Stanford GSB 2018-2019 MBA Deadlines

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business is moving up its round one MBA application deadline this year to Sept. 18th, a day earlier than last year. For R1 applicants that means getting a final admit/deny decision by Dec. 13th.

Stanford set a round two deadline of Jan. 10, exactly the same as last year, with decisions due by March 28th, a day earlier. And the school’s final and third round will have a cutoff date of April 3rd, a day earlier than last year, with decisions going out by May 16th.

All applications are due by 11 a.m. PST, including letters of reference and the GSB’s $275 application fee. The school does not disclose a specific date for its invitation-only interviews by alumni and admissions staff. Typically, an applicant and an interviewer work together to schedule the interview once an invite goes out, generally within seven to 10 days.

Round one interviews usually occur from mid-October to late November over a four- to five-week window. Round two interviews start in early February to go until mid-March. For round 3, Stanford begins inviting candidates to interview approximately a week after the application deadline and continues issuing invitations until a week before the decision notification date for that round, from mid-April to early May.

Stanford’s 2018-2019 MBA Application Deadlines

GSB Rounds Application Deadline Interviews Decisions
Round One September 18, 2018 Mid-Oct. to Late Nov. December 13, 2018
Round Two January 10, 2019 Early Feb. to Mid-March March 28, 2019
Round Three April 3, 2019 Mid-April to Early May May 16, 2019

The most highly selective prestige MBA program in the world again retains its iconic essay prompt: What Matters Most To You, and Why? The school also requires an essay on why an applicant wants to get an MBA from Stanford. Answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words, with a suggested word count of 750 for the first essay and 400 for the second.


During the 2016-2017 admissions cycle, Stanford received a record 8,173 applications for just over 400 classroom seats, a 21.7% increase in apps over the past five years. To put Stanford’s popularity in context, Stanford enjoyed 26.6% fewer applications than Harvard Business School…but its 418 member class was also half the size of its Boston rival. To look at it another way, 89% of applicants who received a Stanford acceptance letter ultimately enrolled – just a shade under HBS’ 90.8% mark.

Last year, Stanford admitted 469 applicants, for an acceptance rate of just 5.7%, lower than any other prestige business school in the world. In short, Stanford has increasingly emerged as the “cool” school – the go-to destination for the brainy, laid back, and spunky alike.

Record applications wasn’t the only big news last year. The incoming class notched a 737 GMAT average – another high mark and a four point improvement over the previous year. For enrolled students, GMAT scores ranged from a low of 610 to a high of 790. The overall average was also six points better than HBS and seven points above Wharton and Chicago Booth.

Average GRE scores on the verbal were 165, with a range of 150 to 170, and 164 on the quant, with a range of 156 to 170. In addition, the class also mustered a 3.74 GPA average as undergraduates, also the highest performance among the top business schools.


“GSB is a place that celebrates people, optimism and authenticity. Make sure this philosophy resonates with you, and reflect that in your application materials.” — Animesh Agrawal, Class of 2018 graduate from Stanford will be working at The Blackstone Group as an investment analyst

“Make the application process meaningful for you regardless of the outcome. A countless number of my classmates have spoken to the legitimate introspective process that the application provides. Take the time to step back from your work and life and consider what gives you energy and what takes it away, what conditions help you be your best self, and what the purpose of your work actually is. If you can do this, chances are your best self will shine through, too!” — Sarah Anne Hinkfuss, Class of 2018 graduate from Stanford will be working at KKR’s Next Generation Technology Growth Fund

“Before you sit down to write your personal statement, spend some good time thinking about the moments in your life that have been meaningful and transformative. Write down these scenes individually and consider them in the larger trajectory of your past and your intended future: where do your gifts and monumental experiences intersect with your interests, and how can you weave these pieces together into a coherent narrative? Your personal statement is less about conveying a personal brand and more about giving the admissions committee the opportunity to see you: not simply what you’ve done, but how you think, what you value, and why you’ve chosen to tackle the things that you’ve accomplished. Own up to your sense of self: your quirks, your decisions, your beliefs. In this way, you are not only creating an authentic essay but you’re also giving yourself permission to show up completely in the later stages of your application process: during your interview, your school visits, and your chats with students, faculty and alumni.” — Jayce Hafner, Class of 2019 MBA student at Stanford

“I was lucky to know a few GSBers and through them reached out to several students. This was maybe the best thing I did during my application process. That’s not because they told me something I had never heard before, but I realized that all of them were so different, that there was no way there is a perfect candidate. In all of them I could see the reasons why they were accepted. But I could also see some reasons why they might not have been accepted. This was extremely useful to me, because it made me realize that I didn’t need to show myself as a perfect candidate – because no one checks all the right boxes. The superstars don’t come to business school, because they don’t need it! This made it much easier to write my essays. I actually wrote about some mistakes I’ve made in my life. At the end, I think admissions cares more about having a diverse class than having only the most accomplished people in the class.” — Felipe Kettlun, Class of 2019 MBA student at Stanford


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