Stanford Graduate School of Business
The Stanford Graduate School of Business, or Stanford GSB, is located on the eastern side of Stanford University’s campus in Palo Alto, California. Stanford’s MBA program is known for its small size, which creates an intimate academic setting. Due in part to its close proximity to Silicon Valley, the school is also well recognized for its strengths in entrepreneurship and the high-tech industry. The MBA program places a noted focus on fostering positive change, as evidenced by its motto, “Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.”
What is the tuition for Stanford’s MBA program?
The tuition for Stanford’s MBA program is $74,706 per year. The total cost of the Stanford MBA program is $119,964 per year; this includes budgeted living expenses.
How hard is it to get into Stanford’s MBA program?
The acceptance rate for Stanford is slightly above 5%. It is important to consider the acceptance rate in the context of the student profile of those who are admitted. For example the average GMAT score is 738.
What is the average GMAT score for admission to Stanford’s MBA program?
The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Stanford is 738.
Does the Stanford MBA program accept the GRE?
Yes. The Stanford MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.
What is the average GRE score for admission to Stanford’s MBA program?
The average GRE score for the incoming class at Stanford is 165 for both Verbal and Quantitative sections.
What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to Stanford’s MBA program?
Stanford does not state a minimum requirement for years of work experience. However, it is important for candidates to be aware that they are being considered against other candidates with an average of 4.8 years of experience.
What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to Stanford’s MBA program?
The average number of years of work experience among students in Stanford’s MBA program is 4.8.
What is the average starting salary for graduates of the Stanford MBA program?
The average starting salary for Stanford MBA graduates is $159,544 with an average signing bonus of $32,511. The salary will vary by industry, with consulting and finance jobs generally commanding the higher salaries.
How long is Stanford’s full-time MBA program?
Stanford offers a traditional 2 year MBA program.
What are the application deadlines for Stanford’s MBA program?
The Round 1 MBA application deadline is September 9, 2021. The Round 2 application deadline is January 5, 2022. The Round 3 deadline is April 12, 2022.
What percent of Stanford MBA students are women?
The percentage of the class at Stanford that are women is 44%.
What type of interview does Stanford use for MBA admissions?
Stanford offers interviews by invitation. The interviews are resume-based. This means the interviewer has not had access to the application materials.
The Class Profile
Admission to Stanford GSB’s MBA program is highly competitive—7,367 MBA hopefuls applied to the Class of 2023, and 426 ultimately matriculated. The average GMAT score among the enrolled students in this class is 738. A quarter of the class opted to take the GRE instead of the GMAT, and they averaged 165 in both the Verbal and Quant sections. The average GPA for the new class was 3.78.
Twenty-three percent of students in the Class of 2023 hold undergraduate majors in the humanities or social sciences, while 39% majored in engineering, math or natural sciences, and 15% majored in business. Students in this class have an average of 4.8 years of work experience. Prior to attending Stanford, a fifth of students worked in investment management, private equity/venture capital. Just five percent came from other financial services. Nineteen percent came from consulting and 16% worked in tech. Eight percent spent their pre-MBA careers in education/nonprofit/government. Another eight percent each came from health care, 6% from arts, media & entertainment, and 5% from consumer products & services.
Forty-seven percent of first-year students are international citizens, dual U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. Finally, women comprise 44% of this class, and 48% identify as a member of a U.S. minority group.
Stanford GSB offers three rounds of admission, which usually take place in late September, early January, and early April. Along with filling out an online application about their biographical information and career history, applicants must submit essays, a résumé, transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate academic institutions attended, and a $275 application fee. In addition, two letters of reference are required, one from a workplace supervisor and one from a peer.
Applicants must also submit GMAT or GRE scores and, if needed, a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score. Interviews are conducted on an invitation-only basis and are required for admission to the MBA program. The bulk of interviews are executed by alumni located around the world; members of the MBA Admissions staff also conduct interviews.
- Data Forms
- GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Score(s)
- Academic Transcripts
- Recommendation Letters
- Application fee
Essay Topic Analysis
Stanford GSB Essays & Analysis
The following essay topic analysis examines Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB) MBA admissions essays for the 2021-2022 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. Stanford has asked applicants to respond to the same […]
Stanford MBA Recommendation Questions
The Stanford MBA recommendation questions for Stanford GSB Class of 2024 are now available. Two letters of reference are required. One should be from a current direct supervisor, and one from someone else who has supervised your work. Notify your recommenders which type of letter of reference they will be completing and in which round […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Alumnus / Zoom
Interview was Zoom-based with an alum from GSB in business casual clothing. Interview was straightforward as any other GSB interview — the format was an hour long with 10 minutes remaining for any questions for the interviewer. The interview was mainly structured as me talking him through my resume and double-click questions throughout: + Talk […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Alum / Skype
1. Tell me about yourself. 2. What are you most proud of? (Some specific follow ups here) 3. Tell me a time you received an insight and how it changed the way you and the team progressed. 4. What is a time you had to convince someone in a group? (Digging in with follow-up questions […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Alumnus / Zoom
It was a blind interview with an alumnus – they only had access to my resume. The interview was centered around my own experiences (including challenges and failures) and reflections, instead of my accomplishments. Interviewer was very sharp, frequently challenged my views and fact-checked my statements; he had rich industry experiences. Questions: Introduce yourself. Why […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Alum / Zoom
For my interview, I was paired with an alum from the same industry and location. They only had access to my resume. I contacted the alum and we set up a call ~8 days after I was notified to interview (what a pleasant surprise that was!). My interviewer was very nice and friendly. The atmosphere […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Alumnus / Zoom
Interview tracked with prior interview reports on ClearAdmit – pretty predictable questions with some deeper follow ups to each. My interviewer had a similar professional background as me and the conversation was very casual and friendly. We did probably 40 minutes of Q&A and 15 minutes of me asking her questions about her time at […]
Stanford GSB MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Alumnus / Zoom
Virtual Zoom interview with alum. 1 hour interview: 45 minutes of questions and 15 minutes of Q&A to finish up. Mostly behavioral questions, tell me about a time when: you went above and beyond something you are proud of you took initiative didn’t achieve what you wanted changed the team’s mind Why MBA/Why Stanford?
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Alum / Off-Campus
Interviewed off-campus with an alum and their office. Lasted a little over an hour and was purely behavioral, no questions on Why MBA/Why Now/Why GSB, which I thought was odd. For each question, I gave a detailed story/response from my past and the interviewer followed up with specific questions. The interview took a lot of […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Alumnus / Off-Campus
I don’t think I’m adding much new information here with this report, as my interview was very similar to all the other reports here. I called the interviewer the day I got the invite and we set up a time that worked with his schedule in the 7-10 day window requested by the GSB. We […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Alum / Off-Campus
The interview was conducted by an alum in his office building. I walked into the building and entered the elevator to go up to my interviewer’s floor as instructed in our emails to each other. As I was going up, I noticed a man looking at me curiously. When I turned to him, he introduced […]
Stanford GSB Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Alumnus / Off-Campus
It was a very laid-back interview, held in the office of the alumnus. Both my wife and I interviewed back-to-back. He asked me (with some follow-ups): – Walk me through your resume – How would you make a decision as to which school to attend? – Tell me about a time you found a problem […]
Admissions Director Q&A: Kirsten Moss of Stanford GSB
Get the inside scoop on MBA admissions at Stanford GSB, as Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions & Financial Aid, Kirsten Moss, shares everything you need to know about getting into the leading business school in our latest Admissions Director Q&A. Prior to Stanford GSB, Kirsten held roles in leadership coaching, consulting, admissions and more. In […]
Admissions Director Q&A: Kirsten Moss of the Stanford Graduate School of Business
If Stanford GSB is on your list of target business schools, be sure to read this edition of our Admissions Director Q&A series with the Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, Kirsten Moss. Prior to her current role at Stanford, Kirsten developed tools to assess leadership potential as a consultant with Egon Zehnder. […]
Admissions Director Q&A: Kirsten Moss of the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Are you dreaming of attending the Stanford Graduate School of Business? With an acceptance rate that generally hovers around five percent, it can certainly feel like a fantasy. Fortunately, Kirsten Moss is here in our latest Admissions Director Q&A to explain how you can make your Stanford MBA dreams a reality. Prior to her current […]
Stanford GSB LiveWire and DecisionWire
Across its seven academic areas, Stanford GSB employs 119 tenured and tenure-track professors resulting in a six-to-one student-faculty ratio. In addition to teaching classes, these scholars and practitioners also help staff the school’s 10 research centers and research programs, which cover topics from entrepreneurial studies to global supply chain management.
The full-time MBA program is designed to take place across six quarters of roughly 11 weeks apiece. Classes are held during the fall, winter, and spring, and students are encouraged to spend the summer between the first and second years completing an internship. Autumn Quarter of the first year of the MBA program typically begins in mid- September and ends in mid-December. Classes resume for Winter Quarter in early January and last until late March; Spring Quarter runs from early April through mid-June. The second year is structured very similarly, with the exception that Autumn Quarter courses begin a week later.
As at most MBA programs, professors at Stanford GSB use a mix of teaching methods, such as case studies, lecture and discussion, and team projects. Stanford GSB students spend the first year of their MBA studies completing core requirements. The first quarter is devoted to General Management Perspectives, a series of eight courses designed to help students think like a senior manager.
During Winter Quarter and Spring Quarter, first-year students follow the General Management Foundations curriculum, in which students must take one course in each of 11 business disciplines, but are allowed to choose the level of those courses. In addition, each first-year student must fulfill a Global Experience Requirement by contributing to a project abroad. Students can meet this requirement by working abroad over the summer through the Global Management Immersion Experience, completing an exchange program with Tsinghua University in Beijing, or participating in a student-initiated service or study trip.
Prior to their second year, students can return to campus early to participate in small three-week seminars called Compressed Courses. These courses explore focused topics such as small business strategy and effective interpersonal communication. Throughout the second year, students can take up to 18 courses total and are free to choose from over 100 elective courses across 10 academic departments. Students may also cross-register for courses at other Stanford University graduate schools. Stanford GSB does not offer any formal MBA majors, but students can earn a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation.
Other MBA Degree Options
Along with its two-year MBA degree, Stanford GSB offers six joint degree programs with other schools within the university. The business school also has one dual degree program, the MD/MBA, that is offered in conjunction with the Stanford School of Medicine. Aspiring GSB students are free to design their own dual degree programs featuring an MBA and a degree in a different field from Stanford or another university. Beyond its MBA offerings, Stanford GSB is home to the Stanford Sloan Master’s Program, a one-year MS in Management program targeted at mid-career managers and executives.
Core Courses at Stanford GSB
General Management Perspectives
- Ethics in Management
- Finance I
- Financial Accounting
- Leadership Labs
- Managerial Skills
- Optimization and Simulation Modeling
- Managing Groups and Teams
- Organizational Behavior
General Management Foundations
- Data Analysis and Decision Making
- Finance II
- Human Resource Management
- Information Management
- Managerial Accounting
- Strategy Beyond Market
- Strategic Leadership
Global Experience Requirement (one)
- Global Management Immersion Experience
- Global Exploration
- Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program
Degree Offerings at Stanford
Full-time MBA Program
JD/MBA, MA Education/MBA, MPP/MBA, MS Environment & Resources/MBA, MS Computer Science/MBA, MS in Electrical Engineering/ MBA
MD/MBA, MA in International Studies/MBA
Clubs, Conferences & Competitions
Stanford GSB students are given many opportunities for extracurricular involvement. The school has over 50 student-led clubs and organizations that vary in focus from professional to social interests. For instance, the Entrepreneurship Club, one of the largest and most active student clubs at the GSB, provides resources such as workshops, panels, and peer mentorship to its members, who range from aspiring to experienced entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, the group GSB Gives Back focuses on organizing the Charity Auction, an annual school-wide auction the proceeds of which go to nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club and Special Olympics.
Each year, Stanford GSB students and professors run a variety of events that bring scholars and practitioners to campus to discuss business-related issues. These include such conferences as the Sports Innovation Conference, the GSB Search Fund Conference, and the Africa Business Forum. GSB students also participate in several business competitions, such as the $100K Challenge run by the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students.
The Knight Management Center, the home of the Stanford GSB, lies towards the eastern side of the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California. Officially opened in spring 2011, the Knight Management Center is made up of nine buildings featuring plentiful classrooms and study rooms, as well as an auditorium, event center, dining pavilion, and library.
The Schwab Residential Center is a short walk away and serves as a home for roughly 200 first-year MBA students. Additional housing is also available on Stanford’s campus through the Graduate Housing Service. Meanwhile, students seeking to live off campus can find information about local housing through Stanford’s Community Housing Services.
Stanford GSB’s Career Management Center (CMC) provides students with a wide range of career counseling services, including networking events, mock interviews, résumé and cover letter reviews, and one-on-one meetings with CMC advisors. The CMC also organizes informational recruiting events such as Company Networking Nights, as well as the school’s on-campus recruiting schedule. In the 2021-2022 school year, the official On-Campus Recruiting periods runs from mid- to late October for second-year students and from mid-January to early February, with a break for midterms, for first- and second-year students.
Three months after graduation, 91% of the Class of 2020 had received job offers and 86% of the class had accepted offers. The average starting salary of the Class of 2020 was $159,544, with an average signing bonus of $32,551.
Finance was the most chosen industry for the Class of 2020, with 34% of students joining companies in the industry. In addition, 28% went into technology and 15% into consulting. Stanford’s 2020 graduates also found jobs in a variety of other industries, such as consumer goods and energy as well as nonprofits.
As with many business schools, Stanford GSB placed a large proportion of its graduates, 60%, in the region where it is located: the Western U.S. Twenty percent found work in the Northeast, and 11% of the Class of 2020 took jobs outside of the U.S., with the most popular regions being Asia and Europe.
The tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year is $74,706. However, Stanford GSB estimates that single students living on campus will pay $119,964 total in that time given additional costs such as rent and textbooks. Meanwhile, married students should budget for $144,042. The Global Experience requirement can also add $3,000 to $4,500 to the total cost of attendance.
The school only offers need-based fellowships but encourages students to apply for both need- and merit-based outside fellowships. Stanford GSB students who are U.S. citizens can also finance their education through federal and private loan programs. International students, meanwhile, are encouraged to take advantage of the school’s partnership with Star One Credit Union that allows international students to take out loans without a U.S. co-signer. Upon being admitted to the MBA program, students receive detailed instructions regarding how to file for financial aid.
Program Cost (nine-month academic year)
Books & Supplies $1,695
Materials & Program Fee $900
Medical Insurance $6,192
Health Fee $696
Single Student $34,806
Married Student $57,774
Single Student $969
Married Student $2,079
Single Student $119,964
Married Student $144,042
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