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Harvard MBA Class Profile | Breakdown

Find out which MBA students get accepted into Harvard Business School with our Harvard MBA Class Profile Breakdown

By  Shannon Cook

Mon Feb 8 2021

Ivy League giant Harvard Business School (HBS) shows no signs of giving up its perch at the top of the global MBA rankings. Harvard topped the Financial Times MBA rankings in 2020.

In the Harvard MBA class of 2022, you’ll find professionals from the world of financial services, consulting, technology, and manufacturing rubbing shoulders with those from healthcare, the nonprofit sector, and the arts.

If you envision yourself joining the ranks of HBS’ notable alumni, our Harvard MBA Class Profile Breakdown will help you understand what kind of candidates get accepted into the program and maximize your own chances of joining HBS.

Harvard MBA | Class of 2022 Overview

HBS received 9,304 applications for the class of 2022, and, due to COVID-19, enrolled a smaller than usual cohort of 732 (compared to the ordinary 930, having allowed students the option to defer). HBS had an acceptance rate of 12%.  

The average age of the class is 27. 69 countries make up the Harvard MBA class, with a third (33%) of the total class being international. On top of this, 45% of the class are US minorities.

In the class of 2022, at 44%, female representation is approaching half of the cohort, up by 1% from last year. Women usually make up 39% of US MBA programs, meaning that HBS is ahead when it comes to striding towards gender parity. 

Harvard MBA | GMAT & GRE Scores

The GMAT puts your aptitude for business school to the ultimate test. While average GMAT scores shouldn’t be a conclusive factor, they do tell you a rough score to aim for.

Boasting a median GMAT score of 730, the HBS class of 2022 emulates the previous cohort’s scores. With 78% of the class taking the GMAT, their high average score shows us that Harvard MBAs are an extremely driven group. To earn a place at HBS, you’ll want to start nailing those GMAT sample questions pretty soon.

The GMAT score range was between 620 and 790, so fear not if you fall below the HBS median.

But you’ll want to make sure that your HBS MBA application is strong in other places, too. You should don your thinking cap to ensure that your passion, personality, and academic rigor shines through your MBA application to nab yourself a place at the prestigious HBS.

The cohort’s GRE scores are similarly strong: the median GRE score for both verbal and quantitative is 163.  


Harvard MBA | Undergraduate Majors & GPA

An MBA class made up from a diverse community of learners will enable students to contemplate business issues from various perspectives.

With a class median GPA of 3.70, you can rest assured that you’ll be amongst individuals of a high caliber.  

In the class of 2022, there’s a high contingent of engineering, business, economics, and math students. The class also comprises students from social sciences, arts, and humanities, forming a melting-pot of skills and abilities. 

Judging by the diverse range of academic backgrounds in the class, having a non-business undergraduate major won’t deter you from entering HBS. Harvard wants to educate future leaders of the world, and those who switch their academic route are likely to be invested in change.  

Harvard MBA | Pre-MBA Industry

Business schools strive for a classroom which mirrors the realities of the business sphere, bringing in students from diverse industries to incorporate a variety of approaches to problems. Harvard’s case method thrives on this diversity of thought.

In HBS’ 2022 class, students entered with an average of 4.7 years’ work experience. 27% entered from financial services, 15% from consulting, 13% came from technology, and 11% arrived from manufacturing.

Other students come from consumer products and healthcare companies, as well as less conventional routes like the non-profit sector, the military, and media. 


Harvard MBA | Student Stories

Think that MBAs are a pack of money-oriented wolves of Wall Street? Think again. For many HBS students, diversity and social impact factor high up the agenda.

Amy Hernandez Turcios—Latinx leader and former Wall Street banker—joined the HBS MBA in a bid to boost her confidence, public speaking, and assertiveness through an MBA. As a first-generation student, she recognized that these skills would help her advocate for diversity in the corporate sector. 

Now a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Amy (pictured below) intends to use the leadership skills that she strengthened in her MBA to elevate other leaders of color.

“I hope it will help me take this high-level problem around the lack of Latinx representation in leadership positions, break it down, and figure out how to tackle it,” she says. 


The MBA can also be a catalyst for entrepreneurial thinking. Four HBS graduates founded LivelyHood—a COVID-19 relief initiative set up to combat inequalities within society by matching volunteers with vulnerable community members. Co-founder Justin Lee says that he and his fellow co-founders apply finance, entrepreneurial, and leadership competencies that they learned in their MBA to guide their startup’s successful running.

Looking to follow in these graduates’ footsteps? Find out how one MBA grad aced the HBS application.

Who is the Harvard MBA for?


At HBS you’ll learn amongst an academically gifted class, typically with strong GMAT scores and GPAs. But this isn’t the defining feature of the class of 2022 profile.

Although selective, the diversity figures from the incoming class show us that HBS actively seeks out difference with a mix of undergraduate majors, nationalities, and near gender parity in the MBA class.

What do you need to get into Harvard? HBS MBA admissions director Chad Losee confirms that your diverse background is valuable to the school.  And you don’t have to be outstanding in every category to join HBS. 

Chad explains that his team approaches the candidate review process holistically, considering your impact, work experience, as well as your academic scores.

For Harvard Business School, the future leaders of the world are a dynamic group of students invested in altering their academic and industry paths, and the world around them.


*The data in this article is based on the Harvard MBA Class Profile and e-GMAT Harvard MBA Profile and Employment report