Business school profiles

Explore our insights on what each MBA program
has to offer, along with the latest facts and stats.


About The School

“The majority of people who go to GSB do extraordinary things in ordinary jobs.”

Stanford’s MBA Program is the most selective in the world. It has maintained the highest ratio of applicants to available seats of any business school in the U.S. for the last decade. It has also had the lowest acceptance rates of any major business school in the world. Accepting only 6% of those who apply for admission, yield is 88%.

The Stanford MBA class size is less than half the size of Harvard, and lends itself to an intimate and close-knit community environment and pretty much guarantees that almost every student knows each other. And with Silicon Valley in its back yard, a growing number of tech and engineering applicants are choosing the GSB over their East coast rival. The dean estimates that Stanford is the preferred choice for 3 out of every 4 applicants admitted to both Harvard and the GSB. With the highest total compensation five years after school – estimated by Forbes at an average of $255,000 – and the pick of the hiring options from Google, McKinsey and a thriving Silicon Valley, the school and it’s graduates are clearly in the right place at the right time.

Strengths And Specializations

As you might expect from one of the world’s top business schools, Stanford’s MBA program is known for its strengths across many areas, in particular entrepreneurship, innovation, general management and social enterprise.

Incoming Class

Number of Applicants: 7,797

MBA Class Size: 419

Tuition: $141,180

Post-MBA Careers

Sector: Technology 33%; Financial Services 31%; Entrepreneurs 16%; Consulting 18%

Avg Base Salary: $144,455

Salary Increase: 124%

Employment in 3 months: 92%

MBA Rankings 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
BusinessWeek 4 4 7 2 5 1
Financial Times 1 2 2 4 2 4 1
Forbes 1 1 2
The Economist 8 9 9 13 5 5 5
US News 1 1 1 1 2 4 -4


Avg. Work Exp.: 4 yrs

Avg. GMAT: 732

Int’l Students: 42%

Female Students: 41%

Deadlines for 2018-2019: R1: Sep 18, 2018, R2: Jan 10, 2019, R3: Apr 03, 2019

Sources: Stanford GSB, BusinessWeek, Financial Times, US News, MBA50

Essays (2019-2020)

1. What matters most to you, and why?

-Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”

-Reflect the self-examination process you used to write your response.

-Genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.

-Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.

-Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.

750 Words (suggested)

2. Why Stanford? Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

-Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.

-Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.

400 Words (suggested)

The new optional prompt: Think about times you created a positive impact, whether in professional, extra-curricular, academic, or other settings. What was your impact? What made it significant to you or others? You are welcome to share up to three examples. (Up to 1500 characters, approximately 250 words each)

Check out our recent article on Stanford GSB Essays 2018-2019: Analysis & Strategy.

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