Deferred MBA Programs to Consider While Still at University
Consulting and specialized fields often prefer hiring MBAs with some previous work experience. Undergraduate and/or graduate students lacking work experience but looking to secure their spot within top-tier b-school’s highly selective MBA programs may benefit from deferred enrollment programs. The deferred enrollment programs typically require admitted students to gain between two (2) and four (4) years of work experience before matriculating into the respective full-time MBA program.
There are not many deferred programs among top-tier universities, but the ones available deserve highlighting. It is important to note, however, that, when crafting your target list, be mindful to choose programs that will offer the best ROI in your chosen field.
Perhaps the most popular deferred program is Harvard’s 2+2. As its name suggests, the admitted students are required to gain a minimum of two (2) years of professional work experience (maximum of four(4)) before joining the MBA cohort. The program particularly encourages students of STEM and humanities to apply and seeks to accept innovative thinkers looking to make a difference in the world. Harvard’s 2+2 admitts only 8% of applicants with the median GMAT of admitted student being 740 and 3.76 GPA. “Accomplished” is the appropriate adjective to describe this cohort.
Stanford Deferred Enrollment
Stanford also offers a deferred enrollment for undergraduate seniors or graduate students in their last year of study who seek a seat in Stanford’s highly selective Full-Time MBA program. Stanford stressed the program being an excellent option for students without professional experience who are aiming at careers in Consulting, Private Equity, or Biotech. Applicants are asked to provide an action plan that describes their future engagement in their respective communities during the deferred period. The aim of the action plan is for Stanford’s admission committee to understand the future goals of the applicant and ensure they gain adequate specialized knowledge or experience in their field of choice pre-MBA.
MIT Sloan Early Admission Program
A recent addition to the list of deferred enrollment programs is MIT Sloan’s MBA Early Admission. This program is designed for “forward-thinking” college students who have demonstrated leadership in their respective communities. Students from undergraduate programs at MIT or other global universities are eligible to apply. MIT students with a 4.2 GPA can waive the GMAT requirement for admission. Admitted students are required to gain 2-5 years of professional work experience before matriculating into Sloan’s Full-Time MBA program.
Columbia Deferred Enrollment
Another top-business school that offers deferred enrollment for their MBA program is Columbia Business School. Columbia’s deferred admission is designed for undergraduate and/or graduate students who want to secure a spot in Columbia’s prestigious MBA program, matriculating within 2-5 years post-acceptance. Students are evaluated based on their academic performance, internship experiences, and community engagement. When ready, admitted students have the option to choose to enroll in either the January term (16 months program) or the August term (20-months program that includes an internship).
Booth Scholars Program
Booth Scholars Program allows undergraduate students from an accredited university the opportunity to secure a seat at their Full-Time MBA program. While the program is designated for inexperienced undergraduate students in their senior year, Booth selects candidates who have demonstrated leadership through internships and/or part-time work that reflects entrepreneurial spirit. The program accepts about 40 students. In 2018, Booth Scholars class consisted of 56% female and 28% international students. The class GMAT ranged from 670 to 770, with a GPA between 3.19 and 3.92.
Darden Future Year Scholars Program
Darden’s Future Year Scholars Program also offers undergraduate seniors or one year master’s students the opportunity to secure a spot at their MBA program. Admitted students are expected to gain a minimum of two (2) years of work experience (maximum of four (4)) before matriculating. Future Years Scholars commence their studies with a guaranteed $30,000 scholarship for their two-year studies and are also eligible for additional scholarships and aid.
Yale Silver Scholar Program
Different from the aforementioned deferred programs, Yale Silver Scholars Program offers undergraduate students only (both national and international) the opportunity to enroll in a three (3) – year MBA program immediately after graduation. After the first year’s core curriculum, students complete a full-time one-year internship after which they return to campus for the third year and enroll in electives at Yale SOM or other schools within Yale to hone skills and specialize learning.
Moelis Advance Access Program
Also different from any of the other deferred programs, the Moelis Advance Access Program at Wharton is a unique program explicitly designated for University of Pennsylvania undergraduates. Undergraduate seniors that apply are guaranteed a spot in Wharton’s MBA cohort after gaining 2-4 years of professional work experiences. Admitted students are encouraged to pursue substantial work experience in any field. The class of 2018 consisted of 16 Moelis students with an average GMAT of 716 and an average GPA of 3.68.
If you know you will require an MBA for your career of choice, it may make sense to consider applying to the appropriate program during your last year of undergraduate or graduate studies. First, securing a seat at one of these top institutions ensures you can focus on gaining relevant work experience post-graduation. Second, it allows a clear concise path towards meeting your long-term career goals.
About Sia Admissions:
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At Sia, we firmly believe that “one-size” does not fit all—each student has his or her story that, if communicated properly, a university admissions committee is eager to hear; therefore, we coach each student in originally telling his or her story. Our partnership with each student consists of – (i) recognizing the student’s story by asking poignant questions which help us (ii) identify the quintessence of his or her strengths and aspirations, so we may (iii) build an idiosyncratic strategy that helps the student distinctively present his or her story. Our aim is to coach student in showcasing a unique application that communicates their individuality as an ideal candidate for the field and institution of choice.