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Stanford MBA – All you need to know

Stanford MBA is a Graduate school of business of the renowned Stanford University. Located in California, the academy is one of the most competitive business schools in the world. The high rate of competition is due to the quality of education it offers.

In 1925, Herbert Hoover and a board of committee members opened the Stanford MBA. Since its establishment, Stanford has developed several plans to enhance students’ academic growth.

The Stanford MBA offers the best business course programs for students. To access this, a student must be part of the institution’s programs.  Though the institution is competitive, there are several opportunities for lucky admitted students.

Also, it has over 70% graduate opportunities. Thus, graduates have a higher chance in the competitive world.

But, entering into the Stanford program requires effort. Like other academics, there are several processes applicants must pass through for admission. Aside from this, you must have a wide understanding of the university and its system.

You should also understand its environment and other facilities. This information is very crucial, especially for international students. In this regard, we have given a breakdown of Stanford MBA to help you with the application process.

What you need to know about Stanford MBA

The high rate of competition at Stanford MBA might lead you to think that its environment is as tough. Yet, to the surprise of many, Stanford MBA offers a friendly and culture-diversified environment for students. So, foreign students feel at home in this institution.

Stanford aims to lecture students, not in classrooms but through its environments. Thus, it prides itself on fostering teamwork amongst students. With this, students can collectively find solutions to complex problems.

The University offers a two-year full-time general management degree. This helps you develop your vision as well as the talents to bring it into reality.


Stanford MBA has one of the best rankings in the long list of Business schools in several countries. In the table below, you’ll find its position according to some of the best-ranking bodies.

University RankingsPosition
U.S News and World report1st
Financial  Times3rd
The Economist8th

Stanford MBA’s curriculum

The Stanford MBA program has six quarters. These include the autumn, winter, and spring quarters for the first and second years.

The necessary curriculum at the Graduate School of Business spreads out during the first year of the program. Here, students take some of the fundamental classes in the fall quarter.  They take the extras from other options in the winter and spring quarters. Also, students must complete one Global Experience program throughout their time at university.

In the second year, students can pick from over 100 courses at the Graduate School of Business. But, these courses differ every year.


Stanford MBA has nine electives for students to choose from. These include:

  • Strategic Management
  • Political Economics
  • Operations Information and Technology
  • Organizational behavior
  • Marketing
  • General Interdisciplinary
  • Economics Analysis and policy
  • Finance
  • Accounting

For international students, the academy requires completion of one of their global experiences. Here, international students have four options to choose from which are:

  • Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange program
  • Global study trips
  • Global seminars
  • Global Management Immersion Experience

Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange program

In this program, international students partner with students from Tsinghua University. Together, they work on educational projects.

Global study trips

The program requires international students to travel to another location for ten days. They make this trip with a group of other students. It aims at developing an understanding of global business issues.

Global seminars

Students going for this experience will spend ten days attending seminars.

Global Management Immersion Experience

This program is the most extensive. Here, students need to spend four weeks in an international country in the summer. During this period, they will work on several business projects.

There are also one-year courses available at Stanford MBA. Some of them include:

  • Strategic Philanthropy and Impact Investing
  • Media Entrepreneurship
  • Investing for Good
  • Strategic Pivoting 

Acceptance rate at Stanford MBA

The Stanford MBA is extremely competitive and as a result, has a low acceptance rate of 7%. The implication of this is that the institution will accept only 7% of all applicants, both local and abroad. 

However, this rate should not be a discouraging factor. As long as you meet up with the expected requirements, you stand a chance of being part of the 7% admitted into the academy’s program.

Application process for Stanford MBA

A typical Stanford application is a collection of information to prove that you’re qualified for a spot in the University. Your application portfolio should contain two different categories. These are the Quantitative aspect and the Qualitative part.

The Quantitative aspect of your Stanford application

This should include the following:

  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score: Stanford sets an average score of 732. Therefore, you should have a very high score to apply for the program
  • Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA): For Stanford MBA, you require a minimum GPA of 3.72. A higher GPA will give you a higher advantage.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or TOEFL score: This assesses your understanding of English.
  • Resume: A resume compiles your qualifications for a spot in the academy.

The Qualitative aspect of your Stanford application

This aspect of your application should highlight the reason why you should be a part of their program. It includes:

  • Essays
  • Letter of reference


To apply for the program, you have to write two essays. The first will give a detailed explanation of what you love the most and why. This essay has a word limit of 650 words and will give the committee insight into your life. 

The second should analyze the reason for choosing Stanford as an institution. The word limit is 400 words.

Letter of reference

Stanford requires two letters of reference. The first is from the director or supervisor at your workplace. The second is from your supervisor at a place you previously worked in.

After you have all the necessary requirements for the application, you can proceed to upload it on the school’s portal. However, you should remember that there are deadlines attached to the application process. These deadlines change every year so it is important to keep yourself updated with the school’s programs.

2020-2021 application deadline

Application roundDeadlineNotification date
Round oneSeptember 15, 2020December 10, 2020
Round twoJanuary 6, 2021April 1, 2021
Round threeApril 6, 2021May 20, 2021

2021-2022 Application deadline

Application roundDeadlineNotification date
Round oneSeptember 9, 2021December 9, 2021
Round twoJanuary 5, 2022March 31, 2022
Round threeApril 12, 2022May 26, 2022

Selecting an application round

An applicant has the opportunity to apply just once. This means that you can choose to apply in any of the three rounds of application. However, there are certain advantages that come with applying in the first and second rounds. These are

  • Enough time to complete preparation when you arrive in campus
  • Access to better accommodation
  • Opportunity to attend the partake weekend (This option is absent for round three)

Round three applications are usually deferred enrollment. Such an application reduces the chances of getting an application.

Cost of attending Stanford MBA

Like every university, a student will spend on several necessary items for schooling. Yet, the total cost of attending an institution also depends on your lifestyle.

Nonetheless, here is an estimated cost of attendance at the Stanford MBA

ItemsCost ($)
Living allowance34,806
Materials and program fee900
Books and supplies 1,695
Health fee696
Medical Insurance6,192
Transportation 969

Stanford MBA’s campus

Stanford’s main attraction starts with “The Farm” which is a second term for their campus. The campus offers some of the best sceneries in the world. Also, it offers innovation and cultural diversity.

The academy grounds cover 8,100 acres of land. The large area has every necessary opportunity for a student.

The main study center is Knight Management Centre. The structure lies within the great grounds of Stanford’s campus. The center features comfortable classrooms, meeting places, cafes, and the Stanford Venture Studio.

Stanford offers students accommodation options that serve as a home away from home. These options accommodate all kinds of people, including married students. There are three residential options for Stanford MBA students. These include Stanford GSB residences, Stanford on-campus housing, and Stanford off-campus housing.

Stanford GSB Residences

These accommodation options are across the Knight Management Centre. It consists of two buildings -Jack McDonald Hall and Schwab Residential Centre. The residences offer the following amenities:

  • Mail
  • Housekeeping
  • Sporting games and equipment
  • Dry cleaning
  • Bike parking
  • Exercise room

Stanford on campus housing

Aside from Jack McDonald hall and Schwab Residential Centre, there are other alternatives for students on the campus. 

  • Lyman Graduate Residences: The structure is ideal for single students.
  • Liliore Green Rains Housing: The structure has attractive green landscapes. Also, it is part of a gender-neutral housing program.
  • Munger Graduate residences: The accommodation is at the heart of the campus. It is a strategic point that allows students to access the other facilities.
  • Escondido Village: This gives room for both single and married students with families. 

If you prefer to live off-campus there are several options nearby. There is a community housing service that offers subsidized apartments. To access this option, you can go through their portfolio online. You can also go through local property management agencies.

Stanford GSB residencesIndividual rooms with shared kitchens and common areas
Lyman Graduate Residences2 bedroom apartments on the west side of campus
Liliane Green Rains Housing2-4 bedroom apartments
Munger Graduate residencesStudio and 1-4 bedroom units
Escondido Village1-3 bedroom flats surrounded by lush spaces
Subsidized off-campus apartmentFurnished apartments near Menlo Park. mountain view, and Palo Alto
Off-campus Community housingRental apartments in nearby neighborhoods

Financial Aid at Stanford MBA

The University is not insensitive to the financial responsibilities of students. As a result, there are fellowships available for all US and International financial aid applicants. These aids come in different formats. These includes

  • Financial aid based on needs
  • The Stanford GSB BOLD fund
  • Stanford Hennessy Scholars program
  • Summer stipends
  • The Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Employer sponsorship

There are also external scholarship sources that can reduce your financial load. These are


Most financial aid the institution offers students comes as student loans. You will receive more information about their loans once you gain admittance into the university’s program. But note, loans from Stanford must be for educational purposes only.

Questions that students ask about Stanford MBA

Does Stanford MBA accept international students?

Yes. During the admission process, the Institution considers citizens outside the United States. Thus, international students stand a chance of getting into its programs.

Is Stanford MBA good for international students?

Stanford is best for students from any part of the world. The reason, it offers a friendly, diverse, and comfortable environment for its students. Here, international applicants have the same opportunities as domestic applicants.

Why Is Stanford MBA so Competitive?

Competition at Stanford MBA is due to a lot of reasons.

First, the academy has a reputation for producing some of the highest-earning graduates. Therefore, everyone wants to experience what it has to offer.

But aside from this, the environment accommodates students from all walks of life. Another interesting feature is the level of teamwork and cooperation among the students. This is a result of several programs which involve some form of collaboration as well as working together to achieve a common goal.

What do I gain from studying at Stanford MBA?

Taking a business management course at Stanford first singles you out among competing graduates. With this, a certificate holder of the university stands a very high chance of getting a job upon graduation.

Still, there are other peculiar benefits to gain. The institution aims to broaden the mindset of individuals. Thus, two years is enough grooming time to teach students to focus on the important aspects of life.

Furthermore, the interest of every student remains paramount at the prestigious University. As a result, they help to set a future path through their programs and alumni.

Studying at Stanford MBA

Applying to Stanford MBA is as easy as applying to similar business Schools. Yet, you need to take your time to complete the necessary processes if you have all the required documents.

Studying at this institution has several benefits. One of them is the MBA scholarships for international students that it offers. So, if you’re considering getting an MBA, you have the important information you need.