HBS Acceptance Rates By GMAT & GPA

Other HBS Acceptance Rate Insights


The round you apply in does have an impact on your chance of being accepted at HBS. Applying in a later round significantly reduces your chance of admission. The data for round 3 is not statistically significant due to the low sample size, but I wouldn’t risk applying in round 3 unless you have a godly application.

Harvard Acceptance Rate by Round HBS MBA Admissions

If you want to maximize your chances of getting into Harvard, then be sure to apply during round 1. Additional work experience does increase your odds of getting into Harvard by a small amount, roughly .5% per year. I’m sure many may wonder about the 2+2 program that allows undergraduates to apply to HBS and then collect two years of work experience before showing up on campus for the MBA program? My analysis could not clearly identify candidates who are applying through the 2+2 program. However, I can tell you that of the 59 people in my sample who are 24 years old or younger, none were admitted. So although it is possible to get in if you are younger, it certainly is more challenging.

Next I’ll mention a few factors that are out of your control in the short term but should be known so you can plan accordingly. Similar to Wharton, applicants who are applying from India have a lower chance of admissions, only 1.5% of applicants from India are accepted. Applicants who majored in finance also have a significantly lower chance of being admitted, only 2%. And finally applicants who have worked in venture capital or the military have a much higher admissions rate, 16% and 17% respectively.

Update: I took a quick look to see if I could predict acceptance rate accurately for people who were already selected for an interview. The only factors that had any predictive power were round, age and major. The average acceptance rate is 49%, with older candidates doing a little better with about a 7% higher acceptance rate for someone a year older than average. Round 2 applicants had a 37% acceptance rate, while round one had a 57% chance. And finally, applicants who majored in finance had a 16% chance of admittance. In the end, it is very difficult to predict admissions for candidates once they have been invited to interview, which suggests that at Harvard the interview actually matters.

Wayne Atwell's data analysis are certainly entertaining

Wayne Atwell’s data analysis are certainly entertaining

Author Wayne Atwell is a second-year MBA student at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Passionate about numbers and analysis, he analyzes info from GMAT Club forums, plugs them into Excel spreadsheets and comes up with all kinds of odds and stats. He blogs at MBADataGuru.com.


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