How To Get Into Stanford University’s

Graduate School of Business

Stanford Program Overview

So you’re interested in applying to the GSB? There are some important things to keep in mind:

You may be interested in some other “the”-less schools like Wharton, Booth, HBS, Fuqua, etc., but when it comes to Stanford, there’s a “the” in front. Welcome to the GSB!

The GSB takes its tagline seriously: “Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.” The GSB seeks candidates who will not only be transformed by the experience of earning an MBA, but who also seek to transform lives, organizations, and the world. Members of the GBS community refer to this motivation frequently in their classes and personal explorations. In the GSB Show a few years ago, they even turned it into an acronym/verb: CLOW!

While the GSB is proud of its Silicon Valley roots and center of entrepreneurship, it prides itself on training global leaders across all sectors. The GSB looks for candidates who will try to make a big difference and is willing to consider applicants who have taken risks, are innovative, and dare to be different/do things differently. Applicants who are looking at an MBA as merely the expected next step to advance up the corporate ladder will not stand out and cutthroat behavior is frowned upon at the GSB.

One of the first classes every GSB student takes is Leadership Labs, and students really do treat the GSB like a leadership laboratory. Aspiring entrepreneurs take classes like Startup Garage where they test product-market fit by the end of the quarter. Aspiring managers become Arbuckle Leadership Fellows and practice coaching first-year students using a variety of interpersonal and coaching skills they learn in Stanford’s unique Interpersonal Dynamics and Fellows classes. Aspiring CEOs practice difficult leadership situations in Managing Growing Enterprises and High-Performance Leadership. And nearly half the class chooses to practice storytelling and building deep connections with classmates by giving 30-minute TALKs about the most formative and challenging moments in their lives.

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  Important Insights about Stanford GSB

Curriculum
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GSB students start fall quarter of their first year with courses completely within their section, and no club sign-ups, so by December everyone knows their section really well. Much of the first year is dedicated to management perspectives and foundations, with some courses offering three levels of complexity depending on students’ previous experience. For example, students with little statistical background take a statistics foundations course, while those with extensive background dive into big data analysis and machine learning. Part of the first year and all of the second year are filled with a wide array of electives, from sophisticated finance classes to the famous “touchy feely” course that helps students build soft skills and connect emotionality to leadership. A year at the GSB consists of three quarters, so students can explore a breadth of courses. Many students also take advantage of courses ‘across the street’ in other Stanford programs, exploring design thinking, engineering, computer science, and other disciplines.

Extracurriculars
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The GSB sports a variety of clubs for students to get involved in, ranging from affinity groups to career focuses to pure fun. Among Stanford’s more unique clubs are the GSB Show — an original musical written, composed, and performed each year by GSB students — and View from The Top — a group that hosts speakers from around the world who are leaders in their field. Global opportunities abound as well. Students can go on and lead global study trips to destinations all over the world, and the Global Management Immersion Experience enables students to spend more than four weeks working in a new country. For students eager to have social impact, Impact Labs set students up with projects for nonprofit boards and impact investors, and the Social Innovation Club brings in a steady stream of social enterprises and other impact-driven organizations and leaders.

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Do you need help applying to Stanford GSB?

Talk with an Admissions Specialist with Experience in the Stanford GSB Admissions Process

At Stratus, we know your time is valuable. You may be asking “why should I spend 30 minutes of my time speaking to an expert strategist?” The answer is this: we make it all about YOU. Your goals. Your profile. Your experience. This is an opportunity for us to explore your background and start to help you cultivate a plan of action for your future. Use the nearby form to get started.

  Sample Counselors with Stanford GSB Experience

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Ross

Stanford MBA
Harvard BA

More About Ross

counselor-harold
Harold

MIT Sloan MBA
Brandeis BA

More About Harold

consultant-susan-c
Susan

Fuqua MBA
Dartmouth AB

More About Susan

  Important Facts about Stanford GSB

Deadlines
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Round 1

  • Deadline: 9/19/17
  • Decision: 12/14/17

Round 2

  • Deadline: 1/10/18
  • Decision: 3/29/18

Round 3

  • Deadline: 4/4/18
  • Decision: Mid-May
Class Profile
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Class Size: 417

Average Age: 27

Average Work Experience: 4 years

Women: 41%

Underrepresented Minority: 29%

International Citizenship: 40%

Average GMAT: 737

GMAT Range: 590-790

Average GPA: 3.73

Career Placement
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Industries:

  • Consulting: 16%
  • Consumer Packaged Goods: 2%
  • Energy/Cleantech: 3%
  • Finance: 31%
  • Healthcare: 6%
  • Media/Entertainment: 3%
  • Real Estate: 1%
  • Technology: 33%
  • Transportation & Logistic Services: 2%
  • Other: 3%

Geographies:

  • International: 10%
  • North America: 90%
  • West: 65%
  • Northeast: 17%
  • Southwest: 6%
  • Midwest: 2%
  • South: 1%
  • Mid-Atlantic: < 1%

  Stanford GSB Resources

Admissions Tips & Advice for Getting Accepted

Essay Questions

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?

Essay B: Why Stanford?

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs).

Articles from the Experts

How to Search Your Soul in Your Stanford GSB Essays

The Stanford GSB has used the same two essay questions for years now, and they capture very well what the GSB is looking for in its applicants.

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How to Respond to the Stanford MBA essay prompts

The Stanford Graduate School of Business challenges those applying to be unique in their essays and responses while recognizing the importance of being yourself as you reflect upon and discuss your future goals…

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Five Business School Application Hacks to Improve Admissions Potential to Top Schools

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