Dartmouth’s Tuck vs. Stanford Graduate School of Business


Stanford is the most selective business school in the world, accepting only 6.5% of those who apply for admission. Its average GMAT score, 726 for the Class of 2011, is also the highest. Dartmouth is not far behind, though it accepts nearly three times as many applicants on a percentage basis with an average GMAT score that is 14 points lower. That’s also why Stanford is more likely to take a chance with an exceptional candidate with a lower GMAT score. GSB’s lowest GMAT score for an enrolled student was 540 versus Dartmouth’s 580.

Admission StatsStanfordDartmouth
Average GMAT726712
GMAT Range540–800580–790
Average GPA3.663.53



Most people think Stanford is a small MBA program, given its peer group of elite schools such as Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Chicago, and Northwestern. Yet, Dartmouth defines small. Its class size is a third smaller than Stanford. That makes it even more likely for heavier student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction at Tuck than at Stanford. Nevertheless, both these schools offer intimate and close-knit community environments. Stanford’s study body offers slightly more diversity than Dartmouth’s, with a bit more women, international and minority students. The numbers below are for the Class of 2011.

Enrollment StatsStanfordDartmouth
Total MBA Enrollment766510



Stanford seems to open its doors for far more poets than Dartmouth. Students who did their undergraduate work in the humanities represent 47% of the Class of 2011 at Stanford, versus only 26% at Tuck. That’s a surprising difference given the general management focus of the Tuck program. On the other hand, Dartmouth is much more open to enrolling business and economics undergrads than Stanford. About 41% of Tuck’s Class of 2011 have business or econ backgrounds, versus just 17% at Stanford.

Undergrad DegreesStanfordDartmouth


Jobs and Pay:

The severe recession of 2009 hit Dartmouth and Stanford hard as it did all the best business schools. Nearly a third of Dartmouth’s and Stanford’s Class of 2009 didn’t have jobs when they graduated. Grads from both schools fared much better three months after commencement, but these numbers are rare lows for the two best business schools in the world. The estimates of median pay over a full career come from a study by PayScale done for BusinessWeek and do not include stock options or equity stakes by entrepreneurs. We suspect that if you included stock, Stanford grads would be far more than just $200,000 ahead of Tuckies due to the liberal use of options in Silicon Valley. But that’s just a guess because roughly half of Dartmouth’s alums end up running their own businesses 20 years after graduation.

Job & Pay DataStanfordDartmouth
Starting salary & bonus$132,769$128,282
MBAs employed at commencement69.1%69.2%
MBAs employed 3 months after commencement85.4%82.8%
Estimated median pay & bonus over a full career$3,327,145$3,146,032

About the Author...

John A. Byrne

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.