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Feb 14, 2020

The Top Deferred Enrollment MBA Programs

Deferred Enrollment MBA

In the past several years, we’ve seen more and more leading business schools offering deferred enrollment MBA programs.

Traditionally, full-time work experience has been a requirement for acceptance into a leading MBA program, with students averaging five years of professional experience at the time they begin their graduate studies.

Most deferred enrollment programs still require work experience—the difference is that students can gain this experience after they earn admission. Deferred enrollment MBA programs guarantee college seniors (and sometimes graduate students) a spot in their MBA programs, allowing them to enroll two to five years after they graduate from college. This allows students to focus on their work experience with their MBA plans already in place.

Read on for information about deferred enrollment programs at:

How Deferred Enrollment Programs Work

“This type of program is for those who know that an MBA program is something they want to pursue in the future. Not directly after their undergraduate degree (in most cases), but a couple of years later,” explains Alex Brown, an MBA admissions expert at Clear Admit.

Ambitious undergraduate students apply to b-school during their senior years and then receive a promise of a seat in a future cohort. Typically, they are required to gain two to five years of full-time work experience between being accepted and starting an MBA. Once they do enroll, they join the same MBA cohort as those admitted through the traditional application process.

“Applying and gaining admission during college helps reduce the uncertainty of their plan going forward. So rather than entering an analyst program at a consulting firm, for example, with the hope of gaining admission to a top MBA program after a few years, new graduates can enter the program knowing they have an MBA option already,” says Alex. “Of course, it doesn’t stop them from changing their minds, or pursuing other MBA options and forgoing the early admission.”

These deferred enrollment programs are ideal for candidates with established leadership skills. Typically, candidates have outstanding internships, strong academic credentials, and high test scores when they apply. “Also, these candidates are still typically early in their career arch when they start their MBA programs. But, it makes sense if they are focused and really understand how the MBA program will help develop their career further,” explains Alex. “It’s good for candidates with focused career goals.”

Additionally, it’s worth noting that deferred admissions MBA programs are open to applications from students of all academic backgrounds. In addition to the finance, business, and economics majors, who are well represented in the traditional MBA applicant pool, deferred enrollment programs welcome those from a STEM or humanities backgrounds. Whatever their major, the key for applicants is to have a solid plan for the future and a good sense of how an MBA fits into that plan.

The unique Yale SOM deferred enrollment program is one of the few in the U.S. that lasts three years.

Deferred Enrollment Programs at a Glance

So, what are some of the top deferred enrollment programs and how do they vary?

At a glance, the structure of most deferred enrollment MBA programs are similar. All but Yale SOM are two years in length and place students in the same cohort as the full-time MBA. On the other hand, the Yale Silver Scholars program is three years in length, with the first and third year being the same as the standard MBA and the second year being an extended internship. The reason behind this difference is that the program accepts candidates directly after their undergraduate career without any work experience.

The rest of the programs require that students gain two to five years of full-time work experience before they start their MBA studies. However, in some cases, work experience is not required if the student is currently completing another graduate degree (this is the case for Stanford’s program).

“Generally, the students co-exist in the same program” as those admitted through the traditional process, explains Alex. “Younger students might have more energy and enthusiasm, older candidates might have more experience and insights. It can become a great blend for an academic experience.”

Another key distinction is eligibility; the Haas Accelerated Access and Wharton Moelis programs are only open to UC Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania students, respectively. In 2019, Wharton added another deferred admissions program for students from any institution, not just Penn.  MIT Sloan allows MIT students with an undergraduate GPA of 4.25 to waive the GMAT, and UVA Darden, Haas, and Wharton all offer scholarships for their deferred programs.

Deadlines for each of these programs tend to fall April, around the Round 3 MBA application deadlines.

Inside the Deferred Enrollment MBA Programs at Leading Business Schools

Here’s a deeper look at the details of each school’s deferred enrollment MBA structure, eligibility, and application requirements.

Berkeley Haas Accelerated Access

The Berkeley Haas Accelerated Access program is currently only open to UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students in their final year of study—though there are plans to expand to the rest of the University of California and beyond in the future. The program offers early conditional admission into the Full-Time MBA program with the ability to defer for two to five years to gain professional experience. There are two application deadlines—one in April and one in June—with an application process very similar to the full-time MBA program, except the application fee is waived.

Application requirements include the application form, university transcripts, two short essays, two recommendations, a resume, and the GMAT or GRE. Interviews are then conducted by invitation only. Accepted candidates must make a $500 deposit.

To celebrate the launch of Accelerated Access, up to five $100,000 scholarship awards will be available for students applying in 2020. Upon matriculation, candidates will be eligible for other scholarships and dual degree programs.

Chicago Booth Scholars Program

The Chicago Booth Scholars program is a deferred MBA program for promising candidates looking to secure a seat in a future Chicago Booth full-time MBA cohort. It’s open to undergraduates from any institution in their senior year, and grants admits a two to four-year deferment before they begin the full-time MBA program. While working full time, students have the opportunity to engage with Booth and explore the University of Chicago community. If candidates prefer to continue working after four years, they have the opportunity to enroll in the Evening or Weekend MBA programs.

Applications are due in April, and are similar to the full-time MBA application. Application requirements include a data form, short answers, an essay, two recommendations, unofficial transcripts (official copies required of admitted students), and professional resume.  International students must take the TOEFL, unless their undergraduate degrees were conducted in English. All applicants must take the GMAT or GRE; there is no preference given to either test. Interviews are then conducted on an invitation only basis.

Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment Program

The Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment program is open to undergraduate and Master’s students who apply during their final years of study. (Students enrolled in Ph.D. programs, law school, or medical school are not eligible.) Once accepted, they can take two to five years to enter the workforce, and start the full-time MBA program when it’s right for them. To begin the program, candidates simply send the school a letter of intent to Columbia indicating whether they want to enroll in January (16-month program) or August (20-month program with summer internship). Admitted students gain access to conferences, events, and school-wide resources prior to matriculating.

Applications are due by mid-April, and requirements include a data form, short answer questions, an essay, two recommendations, academic transcripts, and professional resume. All applicants must take the GMAT, Executive Assessment, or GRE within three weeks of applying. Interviews are then conducted on an invitation only basis. CBS releases decisions on a rolling basis, within two weeks of the interview.

In 2019, 114 candidate were admitted to the CBS Deferred Enrollment Program.  Their GMAT scores ranged from 640-790, and GPAs ranged from 2.92-4.0.  Forty-nine schools and 11 countries were represented in this incoming class.

Harvard Business School 2+2 Program

Harvard’s 2+2 program is perhaps the best-known deferred MBA. Candidates apply in their final year of undergraduate or graduate school, then spend a minimum of two years (maximum of four) working full-time before they begin Harvard’s full-time, two-year MBA program. This program is open to students who plan to work in the public, private, or nonprofit sector, with preference given to applicants planning to work in an operating company (tech, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, industrials, etc.), from a lower socio-economic background, going into a technically demanding role, or pursuing entrepreneurship.  Students enrolled in Ph.D. programs, law school, or medical school are not eligible; they should apply through the regular MBA admissions process.

The application is essentially the same as for the traditional MBA program, though the application fee is $100 instead of $250. The application fee is waived for active duty military applicants. The admissions deadline is in April. Candidates may enter the full-time MBA program once they have met work experience requirements.

More than 1,400 candidates applied to be a part of the Class of 2023, and 115 students ultimately committed to the program.  Their GMAT scores ranged from 590-790, and their average GPA was 3.79.

Kellogg Future Leaders

Northwestern Kellogg’s Future Leaders program is open to any undergraduate student in their final year of school, as well as Master’s students who began their graduate programs directly after undergrad. Students enrolled in Ph.D. programs, law school, or medical school are not eligible; they should apply through the regular MBA admissions process.

Successful applicants defer their enrollment at Kellogg for two to five years, during which time they are expected to gain relevant work experience.  Candidates may also reassess which MBA program to join; while applicants are accepted into the full-time two-year MBA program, they can also choose the Evening & Weekend or One-Year program. They may also expand their plans to consider the JD-MBA or MMM, though those require admission to the other Northwestern schools.

The application requires brief essays, a recommendation, and an interview by invitation; the TOEFL and GMAT/GRE are also conditional requirements. Non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL, unless their undergraduate studies were conducted in English. Northwestern undergraduates do not have to take the GMAT/GRE, but it is required for all other students. While there is no application fee, admitted candidates need to make an initial deposit of $500, then $500 for every year of deferment; these funds ultimately apply to tuition when they matriculate.

MIT Sloan MBA Early Admission

The MIT Sloan MBA Early Admission program is open to any exceptional undergraduate student during the year that they are graduating. Graduate students without full-time work experience may also apply.  Between being accepted and starting the program, candidates are expected to seek two to five years of full-time work experience.

Applications are due in April, and requirements include a data form, cover letter, video statement, two recommendations, academic transcripts, and professional resume.  All applicants must take the GMAT or GRE, but MIT students can waive the GMAT or GRE if they have a GPA above 4.2.  Interviews are then conducted on an invitation-only basis. The application fee is waived for all candidates.

Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment

The Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment program is open to undergraduate students who want to begin their MBAs immediately after their senior year. However, students are encouraged to defer for one to three years to gain work experience (two-year deferrals are most common). They can apply during any of GSB’s three application rounds, and can choose which year’s MBA cohort they would like to enter. If they decide to defer for one to two years, they can apply for specific fellowships the year before starting their full-time MBA.

Those eligible for deferred enrollment have their application fee reduced to $100.

UVA Darden Future Year Scholars Program (FYSP)

The UVA Darden FYSP program is open to undergraduate students in their final year, as well as Master’s students. Candidates can apply in January, April, or August. Once admitted, they then go on to gain two to four years of work experience while also gaining access to the Darden alumni community for mentorship, networking, and individualized career support. Then, once ready, candidates join the regular full-time MBA program.

The application requires a GMAT, GRE, MCAT or LSAT score, but applicants are encouraged to take the GRE or GMAT before matriculating. Applicants must also submit a resume, transcripts, an essay, and two letters of recommendation. While there is no application fee, admitted candidates need to make a deposit of $500 for every year of deferment; these funds ultimately apply to tuition when they matriculate.

Wharton Advance Access Program

Undergraduate seniors and graduate students from any institution outside of Penn can apply early for the Wharton MBA through the Advance Access Program. Accepted applicants receive special professional development and career services support, as well as access to the Wharton community including annual retreats and mentoring. Applicants may apply in their senior year during Round Three of the MBA admission timeline, and are evaluated similarly to the overall MBA applicant pool. Candidates defer for two to four years of work experience, and then join the regular two-year, full-time MBA program when they’re ready.

University of Pennsylvania undergraduates, specifically, can apply through the Wharton Moelis program. The benefits mirror those of the Advance Access program, with the added potential for a $10,000 yearly fellowship (or more, based on merit).

While the application fee for the Moelis program is waived, applicants through the Advance Access program must pay a reduced application fee of $100. The application requirements for both options include unofficial transcripts, GMAT or GRE score, a resume, two letters of recommendation, two essays that are the same as the general MBA application, and interviews (Team-Based Discussion & one-on-one). Admitted candidates through either program need to make a deposit of $1,000 at the beginning of June of the year they are accepted, and then another deposit of $1,000 when they decide to matriculate. The school also expects yearly affirmation of intent to attend the program, as well as verification of work experience.

Yale SOM Silver Scholars

Students admitted to the Yale Silver Scholars program start their MBA studies immediately after college graduation. Candidates spend one year completing the core curriculum, and then undertake an extended full-time internship in year two. Then, during the third year, they return to Yale SOM to complete their degree with MBA elective courses. Students are fully integrated into the Yale SOM MBA class, but they have special programming and career development support that’s tailored to them. Candidates apply during their senior years of college.

Applicants complete the same online application as regular enrollment candidates, with nuances in the Work Experience and Activities sections of data form. Yale notes that only college seniors are eligible to apply, and they must submit two letters of recommendation. If invited to interview, candidates will meet with one or more members of the Silver Scholars committee.


This article has been edited and republished from its original source, Clear Admit.

Posted in: Boston, California, Chicago, Featured Home, Featured Region, New York City, Philadelphia, Research Triangle, San Francisco | 0 comments

Dec 4, 2019

Where Should I Work: Google or Oracle?

Tech is a sociocultural juggernaut. It exerts its omnipotent force not only in terms of the services and products we elect to uphold our modern world, but also in terms of how we make a living. One might argue that in one shape or form, most of us work in—or for—the tech industry. If you’re the glass half-full type, the pervasiveness of tech suggests there are more opportunities to tilt the industry—even slightly—toward social good.

Continue reading…

Posted in: Boston, Chicago, Featured Home, Featured Region, Google, London, Los Angeles, MBA Jobs, New York City, Oracle, Philadelphia, Research Triangle, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington DC | 0 comments

Nov 1, 2019

News Roundup – Rutgers MBA Wins Big, HBS Professor Weighs in on EY’s Recent Press, and More

Rutgers award

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from this week, including a Rutgers award winner, and much more.


Student’s Excitement for Business Problem Helped Her Win AwardRutgers Business School News

The National Black MBA Association recently honored Rutgers Business School MBA student Livonia Mitchell with the “Best Presenter” award in its annual case competition last month. It was Mitchell’s first time participating in such an event.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sponsored the competition, which includes students from 36 other schools. Students were required to present a case for how Fiat Chrysler could make a subscription car program profitable. They were required to present a marketing plan and a business model.

Mitchell, Director of Operations Excellence at Ports America, says of of her win, “The story really spoke to me … I connected with it. I think a lot of that came out.”

She is currently enrolled in RBS’ part-time MBA program, and plans to declare a concentration in Strategy and Leadership. For more on the competition at the Rutgers award winner, you can read here.


Enlightened Solutions: Modular Housing Developments for L.A.’s HomelessUCLA Anderson School of Management News & Events

Two recent grads of the UCLA Anderson MBA program got some incredible news this month.

Their proposal to the LA City Council for housing for the homeless is to receive major funding to go forward. The nearly $24 million was granted to Greg Comanor (’19) and Aaron Sassounian (’19) to make their capstone project a reality.

Greg Comanor and Aaron Sassounian’s proposed Daylight Community Development modular housing in Compton / Photo courtesy of Studio One Eleven

The two created a project which combines affordable housing units, health care, and other services into one development using a for-profit model. Using Anderson’s Business Creation Option, the pair raised seed money with a friends-and-family campaign, and purchased a site in L.A.’s Watts neighborhood.

Comanor says of their concept, “Aaron and I were both real estate-focused students, coming from backgrounds in venture capital, investment banking, retail and multifamily development …We felt a nudge to do something socially conscious.”

In order to make the project truly come to fruition, they formed Daylight Community Development, which uses shipping containers to create modular units with the help of creative financing strategies.

Daylight’s Executive Director Tim Kawahara says of Daylight’s team, “They have identified a market niche where financial returns and social impact intersect. These are the types of solutions we need in order to build our way forward.”

You can read more on Daylight and their projects here.


Scholarship to Honor Professor John Dealy’s Commitment to Gender Equity in the Technology Industry – Georgetown McDonough School of Business

This month, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business established the Dealy Scholarship, a merit-based award for students who exemplify the values of gender equality in technology, finance, consulting, or other business fields.

Prashant Malaviya, Senior Associate Dean of MBA Programs at McDonough, says, “Gender equity is important to the future of business—whether in an MBA program or a corporate boardroom, there is tremendous value in diversity and inclusion … We are excited to begin awarding the Dealy scholarship to individuals who show [this] commitment.”

All applicants to the full-time MBA program will be eligible for the award, but they must show the qualities exemplified by Healy’s legacy. Joe Verbrugge (MBA ’97), says:

“John represented the reason you’d want to go to a school like Georgetown. [He] was the epitome of ‘we are all created equal’ here. He believed that whether you are a man or a woman, it’s about effort, diligence, and the creativity you bring to the work in front of you … He nurtured women leaders in a space where there aren’t a lot of women leaders; he gave amazing opportunities to anyone who put in the effort.”

Dealy passed away in 2017 after courageously fighting leukemia. His daughters, Anne and Marian, are both graduates of Georgetown. Anne, an attorney, and Marian, a microbiologist, were both present to comment on their father’s gift to the school and to his family.

“This scholarship is a very sweet recognition of my Dad,” Anne says. “He would very much appreciate [its] generosity and vision.”

You can read more on the Dealy family and the scholarship here.


NYU Stern Broadens Scope on Risk Assessment and Management with its Newly Expanded Volatility and Risk InstituteNYU Stern News & Events

NYU Stern recently announced the expansion and renaming of its Volatility and Risk Institute (VRI)

Since its creation a decade ago, the Institute and its associated V-Lab have provided measurement in real-time, along with forecasts of volatility for a vast array of financial assets.

The VRI will be directed by two NYU Stern faculty: Nobel Laureate Robert Engle, Professor of Management and Financial Services and creator of the V-lab; and Richard Berner, Professor of Management Practice and former Director of the Office of Financial Research

Raghu Sundaram, Dean of NYU Stern, says:

“I’m delighted to have Rob and Dick, two world-renowned experts on risk management, lead our newly expanded Volatility and Risk Institute … it will be a dynamic interdisciplinary hub [to] bridge the conversation between academia and industry, and to inspire novel research projects to address and manage the changing nature of risk facing today’s global firms.”

For more on the VRI, you can read here.


Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around MenHuffington Post

Robin Ely, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, recently offered her perspective on some strange advice offered by Ernst & Young at a training forum, which was held in its new Hoboken office in the summer of 2018.

Among the bizarre pointers offered in the “Power-Presence-Purpose (PPP)” training program, geared toward women at EY, were “a good haircut, manicured nails, and well-cut attire that complements your body type… [But] don’t flaunt your body―sexuality scrambles the mind … Signal fitness and wellness.” Other sections of the program included highly questionable statements about the differences in brain size and differences in ability between genders.

A copy of the EY “Masculine/Feminine Score Sheet” / Via Isabella Carapella and the Huffington Post.

Professor Ely, whose expertise lies in race and gender relations in various organizations, says, “There’s not a lot of empirical support [for these] trait differences between men and women … This curriculum is shot through with that assumption.”

Ely has conducted research on law firms that found predominant focus on outmoded stereotypes in companies that had a low percentage of women in the higher ranks. A former EY employee has spoken out about the training and the overall culture of the firm which focused largely on advancing men. Women make up only 12 percent of EY’s lead client service partners, she notes.

“The only way to succeed at EY is to work around the men. I heard that over and over,” she says. For the full Huffington Post article, read here.

Posted in: Boston, EY, Featured Home, Featured Region, Los Angeles, MBA Jobs, New York City, News, Washington DC | 0 comments

Oct 31, 2019

Chicago Booth, Harvard Top The Economist’s 2019 Full-Time MBA Ranking

Economist 2019 MBA Ranking

The Economist 2019 full-time MBA ranking is finally out, with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business—once again—cracking the top spot. This marks the second consecutive year the school stayed on the top of the list.

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Posted in: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Economist, Featured Home, Featured Region, Houston, Indianapolis, London, Los Angeles, MBA Rankings, Miami, New York City, News, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Tuscon, Research Triangle, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington DC | 0 comments

Sep 19, 2019

Chicago Booth, LBS Reign In New Forbes Business School Ranking

Chicago MBA

The biennial ForbesBest Business Schools” ranking is out, with Chicago Booth on top for the first time in school history. And among international schools, London Business School finds itself on top yet again.

Continue reading…

Posted in: Featured Home, Forbes, MBA Rankings, News | 0 comments

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