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Stanford Graduate School of Business - Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB) is regarded by many as the number one business school in the country. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, campus is only a few miles away from Silicon Valley. The Stanford business school is known for having a small, very selective MBA program. Graduates of the university have developed some of the most influential companies in the world. These include companies like HP, Nike, Capital One, PayPal, Netflix, Snapchat, YouTube, and the Charles Schwab Corporation.

In the early 1900s, there was a trend of young people moving east to get a business education, then never returning. Stanford GSB originated in 1925 after Stanford alumnus and future President Herbert Hoover assembled a group of business leaders to counteract this trend by establishing a business school on the west coast. Fun fact: the first graduating class of Stanford GSB consisted of two members (Charles Harold Overfelt and Melvin Stephen Sanguinetti)!

In 1957, the Sloan Program was founded after a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This was offered as a one-year masters program for mid-career professionals. This program is now known as Stanford MSx.

Stanford GSB’s MBA program is the most competitive in the nation. The acceptance rate for the class of 2023 was slightly above 5% – of the 7,367 people who applied, only 426 were enrolled. The average GMAT score of the incoming class was also the highest of any business school in the world at 738.

Stanford GSB’s MBA program is full-time and split up into six quarters. Each quarter lasts eleven weeks. Curriculum includes case studies, lecture and discussion, and team projects. The first year requires students to meet their core requirements as well as a Global Experience Requirement. In the second year, students are able to choose their own elective courses.

Stanford GSB Overview

In this section, we’ll cover an overview of Stanford Graduate School of Business including ranking, course information, and tuition cost.

School Rank: #1 for business schools
Course Duration: 2 years, full-time
Average GMAT: 738
Approx. Class Size: 426
Avg. Work Experience: 4.8 years
Tuition Cost (per year): $74,706
Average Salary: $159,544
Average Salary for Management Consultants: $156,222
% Employed after 3 months: 85%
Location: Palo Alto, California

Degrees Offered

  • Accounting
  • E-commerce
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • Health Care Administration
  • Human Resources Management
  • Leadership
  • Manufacturing and Technology Management
  • Marketing
  • Not-for-profit Management
  • Production/Operations Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Portfolio Management
  • Public Administration
  • Public Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Sports Business
  • Supply Chain Management/Logistics
  • Quantitative Analysis/Statistics and Operations Research
  • Technology


  • Full Time MSx: one year masters degree for mid-career managers.

Program Details

Are you divided into cohorts? Yes

The Stanford GSB MBA program is a two-year, full-time program broken up into six quarters. During the first year of study, students are required to fulfill the core requirements. Students are allowed to choose their own elective courses during the second year.

In their first quarter at Stanford GSB, students will complete the General Management Foundations course and learn to think like a senior manager. In the second and third quarters, students take General Management Foundations. This includes a course in eleven different business disciplines. The final requirement for first year students is the Global Experience Requirement. Students can fulfill this by working abroad for the summer, taking advantage of the exchange program with Tsinghua University in Beijing, or going on a service or study trip.

During their second year, students take a series of three-week seminars that focus on topics like small business strategy and effective interpersonal communication. Students have over one hundred elective courses to choose from across ten academic departments. They’re also encouraged to cross-register for courses from other grad programs at Stanford.

Stanford promotes a strong culture of collaboration, so students will work with other students and companies from all over the world. Stanford instills a culture that reduces competition and focuses on forming strong student relationships. Students are given many opportunities to work in teams through exercises like timed simulations working on real-world problems.

Stanford Graduate School of Business offers six joint degrees and two dual degrees. GSB students are also able to create their own dual degree program with Stanford or another university.

Here are the joint and dual degrees offered:

  • Joint Degrees
  • JD/MBA
  • MA Education/MBA
  • MS Environment & Resources/MBA
  • MS Computer Science/MBA
  • MS in Electrical Engineering/ MBA

Dual Degrees

  • MD/MBA with Stanford School of Medicine
  • MA in International Studies/MBA

Can you do a joint degree while at the school? Ex: MBA/MD between HBS and Harvard Medical School: Yes

What Makes Stanford GSB Unique?

Stanford GSB students can choose from over fifty student-led clubs and organizations. One of the most active student clubs is the Entrepreneurship Club where students have access to workshops, panels, and peer mentorship. In the Stanford spirit of making the world better, the GSB Gives Back Club organizes the Charity Auction. Funds raised at the auction are donated to nonprofits like the Boys and Girls Club and Special Olympics.

Stanford GSB hosts several conferences that bring experts to campus to discuss relevant business issues. The Sports Innovation Conference brings leaders together to discuss the role entrepreneurship and innovation will play in the future of sports. The GSB Search Fund Conference brings in CEOs, GSB faculty, and board experts to teach about building and leading search fund operating companies. The Africa Business Forum aims to promote entrepreneurship opportunities and promote business growth in Africa. The $100K Challenge is one of several business competitions at Stanford and is run by the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students.

Currently, Stanford GSB has 119 tenured or tenure-track professors, giving them a student to faculty ratio of six to one. According to the Economist, professors at Stanford have a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

What is the Stanford GSB campus like?

Stanford Graduate School of Business buildings are located in the Knight Management Center on the eastern side of the Stanford University Campus. The center consists of nine buildings with classrooms and study rooms, an auditorium, event center, dining pavilion, and library. About 200 first-year MBA students live in the Schwab Residential Center on campus. Additional housing for graduates is available.

The Stanford University campus is right in the center of the San Francisco Bay area, placing it close to several points of interest. It’s a short subway ride from Silicon Valley, which provides students with opportunities to work with companies at the forefront of the tech industry. The Bay Area is also home to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s Chinatown, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street, and Peer 39. Not too far away is the natural beauty of Muir Woods, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, and Big Sur. The world-renowned vineyards of Napa Valley are also just a short drive away.

Notable Alumni

Here are a few Stanford GSB notable alumni:

  • John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
  • Vinod Khosla, billionaire Indian-American engineer
  • Stephen Adams, an American businessman and private equity investor
  • Javed Ahmed, a Pakistani American businessman
  • Herbert M. Allison, former President and CEO of Fannie Mae
  • Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries
  • Phil Knight, Founder and Chairman of Nike
  • Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors
  • Riley P. Bechtel, former Chairman of the Bechtel Corporation
  • Jeffrey Bewkes, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner
  • Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Bill Browder, American-born British financier

Stanford GSB Employment Report

The Stanford GSB Employment Report shares compensation data by industry, function, and region for the class of 2020. It also includes entrepreneurship data from the 18% of students who are launching their own companies.

At $159,544, the average Stanford GSB salary is the highest base salary in the country for business school grads. The average salary for consultants was just under that at $156,222. Of the 68% of students seeking employment, 85% of them were employed within three months.

To find out what the prospects are for you to break into consulting from Stanford GSB, see our breakdown of the Stanford GSB employment report.

+1 (650) 723-2766
655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305