In Terms 1 and 2, RC students have up to 15 classes each week scheduled Monday through Friday, with three classes on some days and two classes on others. Most RC classes are 80 minutes long and a typical three-class day runs from approximately 8:00am-4:00pm (including morning discussion group meetings and all breaks). Occasionally, academic events will be scheduled into the evening. The schedule is not static and varies day to day. Joint Degree students may also have seminars in the evenings. FIELD Global Immersion takes place at the end of Term II in May. Note that this program will require travel and full participation in course work over a weekend in May. Daily class attendance is required of all MBA students, as described in the Attendance Policy.


HBS START is the academic introduction to HBS. Students will attend the Dean’s Welcome, meet as a section, and experience the first classes. Attendance on these days is mandatory. START serves to prepare students for the year ahead.


Orientation includes the activities surrounding HBS START, including events planned by the Student Association, International Student Association, partner registration, dorm/apartment move-in, HUID pick-up, and more. These events begin the week before START. Most students arrive to the Boston area in time to attend Orientation to be fully prepared to begin classes when START begins.

The Section Experience

Upon arrival at HBS, students are assigned to a specific "section," a group of approximately ninety students with whom they will complete the Required Curriculum. The section's rich mix of backgrounds, interests, experiences, and ambitions reflects the greater diversity of the class and much of the world as well. Section-mates take their first-year classes together, sharing cases, classroom facilities, and a dedicated team of faculty. Section faculty teach and manage the learning environment, using their own research and real-world experience to introduce innovative ideas and approaches to learning. In turn, students exercise their team building and management skills to develop protocols for effective learning and shape the distinctive norms and personality of their sections.

Students quickly discover that the section experience fully engages them during their first year at HBS and beyond, helping to forge lasting friendships and invaluable contacts for life. In effect, the section becomes a safe and intimate haven where, under the encouragement of mutual support, students can apply newly acquired skills and leadership abilities. It is one of the most formative and defining experiences at HBS.

HBS understands that some students may have concerns regarding in what section they are placed. Some reasons include the following:

  • Partners also attending HBS
  • Relatives also attending HBS
  • Former employer also attending HBS
  • Close relationship with an HBS faculty or staff member
  • Mobility issues

If any of the above concerns apply, the student must send an email to by July 16, 2023. Please note that the MBA Program is unable to accommodate special sectioning requests regarding professional colleagues, friends, or roommates.


Students will have the same assigned seat for all RC classes each term. If a student has a documented medical or health concern that requires seating in a particular classroom location, the student must contact the Disability Coordinator within Student & Academic Services at

Students can consult the Disability Services page for more information.