94% students got international jobs after graduating from this program.

16 things every Stanford MBA student should know

Stanford Graduate School of BusinessThe Stanford Graduate School of Business was founded in 1925 with the objective to provide quality management education on the US west coast and an alternative to students going to east-coast schools and never returning to the west for a career.

With its motto “Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world,” Stanford GSB, also known as Stanford Business School, has inspired thousands of students to drive innovation.

We look at some interesting facts about the school, with a focus on its full-time MBA program.

16 things every international MBA student should know about Stanford GSB



Stanford, the home of Stanford University, is a “census-designated place” located in Santa Clara country, California. The Stanford campus is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to many Global 1,000 companies.

California hosts not only technology, financial, and consumer companies, but also encompasses one of the most developed agricultural regions in the US, with its wine industry famous the world over. The city of San Francisco has world-class dining and shopping facilities and world-famous tourist spots, including the Golden Gate Park and the Alcatraz Island.

A weekend wine-tasting trip to California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys are an easy drive away from the campus. Stanford summers are not hot but warm and dry. Average monthly temperatures are under 22 degrees Celsius.


The 8,100-acre large Stanford University campus has a bouquet of academic and leisure options. The Knight Management Center, which houses the GSB, is situated on 12 acres on the university campus.

The site includes nine buildings, two dining facilities, 100 classrooms and cafes, and meeting space. It includes environment-friendly design with its scope for natural lighting, energy efficiency, and water conservation. Half of the site is open space, and is used for growing drought-resistant plants.

The Stanford GSB Residences, consisting of the Schwab Residential Center and Highland Hall, are nearby. Each 700-sq. ft. residential unit is shared by two students who each have a private bedroom and bathroom with shower. Common areas hold dining areas, study areas, lounges, and outdoor areas for meeting and get-togethers.


FT has ranked GSB’s MBA program first worldwide, Business Insider fourth, and
The Economist fifth. US New and World Report and QS have given GSB the fourth rank
among business schools globally.

Among US MBA programs, GSB’s MBA has been adjudged the best by Forbes, and second-best by US News and Bloomberg Businessweek.


The GSB faculty includes three Nobel Prize winners. Jonathan Levin, who also serves as the Philip H. Knight Professor of Economics, was appointed Stanford GSB Dean in September 2016. Levin was Chair of the Department of Economics from 2011 to 2014.

He has received many honors, including World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is supported by senior associate deans teaching organizations, economics, finance, and organization behavior, as well as by associate and assistant deans, and other expert faculty and administrative staff.


Stanford GSB’s full-time degree programs include the two-year MBA general management program, the MSx program, and the PhD program. The MSx program leads to a Master of Science in Management degree and is for experienced leaders. The PhD program helps build a research and teaching career. Non-degree executive education programs cover a wide range of topics that include, for example, innovation, negotiation strategies, and finance and accounting for non-finance executives.

The Stanford Ignite program, which is offered in many cities around the world, equips leaders to develop and commercialize their ideas. The 12-month Seed Transformation Program challenges potential leaders in developing economies to evaluate their companies’ strategies and implement changes.

The “Go to market” program enables high-potential innovators to refine the commercialization of their ideas. The Summer Institute for General Management imparts training to young graduates and nongraduates so that they acquire the skills to increase their employability. The GSB also runs a Research Fellowship program for pre-doctoral students.


The first year MBA curriculum addresses general management perspectives and foundations. Students also participate in programs that are a part of the Global Experience Requirement, including global study and social innovation trips. The second-year curriculum broaden the participants’ knowledge and experience in specific areas.

The electives include accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, marketing, organizational behavior, political economics, and strategic management. Two-week compressed courses are available to build knowledge in particular topics.

Besides, students can attend courses in arts, computer science, foreign language, public policy, and other subjects outside the GSB and apply about 12 class units towards their MBA degree. They can also pursue these interests after their MBA to earn a second graduate degree later.

Application requirements

Stanford GSB seeks intellectual energy, proven leadership qualities, and personal qualities and contributions. Applications are to be submitted online, and are considered holistically, with no bonus weight to any one merit.

Required materials include transcripts, GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores, professional experience documents (though GSB doesn’t insist on work experience), reference letters, and essays. The application fee is $275.

Fee, expenses

The tuition fee is $about $71,000 for first-year MBA students (of all four categories from “single, on campus,” to “married, off campus”) for the ten-month academic year.

The living expenses (rent, food, and personal expenses for a moderate lifestyle) range from $35,000 to $51,000 across these categories. The total fee (tuition, living expenses, books and supplies, materials and program fee, transportation, medical insurance, and health fee) comes to between $113,000 and $132,000.

Scholarships, aid

MBA students from all countries are eligible for financial aid, which is need-based, not merit-based. General international scholarships include those from the Aga Khan Foundation, the American Association of University Women, Fulbright Scholarships for Non-US Students, the International Education Financial Aid, Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund Grants, and UNCF Scholarships and Grants. India-specific scholarships include those from the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, J. N. Tata Endowment, and K. C. Mahindra Education Trust.

Admission statistics

As many as 8,116 applicants applied to enter the MBA class of 2018, and 417—41 percent women and 40 percent international—were admitted. Sixty-two countries had representation in the class. The students’ work experience ranged from zero to 13 years, and their average work experience was four years.

The investment management/private equity/venture capital sectors were the largest contributor of students at 20 percent, followed by consulting (18 percent) and technology (16 percent).

The GMAT score range was 590-790 (average 737) and the TOEFL (Internet) score range was 104-119 (average 112). Forty-eight percent of students had majored in humanities/social sciences, 37 percent in engineering, mathematics, and natural sciences, and 15 percent in business.

Career development

The Career Management Center helps students create a personalized career plan and build their personal and professional skills. Group discussions, one-on-one coaching, and self-reflection help students learn to express their core values and beliefs.

Meetings with GSB alumni who are industry leaders are a major program. Company leaders address students on their organizations and career opportunities. Mock behavior interviews, career management workshops, and career information sessions are also organized.

To improve networking, the “Fewer than 300” program connects students with 300 small- and medium-sized companies. Student club activities are also available. After attending GSB, graduates find sustained support from alumni throughout their careers.

Jobs after MBA/employers

Ninety percent of the Class of 2016 received job offers within three months of graduation. Technology and finance industries were the greatest attractions, with 33 percent and 32 percent of the graduates opting for them.

Consulting jobs went to 16 percent, and 15 percent chose to become entrepreneurs. GSB’s recruiting partners include a number of well-known companies from Amazon to Dell, eBay to LinkedIn, and Rolls Royce to Zomato.


The base salary range was $24,000-$450,000, and the median $136,000. Signing bonus was between $5,000 and $75,000, with the median at $25,000. Other guaranteed compensation fell between $8,000 and $400,000, with the median at $40,750.
More recent stats in this article: Stanford MBA salary statistics

Alumni network

The MBA alumni consists of over 17,000 living members. The GSB Alumni Network is an online forum that helps graduates keep in touch with one another through the use of directories, discussions, and newsletters, which include not only the GSB community but also the larger Stanford University community.

GSB alumni and chapters exist all over the world, organizing various social events. Alumni career resources help graduates clarify their goals and plan and execute a job search. Thirty-eight percent alumni participate in donor programs aimed at meeting the school’s priorities. In 2006, Philip Knight, Nike Founder and Stanford MBA 1962, gifted $105 million to the school.

Notable alumni

Well-known GSB alumni include J. F. Kennedy, Steve Ballmer, Phil Knight, Charles Schwab, Mukesh Ambani, Jacqueline Novogratz, Vinod Khosla, Mary T. Barra, Penny Pritzker, and Seth Godin.


Stanford GSB’s mission is to create insightful leaders who use their knowledge, ideas, and talent to bring about change. As the school itself says, “Our students are not afraid of failure; they fear only missed opportunities.” GSB encourages teamwork among its students, not competition, and inspires them to transform their lives and the lives of people around them through innovation.

Also read:
How to get into the Stanford MBA program
Stanford Ignite review: Cost, application process, worth it or not
Stanford MBA on a full scholarship
Stanford GSB and Columbia MBA interview questions with answer tips
Harvard MBA vs Stanford GSB vs Wharton MBA: Which one is right for you?
MBA startups from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Wharton rake in millions
How to get into Stanford University for undergraduate degrees
Choice between Harvard/Stanford or Oxford/Cambridge – How would you decide?
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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6 thoughts on “16 things every Stanford MBA student should know”

  1. I had completed my CS course from Institute of company secretaries of India, Mcom through distance learning. Also I m in my CA finals and further I wish to study MBA from HBS or Stanford. I currently have no work experience other then my articleship training under chartered accountant for 3 yrs and 1 yr under company secretary. M I eligible to apply for Harvard / Stanford?

  2. Hi Sameer,

    Is it practical of me to be aiming of HBS, having completed engineering from a 3- Tier university?
    Hope to hear from you soon!!

    Good day!

  3. Hi Sameer,

    Thanks for the post. I have 4.8 years of experience in IT and now have shifted to analytics both in BFSI domain.
    I want to pursue MBA.Would it be beneficial for my career?

  4. Hey Sameer! I’m a Ca Final student preparing for my finals!
    I have this feeling that I can do better if I go for MBA.
    But I’m a bit confused about how do I move ahead? Just guide me if I should pursue the same and if yes then how?
    I’m a commerce graduate and just tell me if it is possible for commerce graduates to get into nice world class B schools!

  5. @Bharti: Here are some programs that accept correspondence courses. Harvard’s stand seems to be a little ambiguous on the topic. But from our experience, we haven’t come across anyone who’s got in with a distance education degree.

    @Rishabh: If that’s the only qualification we have to judge the profile, then the answer would be no.

    @Richa: If you choose to continue in the same field and industry after the MBA then it will help.

    @Gaurav: You’ll have to be patient and spend the next few years building your profile. Here are some tips:

    Here’s a B.Com graduate who got into a reputed MBA program:

  6. Currently i am persuing bcom (2nd year) and wish to aim for mba at top b-schools but have no work experience. Is there any way to get into Harvard or Stanford without work experience?
    Also, what are the top institutions that can be aimed for mba without work experience?


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