21 Mar 2014

Harvard Business School Launches First Online Offering

HBX CORe will teach the language of business to undergrads, non-business grad students and those early in their careers

BOSTON—Harvard Business School today announced the launch of HBX, a digital learning initiative aimed at broadening the School’s reach and deepening its impact. In HBX the School has created an innovative platform to support the delivery of distinctive online business-focused offerings, including HBX CORe, a primer on the fundamentals of business.

“The HBX launch marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to educate leaders who make a difference in the world,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria. “HBX embodies the highly engaged, interactive learning that has been a hallmark of the School's MBA, Doctoral, and Executive Education programs for more than a century. Moreover, HBX will provide a powerful channel for communicating ideas to and engaging with new and wider audiences, complementing the work we do through Harvard Business Publishing.”

The initial HBX offering, CORe (Credential of Readiness), comprises three interlinked courses: Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting. HBS Professor Bharat Anand, Faculty Chair of HBX, says that CORe will be a rigorous program designed for serious and committed learners. “The HBX faculty team has thought carefully about how to create an online offering that mirrors the energy you find in an HBS classroom and that allows students to benefit from the diversity and experiences of other students.” Consistent with the Harvard Business School case method of teaching and participant-centered learning, CORe requires students to be active learners, thinking through and solving real-world problems.

Click here for HBX fact sheet.

HBX aims to complement the School’s existing programs. Notes HBS Professor Youngme Moon, Senior Associate Dean and Chair of the MBA program, “While our MBA Program is focused on educating outstanding people with business experience who are looking to develop themselves as leaders, and our Executive Education programs are designed to further strengthen the capabilities of established leaders, CORe is designed to provide basic business fundamentals to segments of the population we’ve never directly addressed before: undergraduates, graduate students in non-business fields, and people who have just begun their first jobs in business but want a better foundation so they can thrive earlier in their career.”

CORe will launch in June, initially with a limited cohort of students drawn from the greater Massachusetts region of colleges and universities; applications will be available in April on the HBX website (hbx.hbs.edu).

A screenshot of the HBX CORe experience.

In addition to CORe, later this year HBX will introduce a series of specialized courses for executives on topics such as entrepreneurship and innovation; disruptive innovation, growth, and strategy; and the microeconomics of competitiveness. Over time, HBX expects to roll out more courses that build on the HBS faculty’s influential research.

Finally, HBX will introduce HBX Live, a virtual classroom that collapses geography and allows participants worldwide to interact directly with one another and a faculty member in the same way they would in a campus-based HBS class. Harvard Business School has partnered with the public broadcasting company WGBH to create a state-of-the-art space that will allow virtual engagement with up to 60 participants at a time. HBX Live will launch in Summer 2014 and be available initially on an invitation-only basis. Its early focus will include lifelong learning opportunities for HBS alumni and enhancing the School's modular Executive Education programs.

HBX is the newest in a number of initiatives supporting Harvard University’s overarching efforts to infuse innovation into teaching and learning. In May 2012 Harvard and MIT announced the creation of edX, a non-profit online learning platform that would expand the reach of higher education by developing Internet-based courses that could be taken by students of any age, anywhere.

Today there are more than two dozen Harvard-based learning experiences on topics ranging from history to neurosciences to national security, all developed by HarvardX—a Harvard-wide initiative that enables faculty to build and create online learning experiences and conduct groundbreaking research in this rapidly evolving space.

"We applaud the arrival of HBX. This unique digital learning endeavor continues the Business School's long history of innovation and experimentation in management education, and is yet another example of how Harvard is setting the standard for the 21st century," said Harvard Provost Alan Garber. "The lessons we learn from HBX will be deeply interwoven with other efforts such as HarvardX and edX, informing best practices in blended and online teaching and offering world-class educational materials beyond our campus.”

More information can be found on the HBX web site, hbx.hbs.edu.


Brian Kenny

Jim Aisner

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.