Harvard Online MBA

Harvard Online MBA: Program Overview and Admissions Requirements

Harvard Online MBA: Program Overviews and Admissions Requirements


If you’re like many people, you might think that Harvard only accepts applicants from its on-campus MBA program. But in reality, Harvard also offers an online version of the MBA program that is Harvard Online MBA, which is suitable for students who want to work while pursuing their degree or students who live too far away from Harvard to commute back and forth every day. 

This article discussed everything prospective students need to know about the Harvard Online MBA program, including its admissions requirements and how it’s designed to fit with your life and career goals.

The Benefits of Harvard Online MBA

The Harvard Business School offers some of the most highly regarded business degrees in America. 

The school has a reputation for being especially rigorous and even intimidating to prospective students. An online degree from Harvard, however, offers all of that prestige without any of that intimidation. 

Students are able to participate fully in all coursework through their laptops or computers at any time of day or night – studying what they want, when they want. 

They can study with other students or on their own schedule which affords flexibility and independence. There is no better way to earn a degree from one of America’s most esteemed schools than by pursuing an online degree from Harvard Business School! Learn more about earning your MBA today! 

So how does attending Harvard Online differ from taking courses on campus? Many aspects remain exactly the same, but there are also several key differences you should know before you decide if it’s right for you.

 Let’s take a look at some of these benefits now so you can determine if it makes sense to pursue an online degree in business administration. 

First, class sizes will vary depending on each professor’s preferences. Large lectures may have up to 300+ students whereas classes may be as small as 15-20 depending on its subject area and popularity. 

As such, interacting with classmates may be difficult but almost every professor will use social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to discuss material throughout each week.

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Harvard Online MBA admission requirements

There are three ways to apply for Harvard Business School’s Full-Time MBA program. 

  • The first way is through their rolling admissions process, in which candidates can apply at any time during or after completing their undergraduate degrees. 
  • The second way is by applying directly after earning an undergraduate degree from a recognized college or university, which will allow you to begin your studies within one year of graduation. 
  • Finally, you can also apply after several years in industry through a transfer application, though specific admission requirements vary depending on your professional experience. 

If you are interested in Harvard Business School’s part-time evening program, please visit their evening MBA page on their website for more information. 

For online learning options, please visit Harvard Extension School’s online MBA program page on their official website. For general inquiries about HBS’ Full-Time MBA programs, please email the school with

Please note that applicants should not contact faculty members directly regarding admissions decisions. All applicants who meet minimum eligibility criteria will be considered equally, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. 

Harvard Business School does not have a preference for any particular undergraduate major; however, all applicants must have completed at least two years of full-time study (or its equivalent) before beginning their graduate work. 

Applicants may take up to five years after graduating from college to complete their applications. Once admitted, students typically spend two summers studying at Harvard Business School before starting work as full-time students in September.

While there is no set number of courses required for admission into Harvard Business School’s Full-Time MBA program, all candidates must demonstrate proficiency in basic business concepts such as accounting and finance, economics and statistics.

What’s Required Before Enrolling in an Online Business School?

Harvard Business School is ranked as one of the best business schools in America, with a reputation for having some of the top business minds teach students about innovation, strategy, marketing, finance, and more.

But if you want to be accepted into Harvard’s MBA program in Boston, you’ll need to meet a few requirements before you apply for admission. 

The Harvard Online MBA program offers many of these same courses without that hefty price tag, but how do you know if an online business school will prepare you for life at HBS?

The following information may be helpful when applying to Harvard University or other competitive graduate programs. All applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. 

This can be either a four-year undergraduate degree or five-year combined bachelor’s/master’s degree (if your undergraduate institution does not offer business administration degrees). 

Students who have not yet completed their undergraduate studies should have completed all prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation.

How Much Does an Online MBA Cost?

Generally, online business master’s programs cost between $50,000 and $100,000. While that seems like a lot of money to pay for an education, keep in mind that Harvard charges around $60K for its traditional MBA program.

It’s not unreasonable to assume that Harvard provides a similar experience in an online format as it does with its face-to-face approach. 

That said, there are some important differences you should know about before making your decision. For example, Harvard Business School is well known for having one of the most difficult admissions processes in all of higher education. 

In fact, only 10% of applicants get accepted each year (compared to 30% at Stanford University). On top of that, HBS offers full scholarships to anyone who gets accepted, so if you don’t get accepted, no worries!

You won’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket. If you do get accepted into their program though, it may be worth paying a few thousand dollars more per year than if you were attending school on campus.

2 Harvard Online MBA Programs to Help me Boost Your Career

The Harvard Business School is offering three online MBA programs for professionals with prior work experience who want to advance their career. 

It’s a great opportunity for you to take your career to new heights. If you’re interested in learning more about these programs, keep reading! 

You might be surprised at how much time it takes to complete each program. But don’t worry, you can finish on your own schedule.

In fact, many students enrolling in an online program say they prefer it because they can balance schoolwork with other commitments like family or a full-time job. 

This flexibility makes an online degree especially appealing if you’re looking to make some changes but aren’t sure exactly what those changes should be yet. 

To learn more about how an online MBA from Harvard can help you get ahead at work and reach your professional goals, read on! 

  • The Executive MBA For Professionals with prior work experience: 

Designed specifically for working professionals, the Executive MBA program will allow you to earn your degree entirely online while continuing to pursue a successful career.

After all, that’s why you’re seeking out an executive education option in the first place! Classes are offered through weekend sessions over two years so that busy working professionals can still attend without compromising their careers. 

Even better? The entire course of study is completed at once so that when you graduate from HBS’ Executive MBA program, you’ll have no unfinished business left behind. 

  • The Part-Time MBA For Professionals With Prior Work Experience: 

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree and just need a few more courses to fill in any gaps in your knowledge base, then an online part-time MBA may be right for you. 

As long as you have several years of work experience under your belt, you could qualify for one of Harvard Business School’s two part-time MBAs. 

Both programs feature five core courses along with additional electives chosen by students themselves, meaning there are plenty of options available to fit around your existing schedule and interests. 

Both also offer evening classes Monday through Thursday (with Saturdays off) so that students can continue working during class times.

Harvard online MBA program overview

Harvard University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of their most popular graduate business programs in terms of applicants each year. 

With a location in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a student population that spans over 100 countries, it’s easy to see why many students choose to earn their degree online. 

Harvard offers two traditional-length residential programs, including a 5-week summer study program at Harvard Business School as well as an 11-month Global Executive format in which courses are offered over four 8-week sessions plus an 8-week summer session. 

They also offer non-residential (online) program formats for both full time students as well as students with demanding jobs who require flexibility in scheduling coursework around work demands. 

Students may also apply for a part-time residency program if they prefer to take classes face-to-face on campus. In addition, Harvard also offers a one-year dual degree option with their JD/MBA or MD/MBA programs. 

The school has a low acceptance rate of 13% and requires GRE scores from all applicants. The admissions committee will review all applications holistically, but you can expect them to place more emphasis on your undergraduate GPA than your GMAT score when evaluating your application. 

The school uses an interview process that consists of three rounds of initial screening by phone, followed by interviews at HBS Boston and finally interviews with members of your prospective departmental faculty team.

There is no essay component required for admission into Harvard’s online MBA program; however, there are optional essays available during application submission in order to provide additional information about yourself and your background. 

For example, you might want to write about how you overcame adversity or what experiences have prepared you for success in business school. 

Students applying to Harvard’s online MBA program should be aware that space is limited. Each cohort has approximately 60 students, so even though there are multiple start dates throughout the year, space fills up quickly. 

Be sure to submit your application early! Prospective students should note that because HBS does not have any evening or weekend class offerings, working professionals looking for evening and weekend options will need to look elsewhere.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Graduate Degree in Business Administration?

It all depends on whether you’re earning a full-time or part-time degree. Students who are able to dedicate themselves completely to their studies might be able to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in less than two years. 

For those students whose careers take priority, though, earning an online MBA can take as long as four years. Even if you earn your online graduate business degree at half time, you’ll still need an extra year or two. 

As such, it’s important to understand your potential classmates’ schedules as well as how much work you’re willing to put into your coursework before deciding which program is right for you.

What Is the Application Process Like for Pursuing a Graduate Degree in Business Administration?

Generally, to apply for an online MBA program, you must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university. 

Additionally, admissions committees generally require applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores, transcripts from all previous institutions attended and three letters of recommendation.

Business schools weigh these components when considering candidates; however, programs may vary in required material. For instance, some schools require essays while others do not. 

And still others prefer portfolio-style projects that demonstrate your interest in business and innovation. You should contact each school’s admissions office directly with questions about their respective application processes and materials they request from applicants. 

Most programs also accept international students, but requirements can vary widely by institution. Some schools offer English as a Second Language courses as part of their curriculum; others use English proficiency exams such as TOEFL or IELTS. If English is not your first language, be sure to research these types of options before applying to an MBA program. What 

Are My Admission Chances?:

 To give yourself a good chance at acceptance into an online MBA program, you’ll need strong grades and test scores along with substantial work experience in fields related to business administration. Programs typically require at least two years of full-time work experience within five years of application date. 

However, many graduate schools allow candidates who lack adequate professional experience to substitute one year of relevant part-time work for every six months of full-time experience. Your personal statement, the essay question on most applications is critical because it gives you a chance to explain why you want an MBA, how it will help advance your career goals and what makes you stand out among other applicants.

Can I Switch Between Full-Time, Part-Time, and Executive Programs at Harvard’s ONLINE Division if I’m Already Enrolled as a Full-Time Student?


Students can switch from one program to another as needed, provided they apply for admission at least six weeks before beginning their new program. 

Note that students who want to switch into a part-time program will need to submit two recommendation letters from managers or previous colleagues; applicants switching into an executive degree are also asked to submit two recommendations from people familiar with their past work (for example, senior level managers or owners of companies they have worked for in recent years). 

In addition, you will need permission from your existing school’s dean or director. You may also be required to meet other requirements depending on your current status.

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