Top Deferred MBA Programs: Should You Apply?

by Vantage Point MBA, Jan 27, 2023

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If you are currently in your senior year of college or enrolled in a graduate program that you began right after graduation, this article is for you. While it might be tempting to coast through to the summer, we urge you to consider whether you should apply to one or more of the top deferred MBA programs.

What are these exactly? Generally, they entail a full-time two-year MBA program that you apply for as a college senior (or graduate student) and attend after having worked for 2-5 years. During the ‘deferral period’ – between college graduation and arriving on campus for your MBA – many business schools offer access to their career services office and/or student programming like industry conferences.

As a current student, you are still in ‘study mode’ and likely have more time on your hands than you will while working full time in a demanding job. As such, now can be the perfect time to devote to taking the GRE/GMAT and preparing your applications (most of the deadlines are in April). Most schools also waive application fees for deferred MBA hopefuls – this seems minor, but at ~$200 per school, these can add up!

That said, admission into the top deferred MBA programs is competitive and the class sizes are small. It makes sense to understand what admissions officers are looking for before you decide to devote time and effort to the application process.

What follows is a list of the top deferred MBA programs – in no particular order – and some basic facts about their class profiles, application requirements, and other nuances to consider.

HBS 2+2 Program

  • Deadline: 4/27/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-5 years
  • Number of Admits in Most Recent Class: 121 (9% acceptance rate)
  • GMAT: Not reported
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not reported

Stanford Deferred Enrollment MBA Program

  • Deadline: 4/11/23 (may also apply in Round 1 and Round 2 along with candidates for the traditional MBA program)
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 1-3 years encouraged, 4 years maximum
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: Not Available
  • GMAT: Not Available
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not Available

Wharton Deferred Admission Moelis Advance Access MBA

  • Deadline: 4/26/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-4 years
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: 110
  • GMAT: Not reported
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not reported

MIT Sloan Early Admission MBA

  • Deadline: 4/19/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-5 years
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: 101
  • GMAT: 750 (median)
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.88 (median)

Deferred MBA Chicago Booth Scholars

  • Deadline: 4/11/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-5 years
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: Not Available
  • GMAT: Not reported
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not reported
  • Program Nuance: Deferred MBAs can enroll in any of Booth’s programs, including the Evening or Weekend MBA programs

Kellogg Future Leaders Deferred Enrollment MBA

  • Deadline: 4/26/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-5 years
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: Not Available
  • GMAT: Not reported
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not reported
  • Program Nuance: Deferred MBAs can enroll in any of Kellogg’s programs, including the Part-Time MBA program

Darden Future Year Scholars Deferred Enrollment MBA

  • Deadline: 4/11/23 or 8/1/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-5 years
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: Not Available
  • GMAT: Not reported
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not reported
  • Program Nuance: Candidates may also apply using their SAT or ACT score

Yale Silver Scholars MBA Program

  • Deadline: Same as Traditional MBA Program Deadlines, with Round 3 occurring on 4/11/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: None – students matriculate as Silver Scholars directly after college or another master’s program (see below for more context)
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: Not Available
  • GMAT: Not reported
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not reported
  • Program Nuance: Silver Scholars is a three-year program – students complete Yale SOM’s Core Curriculum in their first year, complete an extended internship in their second year, and take Yale SOM electives in their third year.

Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment MBA Program

  • Deadline: 4/15/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-5 years
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: 235
  • GMAT: 530-780 (range)
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.3-4.2 (range)

Haas Accelerated Access

  • Deadline: 4/20/23
  • Post-College Work Experience Before Matriculation: 2-5 years
  • Number of Committed Admits in Most Recent Class: Not Available
  • GMAT: Not reported
  • Undergraduate GPA: Not reported

If you are considering applying to one or more of the top deferred MBA programs, reach out to request a free 30-minute consultation. Working with applicants like you is one of our specialties. We can help you navigate the various program options, assess your competitiveness for admission, and guide you through the nuances of the application process.