McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tough Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 2.68

Harvard MBA Dings Out Oct. 1: ‘Feel Like I’m Going To Puke’

Harvard Business School’s iconic Baker Library

Round one applicants to Harvard Business School’s MBA program will find out whether they’ve been rejected, waitlisted or invited to interview on Oct. 1 at noon EST–and nervous round one candidates are already crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, even though it means that thousands will be dinged in less than a week.

The school announced today (Sept. 25)  that candidates who will go to the interview round will be able to sign up for interview slots on the following day, Oct. 2, at 10 a.m. EST. This year’s process is somewhat new. “In the past, we sent out interviews in waves in order to better manage the interview sign-up process,” wrote Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid in a blog post.

“We know that was hard to wait through multiple days. So we are doing it altogether this year, and we believe that we have a good process in place to manage the interview sign-ups all at once. But, may I ask for your patience if we need to work through any unanticipated challenges.”


That message was greeted with approval by some MBA admission consultants. “It’s such a relief that the invitations are going out on one day only,” says Betsy Massar, founder of Master Admissions, a leading MBA admissions consulting firm. “One-and-done seems to be harsh, but the anxiety might be worse. We’re glad to know the dates, but as one of my clients wrote, ‘That is terrifying. Its rather peaceful not knowing.’  Another, less euphemistically wrote, ‘Already feel like I’m going to puke. Fingers crossed I suppose.'”

Added another client, who is reapplying to HBS after being rejected last year, ” I actually don’t want to know. Am not gonna click the link!! Last year I couldn’t sleep for like a week before that, so I’d rather have it just surprise me in my inbox and have no idea of the date!”

Though Losee declined to say what percentage of HBS’ applicant pool submitted their applications in the first round last year, MBA admission consultants estimate that it’s roughly a third of the 9,228 candidates in the 2018-2019 pool. In a typical year, fewer than two of every ten applicants are interviewed by an HBS admissions staffer.


Overall, those interviews account for roughly twice the number of applicants Harvard will eventully admit into its MBA program which had an acceptance rate of 12% last year. A back-of-the-envelope calculation on those numbers indicates that HBS will likely reject well more than 2,400 of its round one applicants on Tuesday.

An earlier analysis of public data on GMAT Club suggested that HBS applicants with GMATs of under 700 have just a 5% chance of getting an MBA interview. The rates double for those with GMAT scores between 700 and 730 to 10%, while about 13% gain a sit-down with admissions if their GMAT score is 740 or above (see Odds Of Landing An Interview At Top Business Schools). The median GMAT score at HBS for an enrolled MBA student is 730.

According to Losee, there are “three possibilities” for round one applicants:

  • Invite to interview – this is good news!
  • Further consideration – also positive! This is a small group of strong applicants that we ask to wait with us until Round 2, at which point we will review your application again. More info on this process will be shared with you directly if you receive “further consideration” news.
  • Early release – unfortunately, we are not able to move you forward in the process. Our hope is by letting you know this news early on in the process you can move forward with other plans.


This year HBS will have only two rounds, just as it did last year. The round two deadline, which typically attracts the largest group of applicants, is Jan. 6th, 2020. The school’s 2+2 deferred admissions round deadline is April 2.

Applications to Harvard Business School‘s MBA program fell for the second consecutive year by 6.7% to 9,228 applicants in 2018-2019 from 9,886 a year earlier. Over the past two years, Harvard has lost 1,123 applicants, representing a 10.8% slide in applications, from 10,351 in 2017-2018 when applicants topped 6% the 10,000-mark for the first time since 2002.




About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.