Required Curriculum (RC) at HBS. What’s going on?

A week has elapsed since the official start of the HBS MBA program.

It’s busy.

Really busy.

Before coming to HBS, I had heard it was one of the most demanding MBA programs, but the reality has far exceeded my expectation. In addition to classes and study groups, social events seem to run full time! School-wide events, section events, club events, etc. It’s just too much to attend all the functions.

HBS is, of course, intentionally putting us through this grueling regime, but I will be touching on this in another post.


The first year at HBS is called Required Curriculum (RC), in which all students take the same classes. The second year is called Elective Curriculum (EC) where a wide variety of elective courses are offered and students have free rein. The RC’s fall term (September-December) consists of:

  • LEAD (Leadership and Organizational Behavior)
  • MKT (Marketing)
  • TOM (Technology and Operation Management)
  • FRC (Financial Reporting and Control)
  • FIN (Finance)
  • FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development)

The last one, FIELD, was added in 2011. Students experience various team-based assignments, international field work and business startup. This course complements the other case method classes, enabling us to utilize the skills we have learned.


My major concern in all this is time management. Study-life balance is essential to absorb the learning in the classroom and benefit from the various social events, but I’m struggling to find the best balance. For now, I’m spending too much time on case preparation and missing some fun events.

Some HBS alumni told me that life at HBS is far easier than that of investment banks and consulting firms, but CR’s first week seems to be an exception. I already miss the days of pre-matriculation, sleeping and waking up on my own time.

2 thoughts on “Required Curriculum (RC) at HBS. What’s going on?

  1. Pingback: Fridays From The Frontline - Clear Admit Blog

  2. Pingback: RC 2nd term | Two Years at HBS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>