Top Feeder Colleges To Stanford B-School

One of the things you can nearly bank on if you’re applying to any elite business school is that if you earned your undergraduate degree from the same university, the odds of acceptance begin to fall into your favor.

The largest single group of students in the Class of 2013 at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business Class had their undergraduate diplomas stamped at the business school’s parent university. Stanford undergrads make up an estimated 7.4% of the class with roughly 30 of the 397 students enrolled.

U Penn (6.3% of the class), Yale (5.9%, Harvard (5.2%), and the University of Virginia (3.0%) follow Stanford in making up the top five feeder colleges to Stanford’s business school, according to an analysis by Poets&Quants. The analysis is based on a study of Internet records that allowed Poets&Quants to identify and confirm the educational and work backgrounds of 269 of the 397 students in the Class of 2013. We then estimated the total number of students from each feeder company based on the 68% sample of the entire class.


Anyway you slice it, this is an elite group, for sure. About 25% of Stanford’s class hails from one of the original eight Ivy League schools. That compares to roughly 21.2% of the MBA students at Columbia Business School, 30.0% at Harvard Business School, and 33.1% at Wharton. Toss Stanford into that Ivy League bunch and roughly one of every three MBA students in the GSB class that entered last fall went to one of only six U.S. highly selective schools.

The only five non-U.S. universities to make the top 25 feeder schools? The Indian Institute of Technology, Peking University, the New Economic School in Russia, the University of Cambridge, and the University of New South Wales.


Of the seven confirmed admits from the Indian Institute of Technology, three came from the Madras campus, two from Kanpur, while one each came from Bombay and Kharpagpur. To get into Stanford with an IIT degree is no slam dunk. One IIT enrolled student, a former chemical engineer for Schlumberger, secured a rank of 0.1% among the 200,000 students who took the IIT entrance exam. Another, a former electrical engineer for Juniper Networks, ranked 179th out of 100,000 applicants at IIT in Chennai.

(See following page for table of the top feeder colleges to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business)

  • Jeff

    Penn’s a lot more pre-professional to begin with so it could just be the self-selection

  • Danykuscher12

    According to your research, Penn is the only university that ranks among the top 3 feeder colleges at the HSW troika.  Let’s see what your stats say:

    Feeder College         Enrolled at HBS           Stanford GSB                     Wharton                        
    UPenn                       Rank 3 (4.9%)              Rank 2 (6.3%)                   Rank 1 (7.3%) 
    Harvard                     Rank 1 (9.4%)              Rank 4 (5.2%)                   Rank 2 (6.5%)
    Stanford                    Rank 2  (5.3%)             Rank 1 (7.4%)                   Rank 6 (3.1%)
    Yale                           Rank 4 (4.1%)             Rank 3 (5.9%)                    Rank 4 (3.8%)
    Princeton                   Rank 6 (2.8%)             Rank 11(1.9%)                   Rank 3 (5.4%)

    Note: I didn’t attend Penn undergrad and I must say that I’m impressed with Penn.  Less so with Yale and Princeton although I must say that Princetonians generally piss me off with their hubris.

  • Jeff

    It would be cool if you guys controlled for school size to see which schools had a proportionally greater number of students at Harvard/Stanford/Wharton. For example a school like Williams has far fewer students than say a Berkeley, so I’d consider Williams’ presence on that list very impressive!

  • Guest

    Yeah, Michigan struck out at Stanford GSB.

  • Guest

    Clear omission here is University of Michigan Ann Arbor

  • Guy Fawkes

    Good work John! When are we going to see what the top feeder schools and companies for Northwestern Kellogg are? That will give us a full picture of the M7 business schools. Also, what about the results at these elite b-schools for the Class of 2014? it would be interesting to see if the data stays the same year to year or if there are some variations.