When it comes to business schools, Harvard Business School always emerges as one of the top choices for many aspiring businessmen and entrepreneurs. This is the school that is famous throughout the world and is also one of the most respected. It has produced many of the past and present leaders in business and government. Harvard Business School is in fact the choice of the best students in the world and continues to be a beacon in quality business education.
The early years
Harvard Business School is also known as the George F. Baker Foundation and is sometimes referred to as HBS. Although it is known as an institution on its own, Harvard Business School is actually one of Harvard University’s graduate schools. It was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1908, with only 59 students. Two decades later, 500 students had enrolled.
In 1927, the business school was relocated to Allston, an area that is located on the opposite side of the Charles River from the University. Although pioneering in its curriculum offerings, it took Harvard Business School four more decades to begin admitting women to its business program. Today, women form 30-35% of the students currently enrolled in business programs at Harvard.
Harvard Business School programs
Harvard Business School offers several programs for would-be business leaders. These include:
The MBA program offered by HBS is a full-time, two-year program. The first year is spent completing the required curriculum consisting of mandatory courses. There are two semesters per curriculum, with each semester spent focused on specific topics. On the second year, the student can choose among the subjects offered in the elective curriculum. There are about 96 courses offered as electives and students can prioritize a course depending on their preferences and the availability of the classes. As an alternative, students can choose to finish certain field studies instead of attending class.
The doctoral program offered by HBS intends to develop people and prepare them for careers as teachers and researchers. Students entering the program who do not have a masters degree in business are required to complete a minimum of 5 courses included in the curriculum for MBAs.
The doctoral program at HBS is full-time, with a required minimum of 2 years for students to stay in residence. Students are expected to spend at least 2 years completing course work and another 2 years for dissertation. The doctoral program can be completed in about 4 or 5 years.
Although Harvard Business School does not offer an Executive MBA, it does offer executive programs. Although these programs are non-degrees, they do award alumni status to students who complete them. These executive programs include:
The OPM or Owner/President Management Program
This part-time program is designed for entrepreneurs who own and run their businesses.
The AMP or Advanced Management Program
This program is intended for senior-level managers in companies and organizations and may be completed in just 8 weeks.
The GMP or General Management Program
This program is designed for training middle managers and may be taken part-time. It requires some courses to be completed on campus and some courses completed as part of a distance learning program.
Harvard Business School consists of a highly diverse student population, with students coming from many countries and background. It has some of the world’s most selective admissions procedures. Their 2008 class, for example, has a 15% admission rate.
To become part of the student body at Harvard Business School, an applicant must have completed one degree program at any undergraduate school accredited in the U.S. or at least the equivalent. A student must also pass the GMAT exam and complete required tests and documents. Foreign students may also be required to pass IELTS or TOEFL tests.