BLACK FRIDAY DEAL Nov 25 - Dec 3: Buy 3 school packages get the 4th free! Get started today for Round 2 deadlines!|

Deferred Enrollment

While most MBA programs expect students to spend about three to six years in the workforce before applying for business school, deferred admissions opportunities give candidates a guaranteed pathway to the MBA before having extensive career exposure. These top MBA programs allow early career candidates and less experienced candidates to apply immediately after their undergraduate degree or at their final year of study. If they are admitted they can defer their enrollment and use the time to gain more work experience, or start their MBA immediately after their undergraduate degree. These programs are usually very competitive, as deferred programs have very small classes in terms of who they’re going to admit into their early career program, and successful applicants tend to have exceptional academics, demonstrated leadership and unwavering passion. Candidates are advised to be clear about their professional goals, to be prepared to make up for lack of professional experience with proven leadership potential and exceptional extracurricular exploits, and have high test scores and grades, to demonstrate potential in the absence of real world work experience.

Sign Up For a Free Consultation

The 2+2 Program is a deferred admission process for current students, either in college or full-time masters programs. It is comprised of two years of professional work experience followed by two years in the HBS MBA Program.

Upon graduation, admitted 2+2 students spend two years working in a professional, HBS-approved position in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. The 2+2 Program attracts accomplished students from all fields of study. We encourage students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines to apply.

We’re looking for innovative thinkers who have demonstrated leadership and analytical skills and want to apply their knowledge and passion to make a difference in the world.

Are you eligible?

If you are in your final year of study, you are eligible to apply in the current application cycle. 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.

To be considered for admission to the 2+2 Program Class of 2024 (entering Fall 2022), you must be graduating from your program between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020. All applications and recommendations must be submitted online. 2+2 applications have only one deadline: Round 3. Applications are not reviewed on a rolling basis so your application will not be considered until the deadline.

Criteria for Deferred Enrollment

To be considered for deferred enrollment, you must be a full-time student graduating from your educational program this academic year. In addition, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.
  • You are enrolled in a combined undergraduate/graduate program, in which you are pursuing your bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously.
  • You are enrolled in a graduate program, which you entered directly from an undergraduate program. If you took off an academic year or more between the two programs (to work full-time or do something else), you do not qualify for deferred enrollment.
  • It is recommended to apply in the 3rd round.

Requesting Direct or Deferred Enrollment

If you meet the criteria for deferred enrollment, you may apply either to attend business school immediately following your university program (direct enrollment), or to work one to three years before attending business school (deferred enrollment).

In your Stanford MBA application, you must select the year in which you would like to enroll. Note that, even if you request direct enrollment, we may grant you deferred enrollment if we feel you would better contribute, grow, and learn after gaining full-time work experience.

If you request, and are qualified for, deferred enrollment, you will pay a reduced application fee of $100.

Choosing Between Direct or Deferred Enrollment

Choose direct enrollment if you feel ready to pursue your MBA because of your current academic background, extracurricular experiences, impact through internships and work experiences, and personal aspirations. Note that for most college seniors, deferred enrollment is a better choice.

Choose deferred enrollment if you feel you would benefit from obtaining full-time work experience before enrolling. This is a good choice if you are unsure of your long-term professional path, and would like to explore an industry before earning your MBA.

Additionally, certain industries — private equity and biotechnology in particular — tend to recruit only MBA candidates with pre-MBA experience in that field, or with specialized knowledge. Management consulting firms also typically prefer MBA candidates with work experience. Deferring enrollment for a couple of years may be a wise decision if you wish to work in one of these industries.

If you choose to defer enrollment, we expect you to work full-time during the deferral period. Pursue opportunities that enable you to build expertise, enhance your skills and knowledge, expand your perspective, and develop professional judgment and self-confidence. We ask you in the application what your plans are for the period between graduation and your enrollment at Stanford.

The Wharton MBA Advance Access Programs are deferred admission programs that offer undergraduate seniors and graduate students in their final year of study a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA after pursuing two to four years of quality work experience.

Wharton MBA Advance Access Program

The Advance Access Program is a deferred admission program that offers undergraduate seniors and graduate students in their final year of study a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA after pursuing two to four years of quality work experience. The program seeks to recruit students who are innovative, intellectually curious and ready to take professional risks while impacting the world. Students from all academic fields and disciplines are encouraged to apply, and the program will accept a highly selective cohort of students whose academic and career interests expand the traditional notions of business education.

  • Apply during your senior year (or final year of studies for graduate students) during Round 3 of MBA Admissions. Applicants will be evaluated similarly to the overall MBA pool.
  • Follow your professional passions and obtain quality, substantive work experience. Advance Access students are encouraged to take professional risks during the deferment period, such as starting your own company, working for a nonprofit or pursuing global externships while working in traditional business industries.
  • Your journey with Wharton starts from the moment you are admitted. During your deferment period, you will have access to a network of scholars having an impact professionally across the globe and will remain in contact with Wharton through online communities, electronic communications, invitations to student conferences and access to admitted student programming.
  • Join us after two to four years of work experience, and bring all of your quality work experience to the Wharton classroom.

Wharton MBA Moelis Advance Access Program

The Moelis Advance Access Program is a deferred admission fellowship program that offers Penn undergraduate seniors a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA after pursuing two to four years of work experience. The program accepts a highly selective cohort of Penn seniors whose academic and career interests expand traditional notions of business education.

  • Apply during your Senior year for Round 3 MBA Admissions. Applicants will be evaluated similarly to the overall
    MBA pool.
  • Follow your passions during the deferment period by obtaining quality, substantive work experience. Moelis Fellows are encouraged to work in a wide range of industries.
  • Your journey with Wharton starts from the moment you are admitted. During your deferment period, you will have access to the Wharton community and professional development opportunities.
  • Join us after two to four years of work experience, and receive a $10,000 yearly fellowship (or more based on merit) during the two-year full-time MBA program.

Getting accepted as a Kellogg Future Leader secures your place in our MBA program before you graduate. Then, we’ll hold your spot for 2-5 years while you gain experience in the professional world. Once you’re ready to step back on campus, you’ll be fully integrated into one of our top-tier MBA programs. Another perk? As a part of your deferred enrollment, you’ll have access to premiere Kellogg resources and receive support from a dedicated admissions officer.

Who’s eligible?

  • Undergraduates in the last year of school, majoring in any discipline
  • Master’s students who went directly into a graduate program from undergrad
  • Domestic and international students

What do I need to know to apply?

  • No application fees
  • GMAT or GRE required*
  • TOEFL required for English-as-a-second language speakers, unless university school was conducted entirely in English
  • Application includes brief essays, letter of recommendation, and interview by invitation

*GMAT/GRE optional for Northwestern University undergraduates

What do I need to know about deferring my enrollment?

  • Deferment lasts 2-5 years
  • Admissions deposit is $500, then $500 every year of deferment

The Silver Scholars Program is a unique opportunity for college seniors to earn an MBA in three years directly after graduation and move more quickly toward their career goals.
As a Silver Scholar, you will spend your first year at Yale SOM developing the basic skills and mindset of a manager through our innovative core curriculum. During the second year, you will complete a full-time internship; this extended work experience will help you put your business education into practice, develop your leadership skills, and give you a competitive advantage as you pursue a permanent position. In your third year, you will return to campus for the conclusion of the MBA program, taking electives at Yale SOM and elsewhere at the university in the areas that most interest you and support your career goals.

Early career candidates are identified as those with three or fewer years of full-time, post-undergraduate work experience, including college students. If you are eager to enroll in an MBA program at an early stage of your career, Chicago Booth welcomes your application for admission.


  • Overview – Broaden your skillset, develop a global network of peers, and start your career with confidence. Through courses in finance, accounting, and marketing, liberal arts majors learn the language of business and open their possibilities to a whole new range of career options. Students who are already studying business gain a competitive advantage over their peers by exploring the Chicago Approach to management education.
  • Criteria – Open to all current/recent undergraduates interested in pursuing an MBA degree in the future.
  • Timing – Three-week summer program in July.


  • Overview – Highly motivated undergraduate students at the University of Chicago get greater access to Chicago Booth coursework, mentoring, and professional development resources. Students gain a deeper understanding of the discipline of business management through a rigorous six-course curriculum, selective cohorted programming, and advising by a dedicated undergraduate advisor at Chicago Booth.
  • Criteria – Open to first- and second-year undergraduates at the University of Chicago. This program is currently not available to students at other institutions.
  • Timing – Dougan Scholars complement their undergraduate studies with a rigorous six-course curriculum.


Undergraduate students who are considering an MBA in the future can apply to Chicago Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program during their final year of studies. The Chicago Booth Scholars Program allows you to complete the MBA application process while still at your undergraduate institution, then start at Chicago Booth after a conditional two to four year deferment period for professional experience. Chicago Booth Scholars is an early impact program that offers promising undergraduates the chance to secure a seat in the next generation of MBA talent.


  • DEFERMENT PERIOD – 2-4 Years of Professional Work Experience
  • GMAT RANGE – 670-770
  • GPA RANGE – 3.19-3.92
  • FEMALES – 56%

Any current undergraduate student in their final year of study is eligible. We accept applicants from all undergraduate institutions. Candidates for the Chicago Booth Scholars Program are intellectually curious with personal maturity, competitive scores, and demonstrated leadership throughout college. Applicants also display a track record of quality internships, part-time jobs, and/or an entrepreneurial spirit.

Chicago Booth recognizes and values the diversity of backgrounds of all applicants. Candidates for the Chicago Booth Scholars Program should be able to articulate a potential career path and why an MBA is necessary in the near future. It is also important to show the ability to question the status quo, engage in the process of learning, and thrive in an academically rigorous environment.


  • Overview – Exemplary young professionals with three years or fewer of full-time work experience who are interested in earning an MBA while continuing to work can take advantage of the Chicago Business Fellows program, part of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs. Chicago Business Fellows program offers the same academic experience and MBA degree as our Evening MBA or Weekend MBA Programs, with additional professional development programming.
  • Criteria – Open to young professionals with three years or fewer of full-time work experience who have demonstrated strong leadership potential and excellent scholarship.
  • Timing – Applications for Chicago Business Fellows in the Evening MBA Program is in spring or autumn. For the Chicago Business Fellows in the Weekend MBA Program, applications are once a year in autumn.

Darden’s future year admissions program is a deferred admissions program. College students can apply and be admitted to Darden while completing their final undergraduate year, but wait to enroll in the MBA program until they have completed three to four years of work experience.
Students in the final year of their undergraduate degree can apply to the Future Year Admissions program.

The Oxford 1+1 MBA is a unique opportunity for talented individuals to combine a Master’s degree from one of several Oxford University departments with our one-year MBA. As the global business environment becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, this powerful combination allows you to gain deep knowledge and expertise in your specialist fields, as well as developing a comprehensive understanding of business, exceptional leadership skills and practical experience.

Designed for ambitious and forward-thinking MIT students who want to gain valuable career experience and secure a seat in a future MIT Sloan MBA class, this abbreviated version of our MBA application process provides you with the opportunity to return to MIT, the home of innovation, after gaining valuable career experience.


Undergraduate students who:

  • Are in their final year of undergraduate studies; and
  • Graduate between August 2022 and September 2023; and
  • Will not enroll in an MD, JD, or PhD program immediately after completing an undergraduate program; and
  • Have not had any prior full-time work experience with the exception of internships or co-op experiences

Graduate students who :

  • Are in their final year of a graduate program; and
  • Graduate between August 2022 and September 2023; and
  • Started graduate school immediately after obtaining their undergraduate degree; and
  • Have not had any prior full-time work experience with the exception of internships or co-op experiences; or
  • Are currently enrolled in their final semester of either the MIT Sloan MFin or MBAn program

The Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to gain a few years of work experience with a guarantee of admission to Columbia’s highly selective MBA program, and the flexibility to begin the full-time program two to five years after college graduation.

Columbia is looking for future leaders from all academic and personal backgrounds to maintain the diverse and supportive community for which Columbia is known.

Apply during your senior year in college or during a subsequent graduate program.  When reviewing your application, the admissions committee will look at your academic background, any work experience or internships that you have, and your engagement in activities outside the classroom.

After completing your current studies and before starting your MBA at Columbia Business School, enter the workforce for two, three, four, or five years.  Use the time to explore what drives you, knowing that you have the flexibility to start the MBA program when the time is right for you.

As an admitted student you are part of the Columbia Community, and will have access to conferences, events, and School-wide resources to enhance your academic experience and to help you throughout your career.

When you are ready to start the MBA program, send us a letter of intent, specifying whether you want to enroll in January (16-month program) or August (traditional 20-month program featuring a summer internship.) You will have the option to choose the program that fits your personal and professional goals.

Application Process

Who is eligible for the Deferred Enrollment Program:

  • Students graduating during the current academic year from a bachelor’s degree program.
  • Students completing a graduate degree program. Candidates must have started the graduate degree program directly after completing their undergraduate degree to be eligible for the Deferred Enrollment Program.
  • Students enrolled in Ph.D. programs, law school, or medical school are not eligible. Please apply through the standard MBA or EMBA application process.

Application Requirements:

  • Online application
  • Academic transcript
  • Standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE)
  • Current resume (feel free to include a note on any post undergraduate job offers)
  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, mentor, internship supervisor or employer
  • One Essay

Candidates will be notified if they are invited to interview with Columbia Business School.

There is no application fee for students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or eligible graduate-level program.  Once admitted, students will be required to submit a $500 deposit two weeks after admission.  Subsequent deposits will be due each year that you defer.  The year that you decide to matriculate you will also be required to verify your work experience during the deferral period.

Undergraduates who are considering an MBA in their future can now apply to the top-ranked full-time MBA program at Berkeley Haas. Accelerated Access allows you to complete the MBA application process while in your final year of study, gain conditional admission, and then start your study at Berkeley Haas after a two to five year deferment period for professional experience.

Accelerated Access will be initially open only to UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students in their final year of study, with a plan to expand to students throughout the University of California system and then more broadly in the future.

Early Admission provides promising undergraduate students from all academic backgrounds the opportunity to reserve a seat in a future Goizueta MBA class. Whether you know an MBA is in your future or are still exploring career paths, this gives you advance access to a top MBA before beginning your professional journey. You’ll have the flexibility to pursue a Goizueta MBA when it makes the most sense for your career journey (after gaining 2-5 years of work experience) and have the peace of mind that we are reserving a seat for you.

During your senior year of undergraduate study, apply to Goizueta’s Early Admit MBA and gain advanced admission to our top-20 ranked One-Year MBA, Two-Year MBA, or Evening MBA. We’ll defer your MBA enrollment while you enter the workforce and gain 2-5 years of work experience after earning your undergraduate degree.

Georgetown McDonough is excited to invite you to participate in our new MBA Advanced Access Program (MAAP). This is a deferred MBA enrollment program, which allows those in their final year of undergraduate or graduate school who have not previously had professional full-time work experience to apply for deferred enrollment into our Full-time MBA Program.

By applying through this program, you can secure a place for two years out from the time that you apply, with the option to extend to three or four years.

The benefit of the Georgetown MAAP program is that you can work for two to four years knowing you already have a secured spot in a top-ranked MBA program.