Harvard Business School Application


“Habit of leadership, analytical aptitude & appetite and engaged community citizenship, are what HBS is looking for in its applicants,” shared Andrea, who is a former HBS Admissions Officer and HBS MBA on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team.

Contact us for an assessment of your HBS MBA candidacy today. Here’s a snapshot of our HBS expertise on the SBC admissions consulting team:

HBS Program Overview

Harvard Business School is the home of the case method of business education. It brings “the complex and dynamic realities of business analysis and decision making into the classroom.” The school’s mission is to educate leaders who make a difference in the world.

Students at Harvard Business School are part of a storied institution with a dense network of connections and resources. The volume of cases, research, and publications the school puts out each year is part of what makes Harvard unique. Ideas are exchanged at nearly 20 conferences each year and at speaking engagements that take place regularly.

Within the larger MBA program, students become part of a smaller community through their “section” groups. Each group of about ninety students has a dedicated faculty team, and together, they complete the first-year curriculum. All students take the same five courses during the first year, focusing on the internal functional operations of business enterprises.

With one of the largest and most influential alumni networks in the world, Harvard Business School is very well-connected. In fact, 20% of the top three executive positions at Fortune 500 companies are filled by HBS alumni.

Harvard Business School ranked #6 in U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Business Schools 2024-2025.

Admissions Stats

Here’s a snapshot of HBS’s MBA Class of 2025 relative to Stanford:

Admission Stats Harvard Stanford
Median GMAT 740 738
GMAT Range 500-790 630-790
Average GPA 3.73 3.77
Estimated selectivity 13% 8%


Class of 2025 Harvard    Stanford 
Enrolled MBA Students 938 431
International MBA Students 39% 36%
Women MBA Students 45% 46%
Black/African American Students 10% 8%
Hispanic/Latino Students 11% 12%
Asian Students 22% 24%

HBS Admissions Essay

Here’s the HBS essay prompt (pending update in summer 2024). Our HBS essay tips can be found here. Even outside the actual essay prompts, HBS embeds short answer questions within its application data form that are not to be dismissed, as they are just as scrutinized by MBA Admissions readers.

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program? (no word count limit)

HBS Admissions Tips

SBC reviews its admit pool each season to identify key trends and lessons. For instance, we recently wrote about how to demystify the HBS acceptance rateWhen we evaluated all our successful HBS admits across our SBC client pool, we found that their essays had some common success factors:

  1. Core passion and driving motivation are shared through several examples, professional, community, personal
  2. Autobiographical and also key achievements
  3. Multi-topical as opposed to one topic, but with a structured framework of some type and not colloquial, freeflow presentation

Similarly, academic stats, intellectual horsepower, leadership track record, career clarity, and proven ambition are all important factors in HBS admissions.  

From the Blog

Check out How to Get Into Harvard Business School with lessons learned from our admissions experts.

Sample HBS Essays

Winning essays from our successful admits are new on the SBC site and can be found here:

HBS Essay Examples

More HBS Application Tips

View our extensive overview of how the application for Harvard varies from that of Stanford here.

HBS Class of 2024 Key Statistics
Applicants: 8,264
Entering Full-Time MBA Students: 1,015 Students
Average GPA: 3.7
Median GMAT: 730
Percentage of applicants submitting GRE: 30%
Median GRE (Quantitative/Verbal): 163/163
Average Age: 27
Average Work Experience: 5 years
Rolling Admissions: No
Women: 46%
International Students: 38%
Non-White Ethnicity: 52%
First Generation: 13%

A wealth of data can be found in the career placement reports:
HBS career placement report

HBS Important Dates
Round 1: September 6, 2023
Round 2: January 3, 2024


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