Naturally, HBS academics are firmly rooted in the case method, with few lectures and quantitative-only courses. The MBA curriculum is split into a required curriculum completed the first year, and an elective curriculum in which students can take specialty classes in areas like strategy, finance and marketing. Students can also cross-register with MIT's Sloan School of Business and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Rather than relying on letters, grading at HBS is divided into categories I-IV, with I as the highest. Students tell Vault that though competition to get into the school is fierce, the atmosphere is more collegiate than cutthroat once you're in.
HBS graduates are highly sought after by national corporations and Wall Street, and the average starting salary hovers around six figures--$124,378 for the class of 2007. While still in school, most MBA students live in school housing, which fosters close-knit classes and means that though Boston nightlife is readily available, many social activities take place on campus.