Harvard MBA Application Deadlines (2024-2025)

An overview of HBS' recently announced deadlines, application requirements, and decision deadlines for the 2024-2025 MBA application cycle.

Posted June 18, 2024

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Read on as we break down the MBA deadlines for the 2024-2025 application cycle.

HBS Application Deadlines (2024-2025)

Applications DueDecisions Released
Round 1September 4, 2024*December 10, 2024
Round 2January 6, 2025*March 26, 2025
2+2 Deferred MBA**- -

*All applications for the MBA Class of 2027 must be submitted online by 12pm EST. All applications received after September 4, 2024, will be considered Round 2 while applications received after January 6, 2025, will not be considered.

**Harvard Business School will update the application dates for the 2025 2+2 deferred admission process in late summer 2024.

HBS also stresses that the application round is a distinct period in which you can apply, not a succession of steps for your application. You can only apply for one round each application year.

For more info on the 2+2 program, head to An Overview of the HBS 2+2 Program: And How to Kick Off Your Application

Which Application Round Should You Apply To?

The general rule of thumb is that the earlier you apply, the better. As each round passes, there are fewer spots available. Typically, we recommend applying to Round 1 if you can. If you have less time to prepare, apply to your top choices in Round 1 and leave Round 2/3 for the backups.

The caveat to this is that if applying in a later round means significantly improving your application, it may be worth it. Applying earlier gives you an advantage, but that advantage will be moot if your application is not as good as it could be.

Still not sure which round is right for you? Read An Overview of the MBA Admissions Rounds: When to Apply to Business School.

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When Are Interview Invitations Released?

Harvard Business School does not directly share the dates during which they begin to extend interview invitations, though students who have received such invites report that they are released at the following times, depending on each round:

  • Round 1 Interviews: Early October to mid-November
  • Round 2 Interviews: End of January to the beginning of March

What to Expect During Your HBS Interview

Your interview will last about 30 minutes and will be conducted either via Zoom or in person with a member of the MBA Admissions Committee. During the interview, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your experiences, aspirations, and why you believe HBS is the right fit for you. It's a chance for the admissions team to get to know you better beyond your application materials.

Remember, the interview is your chance to show your passion, personality, and readiness for the HBS MBA program. Be authentic, be yourself, and be prepared to engage in a meaningful conversation about your goals and experiences. The best way to prepare for an interview is to realistically practice ahead of time, and we highly recommend doing so with an expert.

For more advice, read our article, How to Ace the HBS MBA Interview.

The Post-Interview Reflection

After your interview, you’ll be asked to complete a 300 to 450-word Post-Interview Reflection. Keep in mind, however, that this is not another formal essay; think of it more as a chance to reflect on your interview experience. You’ll also have 24 hours to submit the reflection to the online application system, so take some time to let the interview sink in before you begin.

One key note: The admissions committee has said that they will be much more generous in their reaction to typos and grammatical errors than with ‘pre-packaged responses.’ That being said, any reflections that look like they were written before your interview will immediately be flagged.

If you're looking for more advice on how to nail the Post-Interview Reflection, read the following article written by one of our expert coaches: How to Write a Powerful HBS Post-Interview Reflection.

MBA Coach Recommendations

To give yourself the best chance of admission to HBS, we highly recommend working one-on-one with a coach. They’ll be able to provide personalized tips and guidance that are customized to your background and goals. Below are some of our top coaches, browse all of them here.

HBS MBA Application Overview (2024-2025)

In order to apply to HBS, you will need the following materials (keep in mind that these may differ slightly if you are a reapplicant, joint degree applicant, or deferred MBA applicant):

Transcripts

Applicants to Harvard Business School must provide transcripts showing the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Some degrees from international universities that offer three-year baccalaureate degrees are valid as well. At the time of application, you can upload unofficial transcripts, but you’ll need to submit an official copy upon an offer of admission.

Standardized Test Scores

HBS expects applicants to submit scores from either the GMAT or GRE within specific timeframes aligned with the application rounds. If you are applying for R1, you must have taken the GMAT or GRE on or between September 6, 2018 and September 6, 2023. If you are applying for Round 2, you must have taken one of them on or between January 3, 2019 and January 3, 2024.

Next, read GMAT vs. GRE: Which to Take and How to Ace Both

English Language Proficiency Tests

If you did not attend an undergraduate institution where the sole language of instruction is English, you must demonstrate your English proficiency through recognized tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson Test of English, or Duolingo English Test. If you completed a graduate degree in English, it’s recommended that you submit one, but not required.

Essay

HBS only has one essay prompt for the Class of 2026 application: 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? (900 words)

The essay prompt is one of the most important parts of your application as it gives you the opportunity to explain why Harvard Business School is the right fit for you. For advice on writing your essay, read our article, A Guide to the HBS Essay.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required to be submitted online or mailed in by the time you turn in your full application. While there are no strict requirements regarding who should write these letters, recommenders should be chosen based on their ability to provide insightful and detailed assessments of the applicant’s qualifications and potential for success in the MBA program. While professional relationships are often preferred, personal relationships with mentors or supervisors can also offer valuable perspectives.

Learn more at: How to Get the Perfect MBA Recommendation Letter

Resume

Your resume should highlight your professional trajectory, including key achievements, responsibilities, and skills acquired throughout your career. It serves as a snapshot of your professional journey and provides context for your MBA candidacy.

Read: How to Craft the Ultimate MBA Resume

MBA Resume Examples

Download this free resource to see resume examples from MBA admits to top programs

Fee

There is a non-refundable application fee of $250. 2+2 applicants have a reduced fee of $100.

To continue on your HBS MBA application journey, read Harvard Business School–MBA Program and Application Overview and How I Got Into Harvard Business School With Low Test Scores.

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