Curriculum

The Stanford MBA Program will help you develop your vision and the substance required to achieve it.

First-Year Curriculum Overview

This begins year one as you build your general management knowledge and gain global exposure.

Core Courses

Dive into complex managerial issues with this series of courses. You will begin to gain insight into the perspective of a senior manager or leader and to understand the larger context of management. Through practical experience and detailed feedback from your classmates and leadership coaches, you’ll enhance your leadership style. You also will focus on developing your managerial skills, including managing in a global context. Many courses offer a menu of choices in each required discipline, calibrated to your skills, experience, and future goals.

The first year mostly comprises core courses with potential room for one to two electives in winter and spring quarters.

Global Experience Requirement

The global experiences portfolio at Stanford GSB offers various exciting opportunities for students to explore and engage in worldwide issues in order to fully appreciate the complexities involved in global management. MBA students are required to participate in and complete one global experience to fulfill the global experience requirement.

The global experiences you have at Stanford will broaden your perspective, and change the way you lead — no matter where you end up.

Leadership Development

The Arbuckle Leadership Fellows program teaches second-year Stanford MBA students how to effectively develop others by coaching and mentoring first-year MBA students.

Second-Year Curriculum Overview

Tailor your experience in the second year through electives, seminars, a joint or dual degree, and courses at other Stanford schools.

Electives

During the second year of the MBA program, you will likely be taking almost all electives. These courses can help broaden your experience and perspective, strengthen your areas of development, allow you to explore new subjects, and ensure a well-rounded general management education. We add new electives or substantially revise existing topics every year to respond to changes in the business environment, the social sector, and students’ interests. Elective topics include:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Global management
  • Human resources
  • Information technology
  • Leadership
  • Managerial economics
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Organizational behavior
  • Political economics
  • Public management
  • Strategic management

Compressed Courses

Take a series of two-week compressed courses to build deep knowledge in specific business topics. These two-unit concentrated courses give you flexibility in your schedule to pursue career development and other interests.

Other Classes at Stanford University

You may take Stanford courses outside Stanford GSB and apply approximately 12 class units toward your MBA degree. You may also apply these units toward a second graduate degree or pursue specific experience and knowledge in areas such as:

  • Arts
  • Computer science
  • Design
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Foreign language
  • Health care
  • Manufacturing
  • Politics
  • Public policy
Student Spotlight
MBA 2019

“I love being able to take an assortment of classes from across the university, and having the flexibility to design my experience as I see fit. The best part of all is the people — my E-IPER classmates are some of my best friends, and I look forward to working with them for the rest of our lives to combat climate change and protect our planet.”

Alumni Spotlight
MBA 2013

“I appreciated the core curriculum because it enabled me to work on skills I hadn’t developed yet and add them to my toolbox. The different levels are critical because they allow you to push yourself and tackle more advanced content where you have more experience.”

More Ways to Personalize Your Experience

There are many ways for you to deepen your academic pursuits. We encourage you to pursue your passions and interests while at Stanford GSB.

Advising Resources

Get the support you need to succeed in the MBA program and beyond.

  • Your academic advisor will help you craft an individual study plan.
  • Career advisors will help you craft and implement your career goals and life vision.
  • Leadership Fellows will help you build self-awareness.
  • Communication coaches will help you refine your presentation and writing skills.
  • Student life advisors will help you thrive personally and put your leadership skills into practice.

Every effort is made to ensure that the degree requirement and course information, applicable policies, and other materials provided by the GSB are accurate and current. The University reserves the right to make changes at any time without prior notice.