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 takes many forms in many contexts, whether in college extracurriculars, community initiatives, or the routine tasks of your everyday work. What matters to us is not specifically where you showcased leadership, but rather how you did it. At HBS, we value experiences born through hard work and humility, experiences that actively involve others in meaningful conversations. There is not one type of leader who fits at HBS. We deliberately create a class that includes different kinds of leaders, ranging from the front-line manager to the thought leader who builds consensus from a position behind the scenes.

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. Check out the Application Process for more details.

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 seek applicants who embody these traits and 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.