Berkeley Haas School of Business: Everything You Need to Know

 

The Berkeley Haas School of Business is a small but dynamic powerhouse among MBA programs. Its proximity to a big metropolis (San Francisco), combined with the intimacy of a small college town (Berkeley, California), means that its students can enjoy the best of both worlds during their two years at school. Haas is renowned for its tight-knit student community fostered by its culture, location, and class size. Further, its closeness to Silicon Valley leads to almost one-third of Haas graduates joining the technology sector each year. Apart from the vibrant Berkeley Haas Entrepreneurship Program, the school also has an established health policy and management program (since 1948) and a thriving Center for Social Sector Leadership. Because the typical Haas class has fewer than 350 students, securing a coveted seat at the Berkeley Haas School of Business is not easy. But if you see yourself attending school in beautiful Berkeley, mbaMission offers a depth of resources and services to help you on your journey.

 

mbaMission’s Berkeley Haas School of Business Insider’s Guide

Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA Insider’s Guide

Our Insider’s Guide to the Berkeley Haas School of Business is based on our consultations with Haas MBA students, admissions committee members, and alumni about their Haas experiences. We take an in-depth look at life as a Berkeley Haas MBA student, examining how the school’s location, class size, curriculum, alumni network, and focus on teamwork all affect its culture and MBA experience. Then we discuss how traditions such as its student-initiated and student-led courses have resulted in unique classes over the years, such as “Improvisational Leadership,” “Wine Industry,” and “Life as an Entrepreneur.” Through our guide, you will learn more about how the Haas Defining Leadership Principles—Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself—are integrated across core and elective courses. Further, you can read more about Berkeley Haas’s 13 academic areas of emphasis, which are similar to majors. Haas dean Ann E. Harrison, an accomplished economist and a UC Berkeley alumna herself, has been guiding the Berkeley Haas School of Business since 2019. Our guide allows you to dive deeply into the incredible program that continues to grow under her leadership.

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Berkeley Haas School of Business Interview Guide

The Berkeley Haas School of Business Interview Guide

Haas interviews—most often conducted by Haas MBA alumni—are conversational, friendly, and usually have a relaxed air. Nevertheless, you should expect a combination of behavioral, goals-focused, and probing interview questions; these are meant to help your interviewer get to know you and your accomplishments better. Further, you will need to have a strong grasp of how you believe the Berkeley Haas MBA program will help you reach your career goals. Finally, you will want to be prepared to discuss why you are a good fit for the school. For sample interview questions and commentary from past students, check out our Berkeley Haas School of Business Interview Guide.

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Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA Essay Analysis, 2021–2022

Berkeley Haas is known for having unique essay questions, and its prompt “What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why?” is a great example. The key to this essay is to keep it personal, authentic, and simple, given that you are limited to 300 words. This is an opportunity to showcase what you are truly passionate about. A successful admissions essay here will not only paint a clear picture of your passion but also highlight the elements of your personality that make the activity significant to you.

For the second application essay prompt—“What do you need to develop to become a successful leader?”—you have a chance to describe your leadership style to the admissions committee, ideally in a way that connects with the Berkeley Haas Defining Leadership Principles—Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself—to show that you deeply understand Berkeley Haas’s culture. Although you likely will not have space to list many Haas resources, you need to show that you have thoughtfully considered how the Berkeley Haas MBA program can help you develop as a leader.

In our essay analysis, we provide in-depth guidance on each of Berkeley Haas’s 2021–2022 application essay questions:

  • Essay 1: What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)
  • Essay 2: The definition of successful leadership has evolved over the last decade and will continue to change. What do you need to develop to become a successful leader? (300 words maximum)

Click here to read our analysis


Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA Class Profile (Class of 2023)

Class Size 291
Average GPA 3.67
GPA Middle 80% Range 3.34–3.93
Average GMAT 726
Median GMAT 730
GMAT Middle 80% Range 690–760
Average GRE (Verbal) 161
Median GRE (Verbal) 162
GRE (Verbal) Middle 80% Range 155–168
Average GRE (Quant) 162
Median GRE (Quant) 162
GRE (Quant) Middle 80% Range 155–168
Average Years of Work Experience 5.5
Middle 80% Range of Years of Work Experience 3.8–8.0
Women 37%
International 37%
Countries Represented 46
U.S. Minority 49%
LGBTQ+ 14%
Veterans 7%

Berkeley Haas School of Business Rankings

The Berkeley Haas School of Business regularly places highly in popular business school rankings. In 2020, Berkeley Haas was ranked 12th globally by the Financial Times. Poets&Quants, in its 2020 survey of United States–based MBA programs, ranked Haas eighth, unchanged from the two previous years. In its 2022 rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Haas seventh (tied with Columbia Business School). In the Economist’s 2019 survey, the school ranked seventh internationally and sixth within the United States, up four spots in both categories.

Berkeley Haas MBA Admissions Deadlines (2021-2022)

Round 1
September 23, 2021

Round 1 Decision
December 15, 2021

Round 2
January 6, 2022

Round 2 Decision
March 24, 2022

Round 3
April 7, 2022

Round 3 Decision
May 23, 2022

mbaMission Testimonials from Berkeley Haas MBA Applicants

Get into my dream school thanks to Debbie!

Super thrilled when I heard back from Haas that I got in! I shared the news first with Debbie since I knew this was a great job we completed together! I feel very grateful about her advice, supports, and efforts during this long application process and would strongly recommend you to work with her!

First of all, she was patient and honest. It was already last year near the end of November that I purchased the "1 school package" from MBAmission. I was hesitating about applying for an MBA, very lost and also doubted myself. During our first talk, I opened up with her coz I felt her sincerity in getting to know me. She asked me to think about what I wanted to do 10 years later. She used real examples to let me know an introvert personality would not be a problem to get into a business school. She also advised me on the school selection to ensure that I could maximize my chances of success. Her efforts helped me build confidence and beat the fear of the tight schedule.

Secondly, she was very creative. During our brainstorming call, although I had some ideas about the essay, it was her who helped me connect the spots and figure out the main theme. Her advice on selecting examples to support the theme were also very valuable. In addition, I highly appreciate Debbie's editing! As an engineer, I am not good at writing essays. Debbie shared me some effective tips in telling stories. She made great comments on how to improve the way I organized the essay and how to keep my flow concise and logical.

I really enjoyed working with Debbie! In the beginning, I was not sure about the big investment in admission consulting service, but after the cooperation with her, I feel everything is worthwhile!

Incredibly Insightful Essay and Interview Tips

I had already written first drafts of my essays, but I wanted some professional help to edit them. I turned to Susan Kaplan, whose advice was incredibly insightful and absolutely instrumental in ultimately achieving success. She worked with me to perfect my writing while maintaining my own voice and ideas. This was what I was most impressed by with Susan - she was able to help me overhaul my essays while preserving my own identity within the writing. I also leaned on Susan for help when prepping for one of my first interviews, and her advice there was equally insightful.

I was ultimately accepted to 3 of the 4 schools Susan assisted me with, including Kellogg, Wharton, and Haas. Without Susan's help, I do not believe I could have possibly achieved these same results. I'd strongly recommend her to anyone looking for help throughout the application process.

Slam Dunk

Katharine was instrumental in helping me in my goal of getting into Haas. Over the course of two years we worked together to find not only the best time to apply, but also the best way to apply. Katharine consulted me on all things about Haas, and the most important areas I would need to improve on in order to get in. The biggest factor for me though was the confidence that she instilled in me during the process. No hurdle was too big, no blemish on my application too damning. She always was there to be my biggest supporter and fan. Without her I could not have gotten into school, that I am sure of.

Professional, knowledgeable - highly recommend

I needed guidance to narrow down my options and identify the best programs for my profile, before I could consider whether or not to purchase admissions consulting services to apply to those programs. Essentially, to understand if the programs I was aiming for were a stretch for my profile (important to invest in support), or if I could reasonably aim for admission with a strong, solid application (i.e. I was a desirable candidate). Jessica was simply excellent. She was direct, informative, astute and patient with my evaluation process. We had 3-4 email exchanges where we bounced around ideas and weighed pro and cons of various programs. I genuinely expected to engage the services of mbaMission by the 2nd email exchange, as I was so impressed with Jessica, versus the 2 other brief phone consults I'd had with other services. But in the end, after I dove back into my program selection with a bit more guiding light, I decided to forge into the application process solo - without paid consult - and was admitted to UCLA FEMBA and HAAS EWMBA. Haas later offered me a place in EMBA, with a scholarship to support switch, and I took the opportunity.

I wrote Jessica to thank her after, because our exchange stayed with me. She was excellent. If I'd had any hesitation about the strength of my application or competitive candidacy, I would absolutely have engaged her services to boost my chances of admission.
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