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Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: August 11, 2023.

Stanford Graduate School of Business

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business campus.
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business

MBA Program Stats

Annual Tuition: $79,860

Annual Tuition Non-Resident: $79,860

Acceptance Rate: 8.6%

Full-Time Enrollment: 424

Average GPA: 3.76

Median GMAT: 737

Median GRE: 327

International: 37%

Minority: 27%

Female: 44%

Male: 56%

Average Age: 27

What You Need To Know

Ranked third by Poets&Quants, Stanford’s MBA boasts the most selective prestigious program in the world, with an acceptance rate of just 8.6% for the cohort that entered in the fall of 2023. First offering its MBA in 1925, Stanford Graduate School of Business is a place where anything and everything is possible, where the boundaries of knowledge are pushed beyond what’s imaginable and diverse ideas and perspectives aren’t just accepted, they’re encouraged. The tagline of the school is, “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the World,” and this lofty mission is taken seriously.

The school’s location–in the heart of Silicon Valley–allows it to have a near hands-off approach to entrepreneurship because the startup bug strikes naturally given the surrounding ecosystem of angel investors, VC firms, and company founders.

“My favorite part of our MBA program is the way we combine the best research faculty of any business school in the world — truly world-class (and some Nobel-winning) social scientists — with highly successful practitioners to create a curriculum that is both deep and practical. All students get exposure to a broad range of topics and then have the ability to dive deep into those that are most relevant to their interests and goals,” says Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Paul Oyer.

Academics And Programs

Stanford’s incoming MBA class numbers have hovered around 420 students for the last five years, and this year they welcomed 424 students to the class of 2025.

The first year of the two-year MBA builds students’ general management knowledge and global exposure, mostly consisting of core courses potentially with room for one to two electives in winter and spring. Stanford offers practical experiences, leadership coaches, and courses with methods designed to enhance leadership skills.

As one might expect, many of the required courses can be calibrated to the student’s skills, experience, and future goals. The global experience requirement is also completed in the first year and offers various exciting programs for students to explore and engage in worldwide issues in order to fully appreciate the complexities involved in global management.

The second-year curriculum can be tailored through electives, seminars, a joint or dual degree, and courses at other Stanford schools, designed to help broaden experiences and perspectives, strengthen areas of development, allow students to explore new subjects, and ensure a well-rounded general management education. Stanford GSB adds new electives or substantially revises existing topics every year to respond to changes in the business environment, the social sector, and students’ interests.

From participatory teaching methods to student clubs to on-campus living, Stanford GSB’s collaborative culture is designed to reduce competition between students and deepen relationships.

Post-graduation, Stanford MBAs typically land among the highest first -year pay packages in the world. Total average compensation for Stanford MBA graduates jumped more than 11% to a new school record $257,563 in 2022. The sum includes base salary, sign-on bonus, and expected performance bonus, the latter two adjusted in the total comp number to account for the percentage of graduates receiving those elements of pay. MBA startups at Stanford have been at near-record levels over the years, making the school the place to incubate a business from scratch, search for capital from angel investors and VCs, and launch. In fact, 19% of the Class of 2022 pursued their own ventures, nearly four times more than the more typical 5% level across most MBA programs.

Rankings Data For Stanford GSB

Stanford GSB MBA Rankings

Ranking Poets&Quants
2023-2024 1
2022-2023 3
2021-2022 1
2020-2021 1
2019-2020 1

Getting Into This School

Stanford GSB Essay Questions And Strategic Guidance, 2023-2024

How can the GSB admissions committee determine which candidates are a cut above the rest?

How To Get Into Stanford Graduate School Of Business

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) takes its mission seriously: “Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.”

jeremy shinewald mbamission

A Successful Stanford GSB Essay Example

“What matters most to you, and why?” How do you approach this essay prompt that the Stanford GSB poses in its application?

MBA Program Consideration Set

If you believe you’re a close match to this school–based on your scores, age and work experience, you could look at these other competitive full-time MBA programs as well. We list them by stretch, match, and more to consider. These options are presented on the basis of brand image and ranking status as a general guideline. These are meant to be a starting point for further exploration.

Partners who enable Poets&Quants to provide, free to our readers, information, inspiration, and greater access to graduate education opportunities.


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Harvard Business School vs. Stanford GSB

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All the 2021 school employment report & class profile data — and much more — for the Magnificent Seven B-schools

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This Is What It Costs To Get An MBA From A Top Business School

All the data on tuition, expenses & total cost when you study for an MBA from a leading business school in the United States or Europe

GMAT Versus GRE: Which Top-50 MBA Programs Prefer Which Test?

Where a GMAT or GRE score is a must for admission — and where you don't have to worry about sitting for an entrance exam

Average GMAT Scores At The Top U.S. MBA Programs

All the score averages for the Class of 2024 at 27 of the leading business schools

Acceptance Rates & Yield At The Top 50 U.S. MBA Programs

Acceptance rates rose at elite U.S. B-schools in 2022, but across all 50 P&Q-ranked schools the average rate was similar to 2021 — and some schools got much more selective

2023-2024 MBA Admissions Events By School

A school-by-school listing of MBA events for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle

Why Students Chose

“Aspiring to leverage technology to improve lives, I was attracted to the GSB primarily because of how the school is always on the frontier of how things are changing. GSB is immersed into the technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem, but at the same time focusing on introspection and developing leaders that will have a lasting positive impact on society. Moreover, as an international student, I had always wanted to live my MBA as a life experience and dreamed about the opportunity of living on campus. The Stanford campus is amazing and allows you to connect with other students not only in the classroom but also in endless social activities in the residences and sports.” Andrea Epelbaum (‘24)

“For me, going to business school was about immersing myself among visionary thinkers. I wanted to engage deeply with people smarter than me who were working to solve interesting, persistent global challenges. Stanford works hard to ensure that those touchpoints are occurring constantly. It’s not just with folks on campus, but with alumni and leaders across sectors who visit through formal speaker series like View from the Top, keystone experiences like Executive Challenges, and endless class visits and guest lectures. What’s most notable isn’t just that they’re coming to campus – it’s how frequently there are opportunities to meet with them in smaller groups or one-on-one. GSB puts a lot of emphasis on intimacy, and in that, creates a culture of deep connection that is already paying dividends.” Nikhil Gupta (‘24)

“A programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The GSB is more than a platform for leadership development – it’s an active partner, providing the resources, coaching, and community required to help us reach our fullest potential within and beyond our time at Stanford. That emphasis on personal growth and mission-driven leadership brought me to the GSB. Even in a span of a few short months, I’ve been pushed far beyond my comfort zone to question limiting beliefs I once had and take bigger risks in the way I show up. Whether in classes like Leadership Labs or through programming driven by the Center for Social Innovation, the GSB is a place where students are deeply committed to becoming better than they were yesterday and where the broader institution invests in that commitment.” Katie Deal (‘24)

“The focus on social impact. My heart is dedicated to underrepresented people and areas, and I need to empower myself and acquire support to confront and tackle deep-rooted tough societal issues. My passion for social impact and inclusion originally comes from my own experience of having physical difficulty in the past. It grew when I was immersed in a rural area as an economist and faced severe reality there. Also, as one of the few Japanese females at GSB, gender equality means a lot to me. I’m grateful for what I have been given, and I’m ready to give back to society.” Yukiho Ishigami (‘24)

“I inherited a passion for technology from my dad: a trained electrical engineer who built a successful software business that served the likes of Goldman Sachs and IBM. He did this not in London or the Bay – but in Derry in Northern Ireland. He is the embodiment of entrepreneurship. At GSB, I’m making the most of the opportunities that my father wished he had – classes on how to turn ideas into scalable ventures, access to world-class faculty, and, of course, the ability to connect with the technology innovators of Silicon Valley.” Dara Canavan (‘24)

Student Features For Stanford GSB

Meet Stanford GSB’s MBA Class Of 2024

Change agents and difference makers headline 1st-year class

Meet Stanford GSB’s MBA Class Of 2023

Our annual look at some of the most promising GSB first-years

Meet Stanford GSB’s MBA Class Of 2022

A dozen Stanford MBAs in the Class of 2022 share their life journeys and dreams

The M7 B-Schools: Everything You Need To Know

All the data on the U.S. B-schools that consistently lead the rankings & spark the imagination of applicants everywhere

High & Low MBA Salaries And Bonuses At The Top 100 B-Schools

All the most important numbers from the top business schools in the United States

MBA Pay By Region: Here’s How Much You’re Worth

A school-by-school look at how much MBAs can expect to earn by region

MBA pay

MBA Pay By Occupation & Industry: Here’s How Much You’re Worth

A school-by-school pay comparison for MBAs in Consulting, Finance, Technology, and more

The major employers of MBAs at Harvard, Stanford and Wharton

Who Really Hires Harvard, Stanford & Wharton MBAs These Days

An exclusive look at today's major MBA employers at Harvard, Stanford & Wharton & how many MBAs they hire from each school

Which M7 School Parties The Hardest? This Survey Found Out

In new report, 84% say grades are secondary to the social side of school

10 Movies Every Business Student Must Watch

From Wall Street to Norma Rae, a movie marathon for admits to business school, current MBAs and anyone interested in life's great truths

Career Stats

Stanford GSB MBA Compensation

Compensation Type 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Median Base Salary $175,000 $175,000 $156,000 $150,000 $142,000
Median Signing Bonus $45,000 $35,000 $26,500 $25,000 $25,000

Industry Choices of Stanford GSB MBAs

Industry 2022 2021 2019 2018 2017
Agriculture 1%
Consulting 15% 18% 15% 18% 18%
Consumer Products 2% 2% 4% 3% 2%
Education 2% NA NA 1% 1%
Energy/Clean Tech 2% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Finance 33% 33% 34% 33% 31%
Government 1% NA NA NA NA
Healthcare 5% 5% 4% 6% 5%
Hospitality/Travel NA 1% 1% 1% NA
Media/Ent. 5% 4% 3% 3% 3%
Nonprofit 1% NA 1% 1% 4%
Other 1% 4% 3% 2% 3%
Real Estate 2% 2% 3% 2% 1%
Retail NA NA 1% 1& NA
Technology 30% 29% 28% 24% 33%
Transportation & Logistics 4% 3% 2%

Admissions For Stanford GSB

Essay Questions For Stanford GSB

Stanford requires prospective MBAs to complete two personal essays.

In each essay, they want to hear your genuine voice. Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams. There is no “right answer” to these questions – the best answer is the one that is truest for you.

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, they would like you to reflect deeply and write from the heart. Once you’ve identified what matters most to you, help them understand why. You might consider, for example, what makes this so important to you? What people, insights, or experiences have shaped your perspectives?

Essay B: Why Stanford?
Describe your aspirations and how your Stanford GSB experience will help you realize them. If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.

School Features And Admissions Analysis

Stanford’s MBA Class Of 2025 Is (Once Again) Among The Most Diverse In The World

Half of the incoming MBA class in Palo Alto are U.S. minorities, and Stanford continues to be among the top B-schools for women's enrollment

Stanford MBA Class Of 2024: Apps Down 16.5%, But Program Gets More Diverse

Stanford's GMAT average of 737 is 1 point down from 2021 but still better than any other B-school this year

Average Stanford MBA Pay Now Exceeds A Quarter Of A Million Dollars

The final M7 school to release its 2022 employment data reports huge jumps in median & average MBA salaries

Stanford GSB Reports A Record GMAT For Its MBA Class Of 2023

A modest increase in apps leads to a five-point rise in the average GMAT score at Stanford GSB

Stanford GSB Graduated The Highest-Paid MBAs Of All Time In 2021

Total compensation barely grew over last year's record, but placement rates rebounded

Stanford Graduate School of Business Jonathan Levin is Poets&Quants Dean of the Year for 2022

Dean Of The Year: Jon Levin Of Stanford Graduate School Of Business

For his leadership at one of the world's most influential business schools, Jon Levin is Poets&Quants Dean of the Year for 2022

Matt Symonds critiques MBA Rankings

Top Tips For Applying To Stanford Graduate School Of Business

How to master Stanford’s process and produce an application that stands out from the crowd

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5 Things You Need To Know If You’re Applying To Stanford GSB

Tips from a former GSB gatekeeper on how to stand out

MBA Essays That Worked At Harvard & Stanford

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Harvard, Stanford & Wharton: Three MBA Essays That Got Candidates Admitted

Successful MBA essay examples for Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton

She Applied To Harvard & Stanford With These Two MBA Essays

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An Extraordinary Collection Of MBA Essays From Successful Stanford & Harvard Applicants

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Harvard And Stanford MBA Interview Advice

Former adcoms and alumni weigh in

When To Start Your MBA Application

Round one countdown: 7 strategies to start now

Work Authorization Considerations For The International MBA Applicant

A guide to help you understand what you’re up against, and how to succeed

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What It Now Costs To Hire An MBA Admissions Consultant

The cost can vary from $20K to a three-school package to $195 an hour for one-on-one coaching

The Most Favorably Reviewed MBA Admission Consulting Firms

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top MBA admission consultants of 2023

The Top MBA Admission Consultants Of 2023

These MBA admission consultants are at the top of their game, winning more favorable client reviews than any other in the world

MBA Watch For Stanford GSB

MBA Watch is where thousands of MBA applicants not only get to tell their story but have John A. Byrne, MBA admissions coaches and our audience, assess their odds of admission and get help to improve their chances of getting in!

Mr. Failed Startup Founder

Dropped out of Indian Institute of Technology to join law school.

Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)

I graduated from the senior class of 2022 at a top Canadian undergraduate business school.

Mr. Humble Iranian Self Employed Businessman

I love stargazing, reading about natural selection, and browsing through Option Chains.

Mr. Soldier Boy

Currently a Military Intelligence Officer training junior officers in human intelligence collection.

Mr. Jumbo GMAT

Work experience comes to two years of in-house strategy at a publicly listed multinational (think top 20 nationally by market cap & revenue) managing ad hoc teams on a project-by-project basis.

Mr. MBB To PM

- Just moved to a developing country to help build-out a country-leading ride-hailing startup - Former MBB, focusing on strategy and advanced analytics (a.

Mr. Low GRE

Middle Eastern (From the Gulf).

Mr. Comeback Kid

I have a lower-income background and worked full time while in college to pay my way through college.

Mr. Army Engineer

I'm currently an Army Captain and engineer at heart but am looking to jump into the finance or consulting industry - an MBA seems the best way to start.

MBA Handicapping: How Does Harvard Business School & Stanford GSB View HR?

She brings a 328 GRE & a 3.64 GPA in psych to the game

MBA Handicapping: Bainie, BYU Athlete = H/S/W?

Sandy assesses the odds of an African-American Bainie

MBA Handicapping: Harvard/Stanford/Wharton For This Silver, Not Gold Resume?

Former i-banker & current PE associate, he brings a 730 GMAT and 3.6 GPA to the game

Is Stanford GSB Possible For This Super Smart Engineer?

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MBA Handicapping: Penn State Super Star, TED Talk Prodigy, URM — What Can Keep Him Out Of HBS?

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MBA Handicapping: 4.0/760, Caltech: Minefields For 2+2

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With a 710 GMAT & a 3.8 GPA, she's a solid candidate for a top MBA

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MBA Handicapping: What Does A 3.17 GPA Do To A 780 GMAT At H/S/W

A senior product manager at a major e-commerce play aims for a top MBA

MBA Handicapping: H/S/W Admit Tips For Finance Guys.

With a 740 GMAT and a 3.4 GPA, this corporate finance analyst is vowing for five of the M7 MBA programs

News Coverage For Stanford GSB

Long-Time Finance Prof Named Interim Dean At Stanford GSB

Peter DeMarzo steps into deanship as search begins for a replacement for Jonathan Levin, who becomes Stanford's president in August

Stanford Graduate School of Business

How Stanford Went STEM: A Story About ‘Doing The Right Thing’

Four years later, Anupriya Dwivedi looks back on the successful push to help Stanford MBAs grads put down roots in the U.S.

International Women’s Day: She Didn’t Want To Choose Between Motherhood And A Stanford MBA — So She Did Both

Srishti Kawatra found out she was pregnant her very first day as an MBA student at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford MBAs Now In Striking Distance Of $300K Starting Pay

Average salary, bonuses & total pay all leap to new heights — even as Stanford's MBAs confront the same tough job market as their peers

Stanford Alumni Accuse School’s Leaders Of ‘A Shocking Abrogation’ As Campus Divisions Deepen

More than 1,200 MBAs and others sign an open letter calling out university leadership for what they say has been failure to protect Jewish students

Stanford’s MBA Class Of 2025 Is (Once Again) Among The Most Diverse In The World

Half of the incoming MBA class in Palo Alto are U.S. minorities, and Stanford continues to be among the top B-schools for women's enrollment

Harvard & Wharton Slump In New 2023 Businessweek MBA Ranking

Stanford's MBA program claims first for the fifth consecutive year

This School’s Alumni Have Created More Than 200 Billion-Dollar Companies In The Last 28 Years

Stanford's resident VC expert: One school has produced 285 founders among its alumni who collectively founded 207 unicorns since 1995

MBA Scholarships At The Leading Business Schools

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Meet The Enlisted Veterans Who Got Into Stanford & Wharton

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Matt Symonds critiques MBA Rankings

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Stanford, Harvard & Wharton Also-Rans In Topsy-Turvy U.S. News MBA Ranking

Changes in the methodology for ranking MBA programs mixes up U.S. News ranking

From Middle School Dropout To Stanford MBA: The Incredible Journey Of Yegor Denisov-Blanch

Champion weightlifter who went 6-for-6 with top-10 MBA programs shares his admission strategies

Poets&Quants 2022-2023 MBA ranking

Poets&Quants 2022-2023 MBA Ranking: A Surprising Change At The Top

Stanford loses the crown to Wharton's MBA experience

The World’s Best MBA Programs For Entrepreneurship In 2023

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Stanford MBA Admissions Chief Kirsten Moss Resigns

Kirsten Moss, assistant dean of MBA admissions & financial aid since 2017, will step down at the end of 2022