Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford University #

Year Founded: 1925

Average GMAT: 732

City: Stanford

State: California

Country: United States

About #

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford School of Business is considered to be one of the most selective MBA programs out there, with an acceptance rate of only 6%. That is something to brag about, as their admissions committee only accepts students with the leadership capacity to change the world. These students are born entrepreneurs that have plans to create startups and have them running, which is affected by the school’s location to some extent. However, the school does not want to be known for that, as it is a School of Management.

After moving the campus to a different location in 2011, now Stanford Business School has a lot more room to pursue a different teaching style: smaller seminar-style courses that aim to deliver the curriculum in a much more effective manner. 

To add more, as a two-year full-time program, the Stanford Business School is one of the most costly MBA programs out there, reaching up to $250,000 in total costs for the two-year program. The quality education the school provides justifies these fees and they often provide students with scholarships to take some of that burden away. 

Featured Professors #

Deborah Guenfeld

Professor Gruenfeld is a well-known social psychologist, teaching the Managing groups and teams, and the Acting with power courses at Stanford School of Business. She has done research on the psychology of power and group behavior, and continues to do so. Her work examines the way people are transformed by the organizations and the social structures they work for, and is well-known for her contributions in different academic journals. Short Bio: Professor Gruenfeld completed her Bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, continuing her Masters at NeW York University. She later on finished her PhD at the University of Illinois. She worked as an assistant-associate professor at the Kellogg School of Management at the Northwestern University, before joining the Stanford faculty in 2000.

Baba Shiv

Professor Shiv is a Marketing professor and is considered to be an expert in the area of neuroeconomics. He has thoroughly studied emotion and motivation in shaping experience and decisions. He currently teaches the course “Designing solutions by leveraging the frinky scene of the human mind” at Stanford School of Business. Short Bio: Professor Shiv got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in India, where he was born. He moved to the US to pursue a PhD at Duke University in 1996. He is now a Professor of Marketing at Stanford School of Business, however he was appointed as an assistant-professor and instructor at different universities like Duke University, the University of Iowa and Stanford GSB earlier on in his career.

Rankings #

#1 USNews – Best Business Schools

#1 QS Global MBA Rankings 2021

MBA program Overview #

The Full-Time MBA program at GSB is two-years in length. At the end of the program, students will have the capabilities to think innovatively in their career and their life. Graduates of GSB become leaders in the field and have lasting impacts on the world. 

GSB develops collaboration amongst their students and faculty. Students are able to learn from experts while studying alongside global peers. Upon graduation, MBA students become a part of an alumni community whose members have real-world experience and influence. 

GSB emphasises effective teaching methods. Students learn through ‘case studies, lectures, small-group seminars, simulations prototyping, role-playing scenarios, hands-on experiences project-based courses, and multifunctional teams.’ Collaboration at GSB is key, and classmates cooperate and coordinate on numerous levels to achieve their goals.

Year One Description #

During the first year at GSB, MBA students begin building the knowledge needed to succeed at Stanford and in their career. They will develop skills in leadership and gain global experience. During the autumn quarter, students take classes which offer insights into the perspectives of senior leaders and will grow their own leadership style through hands-on experience. Students receive feedback from their classmates and professors in order to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. During their winter and spring courses, students have more flexibility in choosing courses which suit their needs and areas of interest. 

Each student must complete the global experience requirement in order to graduate. 

Fall Semester Mandatory Classes

  • Ethics in Management
  • Finance I
  • Financial Accounting
  • Leadership Labs
  • Managerial Skills
  • Managing Groups and Teams
  • Optimization and Simulation Modeling
  • Organizational Behavior

Spring Semester Mandatory Classes

  • Data Analysis and Decision Making
  • Finance II
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Management
  • Macroeconomics
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Microeconomics
  • Operations
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Strategy Beyond Markets

Year Two Description #

During their second year, students are able to broaden their focus by selecting from a range of elective classes. These electives allow students the chance to strengthen leadership and managerial skills and explore new areas of study. 

Course offerings change yearly. About 100 courses are offered each year each with various focal points and research focuses. 

Unique Aspects #

Participation in Global Experiences

Participating in global experiences is a requirement for your degree, and you will be given several opportunities to do so with the different exchange programs and experiences that Sanford will offer you.

Global Management Immersion Experience- You will be able to spend at least 4 weeks working on different projects for international sponsoring organizations during the summer.

Global Study Trips- You will get to spend 8-10 days in an intensive group learning trip lead by student leaders. You will also get the opportunity to examine global problems first-hand through the help of leaders and stakeholders that have insights into the industry.

Stanford. Tsinghua Exchange- You will get to work on different projects of interest with students from the Tsinghua University in China. You’ll get to experience their culture when you visit them in Beijing, and you’ll also be hosting them when they join you in the US.

Compressed Courses

You will also get the opportunity to take compressed courses that aim to build a deep knowledge of certain business topics in a short time frame of only 21 weeks. These are a bit more compressed and information-heavy, however, they are designed in such a way as to create flexibility in your schedule.

Student Life #

During your time at Stanford, you’ll find that the diverse community of people coming from different backgrounds and the huge variety of student activities and clubs is what makes this an absolutely amazing experience.

Applicant Requirements #

Successful applicants to GSB are able to demonstrate their intellectual vitality, leadership, and personal qualities/contributions.

Application Process #

GSB encourages students to begin the process of applying to the MBA program as soon as possible. 

Each application must contain: Transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution they have attended, academic degrees, GPA, and language proficiency


Each transcript copy must be uploaded to the online application portal. Only after students are admitted are they asked to provide official transcripts. Discrepancy between the two would mean a withdrawal of offer. Transcripts from each attended institution must be provided, regardless of whether a degree was obtained, so long as the classes counted toward the final degree earned. Classes completed, but which to not count toward the undergraduate degree, do not require a transcript submission. 


Either the GMAT or GRE can be taken in order to study at Stanford. GSB does not have a minimum score requirement. GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years and scores must be provided before submission of the application. Scores are not allowed to be averaged and only those scores meant for consideration are to be submitted. 

Foreign Language Requirements

Foreign Language Tests must be taken if a degree was earned at an institution whose classes were taught in a language other than english. Even if degree specific classes were instructed in english, a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test must be taken if the language university-wide is not english. Applicants who are uncertain if a foreign language score is required, should consider submitting scores in order to strengthen their application.

Essay Description

Two personal essays are required for the application. The admissions committee does not look for a ‘right’ answer. Rather, they wish to head about the applicants passions and goals. The word count for Essay A is 650 words. For Essay B, the word count is 400 words. Formatting should be as follows: Double-Spaced, Numbered pages, Both essays on one uploaded document. 

Essay Question 1

Essay A: What Matters Most to You, and Why?

Essay Question 2

Essay B: Why Stanford?


Applicants must submit two letters of recommendations that can speak to their skills and experiences and also provide the admissions committee with useful and relevant anecdotes. One recommendation must come from the applicant’s current direct supervisor from work and the other from an individual who has supervised the applicant’s work. Applicants who cannot provide a recommendation from a direct supervisor are advised to use their best judgement when submitting a recommendation. Alternative recommenders include previous supervisors, indirect managers, clients, or board of director members. 


Resumes should not exceed more than one page. They should contain work experience obtained since the start of the applicant’s undergraduate program. Include full and part-time work experience. Applicants should include a description of career aspirations and previous industry and job function experience. 


Interviews are conducted by GSB MBA alumni or an MBA admissions officer. Applicants should come prepared with questions in order to assess their compatibility with the GSB MBA program. All candidates are required to conduct an interview before receiving an offer of admission. Interviews are via invite only and are conducted at a ratio of 2 or 3 candidates per open spot in the program.  

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