HBS employs a required curriculum (RC) in the first year, which concentrates heavily on the case method. One notable exception to case-method teaching at HBS is FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development), a year-long, two-part course that offers first-years the opportunity to test ideas in small-group, interactive settings. At the end of the spring term, student teams are sent into global markets around the world, where they develop a new product or service concept for global partner organizations.
In the first year, students take all their classes with their sections, each with about 90 people, and professors for each class come to the section classroom rather than the students switching rooms. This dynamic creates an intense bonding experience among section mates, who come up with section traditions, games and inside jokes. Sections often have parties so students can socialize with their peers outside the classroom as well. All that time together tends to make students more comfortable speaking in class, which is critical since a substantial part of one’s grade is class participation.
In the second (EC) year, students choose from among 120 courses in 10 subject areas including 32 courses on entrepreneurial management. Students also can choose an immersion experience and/or to cross-register at other Harvard schools. HBS has several renowned resource centers to supplement classroom learning, including Innovation Lab (iLab), which is designed to help students grow their ventures at any stage of development. Another standout resource is the HBS Global Initiative, a team in Boston and in key centers around the world dedicated to the school’s efforts to build expertise in global business practice and innovation.