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MIT vs Stanford: Which One Is Better and Why

Both Stanford University and MIT are highly acclaimed educational institutions globally and are renowned for their excellence in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Management) programs. While both universities are not part of the Ivy League, they are still equally respected globally as the breeding ground of business leaders, CEOs, Nobel laureates and entrepreneurs.

The business schools of both universities have been neck and neck in the top B-school ranking, as seen in the following table.


Latest Global B-School Ranking Comparison

Business School Ranking as per Leading Rating Firms
US News Forbes Times Higher Education QS Global Fortune Education
Stanford GSB 1 2 1 1 2
MIT Sloan School of Management 5 7 1 5 8

Source: US News, Forbes, Times, QS Global,& Fortune


With such fierce competition and a long and mutual history of all-around academic brilliance, it is quite a task to figure out which can be better for pursuing your higher studies like MBA. However, let’s give it a sincere try by comparing them against common parameters.

Brief University Profile

Facts Stanford University Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Founded on  1 October 1891 10 April 1861
Type Private Research University
Location Stanford, California, USA Cambridge, Massachusetts
Campus Type Suburban Urban
Newspaper The Stanford Daily The Tech
University Website
Business School Stanford Graduate School of Business MIT Sloan School of Management
B-School Website


About Stanford

Stanford University is a stalwart in offering quality teaching and research programs across all fields. The university is spread around 8180 acres of land, one of the largest in the USA.

Unsurprisingly, most students of the university live inside the campus. In addition, its location at the famed Silicon Valley gives it natural proximity to many large corporate houses and is a favourite among the recruiters.

Furthermore, the university receives more money for start-ups than most top US universities.

[READ: How to Get into Stanford’s GSB]


About MIT


A pioneer in different researches and breakthroughs, MIT has traditionally been a STEM powerhouse. The institute’s mission is “To advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship.”, and it certainly lives by those principles. The institute is in proximity to Harvard University and other famed institutions like Boston University and a few others.

[READ: How to Crack MIT Sloan MBA Program]



Since both Stanford and MIT are private universities, the cost of courses and living there can cost you a significant amount of money. For example, the overall student budget for an undergraduate course at Stanford is approximately $78,898, whereas the MIT at $77,020 is not too far behind.

The MBA program is even costlier. While an MBA from Stanford GSB can cost you $1,19,964 for a single academic year, the cost of an MBA from MIT Sloan is $1,17,998. You can calculate your estimated budget by using the online calculator tool provided at the official websites of Stanford and MIT


[READ: Cost of MBA from the USA]


Financial Aid

Both Stanford and MIT provide several types of scholarships and grants to deserving students. These scholarships can be need-based, merit-based, or many other types. New students are sometimes automatically considered for fellowships and scholarships by the universities or their various departments if they come across as promising.

Therefore, you can significantly cut down the cost of your MBA program if you can secure financial aid. 


[READ: MBA Full Scholarships for Indian Students]



Both Stanford and MIT are world-class institutions boasting of some of the best academic infrastructure providing a great learning environment for the students. Stanford has produced 84 Noble Laureates, whereas MIT is leading with 97 winners.

While MIT is more into science and technology streams, Stanford has a considerable size of humanities courses and a general focus on computer science and other technology-driven streams. Stanford University puts stress on research and collaborations. 

Furthermore, Stanford University focuses more on entrepreneurship. As a result, Stanford has the largest share of new start-ups created on the campus. Also, Stanford has this unique teaching model where the faculty gets a free hand in deciding the course curriculum and the teaching methodology. Therefore, Stanford teachers often experiment with different course structures and teaching methods.


Comparison of MBA Class Profile 2023

Class of 2023 Stanford GSB MIT Sloan
Total Enrolments 426 450
Acceptance Rate 5.78 % Not Disclosed 
International Students 47% 43%
Women’s Representation 44% 44%
Average GPA 3.78 3.59
Average Work Experience 4.8 Years 5 Years
Average GMAT Score 738 730


Source:- Stanford 2023 Class Profile and MIT Sloan 2023 Class Profile


Campus Life


As seen in the above table, both Stanford and MIT provide a vibrant campus life where you will get an opportunity to interact with students from different countries with diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. This can help you develop your personality into a global outlook. 

However, Stanford is far ahead in sports than MIT. While MIT is a Division III school, Stanford is a Division I school with numerous sports accolades. In fact, Stanford has won the highest number of trophies across different fields among all other US Universities. 


Choosing the Right One


If you are good enough to receive an admission call from both Stanford and MIT, you need to choose the one that best suits your career goals and personality. 

MIT can be the best choice for you if you like to pursue extensive research on a particular field without much distraction.

Alternatively, you might want to go with a Stanford degree if you want to pursue additional interests along with your chosen field of study. Stanford can also be the right place for industry-focussed people or those who have entrepreneurial aspirations. 

One of the many deciding factors should be how much will you be able to blend into the campus culture of any of these top destinations. You can even talk to the former alumni and consult any expert before taking the all-important step of your career. 


For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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