If you are interested in earning your MBA from “a top-ranked institution whose reputation opens doors worldwide,” then it might be worth applying to Berkeley Haas. The MBA programs that Haas offers are some of the best globally, and they are known for being well-rounded and innovative. Especially if you’d like to take a part time route for your MBA, Berkeley Haas is the right place for you.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, this school has been offering one of the best part time MBAs in the country for six consecutive years. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Berkeley Haas is “in direct proximity to some of the world’s most innovative companies,” which offers its students “access to a wealth of experiential learning, internship, networking, and career opportunities.”
Haas’ prime location, combined with their program that is “structured for your success,” makes this business school an ideal candidate for anyone looking to pursue a part time MBA. Read on to learn more about the aspects of this business school that set it apart from others, and how you can apply and get accepted into the prestigious Haas part time MBA program.
About Haas School of Business
Recipe for Success
The Haas School of Business is part of the University of California, Berkeley, and is “home to Nobel scholarship, cutting-edge research, and teaching that each draws from and strengthens the innovation ecosystem in the Bay Area and beyond.” One of Haas’ principal goals is to foster “new thinking for the new economy” by demanding innovation from their students.
They want their graduates to be at the forefront of a business world that is constantly changing. Hence, the three biggest focuses of this business school are leadership development, experiential learning, and global opportunities. Haas feels that these three pillars are necessary to promote decision-making that is “rooted in quantitative skills and analytic rigor[,]…critical thinking, communication, and constant adaptability.” Haas proudly boasts that all of these skills and qualities are ingrained into each cohort. Haas encourages their students to “[champion] bold ideas and [take] intelligent risks” while questioning the status quo. They also greatly value collaboration amongst their students and encourage the sharing of diverse perspectives.
A Wide Array of Options
Berkeley Haas was founded in 1898, making it the second-oldest business school in the United States. The school’s rich history of student and alumni success stories can be attributed to everything they offer, including a world-class faculty, a range of innovative programs, and a vast network of connections within the business world. Haas has two Nobel laureates amongst its faculty members. Additionally, they have faculty that have “earned awards for spearheading research knowledge in game theory, behavior finance, Open Innovation, and knowledge management.”
Haas offers numerous degree programs, which have been ranked amongst the best in the world time and time again. Their 21-month full time MBA is provided with multiple options for completing a concurrent degree, such as JD/MBA, MPH/MBA, and MBA/Meng. Haas’ 3-year part time program, on the other hand, is “tailored to the needs of working professionals” since its flexible schedule makes balancing a full-time job possible, even while maintaining a full course load. They also offer a 19-month executive MBA program designed for working professionals who already have leadership or executive roles at their job.
Overview of the Haas Part Time MBA Program
Flexible Schedule Options
Haas’s part time MBA option is often referred to as the Haas Evening & Weekend MBA Program because this degree allows for students to opt for classes on weeknights or Saturdays. The general intent behind Haas’s part time MBA is to “[make] the academic experience convenient and accessible for working professionals.” This route is the best option at Haas for those trying to maintain their job while pursuing an education and expanding their network. This program typically takes students three years to complete; however, you can complete it in as little as two and a half years.
Classes for part time students are mostly held during the fall and spring semesters, but approximately fifteen elective courses are available for students to take each summer. Haas’ evening schedule allows part time students to take core classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, or Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For those with busy schedules during the week, the Saturday core classes are hosted from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the first three semesters of the program. During the last three semesters, this shifts to an elective course schedule that operates from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Haas Curriculum
Haas claims that their part time curriculum “steeps you in different ways of thinking and in multiple perspectives and reinforces your growing knowledge with experiential learning.” To graduate from this program, all part time students must take a minimum of twenty-two core courses and twenty elective courses. There are thirteen core courses that all part time MBA students are required to take at the beginning of their MBA experience at Haas.
These courses are intended to provide students with a cumulative understanding of “the analytical tools and essential knowledge to lead successfully.” These core courses cover general business fundamentals such as accounting, marketing, and finance. Another one of the primary aims of the preliminary core courses is to assist students with understanding “how each part of a company contributes to its overall success.” From an early stage, you will benefit from being immersed within the latest theories of business practices as well as traditional business methods and principles.
Once this foundation has been established and the core courses have been completed, you have plenty of options for customizing your learning path with a vast range of elective courses that allow you to “achieve [your] goals and feed [your] passions.” To make choices easier for their students, Haas has compiled a selection of courses called Prime Electives, which “are those classes that are essential courses regardless of career path and help all students develop into business leaders/managers.” This group of electives includes courses such as Power & Politics, Corporate Finance, and Asset Management.
Haas also offers advice to their students regarding which electives they should choose based on their different desired career paths. They have created course lists based on input from faculty, career advisors, current students, and alumni to assist their students in making ideal curriculum choices. There are lists compiled for many industries such as healthcare, investment banking, entrepreneurship, and real estate. You can access these lists through Haas’ website. All of Haas’ various elective courses allow students to sharpen specific business-related skills and gain specialized knowledge.
Seminars in International Business (SIB)
Haas’ part time MBA is packed full of opportunities to “build global business acumen” by “open[ing] the world to students through classroom experiences and [experiences] on the ground in countries near and far.” Haas hopes to open your eyes to the plethora of opportunities you have to contribute to the world by expanding your worldview and providing ample learning opportunities that involve engagement with international businesses.
Haas’ Seminars in International Business (SIB) have been designed to expose part time MBA students to the culture, history, and business environment of numerous foreign countries. The seminars grant students the opportunity to travel with other members of their cohort to various locations around the globe for in-depth studies of these destinations.
Each course begins with a pre-session at Haas, followed by a one-week study tour of the region, and is concluded with a post-session at Haas. Each of these courses also requires students to complete a project given out by the faculty leader in charge of the course. These programs sometimes focus on a single country, and other times they expand the lens to focus on multiple countries at once. In the past, Haas has organized trips to Brazil, China, and South Africa.
These programs refrain from focusing on specific industries because their goal is to “develop a broader perspective of how business is conducted in a particular region of the world.” By the time a student has completed one of these programs, they will better grasp how business environments can vary from one culture to another.
International Business Development (IBD) Program
Students can also take advantage of Haas’ International Business Development (IBD) program, which “connects project clients with talented Berkeley Haas MBA students in order to tackle strategic business problems.” Students get opportunities to gain “hands-on experience in international management consulting” with international clients, across various industries, on a wide array of strategic consulting projects. This is the perfect chance for real-world application of the business principles that you’ve picked up from your core classes.
If you participate in one of Haas’ IBD programs, you will become part of a team that will take on projects from clients who need assistance with critical management or strategic decisions. It will be your team’s responsibility to create “innovative and thoughtful consulting solutions that are ready for implementation.” Past IBD projects have included a market research and needs assessment for factory workers in China, a business plan for exporting fresh produce in Egypt, and a feasibility study for an investment services company in Italy.
Other Opportunities for International Interactions
Haas also has other opportunities for learning about international business environments and practices for students who cannot participate in Haas’ SIB or SBD courses. Once you have completed your core courses at Haas you can participate in the International Exchange Program; you can earn ten credits at one of Haas’ partner schools in Spain, France, Hong Kong, or the Netherlands as an exchange student.
Alternatively, students who’d prefer to stay in California, but still want to reap the rewards of global interaction, can use the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM). It “leverages resources from 30 leading global business schools, bringing students together to explore how business is done in countries at every stage of their development.” You can participate in online classes or participate in a global network week event at a member school. These courses allow you to earn valid credits while connecting to students from other international cohorts to participate in lectures, discussions, and collaborative team projects.
Further Experiential Learning Opportunities
There are also more than a dozen other experiential electives included in the part time MBA curriculum. Haas feels that experiential learning is “the best way to demonstrate the real-world impact your classroom learning and freshly honed skills can have.” Haas has several relationships with leading organizations locally, in the Bay Area, and other far-off locations worldwide.
These relationships translate into opportunities for Haas’ students to participate in team projects; Haas@Work is one project-based course, which allows teams of Berkeley MBA students to work closely with top executives at leading firms such as Cisco, Disney, Clorox, Wells Fargo, Visa, and Panasonic.
An All-Star Faculty
At Haas, you learn “from professors who are exploring the next new thing in organizational, financial, and management practices.” Part-time students learn from the same faculty members who teach full-time and executive programs courses. Haas’ faculty is made up of global business leaders that will provide you with lectures, simulations, and case studies that make for classes that are “as varied as the real world of business.” Learning from Haas’ diverse group of faculty members will allow you to watch cutting-edge research and development unfold right before your eyes. Learning from some of the top leading professionals in the business world will also leave you with countless skills to apply to your future career in business.
Haas hosts numerous events and activities for their students that allow them to “learn and lead beyond the classroom.” Haas’ signature experience programs are specifically designed to bring the entire cohort of students together at moments throughout the program when interaction and networking are crucial. The first of these events is the WE Launch, a student orientation week that all students must attend at the beginning of their first semester at Haas.
This is the first chance for each new cohort of students to form bonds with each other that could last the remainder of their time at the school or even beyond.
The next event, called WE Innovate, is held midway through the program. This two-day long retreat “draws on the fundamentals you gained in your core courses and sets you on the path to deepen your innovation, design thinking, and leadership skills.” You and your classmates will be given a challenge that will promote growth and transformation. The final signature experience is WE Lead, which provides students with the opportunity to test their skills and knowledge with their classmates, network with alumni, and celebrate together shortly before graduating.
Level of Competition
A Diverse Cohort
Haas “strive[s] to build a class of students distinguished by their self-awareness and their inclusive, collaborative approaches, as well as diverse in industries, aspirations, and backgrounds.” Haas typically admits a little over three hundred high-performing students into their part time MBA program. They value a cohort with a broad range of perspectives, so when the admissions committee is sorting through admissions, they search for students who “will add to the richness of the classroom experience… and the Haas community.”
Haas’ most recent cohort comprised of 64% women and 36% men. The average age of these students was between 27 and 37, and they represented 24 different countries of origin. On average, this cohort had roughly seven years of post-university work experience before starting their MBA at Haas. In terms of background experience, the most common industry was high-technology/electronics, which 24% of the cohort had work experience in. Engineering was another popular field, with 18% of the student body having worked in this sector, and 16% of the students came from a marketing/sales background.
Aside from these three domains, the rest of the cohort was pretty evenly divided between several industries ranging from biotechnology, to general management, to consulting. As far as academic backgrounds go, most of Haas’ most recent cohort had previously received a bachelor’s degree only, with only 26% of them holding a master’s degree and 4% holding a PhD. The average GPA of accepted students was around 3.46, and the average GMAT score was approximately 700.
Eligibility and How to Apply
If you are interested in applying to Haas’s part time MBA program, you must go through their online application portal and create an account. This account will allow you to upload all of the necessary documents that Haas’ admissions committee requires from all applicants. You must submit transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs that you have attended, or are currently attending.
Haas also requests a current resume, no longer than two pages, that lists work experience chronologically. All applicants must also submit scores from the GMAT or GRE exams, although Haas does not have minimum requirements for these scores. For anyone with over eight years of relevant work experience, you have the option to submit a score from the Executive Assessment (E.A.) exam in place of a GMAT or GRE score. Haas also requires two letters of recommendation, and applicants are strongly encouraged to ensure that one of these recommendations comes from their current or most recent direct supervisor.
All applicants must also submit answers to two essay questions. Haas encourages applicants to answer each of these questions thoroughly while staying within their specified 300-word limit. The first essay question typically requires you to explain aspects of your identity that you believe define you. You should “share a facet of your identity or story that is essential to who you are.” The second essay typically requires you to reflect on what the meaning of leadership is. You should write about “[w]hat…you need to develop to become a successful leader.”
You are also expected to complete a video interview in place of an in-person interview where you are asked to answer two brief questions. Haas’ intent behind the video interview is to ensure that “each candidate receives a very similar interview experience, which aids [them] in reducing unconscious bias in [their] admissions process.” The purpose of the interview is to help the admissions committee get to know you better. Each question will allow for one to two minutes of response time. The first question is typically based on your desire to attend Haas, and the second is usually focused on leadership.
International applicants must complete some additional requirements on top of the standard application procedures; their academic records must be submitted in their original language, as well as in English. If you received your degree in a country other than the U.S., U.K., Australia, English-speaking Canada, or Singapore, then you are required to take the TOEFL exam or the IELTS exam, and you should submit your results with your application.
Students must get a minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL exam or an overall BAND score of 7 on the IELTS exam to be eligible to apply to Haas. However, if you have already completed at least one year of full-time schooling at a recognized U.S. institution, and you have overall grades of “B” or better, you do not need to take a standardized English language proficiency test. Instead, you must submit an official transcript from the U.S. school that attended.
Anyone who has submitted an application to Haas within the last two years will be considered a reapplicant unless their application was incomplete or withdrawn. Reapplicants must submit all of the same documents as everyone else. However, instead of answering the first of the two application essay questions, reapplicants must complete and submit a separate reapplicant essay question. For this topic, reapplicants must explain “how [they] have improved [their] candidacy since [their] last application to the Berkeley Evening & Weekend MBA Program.” They must also explain why they are “now interested in attending the EWMBA Program.” This essay has a 350-word limit.
Top Tips on How to Get Into Haas Part Time MBA Program
A Holistic Admissions Approach
The admissions committee at Haas “takes a holistic approach to reviewing applications, seeking to understand all aspects of a candidate’s character, qualifications, and experiences.” The more work experience you have before applying, the better of a position it will put you in when the next cohort is being decided upon by the admissions staff.
However, if you have some gaps in your application that you’re worried about, such as lack of work experience, you can potentially make up for this by finding ways throughout your application to create an MBA profile for yourself that highlights desirable traits you possess. Your biggest opportunity to convince the admissions committee that you are worthy of acceptance into this program lies with the essay questions and video interview portions of the application.
Haas is looking for candidates “with professional experience that demonstrates potential for a career in senior management, and whose attributes and experience suggest leadership, maturity, ethical character, teamwork, and goal orientation.” So, if you use your responses to Haas’ questions to show the admissions team that you fit this description then you will increase your chances of acceptance.
Highlighting Your Best Attributes
The essay questions are meant to help Haas’ admissions committee “learn about who you are as a person and how you will fit with [their] community,” so take the MBA essay as an opportunity to shine some light on what makes you, you. Try your best to be thoughtful and genuine with your responses to Haas’ prompts because it will be apparent if you merely give them what you think they want to hear. Take time to reflect on the experiences, values, and passions you would like to share with Haas.
Try to show them, in an efficient and concise manner, who you are and what you bring to the table. Remember that Haas’ four key principles involve questioning the status quo, having confidence without attitude, sharing diverse perspectives, and putting the collective good above your interests. Haas notes that these essays can also be used as “an opportunity to expand on hardships or unusual life circumstances that may help [them] understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact.” If you have an anecdotal story from your past that emphasizes your usage of these practices, it would be a good idea to include that as part of your answer.
Making an Impression
It is vital that you pay meticulous attention to the video interview questions and answer them confidently and clearly because you will not have an opportunity to rerecord your answers. You must make sure that you fit everything you want to say into a concise and impactful answer. However, Haas “prefer[s] that candidates provide authentic answers versus rehearsed or read from notes,” so try not to overthink your answers too much.
The purpose of these video interview questions is similar to the intent behind the essays- to show Haas that you are a good fit for their community and have the leadership potential they are looking for. Haas doesn’t have any particular dress requirements for the video interviews. However, virtual or not, it is still an interview, so try to avoid wearing anything that you wouldn’t typically wear to an in-person interview.
Another part of your application that demands careful attention is your recommendation letters. Be sure to choose your recommenders wisely and, if possible, try to contact them in advance to give them a heads up about the recommendation that you require so that they have plenty of time to write you a thoughtful letter.
Keep in mind that one of the recommendation letters should be coming from a current direct supervisor of yours. If you cannot do this, you must explain why in the Supplementary Data section of the online application portal. Your second letter should come from either a former direct supervisor or someone you’ve had significant professional interactions with. The title or status that your recommender has is not essential.
However, what is necessary is “how closely they have worked with you and whether they can attest to your value as an employee, your professional accomplishments, and your personal qualities.”
1. Does Haas have minimum score requirements for the GMAT, GRE, or E.A. exams?
The Haas admissions committee does not have any minimum score requirements for the GMAT, GRE, or E.A. exams. For Haas’ part time program, students admitted typically have scores that range between 640 and 740 on the GMAT.
2. How long does it take to complete Haas’ part time MBA program, and when does it start?
Haas’ part time program is designed to be a three-year program spread across six fall and spring semesters. However, students have opportunities to accelerate the program and complete it in two and a half years if they take on a heavier course load or if they take summer courses. The program begins in late July.
3. What are the scheduled times for classes in Haas’ part time MBA program?
Students participating in Haas’ part time program can either attend classes two evenings a week or attend classes once a week, on Saturdays. The weekday classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays, or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Saturday classes are held from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the first three semesters and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the remaining three semesters.
4. When and how can I choose my class schedule?
When you apply for Haas’ part time MBA, you must select an evening or weekend schedule. Haas is ordinarily able to accommodate these requests. The school establishes cohorts based on these requests.
5. How much time do Haas’ part time students typically spend on schoolwork outside of class?
Generally, students can expect to spend an average of about two hours per week on additional reading, homework, and team projects for every hour spent in class. For the first two semesters of core classes, this typically adds up to about sixteen hours of work to be done outside of the classroom each week.
6. How can I learn more about Haas’ part time program?
Haas’ website has lots of handy information about their part time program, as well as other details regarding the school's campus. Haas also recommends that anyone interested in applying to one of their programs should join them for a virtual or in-person event. There are frequent information sessions that are hosted for this very purpose.
If you would like to undertake an MBA without having to pause your working career for a few years, then a part time path might be the best option for you. Part time MBA programs often include most of the benefits of a full-time program, with the added benefit of having a class schedule that works around your busy timetable. If you have decided that this route best suits your needs, then Berkeley Haas demands your consideration.
The Haas part time MBA program sets a precedent for business schools around the globe, and, unsurprisingly, their program is internationally recognized as one of the top-tier options available. Haas really does have it all – a phenomenal faculty, a flexible schedule, an incredible selection of courses, and a prime location, among many other things. If you are interested in having access to all of these features of the Haas part time MBA program, then you should take the necessary steps outlined in this article to apply to this one-of-a-kind business school!
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