Curriculum/Faculty

Here are a few questions we often receive regarding this innovative new program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission of the program?

The program aims to educate future leaders of technology ventures by providing a strong foundation in general management, building design skills, and deepening students’ understanding of engineering.

 

How is the new Harvard MS/MBA program distinctive?

The Harvard MS/MBA program has a balanced emphasis on engineering, design, and business fundamentals—all of which are crucial for success when leading technology ventures. To succeed, a technology venture must meet customers’ needs, leverage technology for advantage, and have a viable business model. By extension, leaders of technology ventures must be trained as designers—of products, business models, and organizations. The Harvard MS/MBA program conveys concepts and builds skills across three domains: engineering, design, and management.

 

What are typical students’ backgrounds?

MS/MBA students aspire to lead technology ventures. They have undergraduate degrees in engineering, computer science, or a related field, with a record of academic excellence. They have at least two years of full-time work experience, ideally in designing and/or developing technology-intensive products.

 

What are typical students’ career objectives?

Most MS/MBA students aim to found technology-intensive startups. Others aspire to lead new ventures in established technology companies. Immediately upon graduation, MS/MBAs who do not pursue their own startup should be well qualified for positions as product managers, managers of engineering teams (i.e., “tech leads“), and consultants in firms that design new products.

 

Will students have academic advisors?

Students will be advised by the program’s two faculty co-chairs, who are tenured professors at SEAS and HBS.

 

Will students have access to Harvard resources and extracurricular programs aimed at aspiring student entrepreneurs?

Yes. Relevant resources include the Harvard Business School Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, the Digital Initiative, and the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab).

 

How do students typically spend their summers?

During the summer between Year 1 and Year 2, 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 Rock Summer Fellowship, which funded up to $7,800 in 2017.

 

How do I apply?

Candidates for the MS/MBA program can apply in Round 1 (September 5, 2018 application submission deadline) or Round 2 (January 4, 2019 deadline) to matriculate with the next cohort in August 2019. “2+2” candidates must apply in April (April 9, 2019 deadline).

 

I am not sure if I meet the undergraduate degree criterion. Can I still apply?

The program is designed for students who have undergraduate degrees in engineering, computer science, or a related technical field.We cannot evaluate an applicant’s eligibility to apply on an individual basis. Students should consider whether their individual background prepares them for the highly technical and mathematical graduate-level coursework in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. A candidate who does not have this preparation is unlikely to be a competitive applicant.For example, an applicant who does not have an undergraduate degree in engineering, computer science, or a related technical field, but does have a master’s degree in one of these fields may be adequately prepared.In our inaugural cohort, our course offerings will be most appropriate for candidates with backgrounds in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. Well-qualified candidates with backgrounds in other engineering disciplines and related technical fields are welcome to apply if they are prepared for and interested in pursuing coursework in those fields.

 

What’s an example of a “related technical field” in the undergraduate degree criterion?

Examples of a “related technical field” include computational science, applied mechanics, applied math, and applied physics. The degree should provide mathematical and technical proficiency as well as address applications to practical technologies, particularly software and hardware development.

 

I am not sure if I meet the work experience criterion. Can I still apply?

Applicants with two or more years of full-time work experience at the time of matriculation can apply; less than two years is not sufficient. The strongest applicants will have a least two years of work experience that is directly involved with designing and/or developing technology-intensive products.

 

I already have a master’s degree in an engineering discipline. Can I still apply?

Students who have previously earned a master’s degree elsewhere can apply. If admitted, you will have the opportunity to focus on another area within Engineering Sciences as part of the MS/MBA program.

 

Can I switch to a single program after I start?

No. The MS/MBA program been designed to provide students with an opportunity to earn two degrees in two years as a cohort. To graduate, a student is expected to meet requirements at both schools.

 

How can I get more information?

For answers to any questions, please email msmba@hbs.edu.