What Is Stanford Graduate School of Business?

Stanford Graduate School of Business is the business school of Stanford University. Founded in 1925 and located in Stanford, California, it is considered one of the most prestigious b-schools in the world.

Due in part to its close proximity to Silicon Valley, Stanford Graduate School of Business is considered one of the leading schools for budding entrepreneurs. It is also famous for its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, which in 2020 was rated the third-best full-time MBA program in the world by the Financial Times.

Key Takeaways

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business is a business school located at Stanford University.
  • Its MBA program is known for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and its close connections to the Silicon Valley technology ecosystem.
  • In recent years, Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA graduates have earned starting salaries that are among the highest in the world, particularly within the financial services and management consulting sectors.

How Stanford Graduate School of Business Works

Stanford Graduate School of Business has the distinction of being the most highly sought-after business school in the United States, with acceptance rates consistently below 10%—and even approaching 5% in recent years. The average Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) results of their accepted students are similarly impressive, with the full-time MBA class of 2021 showing an average score of 734. This cohort of 417 students was selected from an applicant pool of over 7,342—an acceptance rate of less than 6.5%.

Important

Contrary to what many might assume, Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA students do not predominantly hail from undergraduate business backgrounds. Among the class of 2020, for instance, only 17% of students had studied business beforehand, whereas 50% had studied in the humanities or social sciences. Applicants with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) were also well represented, comprising just over one-third of the total.

The Stanford Graduate School of Business’s famous MBA program requires two years to complete, if taken on a full-time basis. It is popular not only for its considerable brand value, but also for its favorable student-to-faculty ratio, with roughly one faculty member for every six students. The school also offers an accelerated Master’s program called the Stanford MSx, which can be completed in one year.

For students with entrepreneurial ambitions, attending the Stanford Graduate School of Business can be beneficial not just for the formal instruction it provides, but also for the vibrant business community in which it resides. As an important part of the Silicon Valley ecosystem, Stanford Graduate School of Business students are well situated to benefit from the network of venture capital (VC) firms, angel investors, experienced advisors, business incubators, and other critical resources that are central to the American technology sector. The university itself also provides formal resources for entrepreneurs, such as its Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Real World Example of Stanford Graduate School of Business

In 2020, the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s full-time MBA program was rated the best program in the United States by Bloomberg Businessweek and in 2019 was rated the third-best MBA program in the world by the Financial Times. It received similar ratings from US News, which rated it as the best MBA program in the country in 2021, and Forbes, which gave it the No. 2 spot.

With an annual tuition of roughly $75,000, Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA grads saw an average starting salary of $159,544 in 2020, among the highest of any b-school in the world. In recent years, these grads have found employment principally in the financial services and management consulting sectors.