More and more top MBA programs are offering admission to exceptional students in their senior year of undergraduate studies or students who started working on a master’s degree directly after college. Although deferred admissions programs differ, the gist is that if students know they need an MBA degree 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 their MBA studies, depending on the program. 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 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, an average GPA of 3.79, and an acceptance rate around 10%, 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 2+2 Program was one of the first deferred admissions program and is the most well-known. It is open to current college seniors or to master’s students who began their advanced degree right after undergrad and want to work for at least two years before beginning an MBA. 2+2 applications have only one deadline: April 29, 2021.
Stanford’s program is for current undergraduate seniors or current graduate students who began their graduate studies directly after undergrad. Stanford allows applicants to apply in any of its three rounds (September 15, 2020, January 6, 2021, or April 6, 2021) but for deferred admission suggests that Round 3 may make the most sense.
Wharton’s program was previously available only to current University of Pennsylvania students, but the school recently expanded the program to include applicants from all undergraduate institutions. Students apply during their senior year and then work for two to four years before beginning their MBA at Wharton. Applications are due March 23, 2021.
Yale’s program, which is open to college seniors, differs a bit from 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; they complete an extended internship during the second year; and they take Yale’s elective courses in the third year. Applications are due by January 7 and April 13, 2021.
Booth’s program allows college seniors to apply for admission and then work two to five years before beginning their MBA studies. Booth Scholars applications are due April 1, 2021.
Darden’s program is open to college seniors and fifth-year master’s students. Accepted students work for two to four years before starting their MBA at Darden. In 2021, Darden’s deferred admission program has deadlines of March 15 and June 7.
Applicants to Columbia’s deferred enrollment 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, 2021.
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 20, 2021. For MIT undergraduates, MIT Sloan accepted MBA early admission applications until November 3, 2020.
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.
If you have questions about the deferred admissions process, be sure to register for our upcoming webinar, How to Nail Your Deferred MBA Applications, on Tuesday, December 15, 2020!