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Guide to Colleges With Deferred MBA Programs

Deferred MBA

There is not much difference between a deferred MBA program and a traditional MBA program. It provides an opportunity for students to apply for an MBA program while they are in their final year of study. Universities understand that you are still pursuing your education and hence don’t require a 5-year work experience like a traditional MBA. Additionally, most colleges waive the application fees for deferred students.

Colleges with Deferred MBA Programs are excellent options for students with a strong interest in Management and Business and who, in the long run, wish to take up leadership positions. With some top-ranked B-Schools such as Harvard, Yale School of Management, and Indian Business School offering the degree, you have some strong alternatives to choose from.

How Does a Deferred MBA Program Work?

Once you have applied for a deferred MBA program, you need to wait for the university’s decision. You will be invited for an interview as the next step.

Students selected for this program will be deferred for 2-5 years. During the deferred period, students can work and gain some professional experience. It provides them the flexibility to start their MBA program within those 2-5 years. The majority of the students who opt for a deferred MBA program wait until the end of the deferral period. However, it is completely acceptable if you choose to start it after 2 years.   

Once you matriculate, you will attend the program like all other applicants, traditional or deferred. 

If you change your decision to pursue the MBA program in those 2-5 years, there is no fee or penalty charged. You just need to inform the school regarding your decision.

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Who Should Apply to Colleges Offering Deferred MBA Programs?

  • Students in their last year of an undergraduate or master’s degree are eligible for deferred MBA programs.
  • The major criterion for applying to a postponed MBA program is that you must be an early career professional with little or no full-time job experience.
  • Deferred MBA applicants often have a specific professional path in mind and understand how an MBA can help them reach their objectives. Candidates often have a strong academic record as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
  • If you want to be mentored by the best minds of the top B-Schools, early in your career. Since education loans for Germany, the UK, the USA, and many other counties are possible, you can definitely do so.
  • Knowing that you have a slot in a postponed MBA program waiting for you allows you to be more flexible in your early career. That may mean branching out into fields you’ve never worked in before or even starting your own business.

What Deferred MBA Look in Candidates?

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  • Candidates are chosen for their combination of intelligence and common sense, maturity and curiosity, passion and compassion.
  • Each has made a difference and distinguished himself or herself in a particular field of interest. They are looking for candidates who will be future leaders in business, government, and nonprofit endeavors.
  • As candidates won’t have much work experience, you need to have an achievement-driven profile. For example, you can talk about competitions you have won, if you have been among the top-ranked students in some Olympiad or if you have your own startup.
  • Deferred MBA programs are primarily geared at high-potential individuals that business schools want to capture early. It is among the best courses for the future.

Deferred MBA Programs Eligibility

If you are in your final year of study, you are eligible to apply in the current application cycle of deferred MBA programs. This timing applies to:

  • Candidates from bachelor's degree programs
  • Candidates from joint bachelor/graduate degree programs
  • Candidates from graduate degree programs who have not held a full-time work position. To be eligible for the
  • 2+2 program, candidates need to have gone directly from undergraduate to graduate school.

Application Process for Deferred MBA Programs


To apply for a deferred MBA program, you will generally need the following:

1. An unofficial copy of college transcripts with final year courses

2. An MBA Resume with internships, part-time positions, and full-time positions

3. A Valid GMAT or GRE Score

4. Two LORS, one (1) letter from an academic instructor, and one (1) letter from an employer.

5. Two essays (These are the same as that submitted by full-time MBA applicants)

6. The shortlisted candidates are invited for the interview in-person or via skype interview. Upon successfully completing the two-stage process, you receive the final admission from the college.

Consider the admissions requirements thoroughly before applying, and be sure you have the necessary expertise. Although job experience is not required, you must have some leadership experience and have excelled in your examinations and coursework to be considered.

PS – Remember, the Application Process differs from School to School. Hence, make sure you go through each school’s official website for more details on the process.

Deferred MBA Class Profile

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A typical early admit MBA admits students with high GMAT/GRE scores. Also, as the candidates don’t have much work experience to showcase, a high GPA gives a good idea about the student's potential.

The final call is made keeping the admission scores, GPA, academic diversity, extracurriculars, and internships in mind.

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Top 10 Colleges Accepting Early Admit MBAs

Sr. No. Schools Name Country Program Name
1 Harvard Business Schools US Harvard 2+2 Programme
2 Yale School of Management US The Yale Silver Scholars Program
3 Stanford Graduate School of Business US Stanford MBA
4 Indian School of Business India ISB Young Leader Programme
5 University of Booth Chicago School of Business US Booth Scholars Program
6 The University of Buffalo US The University of Buffalo 2+2
7 Rollins Crummer Graduate Schools of Business US The Rollins Early Advantage MBA
8 MIT Sloan US MBA Sloan
9 Penn Wharton US Wharton MBA Program
10 NYU Stern US NYU Stern MBA

Application Essay Insights for Harvard, Yale, and Stanford Deferred Programs

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Harvard 2+2 Program

The Harvard 2+2 deferred MBA Program application consists of a single Essay which should be answered very carefully. HBS takes its essays as a critical part of the application process. So make sure your essays are top-notch.

Harvard’s admissions committee is only tasking candidates with one essay question, meaning that it is vitally important to make the most of this limited space. This question does not have a word limit. We believe you are aware of the advice we will provide. Overthinking, over-crafting, and overwriting are all bad ideas. Simply respond to the question in plain language that those of us who are unfamiliar with your world may comprehend.

Joint program applicants for the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School must provide an additional essay:
How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (400 words)

Yale Silver Scholars Program

The Yale Silver Scholars application comprises of ONE MAJOR ESSAY, which must be answered diligently. Yale School of Management(SOM) takes its essays very seriously and uses them as a medium to shortlist potential students for the program prior to the interview.

The essay questions vary from year to year.

2022-23  Yale SOM Essay Question -

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 Words)
Don’t underestimate this question. The phrase to keep in mind for this essay question is “deceptively simple”. When it concerns pertinent issues like Yale School of Management applications, you can be sure that lots of time went into developing this question, and each word was carefully chosen. They want to know how you tackled a particular commitment, whether personal or professional and the behaviors that supported it in your answer. Instead of worrying about what they want to hear, focus on being honest with yourself when choosing and explaining the commitment that has meant the most to you.

Stanford MBA Program

The Stanford deferred MBA Program Application consists of 2 Essays, and similar to Harvard & Yale, they put considerable focus on the essays while shortlisting potential candidates.

Stanford MBA Program Essay Questions -

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, you must reflect deeply and write from the heart. Once you’ve identified what matters most to you, help them understand why. You might consider, for example, what makes this so important to you. What people, insights, or experiences have shaped your perspectives?

Essay B: Why Stanford?
Describe your aspirations and how your Stanford GSB experience will help you realize them. If you are applying to both the MBA and MSc programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.

While answering these questions, do some deep self-examination so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are. Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management and the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.

Do remember that your Application will help the admission committee understand your personality, motivation, and potential for management, as well as the contribution you would make to the chosen program.

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if you are a business and management enthusiast and still in your final year of education, a deferred MBA is your best option. Not only because of its no work experience requirements but also because it is designed that way. The things you learn in a deferred MBA program are suited for young students who are taking their first step into a global business. Get your options straightened up and start applying. With time, securing admission to a top business school with a deferred MBA program will only get harder.

Know Your Author
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Abhyank Srinet
Study Abroad Expert
Abhyank Srinet, the founder of, is a globally recognized expert in study abroad and admission consulting.His passion lies in helping students navigate the complex world of admissions and achieve their academic dreams. Having earned a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Europe, Abhyank's expertise in data-driven marketing strategies has driven growth for some of the most competitive industries. As the founder of, he has helped thousands of students get into top business schools with a strong emphasis on research, shortlisting, and applying to schools from a single platform. His dedication to education has also led him to create MentR-Me, a free-to-use social platform that simplifies the study abroad process for students, while providing universities with a powerful recruitment tool. As a leader in the field of admission consulting, he is constantly researching and implementing the latest strategies to ensure that his clients receive the best possible guidance. He leads the Business Development and Digital Marketing side of both companies, and has grown both ventures to 7 figure revenue.His unique insights, experience, and dedication to his clients make him a valuable resource for anyone seeking to advance their education or career.
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