We receive quite a few questions 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. You can also download the 2+2 Program Brochure to learn more.

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 degree program. It is comprised of at least two years of professional work experience (maximum of four years) in the public, private, or nonprofit sector followed by two years in the HBS MBA Program.

College seniors from any academic background are eligible to apply but some preference will be given to high potential individuals on paths that aren't as well established in leading to graduate business school, including applicants:
  1. Planning to work in an operating company (tech, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, industrials, etc.
  2. From a lower socio-economic background (first generation in college, lower income family background, less family exposure to graduate school)
  3. Going into a technically demanding role
  4. Pursuing entrepreneurship

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 2024 (entering in the Fall of 2022), you must be graduating from your program between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020.

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

2+2 FAQ

What round should I apply to the 2+2 Program?
2+2 applicants have only one deadline in April and one decision notification date in July. You will all be reviewed together. Why? This way 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 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. If your graduation date is pushed further into the future outside of the range, you should apply in future cycles. You are always welcome to apply through our regular admission process.

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. It’s fine if these are part of your school's academic program – you are still eligible.

I took a gap year (or two) 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?
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?
You are eligible.

I graduated from college in May but I am not starting my master’s program until September. Am I still eligible to apply in the final year of my master’s program?
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!

Want to learn more? Visit our 2+2 Program page or start your application.