Harvard Full-time MBA is a 24-month program with the latest class enrolling 913 students in the Boston Campus. The full-time MBA is a residential program with a focus on hands-on experience through the Case Study Method and FIELD projects. By encouraging students to exercise their knowledge on real-world problems, Harvard Business Schools has created a learning environment that encourages Entrepreneurship and leadership. Even though the class size is huge compared to other top MBA programs, the school leadership has set up small learning groups of 80-90, to mimic the efficiency of lean teams.
Harvard MBA Curriculum
The Harvard MBA Curriculum is divided into Year One Spring & Fall, and Year Two Spring & Fall schedules. During Year One Fall, HBS MBA students follow a common curriculum - Finance 1, Financial Reporting and Control, Marketing, Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD), Technology and Operations Management, FIELD Foundation in Leadership and Field 2: Global Intelligence.
Year One - Fall
Finance 1 is the classic Finance course that teaches MBA students how organizations create value through informed Finance decisions.
Financial Reporting and Control familiarizes students with the vocabulary of accounting and teaches them to communicate in the language of accounting.
Marketing course enables students to think about marketing from the context of General Management and teaches them to control the marketing mix: pricing, distribution, and product.
Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD): is the classic Harvard MBA course that teaches students how to transform from a Manager to a Leader by understanding group dynamics, motivations, and professional relationships.
Technology and Operations Management: With the course, students get an in-depth understanding of how operations and technology contribute in the timely release of products, and satisfactory delivery of services.
FIELD Foundations(Leadership): The foundation course on leadership that divides the MBA class to small flexible teams called “hives,” and pushes them to think beyond the obvious, and transform themselves to self-aware leaders with a deeper emotional intelligence.
Field 2 (Global Intelligence): The first real-world experience for Harvard MBA students happen through Field 2 course where they are required to develop solutions for Global partners.
The required curriculum extends to Year one – spring. The schedule includes Strategy and Entrepreneurship courses with course that offer a deeper study of Leadership and Finance.
Year One – Spring
Business, Government, and the International Economy (BGIE): Instead of looking at Businesses as isolated entities, Harvard MBA students will learn how politics, exchange rate, international trade laws, balance of payment and FDI impact Businesses, and their profit forecast.
Strategy: Students will learn to formulate strategies that sustain competitive advantage for their companies by understanding risks from uncertain market conditions, predicting competitor’s behavior, and studying industries with the latest analytics tool.
The Entrepreneurial Manager (TEM): HBS MBA students will get the first glimpse of Entrepreneurship through the TEM Course that teaches them to spot opportunities, turn them into viable organizations, manage and grow them into sustainable enterprises.
Finance 2: develops on the Foundation created with the Finance 1 course by focusing on developing skills for operating financial analysis tools, understanding complexities of deals and financial transactions, and make financial policy decisions based on the health and competitive advantage of the company.
Leadership and Corporate Accountability (LCA): demonstrates how personal values can play a major role in leadership and culture of the company. The course familiarizes students with the complexities of leadership decisions from three contexts: legal, ethical and economic.
FIELD 3 Integrative: The first two FIELD courses gave the students the real-world experience required to develop competitive solutions. With the FIELD 3 Integrative intelligence course, students must leverage the first-year learning experience, and start their microbusinesses.
Year Two – Fall & Spring
To develop the expertise in a chosen field, HBS MBA students can take up to 5 courses per semester from 120 course in 10 subject areas: Accounting and Management, Business, Government & the International Economy, Entrepreneurial Management, Finance, General Management, Marketing, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets, Organizational Behavior, Strategy, and Technology & Operations Management.
Cross-Registration: As part of the 2nd year schedule, students can cross-register for up to two courses for the graduate program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and the Sloan School of Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
HBS Case Method
Harvard Business School has transformed the case study method by presenting real scenarios, supported by data about markets, competitors, limitations, and timeline. Students have to read, reflect on the case, and discuss the problem statement before the actual class begins. In the class, students lead 85% of the conversation while the professor steers the conversation by making occasional observations. By moving away from a traditional lecture-based learning system, HBS Case Method leverages the diverse experience of the HBS class. With 50% of student’s grade depending on the quality of class participation, the incentive to contribute in the class is high.
Harvard MBA Class profile
For the Class of 2016, Harvard Full-time MBA program received 9,543 applications but admitted only 936 students – a 12% acceptance rate. The program has maintained high barrier of entry academically with the GMAT median for the class at 730 and average GPA at 3.67. Women found an increasing representation in the class with 41%. International students found 35% representation in the class with Asians constituting the highest representation at 14% followed by Europeans at 9%.
The 41% representation of MBAs with Business/Economics background might be a reversal in trends from the traditional majority of Humanities and Social Science students, whose representation fell to 19%. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Management) MBAs maintained the 2nd position with 40% representation in the class.
17% of the MBA class had experience in Venture Capital and Private Equity and 14% in financial services, taking the total percentage of the class with Pre-MBA experience in Finance to 31% - a representation much higher than Consulting (18%) and High-Tech (13%). This might be one reason why post-MBA, 42% accepted offer in Financial Services Industry and the highest percentage were placed in a Finance Job Function (26%).
Harvard MBA Expense
The total cost for a Harvard MBA student varies depending on the number of co-dependents. For a single student, the cost is approximately $190,000, while, for a couple, it is $221,800. The total cost can go up to $262,000 for a Married couple with 2 Children. This is a rough estimate. The annual Tuition Fee for the Class of 2016 was $58,875 with Room & Utilities costing $1,283/month, and other personal expense including food budgeted at $1,551/month.
Harvard MBA Salary
For the Class of 2013, the median Base Salary was $120,000 with the lowest 25% of the class earning a median salary of $100,000 and highest 25% earning $135,000. Consulting industry attracted the best pay package at $135,000 median base salary, followed by Finance Services at $125,000. The lowest pay was cited by MBAs joining the non-profit with $90,000 median base salary. When you compare the job functions – consulting leads at $135,000 while Finance takes the second position with $125,000 median base salary.
The best data point to measure the impact of a top MBA program is the salary by location. For Harvard MBAs, International location fetched only $3000 less than the median Base Salary received in the United States – a trend that reduces the pressure for International HBS MBA students to find employment in the US. Interestingly, from the 35% International class, only 17% returned back to the host country. For the HBS Class of 2013, the majority (20%) found job opportunities in New York City and California Bay Area (16%).
To learn more about Harvard MBA Program and how it compares with other top MBA programs Download Comprehensive MBA Research Guide
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Download F1GMAT's Harvard MBA Essay Guide 2016-17
2018 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA
F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach.
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+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
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Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour
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