The HBS classrooms and community thrive when we bring together people who can share a variety of experiences and perspectives. We are looking for future leaders who are passionate about business, leadership, and growth.

Here you will find a detailed explanation of our MBA application process and requirements. We look forward to learning about you through your application.

  1. Submit A Written Application

    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.

  2. Transcripts

    Candidates must have the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (unless you are a college senior applying through our 2+2 Deferred Admissions Process). Equivalent programs include international three-year bachelor degree programs.

    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.

    GRE/GMAT

    The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT, 10th Edition or Focus Edition) is a prerequisite for admission. There is no minimum GRE or GMAT score needed to apply and we do not have a preference toward one test or the other. If you look at our class profile, you can see that we have a range of GMAT and GRE scores in the current first-year class.

    When submitting your application, you may report the unofficial GRE or GMAT scores given on the day of the test, or your official score if you have received it. Every applicant must have the testing agency send an official score report directly to HBS. A valid and verified score is needed to be admitted to the program.

    Note on the GMAT Focus: Writing is an essential component of the MBA program. Therefore, to be admitted to HBS all students must have an official writing assessment. You can satisfy this with a valid GRE, GMAT 10th Edition, or English language test score. If you only submitted the GMAT Focus, which lacks a writing section, HBS will contact you at the interview stage about taking the separate GMAC Business Writing Assessment. If you wish to take the GMAC Business Writing Assessment before knowing your interview status, you will be able to do so beginning July 2024. Because the written application has opportunities to showcase your writing abilities (e.g. essays, short answers), you will not be at a disadvantage if you do not include the GMAC Business Writing Assessment before you are invited to interview.

    Be advised that in order to apply in the 2024-2025 cycle, scores must be dated as follows:

    If you are applying in… Your GMAT or GRE test date must fall on or between
    Round 1 September 4, 2019 and September 4, 2024
    Round 2 January 6, 2020 and January 6, 2025
    2+2 Round April 25, 2019 and April 25, 2024

    Please note that the HBS code for the GMAT is HRLX892 and the HBS code for the GRE is 4064.

    English Language Test

    A TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson Test of English (PTE), or Duolingo English Test is required if you did not attend an undergraduate institution where the sole language of instruction is English.

    If you completed a graduate degree which was taught in English, it is recommended you submit one of these tests, but it is not required.

    HBS only accepts the Internet-based (iBT) version of the TOEFL. Please note that the HBS code for the TOEFL is 3444.

    Be advised that in order to apply in the 2024-2025 cycle, scores must be dated as follows:

    If you are applying in… Your English Language test date must fall on or between
    Round 1 September 4, 2022 and August 30, 2024
    Round 2 January 6, 2023 and January 1, 2025
    2+2 Round April 25, 2022 and April 20, 2024

    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, a PTE score lower than 75, or a Duolingo score lower than 145 from applying.

    Essays

    Applicants to the MBA Class of 2027 (matriculating fall 2025) need to respond to these three essay prompts:

    Business-Minded Essay: Please reflect on how your experiences have influenced your career choices and aspirations and the impact you will have on the businesses, organizations, and communities you plan to serve. (up to 300 words)

    Leadership-Focused Essay: What experiences have shaped who you are, how you invest in others, and what kind of leader you want to become? (up to 250 words)

    Growth-Oriented Essay: Curiosity can be seen in many ways. Please share an example of how you have demonstrated curiosity and how that has influenced your growth. (up to 250 words)

    Joint Degree Essays:

    Joint degree applicants for the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School must provide an additional essay: How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (up to 400 words)

    Joint degree applicants for the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences must provide an additional essay: The MS/MBA Engineering Sciences program is focused on entrepreneurship, design, and innovation. Describe your past experiences in these areas and your reasons for pursuing a program with this focus. (recommended length: 500 words). Applicants will also be able to respond to an optional essay.

    Recommendations

    You will need to have two recommendations submitted online by the application deadlines. 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.

    Use your best judgment on who you decide to ask - there is no set formula for who should be your recommenders. We know it is not always possible to have a direct supervisor write your recommendation – we would not want you to jeopardize your current position for the application process. Look at the questions we are asking recommenders to complete. Find people who know you well enough to answer them. This can be a former supervisor, a colleague, or someone you collaborate on an activity outside of work. How well a person knows you should take priority over level of seniority or HBS alumni status.

    Recommendations must be completed online. Recommenders will be asked to fill out a personal qualities and skills grid and answer our two additional questions:

    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)

    Resume

    This can be your standard business resume or CV. We do not have specific preferences on how your resume is formatted.

    Note: The HBS MBA Program is designed for students who have full-time work experience. While it is important for candidates to assess their own readiness to apply, the Admissions Board recommends that applicants have at least two years of full-time work experience (prior to enrolling).

    Fee or Fee Waiver

    Applicants must pay a $250 nonrefundable application fee* via credit card, which helps cover the costs of reviewing applications. There are two exceptions:

    1. Active duty military applicants are exempt from the fee (details will be provided once you begin your application).

    2. Applicants who would experience genuine financial hardship from paying the $250 fee may submit a request for a need-based application fee waiver. You can access the waiver request form after you start your application.

    *2+2 Deferred Admissions applicants have a reduced application fee of $100.

    Acceptance of Policies
    Signed acceptance of HBS Admissions Policies.
  3. Interview

    After your written application has been submitted and reviewed, you may be invited to interview. 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.

  4. Post-Interview Reflection

    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 interview.

MBA Application Tips Video Series

Every HBS MBA student has been where you are right now. In this video series, we hope to help you learn how to break down your application into small, actionable steps so that you can submit a successful application that is true to you and your journey.

Resume Tips
Extracurricular Activities and Awards Tips
Employment History Tips
Post-MBA Goals Tips
Recommenders Tips