Stanford’s New Average GMAT: 732

Graduate School of Business Knight Management Center - Stanford UniversityAfter a 5.8% rise in applications, Stanford Graduate School of Business said that it has enrolled the largest MBA class in its history this year. Some 406 incoming students have showed up, a slight increase from last year’s record 398.

The school said it received 7,108 applications for the Class of 2015, up from 6,716 applications the previous year. It was the second year in a row that applications to its MBA program went up. But the number is still below the 7,204 applications Stanford received during the 2010/2011 admissions cycle and the 7,536 it received during the 2009/2010 cycle. Earlier, the dean of the school’s MBA program said on national television that the number of applications had reached 7,200 in 2012/2013 but it appears that was a rough estimate.

The application increase, nonetheless, allowed Stanford, already the most selective MBA program in the U.S., to be even a bit more choosy this past year. The school’s acceptance rate fell to 6.8% from 7.1% last year.

The average GMAT for the new class is 732, with a range of 550 to 790. That’s yet another increase for Stanford which has long had the highest average GMAT of any business school in the U.S. The new average is three points higher than the previous year’s 729 average. Wharton’s latest class has an average GMAT of 725, while Harvard’s median GMAT is 730 (HBS did not release an average number).

Other notable shifts identified by Stanford in the Class of 2015 profile:

The class comprises a record number of international and U.S. schools, with 86 U.S. schools and 99 international schools represented among the incoming students. “Not only are there more students in the class,” Stanford said in its announcement on the school’s website, “but also greater diversity of experience and background.”


The representation of both women and U.S. minorities increased this year. Women make up 36% of the class, up a touch from 35% last year, and minorities comprise 21% of the class, up from a low of 20% last year.  For enrolled women, the percentage is below the 39% high achieved in the 2010/2011 admissions cycle and below Harvard Business School’s new 41% record of enrolled women this year and Wharton’s 42%, the highest for an elite school. Stanford’s minority total is also is still well below the 27% in the 2011/2012 admissions cycle.

Stanford said that its incoming students come from a record 300 organizations, with more than 67% being “the sole classmate joining Stanford directly from that organization.” The school has been releasing this data to offset the impression that it heavily favors students who come from elite companies, such as McKinsey, Bain, BCG and Goldman Sachs. A Poets&Quants analysis last year showed that a mere half dozen of America’s most elite consulting and investment banking firms accounted for more than a third of the students in Stanford’s Class of 2013.

The school also said that the number of humanities and sciences majors in the class jumped, while a handful of fewer students studied business or engineering. Humanities and social science majors account for 51% of this year’s entering class, up from 46% last year. Business majors fell to just 14% of the class, down from 17% a year earlier and 19% in 2011/2012. Engineering, math and natural science majors dropped to 37% from 35% last year.


“As always, there was fluctuation in industry representation, with increases in biotech, consulting, and consumer-products sectors,” Stanford said. Yet, consultants represent just 20% of this year’s class. Four years ago, as much as 32% of the  incoming class were consultants and two years ago the total was 29%.

The school said that 17% of its students had jobs in private equity or venture capital, the second largest chunk of the first years after consulting. Another 10% came from financial services, putting the overall number of MBA candidates from finance at 27%–some nine percentage points below the 36% with finance backgrounds two years ago.

(See following page for a table comparing Stanford’s Class of 2015 with Harvard & Wharton)

  • peterparker

    Exactly. GMAT is different in this aspect. It tests the reasoning skill. Besides, only score does not matter. The SOP matters a lot.

  • peterparker

    Ha ha ha, in US, the education is real. In India, people lack practical knowledge. Remain in your world of books. Have you ever worked in your life sitting in cafe coffee days, I am not talking about a ‘JOB’, but creating businesses, making prototypes, experiments? If your answer to these questions are ‘NO’, which will be anyways in all likelihood, then your so called MBA degree is waste.

  • peterparker

    Leave such people. These people have been fed by garbage, never come out of the world of books, and have not seen the real world. I have worked with the real americans and know their thought process. Besides, Indians lack in all other aspect. Professionalism, not adhering to time, no team building. It is all about books,books and books.

  • peterparker

    Yes. The main reason that why IIT/IIM were selective because the number of seats in proportion to the candidate writing the exam were less. People fabricated a mythology out of this, though

  • AugustineThomas

    No, I bet they had a GREAT personality!

  • Joe Schmoe

    he is the girl or guy who donated a lot of coin

  • JohnAByrne

    Let me refer you to our Class of 2015 — By The Numbers story. It contains similar numbers for the top ten schools, though not Yale. We’ll be updating this story to contain educational major and work industry background info shortly. It’s here:

  • Thor

    John A. Byrne, sir. Please publish data comparisons for Haas, Tuck, Yale and Sloan, too. I’m eyeing an acceptance from those business schools aside from HBS, Stanford GSB and Wharton.

  • Yoyo

    Isn’t that the same in all regions. Michael Hess…. remember.

  • GuptaUAE

    here is a typical stanford grad in a middle eastern country: an incredibly rich guy with gmat 590 got into stanford two years ago, he was sponsored by oil giant, his father is a minister and billionaire, and most importantly, his company donated over $100m to the university for a research center. generally, he is ok for Iowa, Vanderbilt, or maybe Marshall at USC, but for Harvard or Stanford?! NO WAY, it was complete shock. You will get surprised when knowing that the reputation of the Stanford MBA at that particular country is not that good based on the type of their alumni there! The perception of the stanford MBA there is that it is for rich people, connected kids, playing with money. There is no single successful story (or even something proud of) for the stanford and harvard MBA grads there. The culture of the MBA from Harvard and Stanford at that country is mainly for prestige and ego for immature boys. and when they face reality, they normally get back to their parents for help to be hired in governmental related jobs where there is no competition and the whole economy depends on oil! These programs are not for self made persons, self made persons usually go to Tuck or Chicago or wharton, or better not to waste time for an MBA from the beginning.

  • Feebie

    Getting into a top B-School does not indicate how intelligent you are. In fact, I’d say people from STEM or Economics background (independent of nationality) are intelligent because well, MBA is not rocket science and anybody with common sense can do it!

  • CommonSense

    If that is your logic you could say that generally most people on earth are “dumb” (which I disagree with, the more appropriate term would be uneducated).And yes, that same logic could be applied to Indians as well. The majority of Indians are not educated (which isn’t surprising given limited resources and a massive population). My point about your language choice stands. When you say ” I have tremendous respect for Europeans, especially Germans” then continue on to say Americans are generally “dumb””, it comes across as a comment on some inherent characteristic associated with being of a certain nationality, when in fact lack of education is due to numerous factors (nationality being only one). If you’re going to make inflammatory statements that start with you calling people “brainless foreigners”, don’t expect people to give you the benefit of the doubt, or infer less offensive things on your behalf.

  • Rahul

    Americans are generally dumb does not EQUATE to all Americans are dumb but most of them are. You and I both know the class profile of top B-Schools in the US. There are “Americans” in those B-Schools who constitute the majority of all the students… Intelligent Americans, if that makes you happy. Duh!

  • CommonSense

    You’re xenophobia is showing. If you’re truly as intelligent as you seem to think you are, you’d be aware that such generalizations are by their very nature lies or half truths at best. Ex. I could generalize and say Indians are unintelligent because their literacy rate is about 75% (meaning almost as many Indians are illiterate as there are people in the US). HOWEVER that statement would be factually incorrect. There are many factors which come into play before reaching that statistic. And the true fact is that there are many very intelligent Indian people (just like there are many intelligent Americans). Try think before you write such offensive things. Just because someone else is acting reprehensibly doesn’t mean you have to join them.

  • avivalasvegas

    I agree with your assessment of HBS and views on Stanford’s culture. I don’t think Booth is on the same playing field but is definitely a worthy rival to Wharton. Kellogg is the weakest of the top 3 but with their new Dean making all the right moves and their new building coming soon, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kellogg topples Wharton once again.

  • albert

    yes a friend from Stanford told me yield is 92%, compared to 89% at HBS. Also heard that 80+% of dual admits chose Stanford this year. HBS is really losing it.

  • Rahul

    For me it’s HBS if I were to retain the tradition of keeping triumvirates. Sounds like Harvard Business School, but it’s Harvard, Booth and Stanford.

    I can understand the intention behind your ranking. It’s fine.

    But on a personal level, I dislike Harvard Business School. I feel it’s filled with arrogant people and pretentious do-gooders. I have an affinity for Stanford’s culture and Booth’s culture. There is genuine talent in these two schools. And in the end, one is more or less in the same pay package league (depending upon industry and function chosen). The only difference is the myriad degrees and what those degrees mean to an individual and the society at large.

  • avivalasvegas

    To my understanding, an accurate ranking of business schools is as follows:

    Top B School- Harvard/ Stanford
    Top 3 – Wharton, Kellogg, Booth
    Top 5 – MIT, Columbia, LBS
    Top 10 – Tuck, Stern, Ross, Berkeley, pick one

  • Rahul

    I apologize for saying ‘brainless foreigners’. I have tremendous respect for Europeans especially Germans. I should have been specific. I only meant Americans who are generally dumb (except the Asian American community). You are correct about my country. That much I accept.

  • Robert

    Or maybe he has influential contacts in the University. 😛

  • You’reToProudForNothing

    The idea is that these tests don’t measure anymore your raw intelligence, it seems some guys are locking themselves in the basement studying 1yr to get close to 800 even using tricks learned from books, and then what? But tell me when those guys are using their own creativity and power brain to develop smth new? You should make a distinction by now between learning a lot to achieve smth and true intelligence cause it seems the majority of Nobel Prizes are going to the ‘brainless foreigners” even if in PhD programs since a long time these guys who don’t “bell the CAT’ are a minority.

  • Economist_is_a_joke

    Control your population. You come to “foreign lands” a lot for opportunities that your nation cannot give you.

  • Rahul

    This triumvirate thing: HSW no longer holds any charm. W is out.

  • Sanjay Gupta

    Wharton has lost its reputation. I don’t hate Wharton, but that is the bitter truth.

  • Rahul

    LOL… Try giving CAT you imbecile. It is 10 times tougher than GMAT and for every wrong answer there is negative marking. You brainless “foreigners” won’t be able to ‘bell the CAT’. Your GMAT is so easy. Just 3 months of preparation and I scored 750. For CAT you need to prepare for at least a year.

  • avivalasvegas

    I don’t see it as a proper comparison. Maybe with Booth and Kellogg, but definitely not with Harvard and Stanford. Not anymore.

  • Gmat race

    If wonder when the average GMAT will break the 750 barrier at a US B-School. I spoke to an alumni at a top 3 B-School and she mused that in her days the average was 690. She dares not to speculate her chances if she applies today with her stats.

  • IIM_tard

    They don’t default to the GMAT you moron. They have their own entrance exam. That’s like taking the top 1% of scorers at Stanford and saying that the average GMAT score is 780. One Stanford grad is worth 15 of your IIM jokers in the workplace.

  • hbsguru

    A white guy, summa from Princeton, who wrote about What Matters Most is being able to explain my inability to perform well on standardized tests to my employers, who have included Goldman and KKR, and the fact they hired me anyway. 😉

  • JohnAByrne

    Planning to put more schools in the mix as the data comes in. Not all the schools are as transparent with the class profiles they publish on their websites.

  • JohnAByrne


    So if you had to guess the profile of the candidate who got into Stanford this year with a 550 GMAT, what would it be?

  • hbsguru

    noun: irony
    expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies
    the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
    ““Don’t go overboard with the gratitude,” he rejoined with heavy irony”

  • wut?

  • hbsguru

    “There are no quotas or targets in the Stanford admission process, and we
    assess each applicant based on her or his own merit. This is why we
    consider a class profile illustrative, rather than informative. In
    truth, there is no metric that can capture an individual’s potential.”

    GAG, GAG, and GIGGLE, GIGGLE– nope, there is nothing you can say about a typical Stanford admit, or what the biases of the adcom are, everyone is different. And once you get to Stanford, the adcom will tell you, they continue believing that, that is why there are no courses that use, say, data, as part of understanding business, or courses where patterns from data sets are looked at. And that is also why so MANY Stanford GSB grads are found begging by the side of the road, or selling apples to get by, and if you ask them, “Say, do you think there might be a better road to beg on, or a better time of day?” They will say, “NO NO NO at Stanford we learned that all roads are different and unique, so no road is better for anything, all things considered, and time of day is just “illustrative” and not “informative,” and there is really no metric which can count apples or beggars or anything, that is what I learned at Stanford. Numbers lie and only feelings count, but I mean you cannot ‘count’ those feelings, you need to feel them. “

  • one_opinion

    Sure—it’s about 40 people. My theory is that Harvard loses mostly to Stanford; however, Stanford in return loses mostly to admitted candidates’ employers/business—not Harvard. Given the more entrepreneurial setting that Stanford candidates are in, many of them decide to stay with their current responsibilities or continue to grow their own business.

  • Confused.

    I want to meet the guy or girl who got into Stanford with a 550.

  • seamlessftw

    How many people are in that facebook group? Just trying to understand sample size.

  • FYI

    One of my best friends started at Stanford this year. She told me that the yield % was in the low nineties.

  • Hey, wait a minute…

    “The average GMAT for the new class is 732, with a range of 550 to 790. That’s yet another increase for Stanford which has long had the highest average GMAT of any business school in the world.”

    So, what are IIM-A, B and C? Chopped liver?

  • Guest2

    It is a top 3 business school. Elite candidates frequently apply to just these three schools. Obviously, it is third out of three on this list, but it belongs there. Get over it.

  • Guest

    Haters gonna hate.

  • avivalasvegas

    I don’t understand why Wharton is on this comparison? The number of applicants, percentage admitted, yield and overemphasis on recruiting financial services talent show that the school isn’t a fair comparison.

  • Glad that the Stanford made public that students came from 300 different organizations. I think there is a sense that too many students at all business schools come from the brand-name consulting firms, financial institutions, and PE firms. Be interesting to see a sample of those 300 organizations, if only to encourage those who are not from glamorous firms to see themselves as worthy candidates. In my experience, except for a very few firms (Bain Capital, TPG, KKR), it isn’t the firm name that drives students’ acceptances. But having said that, people so often confuse causation with correlation in the admissions biz.

  • one_opinion

    Not sure about the yield estimates: Stanford’s yield is probably above Harvard’s, judging from the fact that about 85% of the “HBS and Stanford admit” group on facebook group now show Stanford.