Harvard | Ms. Analytical Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Non-Profit Latino
GMAT 710, GPA 3.06
Darden | Mr. Financial World
GMAT 730, GPA 7.8
Cambridge Judge Business School | Ms. Story-Teller To Data-Cruncher
GMAT 700 (anticipated), GPA 3.5 (converted from Australia)
Kellogg | Mr. Operator
GMAT 740, GPA 4.17/4.3
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Air Force Vet
GRE 311, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Engagement Manager
GMAT 700, GPA 3.2
London Business School | Mr. Family Investment Fund
GMAT 790, GPA 3.0
Columbia | Mr. M&A Analyst
GRE 323, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Top Performer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. STEM Minor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
Harvard | Mr. Fresh Perspective
GRE 318, GPA 3.0
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 2.1
HEC Paris | Mr. Productivity Focused
GMAT 700, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Transition
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Harvard | Mr. Sommelier
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Kellogg | Ms. Strategic Photographer
GRE 318 (to retake), GPA 3.68
INSEAD | Ms. Social Business
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
Harvard | Mr. MBB Latino Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Wharton | Mr. African Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Hedge Funder
GMAT 790, GPA 3.82
London Business School | Mr. College Dropout
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Healthcare AI
GRE 366, GPA 3.91

Rejected By Harvard Business School. Can You Believe It?

Mr. Engineering Doctor


  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.5 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school in engineering
  • Currently a medical student at a Top 30 school on a full-ride
  • Work experience includes two years of research experience at top name-brand organizations and one year as a medical student rotator
  • Letters of Recommendation written by his direct supervisor at previous and current jobs
  • Essay focused on the patient who motivated him to go into hospital administration.
  • Extracurriculars include a medical mission trip abroad. “I helped fundraise $20k for a charity.
  • “I thought my profile would be sort of unique, but I also wonder if I need to rack up more work experience. I am thinking about re-applying later down the road in residency. Does that seem reasonable?”

Sandy’s Analysis: I’m no expert on MD-MBA applicants but HBS does have a very well established dual-degree program with HMS that includes its own timelines and other special features.

See this: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/aca…

I suppose it is possible for applicants from OTHER medical schools than HMS to get admitted to HBS and pursue if not a “joint” degree, well, both degrees. The above link, which is pretty darn frosty and dis-inviting, recognizes that but assumes you are earlier in your training. My guess is, those applicants are rare and have very powerful stories, so the bar is really high.

One person who recently passed the bar–for HBS, not Harvard Law–was a resident physician at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He just entered the fall class of MBAs and was profiled by Poets&Quants here. He applied as a resident surgeon so it’s possible that you could be in a better position to get an invite then.

Also, the Kennedy School has a robust public health program that might interest you, although the school’s website is a titanic iceberg of jargon.


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.