School Spotlight: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Welcome back, everyone! This week we’re shifting to a topic that we know is on your minds: which schools should I apply to???  We’ve been there. It can seem that there’s an endless pool from which to pick, so for the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting some fantastic programs across multiple disciplines, including business, public policy, and law.

First up we have Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

Students at the school benefit from its deep connections to Silicon Valley’s tech industry and its focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, and personal growth (Touchy Feely, anyone?)

Whether you’re a fresh-faced college senior, a young professional looking to take your career to the next level or a mid-career leader looking to expand your skill set and network, Stanford GSB has a program for you.

Full Time Academic Programs:

MBA →  The two-year Stanford MBA Program is a full-time, residential course of study that leads to a general management degree while helping you develop your vision and the skills to achieve it.

MSx Program →  The Stanford MSx Program offers leaders with at least 8 years of successful professional experience a one-year, full-time, accelerated master’s degree program at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

PhD Program → The doctoral program is designed to develop outstanding scholars for careers in research and teaching at leading academic institutions throughout the world.

Deferred Enrollment → Designed for those who are about to complete their undergraduate degrees, this program allows admitted students to work for (typically) 2 years to develop their business skills and professional judgment before beginning their coursework at Stanford.

Learning at Stanford GSB:

As you might expect, the learning process at Stanford GSB is second to none.  Their students benefit from a myriad of knowledge-building and personal development opportunities, including:

Access to Experts and Risk-Takers – You will learn from world-class faculty, recognized experts in the global-business community, and from business and world leaders who are invited to speak to classes and in larger settings.

A Personalized Experience:

Design Your Path – The intimate class sizes support close peer-to-peer interaction, small-group collaboration, and one-to-one coaching. You can pursue coursework and experiential learning opportunities in specific areas such as leadership, communication, social innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Global Perspective – Faculty teach management in the context of the international economy. Your awareness of global issues will be developed through coursework, international study trips, internships, or programs offered worldwide. Stanford’s programs draw applicants from around the world, so you will join an international student body that shares diverse insights and different perspectives.

All That Stanford Has To Offer – You will draw on resources from all of Stanford University’s world-class schools, including law, engineering, medicine, education, earth sciences, and humanities and sciences. This collaborative, cross-disciplinary culture is evident in all Stanford GSB programs. One in six MBA students chooses to pursue a joint or dual  degree.


Life at Stanford GSB:

California may be known for its laid-back lifestyle, but Stanford GSB students are constantly on the go. They are busy pursuing challenging coursework, managing the recruiting process, organizing conferences, participating in business plan competitions, the list goes on and on. Hey, you can sleep after you graduate, right? Here are a few of the advantages to studying at this phenomenal school:

The Unique Environment – The year-round sunshine and balmy climate allow for outdoor living, and bringing people together in outdoor spaces. Stanford’s new classrooms, study spaces, and other facilities were constructed with an emphasis on technology, collaboration, and sustainability.

A Diverse Student Population – Students hail from more than 50 countries, with many different educational, professional, and social backgrounds. Stanford’s  collaborative education process benefits from these diverse backgrounds, encouraging a range of perspectives and approaches to real-world problems. This diversity encompasses personal experiences and goals, culture, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and more.

Student Support – International students seeking assistance with visas or students looking for an affinity group or other support will find the resources and services they require.

A Full Life Beyond the Classrooms – Energetic and engaged students organize and participate in a variety of social and interest – or career – oriented activities. Students also have access to groups, events, and facilities across the larger Stanford University campus.

Integrated Living and Working – A range of residential options encourages collaboration and enables students to benefit from the diverse community. Single students, married students, and students with families will all find a living space that’s right for them.

Extraordinary Surroundings – Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco, there’s no better place to study business. The San Francisco Bay Area provides endless opportunities for cultural enrichment, easy access to the outdoors, and fun.

Now that we’ve piqued your interest in Stanford GSB, we’re sure you’re wondering what their students are like. Below we’ve included some information on the Class of 2019 for the 2-year MBA program. You’ll notice that Stanford prioritizes building a diverse class that offers a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives.

Entering Class Profile:

(Note: this information is updated annually. Check Stanford’s website for the most up to date statistics.)

Class of 2019 Overview

  • Total Applicants – 8,173
  • New Students – 418
  • Women – 40%
  • International – 41%
  • U.S. Minority – 29%

Years of Work Experience

  • Range – 0-14
  • Average – 4 years

Previous Industry Experience

  • Arts/Media/Entertainment – 4%
  • Clean Tech/Energy/Environmental – 3%
  • Consumer Products and Services – 7%
  • Consulting – 19%
  • Financial Services – 7%
  • Government/Education/Non Profit – 8%
  • Health Care – 4%
  • Investment Management/Private Equity/Venture Capital – 21%
  • Manufacturing – 4%
  • Military – 3%
  • Real Estate – 1%
  • Technology – 15%
  • Other – 4%
  • Organizations Represented – 301

Test Scores

  • GMAT
  • Range – 610-790
  • Average – 737
  • TOEFL (internet-based)
  • Range – 104-119
  • Average – 112


  • Undergraduate Majors
    • Business – 19%
    • Engineering/Mathematics/Natural Sciences – 37%
    • Humanities/Social Sciences – 44%
    • Advanced Degree Holders – 15%
  • GPA Average – 3.74

Schools and Countries

  • U.S. Institutions – 76
  • Non U.S. Institutions – 88
  • Countries (including U.S.) – 61


While Stanford GSB is one of the most competitive MBA programs in the U.S., they really do value more than just your GPA and standardized test scores. To differentiate yourself from the roughly 8,000 other people who apply each year, your application should convey who you are and what motivates you: your passions, beliefs and ambitions.  In terms of qualities they look for in all applicants, Stanford wants to recruit people with intellectual vitality and demonstrated leadership potential.

We know that sounds like a lot to pack into one application, so why not work with the experts who know exactly what you need to  create applications that include all the elements that top-tier schools look for?

If you’re applying to grad school in the next 12-18 months, my team would love to talk to you! Click here to schedule a free 90-minute Breakthrough Call.

(Note: We are not affiliated with any of these universities in any way, and make sure you double check the information we have posted. Sometimes things may change, so be sure not use us as your only source!)

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