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Guide to Colleges with Deferred MBA Programs

Deferred MBA programs - Intro

Colleges with Deferred MBA programs

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 doesn’t require a 5 year work experience like a traditional MBA. Additionally, most of colleges waive off 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, Indian Business School offering the degree you have some strong alternatives to choose from.

How does a Deferred MBA program works?

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. Majority of the students who opt for a deferred MBA programs wait for 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

Watch this youtube video to know about 

Top 10 B-Schools in USA that offer MBA to candidates with no work experience

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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 best minds of the top B-Schools, early in your career.
  • 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 do colleges offering deferred MBA programs look for in Candidates?

  • 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 be having 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 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.

Eligibility for Colleges that offer the deferred MBA program

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 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 skype interview. Upon successfully completed the two-stage process you receive the final admit 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.

Class Profile

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 students potential.

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

Deferred MBA programs from HBS

The Class profile of the Harvard 2+2 program 2022 Session

GMAT Information


Educational Background


STEM 27%

Class profile for Yale SOM

Class of 2022 Data

Total Enrollment 349
Median GMAT 730
Middle 80% GMAT Range 690-760
Median Undergraduate GPA 3.69
80% Range of Undergraduate GPA 3.30 -3.92
Women 43%
International Passport Holders* 44%
Under-represented Ethnicities 9%

Top 10 Colleges which accept early admit MBA’s

Sr. No. Schools Name Country Programme 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:


Harvard 2+2 Program

The Harvard 2+2 deferred MBA Program application consist of a single Essay which should be 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, overcrafting, 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 it 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 behaviours that supported it in your answer. Instead of worrying about 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 in 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 MSx 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 the potential for management as well as the contribution you would make to the chosen program.

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