Academic Reviews are conducted by the Academic Performance Committee (APC) after Terms 2, 3, and 4, and are completed before the beginning of the subsequent term or graduation ceremonies. Students who become subject to Academic Review are notified of their status and informed of the next steps in the process, including petitioning the APC for permission to graduate or continue in the MBA Program.

After careful deliberation, the APC may require a student to withdraw from the MBA Program or may allow a student to continue in the Program, with or without specified conditions. These conditions are assigned solely at the discretion of the APC (e.g., specific courses to be taken and specific grade requirements for satisfactory performance).

To allow a student under review to continue without interruption in the MBA Program, the APC must be able to conclude that there is a reasonable probability, in the judgment of the Committee, that the student can successfully complete the specified academic standards of the MBA Program in the following academic periods. Based on all applicable evidence, the APC will consider whether:

  • The student's inability to meet academic standards resulted from circumstances that are no longer present and are not expected to recur.
  • Evidence exists that the student's academic ability and intellectual capacity are greater than their performance in the MBA Program to date.
  • The student has demonstrated sufficient professional promise, motivation, and maturity to merit their continued participation in the MBA Program, allowing more time to determine the student's capacity to qualify for the MBA degree.

If the APC does not allow the student to continue, then the student will be withdrawn from the MBA Program, in which case the student will have up to five years to petition the APC to return to HBS to complete the degree requirements.

Students who are subject to Academic Review at the end of the Elective Curriculum Year may not be recommended for the award of the MBA degree. The APC may, at its discretion, offer such students the opportunity to correct deficiencies in their record and, in such an event, will determine how this requirement must be fulfilled. If the APC allows a student to make up deficiencies in their academic record, then the student must fulfill all such requirements within two years following their final term at HBS.

Application for Readmission after Required Withdrawal

Both the APC and the MBA Program must approve the readmission to the MBA Program of a student who was withdrawn due to previous academic difficulty. This process occurs annually each spring. If the APC decides against readmission, it will notify the applicant directly. If the APC believes readmission is appropriate, then it will notify the MBA Program, which will review the student's record to evaluate whether the student is in good standing. If both the APC and the MBA Program approve the readmission, then the APC will notify the student and the Registrar’s Office of any special course work or performance conditions under which the student's readmission is approved.

A student has the right to petition for readmission within five years after his or her withdrawal from the MBA Program. If a student is readmitted to the School, the APC will determine in each case the specific program of instruction and minimum performance criteria for the student. This may include the type and number of courses taken as well as the duration of work required.

Immediate Withdrawal for Academic Reasons

At any time during the year, the APC may require a student to withdraw from the MBA Program if it determines that:

  • The record of unsatisfactory academic performance to date would make it impossible for the student to satisfy the requirements for the MBA degree.
  • The student's continued presence in the classroom is detrimental to the educational process.