Harvard Business School admitted 12 percent of applicants to the school’s 2+2 Program this year—the lowest acceptance rate since the program’s inception three years ago. Yesterday afternoon, 100 seniors received e-mails notifying them of their admission to the 2015 cohort of the HBS 2 + 2 Program.
This year, 828 college juniors—a slight decrease from 844 last year—applied to the 2 + 2 Program, which requires accepted students to work for 2 years after graduation before entering Harvard Business School, according to Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Deirdre C. Leopold. Last year, 115 students, or 14 percent, were admitted.
“This is a strong pool and not getting into 2 + 2 definitely does not mean that HBS is not in your future,” Leopold said of students who were not accepted to the program. “This is one vehicle, one moment in time.”
The 2 + 2 Program is designed to attract undergraduates with backgrounds that do not fit the traditional business school student profile, according to the program’s website. In the 2015 cohort, 60 percent of admitted students have engineering, hard sciences, or technical undergraduate majors, according to Leopold, up from 50 percent last year. Of the remaining admits, 6 percent are business undergraduate majors and 34 percent study humanities and social sciences.
“Directionally, that’s intentional,” Leopold said.
Next fall will be a seminal year for the program, as the first cohort admitted to 2 + 2 in the fall of 2008 enters Harvard Business School, Leopold said.
“This is a big year watching these 2013 be mainstreamed into the Class of 2013,” Leopold said. “It’ll be exciting.”
While Leopold said the program is not “designed for Harvard College,” around 20 Harvard students are represented in this year’s class.
Amelia H. Lin ’11, a physics concentrator admitted to the program, said she has been involved with start-ups for the past two summers and hopes to spend the next two years working at an early-stage start-up in Silicon Valley. As someone who comes from a non-traditional business background, she said she feels “an added measure of confidence” knowing she will have a formalized business learning experience after two years in the start-up world.
Although Sachin Gupta ’11, another admitted student concentrating in Applied Math, said he is unsure of his plans at the moment, he is confident Harvard Business School will prepare him to lead organizations in the future.
“Acceptance into 2+2 has afforded me a lot more freedom in considering my plans for the next few years,” he said.
Anna Marie Wagner ’11, an admitted student who switched into the Applied Math concentration from Molecular and Cellular Biology, said she is excited about the opportunity to explore more career paths in the next two years.
“Getting into 2+2 really allows you to pursue something you’re passionate about, as opposed to the more traditional options, such as finance or consulting,” Wagner said.