How to get into harvard business school

Written by r.l. cultrona
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Harvard Business School is a graduate school that offers masters and doctorate degrees in the field of business. Located at Harvard University in Massachusetts, the school has high qualifications for entry and many students who apply do not get accepted (only 12 per cent of applicants were accepted for the class of 2010). These tips will guide you through the process of gaining entry to the school.

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Things you need

  • Bachelor's degree
  • GMAT or GRE test score
  • TOEFL test score
  • Current resume
  • Four Harvard Business School essay responses
  • Three recommendation letters
  • College transcripts
  • Harvard Business School Community Values Statement, signed
  • Statement of Application Integrity, signed
  • Application fee of £162

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  1. 1

    Graduate from college with a bachelor's degree. Since Harvard Business School is a graduate-school program, you will need to have obtained your bachelor's degree in some area of study. (There is no one field of study which is required for entry and any degree program will work).

  2. 2

    Aim for a good grade point average. The average GPA for the class of 2010 was 3.66. While the school will accept you if your GPA is lower, a high GPA will help you to stand out over other applicants.

  3. 3

    Fill out the introduction page on the Harvard Business School Web site ( This form signifies to the school your intent to apply. The school will then send you information about the application process and about events in your area.

  4. 4

    Take the GMAT or GRE test. The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a survey of your business-management skills. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) measures your verbal and quantitative-reasoning skills; critical thinking; and analytical-writing skills, The school uses these to get a sense of your academic skills. You can submit either GMAT or GRE test scores. For the class of 2010, the GMAT score range was 550-800, with the middle fifty per cent scoring in the 700-750 range. As with your GPA, a high score will set you apart from the other applicants.

    If you are an international student applying from a non-English undergraduate program, you will need to take the TOEFL, an English-proficiency test. Harvard Business School requires that you pass this test to prove that you can speak, read and write in English.

  5. 5

    Gather three letters of recommendation. These letters should contain the context of the relationship between you and the person writing the recommendation; any constructive feedback he or she has given you; and any additional information pertaining to your potential and performance.

  6. 6

    Submit your application online at the Harvard Business School Web site, You must provide answers to four essay questions (; a current resume; the three letters of recommendation; self-reported transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate academic institutions you attended; your GMAT or GRE scores; TOEFL score, if applicable; a signed Harvard Business School Community Values Statement; a signed and completed Statement of Application Integrity; and your £162 nonrefundable application fee.

  7. 7

    If there is interest in your application, the school will set up an interview with you to further discuss your potential and goals. These interviews will be conducted by the admissions board or by a group of alumni. They can be done at the school, over the phone, or in any domestic or international hub city.

    The nature of the interview does not indicate anything about the application status so don't worry if you are not invited to the school or if your interview is done over the telephone.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't think that your background or educational experience isn't enough for entry to the school. Harvard Business School looks at the application as a whole, as opposed to any one particular thing. Go ahead and apply.
  • Be prepared for the cost to attend Harvard Business School. For 2011, the projected costs for one student for one academic year is over £49,400.

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