The history of business education for women at Harvard began in 1937 with a certificate program in personnel administration at Radcliffe College. Called “the first daring experiment in ‘practical education’ for women”1 by Harvard Business School Professor Fritz Roethlisberger, the course eventually evolved into the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration (HRPBA), jointly managed by Harvard Business School and Radcliffe College.
As the curricula of the HRPBA and the MBA programs began to merge, the Harvard Business School faculty voted in 1959 to admit qualified graduates of the HRPBA to the second year of the MBA program. The first MBA degrees were awarded to women in 1960. In December 1962, Harvard Business School faculty voted to accept women into the full two-year MBA program and the HRPBA came to an end. By 1970, women were residents in HBS dormitories, and a new era in women’s education at Harvard was firmly under way.
© 2012 President and Fellows of Harvard College