Obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School opens up tons of career advancement opportunities. While this is many people’s dream business school, the challenge lies in securing admission into the institution. In this article, we’ve gone into detail about how to get into Harvard Business School and set yourself on track to achieving that dream.
There are many factors that affect your admission into Harvard’s Business School, and we’ve included relevant tips concerning them. We’ve also examined Harvard Business School requirements and acceptance rate to give you an idea of the expectations for applicants and the competition you’re up against. Your leadership experience, recommendation letter, and class profile will all be under scrutiny by the admissions committee.
All About Harvard Business School Admissions
It is essential to fully grasp Harvard Business School’s application procedure as a whole. The application process includes a written application that contains everything necessary to assess your qualification for the school. After an admissions officer reviews your application, you may be invited for an interview by the admissions committee to evaluate your level of interest.
Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate
Out of the 9,773 applications to Harvard Business School for the 2020 to 2021 academic year, only 1,010 enrolled for the MBA class of 2023. This means that the acceptance rate is 10.3 percent. Roughly one out of 10 people who apply to Harvard Business School have a chance of getting in, which is not an easy ratio to overcome.
Harvard Business School GPA
The average Grade Point Average (GPA) of students accepted into Harvard Business School is 3.69. Harvard uses this score, along with your SAT scores, to determine your analytical aptitude, educational experience, and academic potential for facing business challenges and learning to apply core business concepts.
Harvard Business School Total Enrollment
The total enrollment for the Harvard Business School class of 2023 is 1,010. That number includes people from 61 different countries, of which 44 percent were women. There were 28,839 enrollments for its online business program, 45 percent of which were international students.
Harvard Business School Requirements
- Transcripts. Candidates first need to upload their transcripts from previous undergraduate and graduate institutions. In addition, Harvard Business School requires all candidates to have a US bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree.
- GMAT/GRE. Applicants must have a median GMAT score ranging from 620 to 790 and a GRE minimum test score of 326 to qualify. Harvard Business School requires the scores for these tests in your online application.
- TOEFL/IELTS/Pearson Test of English (PTE). Applicants who have attended an undergraduate institution where the primary language of instruction was not English need to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English (PTE). This is most relevant to international students.
- Essay. Applicants need to write an essay to accompany their application, and the topic in focus changes yearly. Applicants can talk about extracurricular activities, post-college work experience, constructive feedback they’ve received, and how they’ve applied it to their work with success.
- Recommendations. Candidates will be required to submit two recommendation letters before the application deadline from previous teachers or employers. Recommenders have to answer specific questions, and they also fill out a skill grid and personal qualities form. These letters should show why the applicants deserve a Harvard MBA, whether or not they have a habit of leadership, and talk about their business goals.
- Fees. Applicants are to pay a non-refundable application fee of $250, which covers the cost of reviewing the entire application. However, they can apply for a Need-Based Application Fee Waiver if they can’t afford it.
Is It Hard to Get Into Harvard Business School?
Considering the high standards Harvard School of Business has for its applicants, it is very hard to get into Harvard Business School. According to US News, Harvard is the second-best university in the US. The low acceptance rate indicates stiff competition between candidates. Plus, the 3.69 GPA is not an easy feat. You have to be exceptional to gain admission.
It is certainly not a walk in the park, but there’s a very good reason that getting in is worth it. Getting a Harvard MBA is a significant advantage, opening plenty of opportunities for high-paying jobs as an MBA grad. Despite the challenges you might find getting into Harvard Business School, this dream business school has helped thousands accomplish their business goals.
How to Prepare for a Harvard Business School Interview
The interview is an admissions requirement that allows the admission officers to identify specific interests in prospective students. Interviews can be done in-person or online, so it would be wise to prepare for both possibilities. Dressing professionally will help with your chances of consideration, whether in-person or not.
A good interview isn’t a guarantee of admission, as it is just one of many components that the admissions board considers. The interview is a conversation where you can discuss your work experience with core business concepts, college grades, and who you are as a person. Do your best to relax, be expressive and be confident. Consider the following interview questions below to begin your preparation.
Harvard Business School Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your expectations of your graduate degree education at HBS?
- What made you decide on getting an MBA?
- Why do you want to be enrolled with us?
- Do you have any questions for us?
10 Tips for Getting Into Harvard Business School
Getting into Harvard Business School requires more than exceeding the average scores for tests, presenting letters of recommendation, and writing compelling essays. While all of that is necessary, we have compiled some tips below to help you secure a slot for yourself at Harvard Business School.
1. Find Out the Requirements
Before beginning the application process of applying to any MBA, it is important to know what will be required of you as a prospective student. Research what application forms you’ll need to fill out and when these forms are due. This way, you can have an application strategy and avoid unwanted stress. A solid understanding of the application procedure will give you an advantage, especially if you start early.
2. Prepare for the Interview
While there are many components of the application process that are important, the interview will undoubtedly make a big impression. Figure out what possible questions in the interview and prepare accordingly. If you can, get someone you trust to help you prepare in mock interviews.
3. Get Fantastic Recommendations
When seeking a Harvard MBA, it is vital to get excellent letters of recommendation. Understanding what the admissions group is looking for in a recommendation could be the difference between being accepted or not. Your recommendation letters should come from reputable teachers or employers who know you well and can attest to your qualities.
4. Write an Excellent Essay
Your business school application is incomplete without a strong essay. Your essay is your opportunity to show yourself as the perfect applicant while sharing leadership and professional experiences. It is a big determining factor for admissions staff when making an admissions decision about you.
5. Maintain High Grades
Your chances of admission don’t depend entirely on having good grades, however, the admissions group keeps a keen eye out for them. You’ll need to submit any previous academic records, including high school and college grades. Since the necessary average scores are quite high, your grades will need to match if you hope of getting in.
6. Apply Early
When trying to enroll in a Harvard MBA program, you need to put substantial consideration into every step, which can often take time. Procrastination can hamper your success at a school like Harvard. The earlier you begin the application, the better chances you have at presenting a good application.
7. Show Intent
The Harvard admissions office seeks prospective students who are passionate and determined to achieve their goals. Successful applicants are usually those who have been able to communicate their passion during the essay and interview stages. It is important to make a solid impression to sway the admissions decision in your favor.
8. Think Like the Admissions Team
If you know what the admissions committee is looking for in prospective students, you will know how to present yourself to match their expectations. Current students understood the requirements, and they delivered. If you think like members of the admission committee, you just might be setting yourself up for an accelerated admission pathway.
9. Do Extensive Research
With so many factors in play when it comes to deciding whether you will be a successful applicant or not, ignorance is dangerous. It will serve you well to find out everything you can that could bolster your enrollment chances. Successful applicants know about all of the important information that could make or break their enrollment.
10. Be Unique
As you probably already know, the applicant pool for the Harvard Business School is large, with 9,773 applicants in the 2020 to 2021 session. This leaves the admissions team with many applicants to sort through and few people to choose from. Knowing this, try to bring something new to the table that will help you stand out from the crowd.
What Does It Take to Get Into Harvard Business School?
Harvard Business School wants the best and brightest as their accepted students, meaning that prospective students will have to be the best of the best. Harvard MBA admission requires putting your best foot forward in every area of assessment. You will need to show the admissions staff excellence to have greater chances of admission.
How to Get Into Harvard Business School FAQ
Not only are there jobs where having a master’s of business administration is beneficial, but there are also many high-paying jobs that require an MBA. Having an MBA, especially from a prestigious school like Harvard, is a great addition to any resume and is often a requirement for certain jobs.
An MBA scholarship is available to full-time graduate students studying business graduate courses. There are many top MBA scholarships available, which you should heavily consider if you wish to get a master’s in business administration.
International students can apply to Harvard Business School. Though there are certain differences in the business school application process, an international student is considered equal to a domestic student by the admissions office. It’s not surprising that many international students are interested in Harvard Business School, according to Statista it is the best university in the world by reputation.
Yes, you will need to be proficient in English to qualify for MBA admissions into Harvard. If you attended an institution where English was not the primary instructional language, you would have to take certain standardized tests to verify your English proficiency. These tests include the GMAT and Pearson Test of English (PTE).
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