MS/MBA students complete degree requirements in four semesters over two years, augmented by coursework during August at the beginning of the program and during both January terms. Students have the summer free between Year 1 and Year 2 to work on their own startup concept or pursue an internship at a technology company.
Most of Year 1 is spent at HBS completing the MBA Required Curriculum (RC), although MS/MBA students start the program as a cohort at SEAS in August, taking the System Engineering course. They also meet periodically as a cohort at SEAS during Year 1 in the Engineering, Design & Innovation Management Seminar, and complete the Technology Venture Immersion course together during the January term.
As with all MBA candidates, MS/MBA students take a short test to determine whether they are required to complete HBX CORe prior to matriculating in August of Year 1. CORe, an online program requiring about 150 hours of work over roughly ten weeks, covers basic business analytics, microeconomics for managers, and financial accounting.
As a cohort during August of Year 1, MS/MBA students take System Engineering, a SEAS course that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing complex systems and designing products within such systems. In System Engineering, students use mathematical methods to model systems and predict performance. They learn to situate designs within systems, managing within constraints imposed by value chain partners, financial performance requirements, and legal and ethical considerations.
HBS Required Curriculum Fall Term
MS/MBA students are dispersed across HBS’s ten first-year MBA sections and complete the RC’s five fall term case-based courses: Finance 1; Financial Reporting & Control; Leadership & Organizational Behavior; Marketing; and Technology & Operations Management. During the fall term, they also take FIELD Foundations, which offers hands-on leadership practice and immersive team experiences.
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Engineering, Design & Innovation Management Seminar
Every 3 weeks during Year 1 of their program, MS/MBA students meet as a cohort at SEAS in an afternoon seminar jointly run by SEAS and HBS faculty. Seminars revolve around, among other topics, talks by alumni leaders of technology ventures; research presentations by faculty from SEAS and HBS; and student updates on venture concepts they are developing.
Technology Venture Immersion
During the January term of Year 1, MS/MBA students complete Technology Venture Immersion, a two-week course jointly taught by HBS and SEAS faculty. Modeled on the HBS Startup Bootcamp, the Technology Venture Immersion employs a learning-by-doing approach, with students working in teams on their own startup concepts and on problems provided by instructors to build skills with human-centered design and lean experimentation methods.
HBS Required Curriculum Spring Term
MS/MBA students continue with their RC section, completing the RC’s five spring term case-based courses: Business, Government & the International Economy; Finance 2; Leadership & Corporate Accountability; Strategy; and The Entrepreneurial Manager, along with FIELD Global Immersion, in which student teams travel abroad to design a product for a sponsoring organization.
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During the summer between Year 1 and Year 2, most MS/MBA students either work on their own startup concept or as an intern in a technology venture; they are matched in either case with alumni mentors and may apply for a summer fellowship grant from the HBS Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. In 2017, 80 HBS MBA students received Rock Summer Fellowship grants averaging $6,000 apiece.
During Year 2, MS/MBA students split their time between SEAS and HBS, enrolling in electives at each school. As a cohort, they also take the Integrated Design course during the fall term, and, during the January and spring terms, complete the Capstone course, in which they work in a small team to build and launch a new product.
As a cohort, MS/MBA students take Integrated Design, a required course in the fall term of Year 2, taught jointly by SEAS and HBS faculty. Through lectures, skill-building workshops, and team-based projects, Integrated Design builds deeper expertise with human-centered design techniques and teaches principles of user interaction design, rapid prototyping, data visualization techniques, project management, and communicating across disciplines, among other topics.
Launch Lab/Thesis Project
MS/MBA students complete a required capstone project equivalent to two full courses, in which small teams build and launch a product. Work on the capstone project starts with an immersive January term course, and then continues with a spring term course.
Fall and Spring Term Electives
During the fall and spring terms of Year 2, students take three graduate (i.e., 200-level) engineering electives at SEAS and four MBA Elective Curriculum (EC) courses. Through SEAS electives, students can focus their work on a specific set of technologies, for example, data science, robotics, micro/nano devices, or neuroengineering.
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