Stanford Graduate School of Business

by John A. Byrne on

MBA students at Stanford’s new $350 million Knight Management Center

2. Stanford University

Stanford Graduate School of Business 
655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305
Admissions: 650-723-2766
Apply Online:

Admission Deadlines for Class of 2016:
Round One: 10/2/2013
Round Two: 1/8/2014
Round Three: 4/2/2014

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, known simply as GSB, is the most selective B-school in the U.S. The school accepted only 7% of the applicants who applied for admission to the Class of 2015, a smaller percentage than Berkeley, Harvard, or any other U.S. or European business school. The selectivity is a function of the school’s relatively small size; the Class of 2015 was the largest in the B-school’s history at 406 students. Stanford GSB’s Silicon Valley location and stellar reputation in academic circles draw in thousands of applications. Just as stunning, Stanford has the highest average GMAT scores of any business school in the U.S.: a breathtaking 732. GSB graduates land top-dollar jobs after graduation. The Class of 2013 reported median base salaries of $125,000.


Its goal is ambitious: to only accept students who, in Dean Garth Saloner’s words, “have the leadership capacity to change the world.” The tagline of the school? “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the World.” This lofty mission is taken seriously by the admissions staff, which sorts through more than 7,000 applications from top-tier candidates.


Stanford GSB opened a $345 million world-class campus in 2011. The complex gives Stanford’s B-School some 360,000 square feet of space, roughly 30% more than it had in its previous location. There are now 13 tiered classrooms, 20 flat-floored classrooms, and 70 breakout and study rooms. The larger number of breakout rooms, in particular, will help the school to more effectively deliver a curriculum that emphasizes smaller seminar-style courses. A 600-seat auditorium replaces the previous 324-seat model. There are also eight 16-person seminar rooms to allow for more intimate instruction, eight showers for MBA students, and an 870-car parking structure–a big selling point on a campus where parking was always an ordeal.


Completely gone are the windowless classrooms in the B-school’s former blocky building, which was put up in 1966. With the exception of a behavioral lab, all the classrooms now have natural light.


In 2012, there was a fairly dramatic change in Stanford’s intake. The representation of international students increased by 10 full percentage points over the previous class to an all-time high of 42%–the school has maintained that high through the Class of 2015, which is 41% international.


Stanford isn’t cheap. The school’s recommended two-year budget is $189,232, a sum that includes a $1,500 global study trip. On the other hand, the median total compensation package landed by a Class of 2013 grad was an eye-popping $180,000. That goes a long way toward paying down  student debt.

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  • disqus_JGP1tL6mRq

    An interesting application process…

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