Harvard Releases New MBA Admissions Essays

Harvard Business School unveiled three new master of business administration admissions essays.
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Published on July 1, 2024
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  • Harvard released three new admissions essays for next year's MBA cohort.
  • The essays include a focus on business, leadership, and growth.
  • Harvard has two application deadlines for its 2025 cohort: Round 1 is due Sept. 4, 2024, with a decision date of Dec. 10. Round 2 is due Jan. 6, 2025, with a decision date of March 26.
  • MBA essays are a key chance for applicants to stand out in the admissions process.

Essays are a key component of master of business administration (MBA) admissions — and Harvard Business School just released its new essays for incoming candidates.

Harvard Business School applicants for the MBA class of 2027, who will head to campus in fall 2025, will respond to the following three essay prompts:

  • Business-Minded Essay: Please reflect on how your experiences have influenced your career choices and aspirations and the impact you will have on the businesses, organizations, and communities you plan to serve. The word count for this essay is up to 300 words.
  • Leadership-Focused Essay: What experiences have shaped who you are, how you invest in others, and what kind of leader you want to become? This essay is up to 250 words.
  • Growth-Oriented Essay: Curiosity can be seen in many ways. Please share an example of how you have demonstrated curiosity and how that has influenced your growth. The word count for this essay is up to 250 words.

The school also has additional essays for joint degree applicants.

Joint degree applicants for the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School will need to answer the prompt, How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? in up to 400 words.

Joint degree applicants for the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will need to provide an essay with a recommended length of 500 words responding to the prompt: The MS/MBA Engineering Sciences program is focused on entrepreneurship, design, and innovation. Describe your past experiences in these areas and your reasons for pursuing a program with this focus.

In a 2023 blog post, the Harvard Business School admissions staff wrote that a good essay is self-reflective.

The essays are your opportunity to share new information that isn't elsewhere in the application, the admissions staff wrote.

Think about how you can use the essays to help the admissions committee get to know you better. Consider meaningful or formative experiences that are important to you that you haven't gotten a chance to mention anywhere else in your application (or in as much detail as you would like).

Harvard Business School has two sets of MBA application deadlines for its fall 2025 cohort:

  • Round 1 is due Sept. 4, 2024, with a decision date of Dec. 10.
  • Round 2 is due Jan. 6, 2025, with a decision date of March 26.

MBA essays commonly ask about career goals, work and life experience, and the ways students will contribute to a university community if they're accepted.

These essays are a chance for students to delve into their personal experiences and stand out to admissions officers, but they are just one component of MBA admissions.

Undergraduate GPA, standardized test scores like the revamped GMAT Focus Edition, work experience, letters of recommendation, and interviews are other common components of MBA admissions.