on the application.
    • Choose an HBS application round in which to apply.
    • Submit all materials required for both the MBA and Master of Science applications.
      • Required for MBA: application form, resume, official transcript(s), essay, official standardized test scores, two recommendations, acceptance of policies, and application fee. More details here.
      • Required for Master of Science: all materials required for the MBA application, plus one supplemental essay and one additional letter of recommendation. All materials submitted for the MBA application will be shared with the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Admission Committee for use in review of the Master of Science application.
  2. Interview

    • IF YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO INTERVIEW AT HBS: Your candidacy is not moving forward and you will receive a “deny” notification.
    • IF YOU ARE INVITED TO INTERVIEW AT HBS: Invitations are issued in October (Round 1) and February (Round 2).
  3. Decision Notification

    • HBS and GSAS will release admissions decisions in mid-December (Round 1) and March (Round 2).
      You may be:
      • • Admitted to the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program
      • • Admitted to the MBA program only
      • • Denied by the MBA and MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Programs
    • Note: It is not possible to be admitted to the Master of Science program only

Tuition & Financial Aid

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Board uses the following annual Cost of Attendance to determine financial aid awards. Amounts are based on student surveys of direct and indirect costs. Of course, living expenses will vary from person to person. This annual cost of attendance assumes a 10-month academic year and a moderate student lifestyle.

Students will be eligible to apply for need-based HBS Scholarships and student loans in both years of the program.

Through the generosity of The Chris (MBA 1993) and Carrie Shumway Foundation, all students who matriculate in the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program are awarded an incremental $5,500 scholarship each academic year ($11,000 total). The scholarship will be incorporated into each financial aid package, if applicable. Half of the award will be disbursed to students’ Harvard University Student Account for the fall term and the other half for the spring.

All MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences students are subject to HBS Financial Aid policies and limits (e.g. student budgets, loans and veterans benefits).

2021-2022 MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program Cost of Attendance - Class of 2023

Single Married Married with
1 Child
Married with
2 Children
Tuition $84,455 $84,455 $84,455 $84,455
HUHS Student Health Fee (SHF) $1,242 $1,242 $1,242 $1,242
Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) $4,040 $4,040 $4,040 $4,040
HUSHP for StudenT Spouses / Dependents $0 $8,306 $12,720 $14,938
Course and Program Materials Fee $2,550 $2,550 $2,550 $2,550
Room & Utilities (10 months) $15,930
($1,593/mo) *
($2,487/mo) **
($3,198/mo) ***
($3,198/mo) ***
Living Expenses (10 months) $17,700
Total $125,917 $147,983 $165,077 $172,885
Computer (variable; not included in above budgets) $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500

Note: for 3 children, add $5,500 living plus $6,400 for incremental rent for 3br. For 4+ children, add $5,500 living for each kid

*Based on average area market rate for two-bedroom apartment with roommate.
**Based on average area market rate for one-bedroom apartment.
***Based on average area market rate for two-bedroom apartment.

2020-2021 MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program Cost of Attendance: Class of 2022