Does Harvard Offer an Online MBA Program?

Harvard is a private University located in Massachusetts. It carries with it one of the strongest stigmas of academic elitism and excellence throughout the learning world. This stigma is justified by its high rankings throughout leading judging panels, which include first place rankings with ARWU World, ARWU National, and Times Higher Education. Harvard’s Business School is also ranked as being first in North America with the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report. With such prestigious remarks, it is easy to see why so many applicants strive to become students. However, is it possible to study towards an online MBA through Harvard?

Harvard’s Stance on Online MBA Programs

The short answer to the pressing question is "no"; Harvard does not offer an online MBA program. This is because the learning experience at Harvard is greatly geared towards what is experienced in the classroom. Harvard studies have made extensive use of discussion based learning, which is something that cannot be replicated online. This has launched resounding remarks from the director of interactive initiatives who stated that Harvard will never offer a fully online MBA. It is possible that these statements could change in the future, but they are unlikely to change for several years.

Business schools are also an interesting specimen who rely on brand identity to further their status in the academic world. Several Universities and learning centers are beginning to offer business courses, so in an attempt to secure the prestige of a certain business course, such as the one from Harvard, business schools are denouncing online learning as an option and belittling it as only being worthy of lesser-able students. This notorious sentiment has followed online study in general into the professional world and has reduced otherwise competent, able-minded workers into menial tasks. These tasks are undoubtedly not worthy of their education! However, online study’s less than favorable impression with employers is a lasting one and has been fueled by leading Universities and their stances against online study.

However, this is not to say that Harvard does not offer any online business options. For professional students who have at least ten years of managerial or executive experience, the Program for Leadership Development allows hybrid study. It is designed for professionals who are in the process of assuming a leadership capacity within their place of employment. The PLD should not be seen as an online MBA though. It instead exists as a separate award to the MBA and does not reward the student with an equivalent qualification.

Are There Ivy League Online MBA Programs?

If a student is interested in an online MBA with an Ivy League school, then he would find such a program through Columbia University in New York City. Columbia University offers a fully online MBA with the status as being from an Ivy League school. While the program isn’t exactly Harvard material, it is nonetheless respectable and would look great on any job applicant’s resume.

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