harvard mba average age

Last Updated on August 27, 2022 by

Harvard Business School employs some of the best and brightest business minds in the world. HBS students come to campus with deep academic credentials and diverse business experience in a myriad of industries. What many people are unaware of, however, is that HBS maintains one of the lowest average ages (31) of any MBA program in the world.

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When it comes to the ideal age to enter a highly ranked MBA program, there’s little variance. Some 18 of of the 25 highest ranked MBAs in the U.S. boast an average age of exactly 28 years. The exceptions? Stanford, Harvard, Virginia Darden and Michigan Ross are just a year younger at 27, while the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business are a year older at 29.

Averages, of course, are just that: averages. At Stanford, the average 28-year-old first-year MBA student brings 53 months of work experience into the classroom (by the way that is the least amount of work experience of any top 25 program). But the actual range at Stanford is between zero and 14 years which would likely make the oldest person to enter the GSB this year 37 or 38 years old. That is clearly an outlier, no doubt a military veteran who is using the MBA to make a transition into civilian life.

It’s not all that different at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where the age range is between zero and 16 years, making the oldest student in the newly entered Class of 2021 close to or at 40 years of age. At Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, the average amount of work experience is 5.7 years though the median is a bit shorter at 5.1 years. The middle 80th percentile of the latest entering class in 2019 is between three years and 8.3 years.

AVERAGE AGE OF ENTERING MBAS: WHY FULL-TIME MBA PROGRAMS PREFER 20-SOMETHINGS

At many of the European business schools, the average age tends to run a little higher. INSEAD, for example, boasts an average age of 29 with six years of work experience. But 22% of INSEAD’s latest class of 1,020 MBA students boast over seven years of work experience, while just 5% have three or fewer years of work experience on their resumes. The 497 students in London Business School’s MBA Class of 2021, meantime, average five years of work experience but range from a low of two to a high of 14 years.

The youngest average age for a Top 50 MBA in the U.S.? That distinction belongs to the entering MBAs at two public universities: the University of Florida and the University of Georgia where the average age is 26, with just 41 and 39 months of work experience, respectively

Why do full-time MBA programs prefer 20-somethings? It’s because they have just the right amount of experience in the world of work to make valuable contributions in class yet are not entirely set in their ways. They are open to learning and changing which makes them ideal students in a full-time MBA program. But the numbers also reflect the self-selecting nature of an MBA applicant pool. Truth is, there are far more applicants to full-time programs who are in the 26 to 28 age range so it only goes to reason that more of them will be admitted and enrolled.

Harvard Mba Average Age

Is 35 too old for Harvard MBA?

A sizable group of 153 students, or 16.4%, entered at the age of 25, with three years of work behind them. … Only 7.2%, or 67 students in the Class of 2017, entered Harvard’s MBA program at age 30 or above, with eight to more than ten years of work experience. So once you hit 30, the odds quickly diminish for an admit.

Is there an age limit for MBA in Harvard?

The oldest candidates in Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other top schools for Full-time MBA programs are in the 37-38 year age group. They are in the minority.

harvard mba requirements

Harvard Business School Admission Deadlines 2023

Most students apply to Harvard Business School for the globally recognized MBA program. Applications are submitted round wise and the school has two rounds. Some application deadlines for top programs at the institute are as follows:

Harvard Business School Application Deadlines

ProgramApplication Deadline
M.B.ARound 2 Deadline[4 Jan, 2023], Round 2 Admission Decision[29 Mar, 2023], Round 1 Deadline[7 Sep, 2022], Round 1 Admission Decision[8 Dec, 2022]
M.B.A EntrepreneurshipRound1 Deadline[7 Sep, 2022], Round 2 Deadline[4 Jan, 2023]
M.Sc/M.B.A Biotechnology – Life SciencesFall Application Deadline[1 Jan, 2023], Winter Application Deadline[1 Nov, 2022]
M.B.A FinanceRound 2 Deadline[28 Apr, 2022], Round 2 Admission Decision[1 Jul, 2022]

Harvard Business School Admission Decision

Harvard Business School generally announces its decision within 3 months after the application deadline. For MBA applicants decision date will be as follows-

  • For Round 1 – December 8, 2022
  • For round 2 – March 29, 2023

Students, who have submitted a 2+2 application for deferred admission in HBS MBA program will be notified about the interview in June 2022, if selected.

Harvard Business School Graduate Admissions

Most of the applicants applying for admission at Harvard Business School are interested in the MBA program. The institute also offers executive education to applicants from countries like China and India.


Source: HBS

Application Portal: Online Application, Application Fee: USD 250 (INR 19,490)

Basic Admission Requirements:

  • A degree equivalent to a four-year degree in the United States of America. A three-year degree is also considered equivalent for the same.
  • Official transcripts (translated into English).
  • GMAT scores: 730 or above (ranging 590-790)
  • Proof of English Language proficiency
    • TOEFL iBT – Minimum 109
    • IELTS – Minimum 7.5
    • PTE – Minimum 75
    • Duolingo – Minimum 130
  • GRE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Essay
  • Interview (for MBA program)

M.B.A at Harvard Business School

In last admission cycle, a total of 732 students took admission in MBA at Harvard Business School. The enrollments represented 61 countries and 232 universities all together. HBS had also seen 44% women enrollments last year.

International Enrollment Statistics 2021


Source: HBS

Specific Admission Requirements:

The different requirements for admission to both the MBA and Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School are mentioned in the table below:

RequirementsMaster of Business AdministrationExecutive Programs
Application Fee$100 ~ 7,796 INR (2+2 applicants) $250 ~ 19,490 INR (non 2+2 applicants)No Fee
Academic Requirements4-year bachelor’s degree or equivalentNot Required
Work ExperienceRecommended (Minimum 5 years)Required (Minimum 10 years of work experience)
TranscriptsRequiredNot applicable
GRE/GMATRequiredNot applicable
English Proficiency requirementsTOEFL iBT: 109 IELTS: 7.5 PTE: 75TOEFL iBT: 109
SOPRequiredRecommended
LOR for USATwo Reference letters are requiredOne required, from either a senior executive or a Harvard Business School graduate
ResumeRequiredRequired
InterviewOn invitationOn invitation

Harvard Business School PhD Admissions

Harvard Business School offers PhD in 8 main areas of Business Management which includes Management, Marketing, Strategy, and Health Policy among others. Currently, around 134 students are enrolled on Harvard Business School doctoral programs. Out of this, 45% are international students.


Source: HBS

Candidates with only a bachelor’s degree can apply for a PhD program at Harvard Business School. Undergraduate applicants in their final year are also eligible to take part in the admissions process.

Application Portal: Online, Application Fee: USD 105 (INR 8,147)

Admission requirements for PhD at HBS:

  • Completed online application form
  • Academic transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • English language proficiency test scores
    • TOEFL-iBT: Minimum 109
  • Three letters of recommendation ( at least one should be an academic letter of reference)
  • Optional writing sample (no more than 10 pages)

US Visa for International Students

International students, who do not have US citizenship need to apply for a US Student Visa. Applicants need to show proof of their financial stability to procure the I-20 form, which proves that they have enough funds to afford education in the USA. Form I-20 or DS-2019 is issued only to students who have been accepted for admission to the institute.

Most students need an F-1 student visa. However, if you are applying for executive education at HBS, you should request a 90 day B1/B2 visa.

Visa Application Process –

  • Receive I-20 or DS-2019 form from Harvard
  • Pay the SEVIS fee using a credit card online
  • Complete the DS-160 form
  • Apply for the visa
  • Schedule interview with the US consulate and embassy

The following documents are required to apply for a visa:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20/DS-2019
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Proof of funding

Note: The Harvard school you are applying for will assist you in your visa application process more than the Harvard International Office that provides only basic information on the same.

Admissions at Harvard Business School are offered based on the seats available in each program. The admissions committee meets every month and reviews applications. Applicants are intimidated regarding their application status via email. While securing admissions to Harvard Business School may be difficult, getting in would give a major boost to the career of a student. With a secure future, students will have a plethora of fields in business to explore and grow.

harvard mba fees

2021-2022 Cost of Attendance: Class of 2022 and Class of 2023

SINGLEMARRIEDMARRIED
WITH ONE CHILD
MARRIED
WITH TWO CHILDREN
TUITION$73,440$73,440$73,440$73,440
HUHS STUDENT HEALTH FEE (SHF)$1,242$1,242$1,242$1,242
STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN (SHIP)$4,040$4,040$4,040$4,040
HUSHP FOR STUDENT SPOUSES/DEPENDENTS$0$8,306$12,720$14,938
COURSE & PROGRAM MATERIALS FEE$2,550$2,550$2,550$2,550
ROOM & UTILITIES (9 MONTHS)$14,340*
($1,593/mo)
$22,380**
($2,487/mo)
$28,780***
($3,198/mo)
$28,780
($3,198/mo)
LIVING EXPENSES (9 MONTHS)$15,930
($1,770/mo)
$20,270
($2,252/mo)
$25,280
($2,809/mo)
$30,310
($3,368/mo)
TOTAL$111,542$132,228$148,052$155,300
COMPUTER (VARIABLE; NOT INCLUDED IN ABOVE BUDGETS)$1,500$1,500$1,500$1,500

*based on average area market rate for 2 bedroom apartment w/roommate
**based on average area market rate for 1 bedroom apartment
***based on average area market rate for 2 bedroom apartment

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