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Know More About Deferred MBA Programs

04 February, 2023
SA Team

Deferred MBA Programs

A deferred MBA is different from a traditional MBA in that it grants pre-admission to MBA program, usually two years in advance, to final year students as they complete their undergraduate or graduate studies. In this sense, deferred MBA does not mandate 2–5 years of work experience as does traditional MBA, and most college often waive off application fees for deferred students.

Students approved for deferred MBA receive a 2–5 year deferral. During this period, students are permitted to work and develop professional experience. Most students who choose a deferred MBA program wait until the deferral period expires; however, beginning the program after two years is a common trend as well. There are no fees or penalties incurred if you change your mind about pursuing an MBA within 2–5 years. You only need to notify the school of your decision.

Deferred MBA applicants

To be eligible to apply for a deferred MBA program, you must be in your final year of undergraduate study or have recently graduated. Deferred MBA entrance is much more competitive than traditional, which is due in part to the high quality of applicants and the small number of individuals chosen through this procedure.

Applicants are chosen for their exceptional intellectual curiosity, maturity, analytical strength and leadership and interpersonal skills, having distinguished themselves in a specific area of interest. Owing to lack work experience, applicants are expected to create an achievement-driven profile. Tournaments, Olympiad, or having your own startup are few examples of that show the drive to lead business, government, and nonprofit organizations in the future.

Top Colleges Offering Deferred MBA

Harvard 2+2 Deferred MBA Program

The program comprises at least two years of professional work experience followed by two years in the regular HBS MBA Program. being admitted through 2+2, students spend a minimum of two years (maximum of four years) working in a professional position in the public, private, or nonprofit sector before enrolling at HBS.

If you are in your final year of study, you are eligible to apply in the current application cycle (deadline is April 27, 2023). You must graduate from your program between October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023.

Stanford GSB Deferred Admission

Stanford’s evaluation criteria assess your readiness for our academic program; times and manners in which you have taken an initiative, persisted through challenges, engaged others in your efforts, and supported those around you; and your values, beliefs, identity, and ambitions, including how you can bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the MBA class.

Round 3 application deadline for 2023 selection process is due at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time on April 11, 2023.

Yale SilverScholars Program

Scholars are taught management fundamentals in their first year at Yale SOM. After which, they work full-time for one or more years, putting your management education to use, developing leadership skills, and acquiring a competitive edge while applying for permanent positions. Then students return to campus to finish the MBA program, taking electives at Yale SOM and elsewhere at the institution in their areas of interest and career aspirations.

Applicants to the Yale SOM Silver Scholars Program complete the same online application as the  full-time MBA program. Round 3 application deadline is April 11, 2023.

Booth Scholars Program

Through this program, you can apply to a Chicago Booth MBA in your final year of undergraduate studies, and then defer admission for 2–5 years while you gain professional work experience.

Application deadline is  April 11, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CST, and interview timeline is April–May, 2023.

Wharton Deferred Admission Moelis Advance Access Program

The program offers students in their final year of undergraduate and full-time graduate degree programs a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA. After admission, admitted students pursue 2–4 years of quality work experience before matriculating in the full-time MBA program.

Application deadline is April 26, 2023; interview invitations due on May 25, 2023; and interview dates from June 2 to June 14, 2023.

Darden’s Future Year Scholars Program

Final year or any full-time masters students who have not yet experienced the professional workforce may avail this program for an early entry into the MBA program. During this period, candidates work for 2–5 years, gaining insight into the workplace and forming a foundation for their MBA experience.

Round 1 deadline is April11, 2023 and Round 2 deadline is August 1, 2023.

MIT SloanDeferred MBA

College seniors seeking MBA admission at MIT Sloan can now apply for deferred admission. MIT Sloan MBA early admission students can work for 2–5 years following graduation. After job experience, individuals can join the MIT Sloan MBA program.

*Extended MBA Round 2 deadline is February 23, 2023 and MBA Round 3 deadline is April 11, 2023.

Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment Program

Undergraduate students can get a few years of work experience with a guaranteed of admission to Columbia’s MBA program 2–5 years after graduation through the Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment Program.

The Deferred Enrollment application opened in November 2022 and will close on April 15, 2023.

Requirements for Deferred MBA

The application process for a deferred MBA is usually similar to traditional MBA, except that its highly competitive. Admission Committee look for impressive essays, résumé, and academic and extracurricular performance. Essays for deferred MBA are assessed based on the applicant’s leadership and noteworthy impact in their field of interest or passion. Further, applicants must show a clear trajectory of their career plans and should express a sound sense of how business studies would aid them in achieving their goals. Indeed, plans change as our journey progresses; applicants must nonetheless understand the community they intend to serve and the problems they wish to tackle in the short term.

Benefits of Deferred MBA

As is evident, deferred MBA are beneficial as they allow you take career risks early on and explore avenues that may be best suited for your future. For business and management enthusiast, deferred MBA allows early exposure in global business. With time, deferred MBA will surely become more competitive owing to its design and feasibility.

If you’re interested in applying for deferred MBA and have the right amount of scores, internships and extracurriculars in your experiences, get your profile reviewed with IMS and discuss your options with our consultants soon.

Click here for profile review.

Author –

Dipti Pal

Head, Admission Consulting



Ilika M

Editor, Admission Consulting



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