Harvard Business School Cross Registration

Harvard Business School vs

In the world of higher and business education, can there be any names more illustrious than those of Harvard and Stanford? Separated by the width of a continent, these two are united by their prestigious status as the high watermark of learning and research.

The annual QS Employer Survey reveals that MBA employers feel much the same about Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB). Such a reputation comes for a reason though; this pair is known for producing some of the world’s foremost business leaders and innovators.

To pick a winner would be as disingenuous as it would be impossible, but if you’re among the elite of candidates trying to pick between the two, what are the key differences?

Harvard Business School

Stanford GSB


Founded in 1908, Harvard Business School was the home of the world’s first MBA program. It is famed for the development of the case study method.

Founded in 1925 by a group of business leaders gathered by Herbert Hoover in order to stem the tide of potential business leaders heading east


Boston, famously known as the Athens of America for its intellectual and cultural strength.

At the heart of Silicon Valley in California, roughly equidistant from San Francisco and San Jose.

QS Business School Rating

Consistently number one in the US & Canada according to employers. Part of the ‘elite global’ group of top schools.

Number three in 2012/13 in the US & Canada for overall employer recognition. Part of the ‘elite global’ group of top schools.

Full-time MBA course duration

24 months. Core courses in year one, followed by elective courses.

Total tuition fees

US$112, 350

US$119, 100

Average graduate salary

US$120, 000

US$129, 692

2013 fees and salary data, rating from 2012/13 QS TopMBA.com Global 200 Business Schools Report

Harvard Business School

In the first year of the Harvard MBA, all students follow the same core MBA curriculum. These cover the basics: finance, leadership and organizational behavior, strategy and entrepreneurship etc. Students also take part in the year-long series of ‘FIELD’ courses, which require students to put their knowledge into practice – developing a product or a service for a global partner organization and designing and launching a microbusiness.

A huge range of elective courses – of which students can take up to five a semester – is available in the second year covering traditional areas and managerial competencies. 17 of these are field courses. Students can also step away from the traditional MBA curriculum by cross-registering to do relevant programs elsewhere at Harvard or at MIT’s Sloan School of Management or even the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Provided the right criteria are met, candidates may pursue dual degrees in public policy or administration-international development, law, medicine or dental medicine.

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by PPLEv5

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