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Harvard MBA

Harvard MBA

What is the Harvard MBA?

Harvard Business School was founded in 1908 and was conceived initially as what was called a "delicate experiment" in what was at the time the new field of professional business and management training. The quality standards that were intended to be upheld can be exemplified by the fact that Harvard Business School was the first business program to require a college degree for admission.

The first dean was Edwin F. Gay. The school opened on October 1st and had 15 faculty, and 80 students. The world famous "case study" method of teaching - where major business situations are used to test students decision making and analytical thinking skills - was first used in 1912. In 1922 the Doctoral program was established at the business school and in 1922 the Harvard Business Review was first produced. The case method was eventually established as the primary instruction method in 1924.


The campus that exists now on the Boston side of the Charles River was built in 1924 from a donation of $5million by George Fisher Baker, who was president of New York 's First National Bank at the time. Then in 1926,  750 students moved into the five living halls at the Soldiers Field Road site of the Business School .

Harvard Business School started its advanced management program in 1943, but between 1943 and 1945 all of the regular instruction for civilians were suspended due to World War II.

All of the students had been men until 1959 where some women were allowed into the second year of the program once they had completed the Harvard - Radcliffe Program. But women weren't admitted to the first year of the MBA until 1963.

In 1964, the school received its first computer. Since then, the school has gone from strength to strength. Many famous businessmen, such as Lou Gerstner and Michael Bloomberg, are MBA alumni. However, perhaps the most famous alum, is George W. Bush the current U.S. president, who graduated in 1975.

These days the business school has a faculty of around 200 and over 800 permanent staff. Harvard Business School offers a full-time MBA program in addition to 5 doctoral programs and more than 40 programs for executive education. Every year, more than 900 students graduate from the MBA program. The doctoral program has 100 future scholars on it and the residential management programs, which last between three days and ten weeks.

In addition to all of these there are over 38,000 MBA alumni worldwide in 106 alumni clubs.

Harvard Business School Publishing is supported by the school, and includes the Harvard Business Review (HPR), HBS Press, the famous Harvard case studies, newsletters and interactive video and multimedia.