Evaluation Criteria

The Stanford MSx Program is specially designed for experienced leaders. We seek individuals who want to have a greater impact in the world and grow personally.

If you have at least eight years of full-time work experience by July 2020 and have a passion for learning and leading, the Stanford MSx Program experience awaits you.

Sloan Fellows in the Stanford MSx Program are a unique and varied group with wide-ranging, impressive backgrounds. The goal of our evaluation process is to maintain that important diversity while selecting individuals who demonstrate an exceptional potential to contribute to the world by leading business, governments, or social impact organizations. In general, we evaluate applicants for:

Intellectual Vitality

What you have done as a student and leader matters. We seek individuals who have achieved academically and have built a track record of professional accomplishment. Success not only includes your personal and professional achievements but also your experience supporting and developing others.

In assessing intellectual vitality, we believe that your attitude toward learning is as important as your aptitude. We hope that your application will convey your passion, dedication, and genuine interest in expanding your intellectual horizons.

We also consider the initiative with which you seek out opportunities that enhance your knowledge and help others improve. We want to understand your willingness to master concepts that may not be immediately relevant to your intended career and to carve your path in ambiguous environments.

Leadership Accomplishments

As we look for future potential in the applicants we consider for admission, there is no better predictor of future success than past actions. We need to see that an applicant has already demonstrated successful leadership. This means pursuing goals by effectively motivating others, whether in a small or a large organization, to share a common vision.

The most successful applicants have a track record of professional achievement. For some applicants, leadership accomplishment is observed in an individual’s achievement that has a broader impact within an organization. For others, managing groups or teams best reflects their leadership accomplishment.

If you have leadership accomplishments outside of your work environment, you are welcome to share those experiences in your application.

Personal Qualities and Contributions

The strongest applications we see are those in which your thoughts and voice remain intact. The Stanford MSx Program relies on your willingness to share, authentically, your professional and personal experiences with others. To better understand how you will contribute to and benefit from the Sloan Fellow community, we want to know who you are, not simply what you have done. Your experiences, beliefs, passions, dreams, and ambitions will help create the community.

We encourage applicants to reflect on who you are and share your reflections with us. There is neither an “ideal” candidate nor a “typical” one. Sloan Fellows have excelled by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well throughout their lives and careers. What you make of an experience matters to us, not simply the experience itself.

Clarity of Purpose

Our school’s motto is: “Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.” In order to realize this, we look for experienced leaders who can build on their prior knowledge and work to make a greater impact in a field that matters. Because our Sloan Fellows have considerable experience, and because the one-year program is fast-paced, we favor candidates who know what they intend to accomplish while at Stanford, and whose purpose reflects a good fit with what the program has to offer. This is a program that can help ambitious leaders refine their vision and make it a reality.

Degree and Work Experience

All applicants are expected to have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, as well as eight or more years of successful work experience. Most successful applicants have served at least five years in management positions.