MSx student in front of the Change Wall

Evaluation Criteria

The mission of the GSB is to develop principled, insightful, and innovative leaders.

The Stanford full-time, one-year master’s degree in management looks for students who will be engaged in our classrooms and create positive impacts on campus and beyond. In our application, we seek to learn about how you think, how you lead, how you see the world, and how you see your future.

We base our evaluation on your whole application, and we take into account factors such as your background, experiences, perspectives, aspirations, values, and accomplishments. No single component — whether your academic performance, essays, test scores, letters of recommendation, work experience, or interview — determines your admission decision. Our students and alumni don’t all fit one mold, and we don’t expect candidates to, either.

As an additional note, Stanford Graduate School of Business recognizes that the Supreme Court on 29 June 2023 issued a ruling about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications are reviewed in conformance with that decision.

How You Think

In assessing your application, we believe you are far more than your grade point average or standardized test scores. While we do review these to assess your readiness for our academic program, we look far beyond them.

As you complete your application, think about the times you have taken the initiative to learn new things, to solve challenging problems, or to develop new insights. What have you discovered? How did you share what you learned? Why does it matter to you and others? We would like to learn about these experiences to help us understand how you might contribute to our learning community both inside and outside of our classrooms.

How You Lead

Since we believe that past actions are the best predictor of future actions, we want to learn about how you have created positive change in the organizations and communities in which you have been involved.

Leaders guide others to reach a common goal and can be found at all levels and in all areas of an organization. You do not need to hold a specific role nor reach a certain level or title to show leadership. We look for examples of when you have taken initiative, persisted through challenges, engaged others in your efforts, and supported those around you. No matter where you have demonstrated these behaviors — in a professional role, or maybe during an extracurricular activity — we want to learn about the impact you have had and why it matters to you.

You have an opportunity to describe your activities and professional experiences in designated sections of your application and in your resume. Your recommenders also will provide information about your leadership and contributions in their letters of recommendation. In addition, if you would like to expand on the impact you have had and why you think it is meaningful, we encourage you to use the optional short answer question in the application.

How You See The World

Your values, beliefs, identity, and ambitions will help shape your journey and enrich the perspectives of your classmates. We provide the opportunity for you to share what matters most to you and your aspirations in your essays. We are interested in how your background has shaped your path so far and has guided your dreams for the future.

We seek to admit candidates who bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the MSx class, because Stanford’s collaborative educational process leverages the breadth of students’ backgrounds to deliver a range of insights and approaches to real-world problems. Through this diversity, defined in the broadest terms, you can begin to understand the experiences of others, challenge your own assumptions, and develop new ways of seeing the world.

Take time to reflect on who you are, and have confidence. There is neither an “ideal” candidate nor a “typical” Stanford MSx student. In your application, we would like you, quite simply, to be yourself.

How You See Your Future

Because the one-year program is fast-paced and you already come with considerable experience, we want to understand what you intend to accomplish while at Stanford GSB and what your specific goals are after you graduate from the MSx program. This is a program that can help leaders refine their vision and make it a reality.