Several top MBA programs allow early career 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:
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 2021 (entering Fall 2019), you must be graduating from your program between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. 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 (October 2015 through September 2016). 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 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.
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. Our next application cycle will be open to applicants in the Class of 2017.