Harvard Business School - [HBS], Massachusetts, Boston - Admission

    Boston, MassachusettsLocation
    SchoolSchool type
    Estd 1908established year

    Harvard Business School 2021-2022 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert | Updated on - Jun 28, 2021

    Harvard Business School, the graduate business school under Harvard University, is a leading institute in the US Education System. It offers a full-time MBA program, Executive Education program, online programs, and full-time doctoral programs. Admissions at Harvard Business School are highly competitive and selective which requires a GPA of 3.7 or above. This equals around 90-92% and a grade score of A. Admissions to MBA courses at Harvard you will be requiring a competitive GMAT score (620-790 average of 2021 class) and work experience of at least 2-5 years. 

    For the Fall 2021 session, Harvard University received 43,330 applications, out of which only 5% were accepted, and 82% were enrolled into the program of their choice. Students need to have exceptional academic records, analytical aptitude, and leadership skills to be a part of the Harvard Business School.

    • The MBA 2021 batch has 37% of students of international origin, representing 69 nations and 43% of the total enrolled students in the program are women.
    • For 2021 MBA admission, 9228 applications were received and 938 candidates were finally enrolled for the class of 2021.
    • International applicants applying for an executive education program should consider applying for a 90-day B1/B2 visa instead of a standard F1 student visa.
    • All students at Harvard Business School are eligible for need-based financial aids. About 50% of the students receive need-based scholarships.

    COVID-19 (coronavirus) admission updates

    • Harvard Business School has been holding all admission events online due to the pandemic situation. The institute has decided to accept online test scores of GMAT/GRE, even without a writing section. Also, online scores/at home scores for TOEFL/IELTS are also accepted for 2020 (2+2) admission.
    • The summer venture program has been shifted online instead of in-class experience.
    • Visa appointments being suspended globally, admitted international students have to keep in touch with Harvard International Office for the solution to their issue.

    Top Courses at Harvard Business School: Deadlines

    Most students apply to Harvard Business School for the globally recognized MBA program. Applications are submitted round wise and the school has two rounds. Some application deadlines for top programs at  the institute are as follows:

    Type of Program Application Deadline Admission Requirements
    Master of Business Administration (MBA)- Entrepreneurship December 1, January 6 LORs (2); Resume; Interview
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GMAT: 730
    M.B.A Health care January 6 LORs (2); Resume; Interview
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GMAT: 730
    Masters of Science Biotechnology January 6 LORs (3); Resume; Interview
    Essay & Supplemental Essay
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GMAT: 730
    M.B.A.Digital January 6 LORs (2); Resume; Interview
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GMAT: 730
    Certificate Business Analytics March 9/May 25/August 3  LORs (2); Resume
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GMAT or GRE (unofficial)
    Certificate Financial Accounting March 9/May 25/August 3  LORs (2); Resume
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; GMAT/GRE
    Certificate Credential of Readiness March 9/May 25/August 3  LORs (2); Resume
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; GMAT/GRE
    Certificate Entrepreneurship Essentials March 9/May 25/August 3  LORs (2); Resume
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; GMAT/GRE
    Certificate Global Business March 9/May 25/August 3 LORs (2); Resume
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; GMAT/GRE 
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Business Administration December 1 LORs (2); Resume; SOP
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 100
    GRE: 292
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Accounting and Management December 1 LORs (2); Resume; SOP
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GRE: 292 (if required)
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Business Economics December 1 LORs (2); Resume; SOP
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GRE: 292 (if required)
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Health Policy (Management) December 1 LORs (2); Resume; SOP
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GRE: 292 (if required)
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Marketing December 1 LORs (2); Resume; SOP
    IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; PTE: 75
    GRE: 292 

    Harvard Business School: International Student Admissions

    The USA is a very popular study abroad destination for international students and Harvard Business School is one the most coveted institutes in the U.S for B-school aspirants. It welcomes students from all over the globe. The application procedures are the same as those for US applicants. Documents are to be submitted online and must be in English.

    How to apply?

    Application Portal: Online Application

    Application Fee: USD 100

    Basic Admission Requirements

    Following are the requirements for international students:

    • All students must have a degree equivalent to a four-year degree in the United States of America. A three-year degree is also considered equivalent for the same.
    • Official transcripts should be translated into English before submission. An unofficial translation will be accepted in the initial written application.
    • After admission, transcripts need to be evaluated and translated word for word by World Education Services, as a mandatory procedure.
    • International applicants have to submit proof of their English Language proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores) if English is not their primary language of instruction. (TOEFL Code – 3444)
    • GRE/GMAT scores
    • Two recommendations, Essay, Interview (MBA program)

    English Language Proficiency Test Scores

    Applicants that do not have English as their primary language of instruction need to submit proof of their English language skills. A minimum score on any of the following tests is accepted by Harvard Business School.

    Test Minimum Score Requirement
    TOEFL ibt 109
    IELTS 7.5
    PTE 75

    Harvard Business School does not have any full-time degree programs for undergraduate students. However, it does offer a 10-week program for research in markets and organizations (PRIMO) for undergraduate students. It also offers a summer venture program to students from under-represented business groups. Only a resume is required to register for this program.

    Application portalPRIMO Online Application

    Basic Admission Requirements:

    • Choice of topics
    • Current transcripts
    • Essay Responses
    • Resume

    All documents must be submitted in a PDF format through Harvard’s CARAT system. Undergraduate students who are not from Harvard will need to create an ID prior to applying.

    Harvard Business School Graduate Admissions

    Most of the applicants applying for admission at Harvard Business School are interested in the MBA program. The Harvard MBA program is regarded as one of the best in the world. The institute also offers executive education to applicants from countries like China and India.

    Application PortalOnline Application

    Admission Requirements

    The different requirements for admission to both the MBA and Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School are mentioned in the table below,

    Requirements Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Executive Education Programs
    Application Fee USD 100 (2+2 applicants)
    USD 250 (non 2+2 applicants)
    No application fee charged
    Bachelor’s degree or work experience 4-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent At least 10 years of work experience
    Transcripts Required Not applicable
    GRE/GMAT scores Required Not applicable
    English Language Proficiency Test Scores Required if applicable, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE If applicable, TOEFL. (If applying for a program in China, language proficiency proof for both Chinese and English is required)
    Recommendations Two letters required One required, from either a senior executive or a Harvard Business School graduate
    who is well versed with the applicant’s role in the organization or a board member of the company
    Resume Required Not applicable
    Interview On invitation On invitation

    Visa Process for International Students

    International students who do not have US citizenship require a visa to study in the USA. Applicants need to show proof of their financial stability to procure the I-20 form, which proves that they have enough funds to afford education in the USA. Form I-20 or DS-2019 is issued only to students who have been accepted for admission to the institute.

    Most students need an F-1 student visa. However, if you are applying for executive education at HBS, you should request a 90 day B1/B2 visa. These are the steps required for visa processing,

    • Receive I-20 or DS-2019 form from Harvard
    • Pay the SEVIS fee using a credit card online
    • Complete the DS-160 form
    • Apply for the visa
    • Schedule interview with the US consulate and embassy

    The following documents are required to apply for a visa,

    • Passport
    • Form I-20/DS-2019
    • SEVIS fee receipt
    • DS-160 confirmation page
    • Proof of funding

    Note: The Harvard school you are applying for will assist you in your visa application process more than the Harvard International Office that provides only basic information on the same.

    Admissions at Harvard Business School are offered based on the seats available in each program. The admissions committee meets every month and reviews applications. Applicants are intimidated regarding their application status via email. While securing admissions to Harvard Business School may be difficult, getting in would give a major boost to the career of a student. With a secure future, students will have a plethora of fields in business to explore and grow.


    Ques. Who should write my recommendation letters at HBS?

    It is suggested that a current or recent supervisor write your recommendation letter for Harvard Business School.

    Ques. What parameters are considered while reviewing applications at Harvard Business School?

    The admissions committee considers leadership potential, strong academic ability, and personal qualities of the candidate while reviewing applications for admission.

    Ques. Are international students eligible for the 2+2 program at Harvard Business School?

    Yes, international students are eligible for the 2+2 program. In fact, 25% of the students accepted for the 2+2 program in the class of 2023 are from foreign nations.

    Ques. What tests are required for the 2+2 program at Harvard Business School?

    GRE or GMAT scores can be submitted for the 2+2 Program.

    Ques. How do I submit my transcripts to Harvard Business School?

    Transcripts at Harvard Business School can be scanned and uploaded with the application. No hard copy is required.

    Ques. Is there a minimum GPA required to apply to Harvard Business School?

    No, it is just one of the factors checked by the admissions board.

    Is there minimum GMAT or GRE scores required by the HBS?

    No, a range of scores is accepted.

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