All you need to know about Harvard’s MS/MBA Biotechnology program

The 21st century is the century of technology and scientific discoveries. Therefore, modern organizations need people with sound technical and scientific skills apart from managerial and business skills, regardless of education, business, or even the healthcare system. 

To meet this need, at Harvard University, the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program has been framed as a joint degree under the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) as well as Harvard Medical School through the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. 

The program’s main aim is to equip students with the latest business ideas and scientific insights along with their existing biotech and life sciences knowledge.

The joint degree program confers an MBA graduation degree from the HBS and an M.Sc. degree from the (GSAS) and Harvard Medical School. 

The program is completed over two academic years, utilizing January terms and time in August at the program’s start. The curriculum is structured in the course of two years to emphasize developing efficient business models in the field of life sciences, and understanding the ethical implications of new therapeutics, to develop models of equitable access to these discoveries. 

Upon completing the program, it would empower the graduates to understand and transform organizations related to new drug discoveries and therapeutics and develop strategies and novel ways to expand access to these at affordable prices.  

In this article, we will learn all about the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program offered at Harvard University, which is a joint degree program under the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) as well as Harvard Medical School through the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. In addition, this article will confer knowledge on the course curriculum, eligibility, admission process, tuition fees & Scholarships, acceptance rates, class profile, and future prospects.    


The curriculum’s main aim is to equip students with biotech and life sciences with vast knowledge of business and management so that these insights could be used to transform organizations related to therapeutics and drug discoveries. In addition, the 21st century needs more world leaders working at the intersection of science and society and an in-depth understanding of life sciences and management. 

To meet this, the curriculum is designed in such a way to majorly emphasize an understanding of an effective business model which is sustainable in each aspect of discovery and development of new therapeutics and developing a model to ensure unbiased access to the benefits of the therapeutic discovery.

The entire MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program at Harvard University is divided over two academic years, with the first term beginning in August, with students having an option to pursue internships in the summer between years 1 and 2. 

Now, let us look at the whole program timeline in brief to have an idea of the basic structure of the entire MS/MBA program.   

First YearFirst-term (August)– HBS Online CORE- NEXTGEN Biotechnology at HBS Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Fall term– Finance 1- Financial Reporting and Control- Leadership & Organizational Behavior- Marketing- Technology & Operations Management-
January– Data Analytics for Life Sciences
Spring term– Business, Government, and the International Economy (BGIE)- The Entrepreneurial Manager- FIELD Immersion- Finance II- Leadership and Corporate Accountability- Strategy- Life Science, Ethics, and Management Seminar
Summer gapThe summer gap is provided between the two academic years for students to pursue an internship of their choice. Internships are done in various biotech and life sciences fields comprising pharmaceutical companies, start-up life science, and biotech companies or consultancies with a major focus on biotech & life sciences.
Second YearFall Term– Frontiers in Therapeutics- Science Elective- (2) HBS Electives- Life Science, Ethics, and Management Seminar
January– Capstone Project 1
Spring term– Capstone Project 2- (2) HBS Electives Harvard Business School- (2) Science Electives- Life Science, Ethics, and Management Seminar[1]

There you go! The above table will help you understand the basic structure of the Course with ease. Moreover, if you want to know about each and every topic of the program, you can click on the link below.


Pursuing an MBA is a life-altering decision that requires a significant amount of investment in both time and money. The Harvard Institute is one of the top premier institutes whose MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program seeks a diverse group of exceptional students with a UG level degree in life sciences/biotech or a significant amount of experience in biotechnology or life sciences.

Most candidates with a STEM UG background are considered alongside students with advanced degrees such as MD or Ph.D. However, in very rare circumstances, candidates from a non-STEM background are considered only if they have any substantial or extensive advanced coursework related to the program. In addition, the enrolling candidates are expected to be familiar with the coursework.

 That’s all about eligibility; now, let’s take a quick glance over the admission process. 


 To enroll in the MS/MBA Biotechnology:

 Life Sciences Program of Harvard University, a candidate must apply and be selected by HBS and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). The admission process is quite similar to any other management school following submission of a written application and all the required documents like a resume, essays, LORs, and test scores; after that, selected candidates are invited for the interview process, then a decision notification is released. After that, the candidates can apply either for MS or the MBA program hosted in the HBS application system.


Before filling the application form, candidates first need to create an HBS account which would be the sole source of both communication and depository for materials throughout the entire application process. Thereafter choose the course name and choose an application round in which you want to apply. Always remember to select the round most compatible with your timeline to ensure maximum chances of selection. For more in-depth details about different MBA, application rounds click the link below.


Candidates are required to submit all relevant and required documents for both the MBA as well as the Master of Science applications.

1. Documents Required for MBA

– Application form, 

– Resume, 

– Official transcript(s), 

– Written Essays, 

– Test scores, 

– LORs (at least two)

– Application fee. 

2. Documents Required for Master Of Science

For Masters, all the above-required documents as for the MBA application are a must except that some additional documents like 

– One additional supplemental essay 

– One additional LOR is also required 


If the university has decided to move forward with your candidacy, you would only receive an interview invitation notification issued around October for application round 1 and in February for the application round 2. The HBS has its own style of the interview process, which is made quite unique by mixing constituents from your resume, essays, and career goals along with some typical behavioral and generic questions. Tackling these questions requires more than just raw intellect. You should be well versed with each scenario that could be attained only through practice. 

Looks a bit complicated? Fret not MBA interviews are supposed to be at a different level to help them choose future world leaders. In any case, if you want more help, you can either take the quiz or schedule a 1:1 session with us to understand the nature of MBA interviews. Moreover, you can also go through our article How to prepare for the MBA interview questions? So that you can develop your vision using creativity, precision, and clarity.


Enter the final step! The HBS and GSAS would release the final admissions decisions for both rounds in succession. Round 1 in mid-December and Round 2 in March. 

Based on the admissions committee decisions, a candidate may be selected into the following courses:

– MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program

– MBA Biotechnology 

– Life Sciences Programs only if not selected for the Master of Science program. 


Harvard University is one of the top premier Business schools, whose MBA program stands amongst the costliest MBA programs. The tuition fees for the 2020-2021 academic year were fixed at $84,455, but due to the onset, the course was canceled, and the costs were adjusted to $79,455.

Now with the decline in the pandemic situation and the situations being reverted to normal, the fees for CLASS OF 2022 are again expected to be the usual $84,455. Along with substantial tuition fees, the payout list includes cost-of-living, health insurance, and other expenses.

 The below table gives you a brief idea about all the major expenses to ensure that a candidate can anticipate the total cost of graduation based on the average area market rate. 

ExpensesCost in $
HUHS Student Health Fee$1,242
Student Health Insurance Plan$4,040
HUSHP for Student Spouses/Dependents$0
Course and Program Materials Fee$1,785
Room and Utilities (9 Months)$14,340
Living Expenses (9 Months)$15,930
Computer (Variable;not included in above budgets)$1,500


As mentioned above, the Harvard MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences stands at one of the costliest programs with quite a volume of investment required to pursue the program. All the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences students are subjected to the Financial Aid policies of the HBS. The Financial Aid & Scholarship Board, as per the annual Cost of Attendance sheet, determines financial aid and awards. The amounts of reward are based on direct and indirect expenses as per the student surveys.

Other than this, all the students are eligible to apply for student loans and need-based HBS Scholarships.

Moreover, The Chris and Carrie Shumway Foundation is responsible for rewarding all the respective candidates. The latter matriculates in the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program, an incremental $5,500 scholarship for each academic year, disbursed in half for the fall term and the other half for the spring.

In case you want to know more about each and every scholarship provided by the Harvard Business School in-depth, you can check the official website, the given link is –           


Harvard’s MS/MBA Biotech program is one of the most competitive programs, which boasts an average acceptance rate of around 10%-11% approximately which is almost the same as that of an MBA program from the Harvard Business School. 

The program mainly tends to be a bit more populated by STEM background with slightly more incoming domestic US students (around 75-80%) than its MBA program (approximately 60-65%). 

Since the competition is very high, a good GMAT score and a solid educational background are perquisites of the program along with extracurricular, LORs and an absolute splendid essay to compel the Adcom and make them understand as to why the University needs to have you. 


Harvard’s MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences program attracts people from various backgrounds interested in bringing about reforms in the healthcare system and aims to become a successful and impactful biotech executive to deliver practical, transformative models at organizational levels. 

Variety in class is the very essence of a top MBA program with a Biotech program attracting people from consulting firms based on life sciences, therapeutic companies, research labs & medical device companies,  and biotech companies. 

The diversity offered by the program promotes several chances to draw and learn from each other’s experiences and maintain a tight-knit community network. 

There you go! It was a bit lengthy, but I can assure you that the above paragraphs contain all you need to know about Harvard’s MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences program. Before filling the application form, go at least once through the whole article so that you can choose wisely according to your budget and comfort. Nevertheless, it’s needless to say that an MBA from Harvard University guarantees the fortune of a lifetime. 


Writing an application for an MBA in Biotechnology can be a daunting task, especially for candidates unaware of the steeps and slopes of the path. However, the significance of a “good application” can be very well realized as the application itself reflects your character & quality based on just a few hundred words presented to them.

Drafting an application for MBA/MS in biotechnology is on a different level, and to be able to ace the process of drafting an MBA application, you need a lot of practice, clarity, and creativity.

The most important part of your biotech application is to write a statement of purpose. A good SOP is the one backed by your LORs for Biotechnology.  Below mentioned are some of the important tips precisely about how to draft an engaging SOP. 

  • Make sure your SOP comprises all the relevant information required for the biotechnology course. 
  • Since the SOP is a personal essay you mustn’t leave any chance to make it unique at the same time specific to the biotechnology program. 
  • Remember to be brief but comprehensive in your paragraphs. Furthermore, ensure the grammatical and punctuation correctness of the article.  
  • Don’t forget to mention your academic background, aspirations, any technical skill or professional experiences. 
  • State all your greatest accomplishments, related skills, and interests for the program. Always remember that all these characteristics are what sets you apart from other candidates beyond your test marks.
  • Finally, proofread again and again and edit your essay to near perfection before final submission.

A well-written, engaging, and grammatically correct SOP will definitely increase your chances of getting accepted into a renowned university thus make sure you take your time in writing the SOP instead of a last-minute rush. 


Upon graduating, the program would open new doors for graduates to understand and transform industries related to new drug discoveries and therapeutics and develop efficient strategies and novel ways to expand access to these at affordable prices. Some common career opportunities after graduation include: 

  1. Work in lead science-based organizations, work on research culture and understand the organizational behavior, opportunity-costs ratio, and rewards.
  2. Work to determine the most cost-efficient strategy for science-based organizations and find new ways to expand access to transformative therapies.
  3. Contribute to research work and find novel ways to accelerate discoveries of therapeutics with potential economic value and at the same time can work with different organizations to understand the financial underpinnings of investment decisions in the life sciences.


As mentioned above, upon graduating there are so many different sectors in which students with an MBA in Biotechnology can get placed. some of these industries are

  1. Specialized Biotechnology Companies
  2. Industrial Research and Development
  3. Pharmaceutical firms
  4. Healthcare
  5. Medicine
  6. Food manufacturing companies  

Also, below is a list of recruiters for biotechnology and pharmaceutical positions, the companies listed are among some of the top recruiters for MBA in biotechnology.

Sl. No.Company NameWebsiteServices
1.Advanced Clinical development organization that provides services such as CRO, functional support, quality & validation etc. for pharmaceutical biotechnology, and medical device organizations
2.Allen-Jeffers Associates & technical search firm for pharma, medical device industries exclusively.
3.BioPhase Solutions of both scientific & clinical research as well as administrative personnel to biotech and pharma companies in California.
4.Compass Consulting Group of life science and bio-pharma professionals in research, development, and commercialization positions
5.Cornerstone Search Group search firm specialized in life sciences including clients from pharma, biotech, medical device, consumer healthcare, plus life science consulting companies.
6.Critical Path, Inc. search firm which provides recruitment services exclusively to pharma & biotech industries.
7.Dunne and Associates search firm for marketing and sales, sales management positions with biotech companies.
8.Life Science Partner recruiting firm which provides executive search and consulting services to biotech, pharma companies, and healthcare organizations.
9.Reaction Search International recruitment firm for biotech and pharma companies , including biostatistics and clinical data management, chemistry and clinical research etc.
10.Kelly Services outsourcing and consulting services, and staffing on temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis.

Understanding each and every aspect of the program, scholarship, and admission process can be pretty hectic for a person new to this field in any case; if you need more in-depth information about any particular aspect of the application process, interviews, and course structure, feel free to hop on a 1:1 call with our team of experts.

We at MBAandBeyond follow a stepwise procedure to ensure maximum efficiency, quality, and interaction to make sure we make every minute worth it! We at MBA and beyond are determined to guide you through your entire application process, ensuring the best offers from top Business schools. Happy learning 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions


Does Harvard have a biotechnology program?

Harvard University offers a joint degree program in the form of the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences under the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) as well as Harvard Medical School through the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. The program is two years long and framed to equip students with the latest business ideas and scientific insights along with their existing biotech and life sciences knowledge.


What can you do with an MBA in biotechnology?

Upon completing the program, it would empower the graduates to understand and transform organizations related to new drug discoveries and therapeutics, lead science-based companies with a good understanding of research culture, opportunity-costs, relevant timeframes, and organizational behavior, find new ways to accelerate medical discoveries into therapeutic results. Devising the best business model for equitable access to these discoveries based on financial, scientific, and ethical approaches.

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