NYU Stern MBA Program: Everything You Need to Know


New York University’s Stern School of Business, more commonly referred to as NYU Stern, is one of New York City’s two preeminent MBA programs. Located in the business capital of the world, the Kaufman Management Center in Greenwich Village provides a number of learning opportunities and career options for Stern students and graduates (known as “Sternies”). After all, NYU’s campus sits just a handful of subway stops away from not only every major finance, consulting, technology, and media company imaginable but also New York’s vaunted “Silicon Alley” start-up community. As any NYU graduate or student will tell you, Stern leverages this location to the advantage of its alumni in countless ways.


Unsurprisingly, NYU Stern is known primarily for its prowess in finance and sent just over one-third of its 2020 graduates into the notoriously competitive industry. With professors such as student-favorite Aswath Damodaran doling out lessons in corporate finance and valuation, practically every student graduates from Stern equipped to handle finance in whatever role they choose. But NYU Stern is much more than just a finance school, offering 27 specializations, nearly 40 clubs, more than 200 full-time professors, and more than 200 electives. In other words, Stern offers something for everyone. NYU Stern MBA students are able to chart almost any path they choose once inside Kaufman, pursuing specializations such as entertainment and media, health care, sustainable business and innovation, and fintech. In fact, in recent years, Stern has even introduced two specialized one-year programs, the Stern Tech MBA and the Stern Fashion and Luxury MBA. Last but not least, NYU Stern’s expansive entrepreneurship resources give its students the power to launch their own ventures in almost any field.

In addition to its reputation as a thought leader in New York’s business community, the NYU Stern MBA Program has established a global presence through its ever-popular “Doing Business in…” (DBi) winter treks overseas. Plus, Stern’s MBA Class of 2023 includes students from 32 different countries. In many ways, the school brings the world to campus, while giving Sternies multiple opportunities to venture far beyond New York—thus earning NYU its place among the world’s elite MBA programs.

mbaMission’s NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business Insider’s Guide

NYU Stern School of Business Insider’s Guide

After consulting with NYU Stern MBA students, admissions committee members, and alumni about their Stern experiences, we have prepared our Insider’s Guide to the NYU Stern School of Business. Taking an in-depth look at life as a Stern MBA student, we highlight how the program’s location, class size, curriculum, teaching methods, facilities, alumni involvement, and rankings all affect its culture and MBA experience. We then discuss Stern’s faculty and professional student clubs, explaining how they advance the careers of NYU’s MBA students. Through our guide, you will learn more about Stern’s commitment to innovation, including its Change: Studio and its “IQ + EQ” development programs, which emphasize emotional intelligence. You will also learn about the countless career paths Stern facilitates through its 27 specializations and more than 200 electives. Ultimately, our guide should serve as a road map for how to navigate all the rich opportunities within the NYU Stern School of Business.


NYU Stern School of Business Interview Guide

NYU Stern Interview Guide

NYU Stern MBA interviews—almost always conducted by MBA admissions committee members—are generally relaxed and conversational, but applicants must demonstrate not only why NYU Stern is the right choice to help them achieve their professional goals but also what they will contribute to the Stern community. From candidates’ past experiences to their professional motivations for seeking an MBA, NYU Stern interviews aim to uncover as much as possible about applicants to determine whether they are the right fit for Stern. For sample interview question sequences and feedback from past applicants on their experiences, download our NYU Stern School of Business Interview Guide.


NYU Stern Application Essay Analysis, 2021–2022

NYU Stern’s primary essay question can be intimidating, not to mention seemingly philosophical. Giving candidates the prompt “Change: _____ it” and asking them to “fill in the blank,” Stern is interested in learning how applicants approach change—professionally, academically, and personally. The question is specific and open-ended all at once, and if it gives you pause, that is the idea. The NYU Stern admissions committee wants you to think hard about how you have driven change in your own life and career—and how you will do so at NYU Stern. The business school’s application also includes the famous “Pick Six” photo essay, which tasks applicants with sharing six images that are meaningful to them and providing a caption for each. In short, as much as any other program, Stern seeks candidates with clear and compelling goals as well as positive and engaging personalities.

In our essay analysis, we provide guidance on each of NYU Stern’s 2021–2022 essay questions:

  • Short Answer: Professional Aspirations
    What are your short-term career goals? (150 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
  • Essay 1: Change: _________ it
    In today’s global business environment, the only constant is change. Using NYU Stern’s brand call to action, we want to know how you view change. Change: _____ it. Fill in the blank with a word of your choice. Why does this word resonate with you? How will you embrace your own personal tagline while at Stern? Examples:
    • Change: Dare it.
    • Change: Dream it.
    • Change: Drive it.
    • Change: Empower it.
    • Change: Manifest it.
    • Change: [Any word of your choice.]
    (350 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
  • Essay 2: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)
    Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:
    • A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).
    • Six images that help illustrate who you are.
    • A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.
    Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

Click here to read our full analysis

NYU Stern MBA Class Profile (Class of 2023)

Total Applications 3,958
Class Size 360
Average GPA 3.59
Average GMAT 729
GMAT Range 620–770
Average GRE (Verbal) 162
Average GRE (Quant) 162
GRE Verbal Range 149–170
GRE Quant Range 154–170
Average Years of Work Experience 5.1
Range of Years of Work Experience 0–13
Women 41%
Students with International Citizenship 32%
Countries Represented (including the United States) 32
U.S. Minorities
(percentage of U.S. citizen/permanent resident matriculants who identify as any ethnicity group except White, non-Hispanic)

NYU Stern MBA Rankings

The NYU Stern School of Business has always been just on the outskirts of the upmost tier in the most popular business school rankings, in some years attaining that coveted top-ten ranking. For instance, Stern ranked number ten (tied with Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business) in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report survey, while Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the program number 11 in its 2021 survey. Regardless of whether NYU Stern makes the top ten in any given year, the program will always present an attractive option to applicants interested in studying in a business capital, with almost every recruiter from the finance, consulting, and technology sectors in their back yard. And with an admission rate that hovers around 19%, Stern offers solid odds to a range of applicants who can craft compelling personal narratives and articulate clear reasons why the Stern MBA is the right program to prepare them for their professional goals.

NYU Stern Deadlines (2021–2022 MBA Application Season)

Round 1 Application Deadline
September 15, 2021

Round 1 Decision Notification
December 1, 2021

Round 2 Application Deadline
October 15, 2021

Round 2 Decision Notification
January 1, 2022

Round 3 Application Deadline
January 15, 2022

Round 3 Decision Notification
April 1, 2022

Round 4 Application Deadline
March 15, 2022

Round 4 Decision Notification
June 1, 2022

mbaMission Testimonials from NYU Stern MBA Applicants

Working with Harold [Simansky] was nothing short of humbling. His institutional knowledge guided me through the NYU Stern MBA application with a successful result.

He had a plan of action from the start and met with me to ensure we were aligned on execution. We worked through multiple iterations of my resume and essay where Harold provided guidance on how to improve my application. The best part of working with Harold is that he understood what the result should look like but would not give away the answers. He spent time coaching me to ensure I learned as the process progressed. Harold was prompt with his responses to my emails and always made sure I was clear on the task at hand.

Harold would be my top choice if you are planning to apply to any top-tier MBA programs.