Stanford University is a prestigious private research university in California. Its Graduate School of Business (GSB), founded in 1925, has been ranked as offering the best full time MBA program in the world, by QS Global MBA Rankings 2019. Stanford GSB’s distinguished faculty includes three Nobel Prize winners, two John Bates Clark Award winners and 15 members of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences. The campus is in the town of Stanford, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. Along with the main university, Stanford GSB maintains very close links with firms in the Silicon Valley region.

Stanford GSB offers a two-year, full-time MBA, as well as a large range of dual-degree MBA programs. These include MBA/JD, MBA/MA International Studies, MBA/MD, MBA/Master of Public Policy (MPP), MBA/MS Computer Science, and an MBA/MSE Electrical Engineering.During the first year of the two-year MBA program, students follow a core general management curriculum. In the second year, the students have the option to customize their program with courses at other Stanford schools, electives, seminars, or a joint or dual degree. Electives include courses within accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, managerial economics, marketing, political economics and strategic management.

Participating in a Global Experience program is a required component of the Stanford MBA. This includes the Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX), which involves students spending four weeks abroad in the summer working on sponsor-led projects in a range of industries (e.g. consumer products to media to international development), and can be personalized to fit specific interests. There are also faculty-led global seminars abroad that focus on key subjects in relevant locations – for example, exploring economic mobility in Brazil.

The program’s tuition costs around USD 73,062, excluding miscellaneous fees. Options of loans and scholarships are available for applicable candidates. As per data from the latest graduating class of 2019, 94% of the graduate students were hired within 3 months of graduating, with a base salary of USD 150,000.

Stanford is best known for...

Application Deadlines

Round 1: 12 September 2019

Round 2: 09 January 2020

Round 3: 08 April 2020

Application Fee: $275

Admissions Facts

 Acceptance rate (full-time): 7.1%

Average age of new entrants: 28

 Requiring standardized test: GMAT/GRE

 Average GMAT score: 737

 Average GRE Verbal/Quant score: 165

 Average GRE Writing score: 4.8

Require work experience: Yes

 Average work experience: 4.6 years

Application Essays

Season: 2020

1. What matters most to you, and why?

  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
  • Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
  • Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
  • Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.

2. Why Stanford?

  • Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.
  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.

Optional Short-Answer Question

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? You are welcome to share up to three examples.

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words. Suggested split: first essay 750 words, second essay 400 words.

As for the optional short answer question, it should be up to 1500 characters, approximately 250 words, for each example.



  • Double-spaced
  • Indicate the question you are answering at the beginning of each essay (does not count toward the word limit)
  • Number all pages
  • Upload one document that includes both essays

Letter of Recommendation

Season: 2020

Stories about your behaviors, impact, and personal qualities told by others play an essential role in our evaluation of your application. Your letters of reference should provide specific examples and anecdotes that illustrate your ability and desire to make a difference in the world.

Two letters of reference:

  • One reference from your current direct supervisor (or next best alternative) at work.
  • Your choice of either one additional supervisor reference or one peer reference. The strongest references typically come from your workplace. You may select a reference from your professional, community, or extracurricular experiences.


  1. How does the applicant’s performance compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) Up to 500 words
  2. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. Up to 500 words
  3. (Optional) Is there anything else we should know? Please be concise.
    In addition to your qualitative responses, referees will be asked to assess some of the candidate’s character traits and competencies that contribute to successful leadership.

Admissions Verdict


Highly Selective

“Being the top MBA program in the world, Stanford is of course very selective about its acceptance rate. To get into Stanford, you will have to work hard on almost all the items that they require. A lack of focus will be your downfall.” Consultant2018

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