What Should I do If I’m Interested in Business School?

Stanford is well-known for its opportunities in both technology entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. With active pre-business student groups, the Stanford Graduate School of Business located on the main campus, and a multitude of courses and business-related opportunities, students who are interested in a career in business have many resources to support their interests.

What should I study if I'm interested in business?

Stanford does not have a pre-business major. Some business-oriented students choose to major in Economics or in Management Science & Engineering, but don’t assume that you must do so. A major in any one of the humanities, social sciences, or sciences, perhaps supplemented with a minor or a wise selection of business-related courses, can be excellent preparation for a career in business. Be aware that if you are interested in going on for an MBA, nearly all programs require a few years of work experience before beginning an MBA program, decreasing the importance of the specific major field.

What classes should I take?

Consider taking a one-unit speaker's course that will help you explore different arenas, such as MS&E 472 or URBANST 131. These are open to all students. Classes such as MS&E 178 and URBANST 132 build on those respective lecture series in different ways.

You may want to check out ECON 1 or these other frosh-friendly Econ courses. Other possible courses include ECON 5; ENGR 145, 150; SOC 161; MS&E 175. Try a keyword search in ExploreCourses, using the topics that interest you most, to find more possibilities. In addition, there are opportunities for undergraduates to take classes at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, usually after your first year at Stanford.

What student groups can I join to learn about business and entrepreneurship?

Stanford is well known for its opportunities in both technology entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. To get started, you might check out the Stanford Technology Ventures ProgramStartX, the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial StudentsStanford Pre-Business Association, and Stanford Women in Business. Information about these groups and additional Stanford groups can be found via Student Affairs.

Where can I learn about internships and summer opportunities?

You can learn about internships and summer opportunities through the BEAM Newsletters and the newsletter on Finance and Consulting.

What are the main components of a business school application?

  • Standardized tests are GMAT or GRE
  • Essays
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendation (typically 2)
  • Interview

What are 2+2 MBA programs, and how are they different from traditional MBA programs?

2+2 programs are those that evaluate applications from current students who anticipate working for at least two years before matriculating to the two year MBA program. There are several business schools that offer 2+2 programs. These are distinct from traditional programs which typically require or strongly recommend several years of professional experience before application.

Where can I get more advice?

For advice regarding a career in business, there are pre-professional advisors in Academic Advising who specialize in advising students interested in careers in business. Students may also check out BEAM Career Education for additional resources and paths to connect with alumni in your desired career field.

To receive occasional announcements from the Academic Advising Pre-professional Advisors related to pre-business programs, please join Academic Advising's Pre-business Mailing List.