Online and Campus Colleges

Baker Library at Harvard Business School. (Flickr/nsub1)

Harvard Business School is bringing its legendary curriculum to liberal arts colleges - online. One of the world's most prestigious business schools is expanding its digital learning initiative, , a year after it launched.

Last March HBS some of its introductory content online, trying to capture the energy of a real classroom through interactive video lectures. One feature allows students to be "cold called" as if they were in a class at Harvard.

HBX's first class accepted 1, 000 students who were already enrolled in Massachusetts colleges and universities. The 107-year-old school charged $1, 500, hoping to target more motivated students.

Now HBS says it has reached agreements with five elite liberal arts colleges, including Hamilton College, Williams College, Wellesley College, Grinnell College and Carleton College. The business school had previously formed a partnership with Amherst College, and the online program is already available to Harvard undergraduates.


Participating schools will offer an online program consisting of about 150 hours of learning for students and young professionals. Those who complete the program will get a certificate. The goal, says HBS professor Bharat Anand, is to teach young people the fundamentals of business and prepare them for the real world.

“We created our own course platform to allow students to learn using Harvard Business School’s signature inductive earning approach, " Anand says. "We are delighted to partner with these five prominent colleges to create additional opportunities for their students to participate."

Under the deal, HBX will offer need-based financial aid and guarantee space for students in business, economics and accounting courses.

HBS expanding into liberal arts education is part of a growing segment of elite institutions entering the online learning market, says Brian Fleming, a senior analyst with the higher education research firm Eduventures.

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