Meet the MBA Class of 2023: One Class, 426 Stories

Get to know Stanford GSB’s new MBA class by the numbers.

September 29, 2021

Photo by Elena Zhukova

The Class of 2023 arrived on campus in September to start their two-year journey in the Stanford MBA Program. | Elena Zhukova

Stanford Graduate School of Business in September welcomed members of its newest MBA class — a group that reflects the school’s ongoing efforts to increase diversity and representation on campus, and brings a breadth of perspectives and experiences to the program.

Among the 426 members of the Class of 2023, for instance, 12% were the first in their family to graduate from a four-year college or university, up from 9% last year. Entering students were enrolled previously at 164 different academic institutions, up from 144 in the Class of 2022. And students with previous work experience hail from 315 different organizations — a new record for an incoming MBA class.

“We’re pleased to welcome this class of talented students,” says Kirsten Moss, assistant dean and director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid. “Their diverse perspectives and unique life experiences will help create a dynamic cohort of leaders prepared to make their mark on a global world.”

The Stanford MBA Program is known for its rigorous curriculum, experiential learning opportunities, access to world-renowned researchers and industry practitioners, and a close-knit community of classmates and alumni whose experiences enrich discussions on and off campus.

Members of the Class of 2023 come from 63 countries; 44% are women; and 47% are international students, which includes foreign nationals, dual citizens, and U.S. permanent residents. The Class of 2023 is also highly accomplished: 19% are advanced degree holders; the average work experience is 4.8 years; and some students have already spent more than a decade building their careers. The Stanford MBA Program does not require a minimum GMAT score for admission and considers applicants with a wide range of scores on the GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL; the average GMAT score for the Class of 2023 was 738.

The MBA Admissions team is committed to increasing representation among students. In 2020, the team’s expanded outreach efforts included a full week of online programming for prospective and admitted students on diversity and leadership, with more than 1,500 attendees and 23 sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. Among the Class of 2023 are recipients of the newly launched Building Opportunities for Leadership Diversity Fellowship, which provides assistance to students who face significant financial hardship and are committed to the advancement of DEI.

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As the next generation of business leaders, we are excited to see them learn and grow, gaining the tools they will need to help solve some of our most pressing societal challenges.
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Kirsten Moss

Nearly 50% of the class’s U.S. citizens and permanent residents identify as people of color. The Stanford MBA Program continues to seek transparency around the diversity and inclusion of the program. One aspect of this is the program’s multi-identity reporting. Of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, 61% identify as White; 30% as Asian; 12% as Hispanic or Latino; 10% as Black or African American; and 2% as American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander.

The newest MBA students represent all manner of careers and interests. As undergraduates, 25% of the Class of 2023 studied engineering; 22% majored in economics; 15% were business/commerce majors; 15% studied social science; 14% majored in math or science; and 8% studied the arts or humanities. Most of the students with professional experience worked in investment management, private equity, or venture capital roles (20%); followed closely by students with experience in consulting (19%); and technology (16%). Other students served previously in a wide range of professions, including government, education, and nonprofit; health care; arts, media, and entertainment; consumer products and services; clean technology, energy, and environmental; and the military.

The Stanford MBA Program received 7,367 applications for the Class of 2023. The resulting 426-person cohort is unique in every possible way, but what its members have in common are traits they share with every student and graduate of Stanford GSB: a willingness to learn and grow and a demonstrated commitment to leadership and impact. On campus, those qualities are encouraged and cultivated through constant exposure to innovative faculty, researchers, and industry leaders who work at the leading edge of business concepts and organizational theory.

“The Class of 2023 is arriving at a moment of significant change in the world and has accomplished so much in their personal lives and careers,” Moss says. “As the next generation of business leaders, we are excited to see them learn and grow, gaining the tools they will need to help solve some of our most pressing societal challenges.”

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