Applying to HBS Executive Education
- How do I apply to a program?
Each HBS Executive Education program has its own set of admissions criteria. A general overview of the application and admission procedure is available. We offer three simple ways to apply:
- Complete the online application available on each program's page of the Executive Education website.
- Download a printable PDF application from the specific program page and submit the completed application by mail or fax as instructed on the application.
- Request a printed application via email by contacting our client service specialists or via mail by completing our online form for brochure and application requests, and submit the completed application by mail or fax as instructed on the application.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact our client service specialists at:
- HBS Campus – 1-800-427-5577 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-495-6555)
- Harvard Center Shanghai – +86-21-3852 3888
- India Research Center – +91-22-2493 4510
- Is there an application fee?
There is no fee for applying to an HBS Executive Education program.
- What are your admissions requirements?
To ensure a rich learning experience for participants, admission to Executive Education programs is selective and based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. For most programs, proficiency in written English is required, and participants must be fluent in the English language to take an active part in fast-moving discussions. (However, please note that some programs are offered in both English and Chinese.)
For each program, we carefully select a cross-section of world-class leaders from around the globe who have different backgrounds and experiences. This diversity enables participants to enhance their management effectiveness by leveraging the experience of their peers and acquiring a new level of cultural sensitivity.
In addition, most programs require participants to have full company sponsorship.
- What is company sponsorship?
For most programs, participants must be sponsored by their current employers. Sponsoring companies typically fund the cost of the program and agree to relieve participants of their work responsibilities for the length of the program.
- What is the process for obtaining sponsorship from my company?
You should identify a senior executive within your company to serve as your company sponsor. This individual should be named on your application. As sponsor, he or she is involved in your learning and development, and will ensure that you will be free from your official duties during the program.
In addition, five programs require that the sponsor complete a Sponsoring Statement as part of the application process. These programs are the Advanced Management Program, General Management Program, Program for Leadership Development, High Potentials Leadership Program, and Leading with Impact. This Sponsoring Statement provides the Admissions Committee with a better understanding of your background, roles, and potential as a leader. Upon receipt of your application for one of these programs, the Admissions Committee will email the executive a link to an online Sponsoring Statement form. This Sponsoring Statement must be completed before the committee will review your application.
- Are the programs open to participants from outside North America?
Yes, executives attend from around the globe. Approximately 52 percent of Executive Education participants represent countries outside North America.
- How long does it take to process my application?
For most programs, the Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications four months prior to the program start date. Once the review process has begun, applicants are notified via email regarding Admissions Committee decisions within three weeks.
- How do I check the status of my application?
To check the status of a current application, please contact us by email: email@example.com; phone: +1-617-495-6226; or fax: +1-617-496-1731.
- When will I receive the program schedule?
Approximately three weeks prior to the start of the program, you will receive a packet of preliminary information, including a detailed schedule, case readings, and assignments for the first few days of the program.
- If I am not accepted into a program, can I apply again for a future session?
Admission to HBS Executive Education programs is very competitive, as class size is tightly controlled. In addition, we work to ensure that the class roster includes participants from a variety of industries, countries, and backgrounds. For those reasons, we encourage you to re-apply in the future, or consider other Executive Education programs that may be of interest.
- If I do not live in the U.S., will I need a visa to attend Executive Education programs?
HBS campus programs – Citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries must apply for an authorization to travel to the United States using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Other foreign citizens will need a nonimmigrant visa. For more information about visa and passport requirements, visit the U.S. Department of State.
India programs – All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad. The Indian visa is issued under the Government of India's Foreigners Act. For more information about visa and passport requirements, visit http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/.
China and Europe programs – Please check with your local consulate for visa requirements.
- What is included in the program fee?
The program fee includes tuition, single-occupancy accommodations, most meals, and all program materials. Incidentals, such as dry cleaning, entertainment, phone bills, and the like, are not included in the program fee.
- When is payment due?
Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date or upon receipt of the invoice if admission is within 30 days prior to the start of the program.
- What types of payment are accepted?
Payment can be made by company check, electronic bank wire transfer, or credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa). Detailed information regarding payment will be included with your invoice.
- What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations or deferrals must be submitted in writing more than 30 days before the program start date to receive a full refund. Due to program demand and the volume of preprogram preparation, cancellations or deferrals received 15 to 30 days before the program start date are subject to a fee of one-half of the program fee. Requests for cancellation or deferral received within 14 days of the program start date are subject to full payment of the program fee.
- Is financial aid available?
Financial assistance is not available for HBS Executive Education programs.
Living on Campus
- How are the living quarters set up?
HBS campus programs – Executive Education participants live on campus in suites of six to eight single private rooms arranged around a common area. To enhance learning and stimulate collaboration, these living groups are equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia equipment. Individual bedrooms include a private bath and standard amenities, as well as a desktop computer equipped with high-speed Internet access. In addition, wireless Internet is available throughout all HBS Executive Education facilities.
India programs – Participants stay in single occupancy, deluxe sea-view rooms at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai, one of the city's finest hotels.
China programs – Participants stay in single occupancy rooms at a conveniently located five-star hotel or a designated university facility.
Europe programs – Participants stay in single occupancy rooms in the five-star hotel where the program is offered.
- Are participants required to live on campus?
All Executive Education participants are expected to live in the designated facility for the duration of the program. This approach is designed to foster out-of-class discussion and shared learning. You will receive your residence assignment prior to the start of your program.
- Should I bring my laptop?
On the HBS campus, every participant's room is equipped with a desktop computer and high-speed Internet access, which you can use for all program assignments. You may also choose to bring your own laptop, tablet, or other device, but this is not required. Each room has both wired and wireless Internet access for your convenience. Please remember to bring a voltage adapter if you are from outside the U.S.
For programs offered outside the HBS campus, all participants are encouraged to bring a laptop computer to use for program assignments. The facilities have both wired and wireless Internet access. You may need to bring a voltage adapter if you are from outside the country where the program is held.
- What can I expect on the first day?
Most programs begin with registration, followed by an opening session and a dinner function. If your travel plans necessitate late arrival, please be sure to notify us so that alternate registration arrangements can be made for you. Please note the following about registration:
HBS campus programs – Registration takes place in your residence hall.
India programs – Registration takes place outside the classroom.
China and Europe programs – Registration takes place in the designated facility.
- What can I expect on the last day?
Most programs adjourn early in the afternoon of the final day to allow participants sufficient time for travel. For programs offered on the HBS campus, shuttle service to Logan International Airport is provided on the last day. Transportation is not provided for off-campus programs; participants are responsible for their own travel both to and from the hotel.
- Are meals provided?
During the program, most meals are provided in a dining facility adjacent to the classroom.
- Are special meals available?
Participants with special dietary requirements are asked to contact us prior to their arrival.
- Are accommodations available for extended visits or for family members?
Accommodations are not available for early arrival, late departure, or family members. However, you may reserve a room at a nearby hotel. For programs offered on the HBS campus, the hotel options include:The Charles Hotel
DoubleTree Suites - Boston/Cambridge
Harvard Square Hotel
The Inn at Harvard
- What services are available for participants with disabilities?
Assistance is available for Executive Education participants with disabilities, which may include mobility, vision, hearing, and other physical impairments or health conditions, as well as learning disabilities. Accommodations also can be made for short-term disabilities related to accidents or medical conditions and treatments.
If you have any special needs, you may wish to take advantage of the assistance that HBS and Harvard University have to offer. Please contact Nancy Dellarocco with inquiries regarding disability services (+1-617-496-9753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- What is the typical attire during a program?
Business casual attire is requested for classes and meals in the Executive Education dining facility during your program. Since dress codes and terminology vary widely among companies and countries, here are a few examples of what is considered business casual attire:
- Open-necked, collared shirts or blouses and sweaters
- Khakis, pressed pants, skirts, or dresses
- Leather or casual walking shoes
- How do I get to the program?
HBS campus programs – The Harvard Business School campus is located in Boston directly opposite Harvard Stadium and across the Charles River from Harvard University and Harvard Square. Visit the Harvard Business School website for a campus map and directions. Public transportation and taxicabs are readily available from Logan International Airport, as well as the train station, South Station. In addition, executive car service can be pre-arranged by contacting one of many service providers including:
- Boston Coach: 1-800-672-7676 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-387-7676)
- Commonwealth Limousine Service: 1-800-558-5466 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-787-5575)
India programs – The Harvard Business School classroom is located at the Taj Lands End hotel in Mumbai, which is situated 12 kms from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and 8 kms from Santa Cruz Domestic Airport. Taxicabs are readily available outside both airports. If you are arriving from outside India, we suggest you book a car directly with the Taj Lands End. Visit the Mumbai Local website for maps, directions, and more details.
China and Europe programs – You will receive your residence assignment and other pertinent information in your admissions package prior to the start of your program. Public transportation and taxicabs are readily available from the local international airport or train station. In addition, executive car service can be pre-arranged by contacting a local service provider.
- Will I need a car?
No, your intensive program schedule generally allows for little free time. However, there are several rental car agencies close to each facility if you decide to rent a car.
If you bring a car to the HBS campus, parking is available in the HBS parking garage at no charge. For off-campus programs, contact the local facility to ensure that parking is available.
- Where is the nearest international airport?
HBS campus programs – Logan International Airport is located approximately eight miles (12.8 km) from HBS. During rush hour, you should allow 45 minutes to one hour to get to campus; at other times of day, 20 to 30 minutes. Visit the Massachusetts Port Authority website for more airport information.
India programs – The Taj Lands End hotel in Mumbai is situated 12 km from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and 8 km from Santa Cruz Domestic Airport.
China programs offered at the Harvard Center Shanghai – Shanghai Pudong International Airport is located about 40 km from the Center.
Europe programs – Information will be provided in the information packet you receive prior to the start of the program.
- Where is the nearest train station?
HBS campus programs – South Station is located approximately six miles (9.6 km) from HBS. During rush hour, you should allow 25 to 35 minutes to get to campus; at other times of day, 15 to 20 minutes. Visit the Amtrak website for train schedules and rail information.
India programs – The most efficient means of travelling to the Taj Lands End hotel is by car.
China programs offered at the Harvard Center Shanghai – The nearest train station is Lujiazui Station on Line 2 of the Shanghai Metro.
Europe programs – Information will be provided in the information packet you receive prior to the start of the program.
In accordance with Harvard University policy, Harvard Business School is committed to providing an educational and a work environment free from any form of discrimination. The School will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability. Discrimination is unlawful and inconsistent with the nature of an academic institution. Nancy Dellarocco has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies for Executive Education (+1-617-496-9753 or email@example.com.)
- Drugs and Alcohol
In compliance with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Reauthorization Act, Harvard University has adopted and implemented a policy designed to address concerns about substance abuse. In the case of any violation of laws relating to controlled substances or alcohol, the University may take disciplinary action against violators, consistent with federal, state, and local laws. Treatment and counseling options are available to program participants at University Health Services in Holyoke Center.
- Health Insurance
Participants must be covered individually with comprehensive health insurance for major medical emergencies and/or hospitalization. Please check with your organization's health insurance carrier prior to your arrival to ensure that you have adequate coverage in the country you are visiting. HBS is not responsible for medical fees incurred during a participant's time in the program.
HBS does not permit reporters and/or video crews in classrooms, residence halls, or dining facilities. Any issues regarding the media (e.g., requests for interviews, photography, etc.) must be directed to the HBS Marketing and Communications Office (+1-617-495-6155).
HBS does not permit animals or pets in the residence halls or other facilities, with the exception of service animals.
It is important to remember that HBS is an urban campus. Individuals are urged to take all possible steps to safeguard themselves and their property.
Please remember to take proper precautions to protect your valuables. Never leave cash lying around in your bedroom, and remember to close all doors securely as you enter and leave buildings. Do not leave valuables in the classroom or living group lounge between classes or overnight. Harvard Business School is not responsible for any loss of personal property.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside any Harvard Business School building at any time.
About the Programs
- How are the courses taught?
Participants can expect a carefully integrated mix of lectures, presentations, business simulations, small group discussions, and the hallmark HBS case-study method.
Pioneered by HBS, the case method is employed as the best tool to teach general management and leadership. Case studies offer multiple levels of learning, compelling participants to identify relevant issues and to apply practical business lessons to their own situations and companies. Executive Education participants benefit from an added dimension no other business school can offer: the opportunity to be taught by many of the faculty who wrote the cases and have personal knowledge of the problems and solutions presented.
- What is the usual class size?
Most classes have between 40 and 80 executives.
- How much time can I expect to spend on coursework each day?
On average, you will spend about six hours each day in the classroom—attending three to four different classes—although schedules may vary. The rule of thumb is that each class or case study requires two hours' advance preparation time.
- Where do the programs take place?
Most programs are held on the Harvard Business School campus in Boston, Massachusetts. Other locations include, but are not limited to: Harvard Center Shanghai; Taj Lands End, Mumbai; The Landmark London Hotel; and the Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe, Paris. See the program details for specific locations.
- Are Executive Education programs appropriate for HBS alumni?
Yes. Many HBS alumni find the programs to be a natural extension of their HBS education. Executive Education programs are based on groundbreaking research, the latest case studies, and the most current information. Programs are designed for senior executives interested in expanding their knowledge in key business areas. The School offers HBS alumni an exclusive 30-percent discount on most open-enrollment HBS Executive Education programs. We also offer Executive Education programs of specific interest to alumni.
- Does HBS offer an Executive MBA?
Harvard Business School does not offer a part-time MBA or Executive MBA (eMBA) program. The MBA program at HBS requires full-time attendance for two years.
Executive Education programs are designed to help experienced executives and senior managers advance to the next stage of their career, guide their business through specific challenges, and become more effective leaders. However, HBS does offer a unique alternative to the typical eMBA program—the Program for Leadership Development (PLD). Unlike an eMBA, PLD is tailored to your unique needs and leadership challenges. This intensive program is distinguished by one-on-one coaching, collaborative learning through living groups, personal strategy projects, practical application, and a faculty composed of full-time HBS professors.
- Are distance learning opportunities available for executives?
No. Our Executive Education programs require local residency either on campus or in a designated facility. None of our programs is available in a distance-learning or an e-learning format. However, Harvard Business Publishing offers a variety of interactive programs and performance support tools available online or on CD-ROM.
- Do I earn college credit for attending an HBS Executive Education program?
Executive Education offers only nondegree programs. Certificates are awarded to participants upon completion of the program. However, participants who complete Executive Education's extended-length programs—the Advanced Management Program, General Management Program, and Owner/President Management program—become HBS alumni with all associated benefits.
- Does HBS Executive Education offer custom programs?
Yes. HBS develops standard-setting, customized learning experiences that create competitive advantage for leading global corporations.
- What is the frequency of Executive Education programs?
Most programs are offered only once a year, but several occur more often.