The Sloan Fellows Program traces its roots back to the 1930s when Alfred P. Sloan, the visionary CEO of the General Motors Corporation, funded a program for engineers at MIT to develop the “ideal manager.” By the late 1960s, the program evolved to include Stanford and LBS to train experienced mid-career and senior business leaders, with a global mindset, working in corporations, non-profits, government as well as entrepreneurs. Sloan’s vision is embodied in MIT’s mission: “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.”  

The Sloan Fellows Program is one of the world’s most prestigious, most selective, and most international. The full-time, 12-month residential programs include standard management courses and focus on personal development to develop leadership and strategic thinking abilities. Alumni have praised this “transformative” experience and highlighted the exceptional peer learning process, interactions with world-renowned faculty, 360° leadership assessment, 1-1 coaching sessions and the global network.

Prospective Sloan Fellows need to take the GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment, write essays, submit LORs, transcripts and even an organization chart from their most recent job. Non-native English speakers also have to provide TOEFL or IELTS scores. At MIT, applicants must also submit a 60-second video statement.  

Although the Sloan programs at MIT, Stanford and LBS share similarities and work together, they have several differences reflected in their 2021 class profiles.

The MIT Sloan Fellows Program has a class of around 100 with 60% international from 40 countries with an average work experience of 15 years. MIT’s history as a leading business school and research university is reflected in the 3 degrees awarded: MBA, a Master of Science (SM) in Technology or Management. Students completing the SMs must complete a thesis. Students take electives in the spring and fall semesters and do independent projects. The MBA, a STEM-designated program, allows international students to extend their training in the U.S. by 24 months after graduating.

The Stanford MSx Program has a class of around 85 from several countries with an average work experience of 12 years. Located near Silicon Valley, Stanford emphasizes the entrepreneurial mindset and awards a Master’s in Management (MSM). Students take accelerated core courses and customize their curriculum with more than 50% of electives. Alumni from the classes of 2016-2018 created 38 companies.  

The LBS Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy has a class of around 60 with 22 nationalities, (45% from Asia, 25% from the UK & Europe) having an average work experience of nearly 20 years. Participants are senior executives at or near the C-Suite who want to benefit from London’s thriving international business hub. At the start, you’ll be assigned to a group of approximately five people for core course study, supported by electives and a Global Business Assignment.

There are a few drawbacks to the Program such as cost and family considerations, but they are limited since most Fellows are company-sponsored, and the B-schools have set up specific family-inclusive programs to welcome children and spouses.