More and more top MBA programs are offering admission to exceptional students in their senior year of undergraduate studies and to students who began working toward a master’s degree directly after college. Although deferred admissions programs differ, the gist is that if undergraduate students know they will need an MBA degree to achieve their goals, they can secure admission to a leading business school before graduating and then work for two to five years (depending on the program) before beginning their MBA studies. For students eligible for deferred admission, getting the GMAT process out of the way while studying is still second nature and securing a spot in an MBA program while still in school is a great idea. For business schools, deferred admissions programs are a way to lock in the best talent early.
Like the full-time, two-year MBA programs at the top schools, these early acceptance programs are extremely competitive. For example, Harvard’s 2+2 Program has a median GMAT of 730, an average GPA of 3.79, and an acceptance rate of around 10%, similar to the school’s full-time MBA program.
Following is a list of leading MBA programs that offer early acceptance, along with their eligibility criteria:
Harvard’s 2+2 Program was one of the first deferred admissions programs and is the most well-known. It is open to college seniors and to master’s students who began pursuing their advanced degree right after undergrad and who want to work for at least two years before beginning their MBA studies. The 2+2 Program application deadline is April 27, 2023.
Stanford’s program is for undergraduate seniors and graduate students who began their graduate studies directly after completing their undergrad degree. Students in this program work for up to four years to gain professional experience before starting business school. Stanford allows applicants to apply in any of its three rounds (with deadlines of September 13, 2022; January 5, 2023; and April 11, 2023), but for deferred admission, the school suggests that applying in Round 3 might make the most sense.
Wharton’s program was previously available only to University of Pennsylvania students, but the school recently expanded the program to include applicants from all institutions. Students apply during their senior year or their final year of graduate studies and then work for two to four years before beginning their MBA classes at Wharton. Applications are due April 26, 2023.
Yale’s program, which is open to college seniors, differs a bit from those of other top programs in that students enter Yale directly after their undergraduate studies. Silver Scholars complete their MBA in three years. Students take Yale’s required curriculum in the first year, complete an extended internship during the second year, and take Yale’s elective courses in the third year. Application deadlines are January 5, 2023, and April 11, 2023.
Chicago Booth’s program allows college seniors to apply for admission and then work for two to five years before beginning their MBA studies. Booth Scholars applications are due April 11, 2023.
UVA Darden’s program is open to college seniors and master’s students who have not held a full-time work position. Accepted students work for two to five years before starting their MBA at Darden. Darden’s deferred admission program deadlines are April 11, 2023, and August 1, 2023.
Applicants to Columbia’s program apply during their 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 Columbia. The deferred enrollment program deadline is April 15, 2023.
MIT’s recently added deferred admission program is open to college seniors and graduate students in their final year of studies who enrolled directly after completing their undergrad degree. Accepted students work for two to five years before beginning MBA studies at MIT Sloan. For MIT undergraduates and graduate students only, MIT Sloan offers an early round of admissions with applications due November 1, 2022. Applications for all other eligible applicants are due April 19, 2023.
Berkeley’s deferred admission MBA program is open to undergraduate seniors and graduate students without full-time work experience who are in their last year of studies. Students defer their enrollment at Haas for two to five years while they pursue professional opportunities. The application deadline for this program is April 20, 2023.
Northwestern Kellogg’s deferred enrollment program is open to college seniors and to master’s students who enrolled directly after completing their undergrad degree. The program allows students to delay enrollment for two to five years to gain professional work experience. The application deadline for Kellogg’s Future Leaders program is April 26, 2023.
Applying for deferred admission to an MBA program is a low-risk way to potentially secure a seat at a top business school and then be able to focus more fully on your work and outside activities for the next few years. Stratus has helped students gain admission to many of these programs, and we look forward to discussing your personal profile with you in a free consultation. Sign up on our website!