Guide to getting into Stanford MBA

How to Get into Stanford MBA (2024): A Detailed Guide

May 11, 2024
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Stanford GSB Acceptance Rate: 6.9%Stanford GSB Admissions StatisticsWhat is Stanford GSB Looking For In Applicants?Stanford GSB Admissions Requirements How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Stanford GSBStanford GSB Essay PromptsStanford GSB InterviewStanford GSB MBA Employment OpportunitiesFAQs

Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), located in Stanford, California, has developed tremendously through the years and is considered one of the world’s best business schools. Established in 1925, Stanford GSB provides students a transformative experience, rigorous education, and diverse student life. Attending the school, for many, is a dream come true.

However, given its considerably competitive nature and association with prestige, some applicants are unsure of the best way to improve their chances of admission. 

This article will highlight all the components Stanford GSB requires in its application process and provide tips to improve your application’s quality for the best admission chances.

Stanford GSB Acceptance Rate: 6.9%

The acceptance rate at Stanford GSB is 6.9%, which indicates that around seven out of 100 applicants are admitted to the school. Because Stanford GSB is extremely competitive, prepare a strong application early and submit it on time. 

Here is a table showing the schools' acceptance rates, which should give you an idea of how competitive Stanford GSB has been over the past few years.

Year Acceptance Rate
2024 6.9%
2023 5.7%
2022 5.9%

How Hard Is It to Get Into Stanford GSB

Gaining admission to Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is incredibly challenging due to its highly selective admissions process, with an acceptance rate typically around 6-7%. The school seeks exceptional candidates with outstanding academic records, demonstrated leadership, diverse experiences, and a commitment to making a difference.

Stanford GSB Admissions Statistics

Admission statistics are a great way to see how competitive a school can be. Stanford GSB admission statistics can help give you an idea of what you should achieve in your GPA and test scores when applying to the school. 

Stanford GSB Average GPA: 3.7

Stanford GSB maintains a high standard of academic excellence, reflected in its average GPA of 3.7 for admitted students. This impressive GPA underscores the institution's commitment to admitting applicants who have excelled academically in their undergraduate studies. If you want to be considered a competitive applicant, aim for a GPA higher than 3.7! 

Stanford GSB Average GMAT Score: 738

Stanford GSB boasts an impressive average GMAT score of 738 for admitted students, a testament to the school's rigorous academic standards and commitment to excellence. 

Stanford GSB requires applicants to submit either the GMAT or GRE, so if you plan on taking the GMAT, aim for a score higher than 738.

Stanford GSB Average GRE Score: 328

Stanford GSB reports an average GRE score of 328 for admitted students, emphasizing the school's competitiveness. If you apply to this school, ensure your score is higher than this average. While the GRE score is significant, Stanford GSB values diverse experiences, leadership potential, and a commitment to positive impact.

Stanford GSB Average Year of Work Experience: 5 Years

Stanford GSB typically admits candidates with an average of five years of work experience. The top industries of applicants include investment, consulting, and technology, showcasing the school's appeal to professionals seeking to advance their careers in these sectors. Although Stanford GSB doesn’t have a minimum of years of work experience, ensure you have enough to show the admissions committee. 

Want to know if you'll be a good fit for Stanford GSB's culture?

Check out our guide on what Stanford GSB is looking for

What is Stanford GSB Looking For In Applicants?

Stanford GSB evaluates applications using a holistic process that considers applicants' backgrounds, experiences, and accomplishments. They look for curiosity, initiative, problem-solving skills, leadership potential, resilience, collaboration, and a global perspective. 

Stanford GSB also values diversity and encourages applicants to reflect authentically on their identities, values, and aspirations. Stanford GSB aims to admit candidates who will actively engage in the classroom, contribute positively to the community, and make a difference beyond the school's walls.

Stanford GSB Admissions Requirements 

Although Stanford GSB doesn’t have a minimum GPA or GMAT score, keep in mind because the school is very competitive, the test scores will be high. Here is a list of Stanford GSB’s admissions requirements. Ensure you have all of the application materials ready before the deadline! 

Now that you know how to get into the Stanford GSB MBA program, you’ll know what to expect during the application process. 

Stanford GSB Application Deadlines

Here is a table showing the various Stanford GSB application deadlines to ensure you don’t miss one. 

Application Round Deadline
Round 1 Early September
Round 2 Early January
Round 3 Early April

Source: Stanford GSB

Stanford GSB Regular Decision Deadline

Stanford GSB has three rounds of application deadlines. The next round of applications are due April 9. 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Stanford GSB

The Stanford graduate business school application has various components; therefore, proper planning is the first key to success. Documents such as transcripts, test scores, and letters of intent may take time to collect.

Because of this, you should begin gathering information up to a year before the application submission date. These methods are the best way to ensure all information is correct with the best application quality in mind. 

Apply Early 

The best time to apply would be in the first two rounds of the application process. While round 3 is an option, this round is usually a lot more competitive, making the chances of admission lower than if you were to submit your application in the first two rounds.

In the third round, admissions committees have already gotten the opportunity to picture what the entering class will become. Therefore, in this round, they’re deliberately searching for applicants who stand out from the applicants they have seen prior. More specifically, they are looking for students coming from underrepresented groups.

Collect Honest Letters of Recommendation 

Character traits and unique qualities could easily be used to your advantage when gathering information for your application. You may fall short in test scores and GPA, but your essays and letters of reference could quickly remedy this. The best letters of reference must keep in mind that more words are not necessarily better.

These letters should be a concise and honest example of your character as an applicant, exemplifying all of your best qualities that align with the traits Stanford is looking for in a prospective student. By building a relationship with your recommenders, you have the power to increase the authenticity of these letters of reference.

Some structural tips would be to avoid using acronyms and exclude internships, which would fall under work experience for your letters of reference. But, a concise letter that recounts the times you have displayed leadership and worked toward your aspirations will more than suffice. 

Shine In Your Essays

As previously mentioned, two short essays are required in the application asking "What matters most to you and why?" and "Why Stanford?". These essays are an opportunity to showcase your personality and achievements along with your academic success.

While it is a very open-ended question, it can be used to your advantage as an applicant in your MBA essay. Your Stanford GSB essay is what sets you apart from the sea of applicants, giving you the best opportunity to demonstrate the broad perspective and open-mindedness the admissions committee is seeking.

For the best essay, you can list your accomplishments, provide anecdotes, and highlight achievements that influenced you as a person. They are looking for how your experiences and travels impacted you as a person, and want to see how you flourished in situations that may have required flexibility and leadership skills.

Stanford GSB Essay Prompts

Stanford GSB requires its applicants to answer two essay prompts so they can learn more about them. Here are the essay prompts you’ll be required to answer: 

  • What matters most to you, and why?
  • Why Stanford?

The word limit for these essays is 1,050 words. Stanford recommends the first essay be around 650 words and the second 400. 

Applicants also have the option to answer a short answer question. Here is the prompt:

  • Think about times you’ve created a positive impact, whether in professional, extracurricular, academic, or other settings. What was your impact? What made it significant to you or to others?

Stanford emphasizes that the optional short answer question is not mandatory, and you’ll not be reprimanded if you don’t answer it.

Stanford GSB Interview

Stanford GSB's interviews aim to assess candidates' fit for the program and allow applicants to learn more about the school. Conducted by alumni or admissions staff, interviews focus on past actions and meaningful experiences. While an invitation is positive, it doesn't guarantee admission. Interviews are structured discussions and may be conducted remotely or in person. 

Stanford GSB MBA Employment Opportunities

The recent Stanford GSB Employment Report (2023-2024) shows the salaries of recent Stanford grads have increased. However, slightly fewer grads have received or accepted offers within three months of graduation. This was partly due to market conditions and students waiting for the best opportunity. Here are some of the industries that grads have entered.

The recent Stanford GSB Employment Report (2023-2024) shows the salaries of recent Stanford grads have increased. However, slightly fewer grads have received or accepted offers within three months of graduation. This was partly due to market conditions and students waiting for the best opportunity. Here are some of the industries that grads have entered.

Jobs Average Salary
Finance $210,273
Technology $178,673
Private Equity $215,000
Consulting $188,214
Venture Capital $202,938
Enterprise $180,629
Consumer $182,824
HealthCare $174,111
Energy $168,100
Consumer Products $176,000

Source: Stanford GSB Employment Report

FAQs ‍

If you still have questions, here are some frequently asked questions about Stanford GSB.

1. Are Some Parts of the Application Worth More than Others?‍

No, no part of the Stanford GSB application weighs more than the other. Every component of the application should be treated with the same urgency and seen as imperative to admission.

2. What Do I Do If I Recently Took the GMAT/GRE/TOEFL/IELTS But Haven’t Received My Scores? How Do I Complete That Part of the Application?

You can enter temporary scores into the ‘Test Scores’ section of the application if you have taken the test but have not received your scores. If you haven’t taken the test, you must enter zeros in all required fields for the GMAT.

For the GRE, you must enter 130 in the required score section and zero in the required percentage section. You can explain your circumstances further in the “Additional Information” section and provide new information on your application once you receive your scores.

3. Who Can I Call or Email With Questions About Stanford MBA Admissions?

The best people to contact would be the Stanford MBA admissions office. Their website has a 'Stay In Touch' form that prospective students can fill out. This feature will send updates, event invitations, etc., associated with the program.

For more specific questions, there is an 'Ask A Question' form on their FAQ page that can be filled out and returned with a response from an admissions office associate. There are also the standard options of calling or emailing the admissions office directly with any questions or concerns.

4. Where Can I Get More Information on the GRE and GMAT Exams? 

Students can find more information for the GRE and GMAT exams on the official testing websites and Here you will find the information you will need to prepare, register, and receive score reports to submit with your application.

5. Does Visiting the Campus or Attending an MBA Admissions Event Affect My Chance of Admission?

While visiting and learning more information is encouraged by Stanford's admissions office, it does not affect your admission chances and is entirely optional.

6. What Kind of Activities and Extracurriculars Would Be Considered Suitable for the Stanford GSB Application?

Any activity you participated in that would be considered an instance that you were well-versed or open-minded is often suggested. Talking about traveling or field studies would fit well into this and emphasizing how these events impacted you and your aspirations would look great on your application.

7. What Resources Can I Expect for Financial Aid and Grant Assistance? 

Once admitted, Stanford GSB provides you with much of the information and guidance you will need to apply for FAFSA. Rather than going in blind, Stanford assists students in this process every semester they enroll and make them aware of the documents they will need to ensure an easy Financial-Aid application.

8. Can You Apply Multiple Times to the Stanford MBA Program?

You may only apply once during any application cycle, but there is no limit on how many times you can apply to the MBA program in its entirety. 

Final Thoughts

Applying to Stanford GSB can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of your academic career. But by arming yourself with the proper knowledge and assembling a plan of action, you can ensure an easy application process and improve your chances of admittance.

The tips for success mentioned in this article will give you a leg up when trying to get into Stanford GSB.


Reviewed by:

Alexei Sorokin

Investment Banking and Corporate Development Expert

Reviewed: 5/10/24

About Inspira Futures

At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.
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