The 2014-2015 Harvard Business School Application

Posted By SWatts on Jun 10, 2014 |

From The Staff of MBA
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The 2014-2015 Harvard Business School Application

The new MBA admissions season is starting, and Harvard Business School has released its essay prompt and application dates for the 2014-2015 cycle.

Harvard Business School Application Deadlines

Harvard mandates that applicants apply only during one round each application year. Please note, the application for each round will close at 12 noon EST for each of the dates listed below. The application deadlines for the upcoming application cycle will be as follows: 

Round 1: September 9, 2014

Round 2: January 5, 2015

Round 3: April 6, 2015

Essay Requirements

There is only one essay prompt for the Harvard Business School Class of 2017, stated as follows:

Essay (optional): You’re applying to Harvard Business School.  We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you.  What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?

There is no word limit for this question.  We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.

The Harvard Business School application is arguably the most anticipated business school application each season. Last year, when Harvard introduced this question, it was seen as a very bold move by fellow business schools. Now, Harvard has become a trendsetter in admissions essay questions, setting the standard for “less is more”. In the past, Harvard Business School said that they would continue to change the admissions questions every year to continue challenging new classes. However, the admissions committee were so pleased with how applicants last year creatively responded that they decided to break their own credo and re-use last year’s question.

Officially, Harvard states that the essay is “optional”. Although the actual number of applicants that did respond to the essay prompt is unknown, we suspect that the number of applicants who chose to skip the essay question altogether is very low and quite a risky move.

Letters of Recommendation

All applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation, one of which should ideally be from a direct supervisor. Along with other questions, Harvard Business School has revealed two of the questions that will be required by recommenders:

1. How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)

2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

Additional Application Materials

In addition to the essay requirement, Harvard requires that all applicants submit with their application an unofficial GMAT or GRE test score (only the highest score is required to be submitted), an unofficial transcript, a TOEFL score if you did not attend an undergraduate institution where the sole language of instruction is English, and a $250 application fee.