Stanford GSB builds an MBA class with diverse educational and professional backgrounds. If you are a college senior, we encourage you to consider applying to the MBA Program.
Qualities We Seek in Undergraduate Applicants
- Superior academic credentials
- Outstanding evidence of leadership potential through activities, research, or work experiences
- Maturity and self-confidence
- An ability to articulate why you wish to attend business school now
Direct Versus Deferred Enrollment
College seniors have two options for enrollment.
- Direct enrollment — attending business school immediately following your university program
- Deferred enrollment — working for one to three years before enrolling
In the online application, you must select the year in which you would like to enroll. Note that even if you choose direct enrollment, the Committee on Admissions may grant you deferred admission if we feel you would better contribute, grow, and learn after gaining full-time work experience.
Choose direct enrollment if you feel ready to pursue your MBA because of your current academic background, extracurricular experiences, work experiences, and personal aspirations. Note that for most college seniors, deferred enrollment is a better choice.
Choose deferred enrollment if you feel you would benefit from obtaining full-time work experience before enrolling. This is a good choice if you are unsure of your professional path and would like to explore an industry.
Additionally, certain industries — private equity and biotechnology in particular — tend to recruit only MBA candidates with pre-MBA experience in that field, or with specialized knowledge. Management consulting firms also typically prefer MBA candidates with work experience. Deferring enrollment for a couple of years may be a wise decision if you wish to work in one of these industries.
If you choose to defer enrollment, we expect you to work full-time during the deferral period. Pursue opportunities that enable you to build your skills and knowledge, expand your perspective, and develop professional judgment and self-confidence.
Which Application Round?
We offer three application rounds; apply in the round that makes the most sense for you. College seniors who wish to defer admission incur no disadvantage by applying in the third round.