To view an up-to-date version of this post, click here.
More and more top MBA programs are offering admission to exceptional students in their senior year of undergraduate studies or students who started a master’s degree directly after college. Although the programs differ, the gist is that if college seniors know an MBA is the degree they need to achieve their goals, they can secure admission to a top MBA program before graduating and then work for two to five years before beginning MBA studies, depending on the program. For students completing their undergraduate studies or a masters they started immediately out of undergrad, it’s a great way to get the GMAT and MBA application process out of the way while studying is still fresh in their minds. For MBA programs, it’s a way to lock in the best talent early.
Like full-time, two-year MBA programs at top schools, these early acceptance programs are extremely competitive. For example, Harvard’s 2+2 program has a median GMAT of 730, GPA of 3.67 and an acceptance rate around 11%, similar to the full-time MBA program.
Following is a list of top MBA programs that offer early acceptances along with their eligibility criteria:
Harvard’s program is one of the first and most well-known. It is open to current college seniors or master’s students who started right after undergrad and want to work for at least two years before beginning an MBA. 2+2 applications have only one deadline: April 2, 2020.
Stanford’s program is for current seniors in college or current graduate students who began their graduate studies directly after undergrad. Stanford allows applicants to apply in any of its three rounds (September 12, 2019, January 9, 2020 or April 8, 2020) but for deferred admission suggests that Round 3 may make the most sense.
Wharton’s program is available only to current University of Pennsylvania students. Students apply during their senior year and then work for two to four years before beginning their MBA at Wharton. Applications are due April 1, 2020.
Yale’s program, open to college seniors, differs a bit from other top programs, in that students enter Yale SOM directly after their undergraduate studies The first year students take Yale’s required curriculum, the second year they experience an extended internship, and the third year they take Yale’s elective courses. Silver Scholars complete their MBA in three years. Applications are due by April 14, 2020.
Booth’s program allows college seniors to apply for admission to Booth, then work two to four years before beginning their MBA studies at Booth. Booth Scholars applications are due April 2, 2020.
Darden’s program is open to college seniors and 5th year Master’s students. Accepted students work for two to four years before starting their MBA at Darden. In 2019, Darden’s deferred admission program had deadlines of March 1, May 1, or August 1.
Applicants to Columbia’s deferred enrollment program apply during senior year of undergrad or during a subsequent Master’s program. Students then work for two to five years before beginning the MBA program at CBS. The deferred enrollment program deadline is April 15, 2020.
MIT’s recently added deferred admission program is open to college seniors and graduate students who enrolled directly after their undergrad studies. Accepted students work for two to five years before beginning MBA studies at MIT Sloan. Applications are due April 6, 2020. For MIT undergraduates, MIT Sloan accepts MBA early admission applications on October 28, 2019.
Applying for deferred admission to an MBA program is a low-risk way to potentially secure a seat in a top program and be able to focus on your work and outside activities for the next few years. Stratus has worked with students to help gain admission to many of these programs.