Top 10 Deferred MBA Programs in the US—and How to Get In (2024)

Aiming for an MBA, even while you're still in college? Perfect—learn all about deferred admission MBA programs and receive key insights into the DMBA application process.

Posted May 9, 2024

Free Event

The Summer Before Round 1: Setting Yourself Up for Success

Tuesday, May 28

3:00 PM UTC · 45 minutes

undefined's profile

Featuring Victoria G.

Table of Contents

Deferred MBA programs are the ultimate opportunity for ambitious college students. Through these programs, you are able to take your standardized test and submit your application while still a senior. Acceptance means securing your place at a top school and having the next 2-5 years to pursue what you want with the safety net of an MBA waiting for you. Applicant pools are smaller (though still very competitive) and the application process is more about proving your potential than showing your accomplishments thus far.

Intrigued? You should be! In this guide, we’ll talk you through what these programs are, who exactly they’re looking for, what it takes to get in, and what the top programs are, along with their class profiles and admission stats. Let’s dive in!

What is a Deferred MBA Program?

In September 2008, Harvard Business School (HBS) accepted its first class of “2+2” applicants. These students applied to Harvard Business School's MBA program, but with one major variation: instead of having full-time work experience under their belts, they were college seniors who would spend the next 2-5 years in the workforce before returning to campus to begin their MBA.

Around the same time, Stanford also made the decision to launch its own deferred admissions program: candidates could apply, usually in their final years of study in college or graduate school, earn admission, then defer enrollment for two to four years after graduating.

Harvard and Stanford's decision to launch this particular type of graduate degree program largely put the deferred MBA on the map, though they certainly weren't the first–Yale had actually launched its Yale Silver Scholar's program seven years earlier, in 2001.

A deferred MBA program is for those applicants who know they want to attend business school but have yet to graduate from college. They're forward-thinking, know they want to earn an MBA, and want to lock in their spot before they leave their undergraduate program. Top universities admit a select cohort of deferred applicants, knowing that these individuals will enter the workforce and pick up somewhere between two and five years of full-time work experience before actually enrolling. Upon enrollment, these deferred admits are part of the same class as those candidates admitted through the traditional application process.

For schools, it's a great way to snap up candidates early, particularly those whom the school might not be able to entice later in their careers. (More on this below.) For candidates, it's a way to secure a spot at a top institution's business school before you graduate, thus giving yourself time, flexibility, and security as you start to pursue a career.

Learn more about the different types of MBA programs in our article, The Different Types of MBA Programs—and Which One is Right for You.

Customizable MBA Application Checklist

Access our free MBA checklist with everything you need to stay organized and additional expert resources.

How are Deferred MBA Programs Different From Traditional Programs?

MBA candidates who apply through the traditional application process usually have already earned between two and five years of work experience. With the deferred MBA program, you're able to apply and secure your spot before entering the workforce. Even better, it’s still a full-time MBA program! You’ll get everything out of the program that traditional applicants/candidates get.
Application deadlines typically fall between March and May of your senior year, so if everything goes well, you'll have earned a seat at a top MBA program before the summer after your senior year. In two to five years, depending on your deferral period, you join your MBA program, along with everyone else admitted into the same full-time MBA program.
The applications are pretty much the same as a traditional MBA program–they require essays, letters of recommendation, a resume, etc. The approach changes slightly, however, because of the lack of full-time experience. The admissions committees have a lot less to go on so the application really has to show potential loud and clear.

Who Are Deferred MBA Programs Looking For?

Broadly speaking, the top business schools are looking for the same qualifications in their deferred admits as their traditional applicants: leadership, razor-sharp intelligence, and a promising career trajectory.

Of course, there are significant variations. The good news is that each school signals quite clearly what they're looking for in their applicants, which we'll cover more below. At a high level, though, deferred MBA programs are selected from a pool of undergraduates (and, in some cases, grad students). Since these applicants won't have work experience, they need to stand out and shine on the basis of their collegiate internships, GMAT / GRE scores, GPA, and the rigor and excellence of their undergraduate degree studies. Essays and letters of recommendation are also particularly important: the resume of a deferred applicant is not as fleshed out as that of the traditional applicant, so the other parts of the application take on extra significance.

As far as criteria go, deferred enrollment programs are looking for applicants from all different academic disciplines. Yes, they admit those who come from an economic background — finance, business, and economics majors — but they also, and increasingly, welcome those with engineering, STEM, and humanities undergraduate degrees. The flavor of your bachelor’s degree is not so much the consideration as the excellence you showed in your academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, and core curriculum.

Leland is here to make your application stand out, from the essay to the interview, and beyond.

Read our Comprehensive MBA Application Timeline for a look into deadlines and to get organized. Already working on your application? Here is our guide on writing a powerful MBA essay, a key aspect of the application and often one of the most difficult parts for students.

Core Groups Deferred MBA Programs Are Looking For

In addition to these broad-stroke considerations, deferred MBA In addition to these broad-stroke considerations, deferred MBA programs show preference in particular for the following types of candidates:

  1. Students on clear, high-potential paths
  2. Students who (of course) fit the flavor and culture of that particular school
  3. Students from diverse backgrounds, or with unique stories and plans that help them stand out
  4. Students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (first-generation college graduates, lower-income families, etc)
  5. Students heading into operating roles (in tech, retail, etc)
  6. Students heading into technical roles (industrial tech, manufacturing management, etc)
  7. Students starting a business or joining a startup

It's worth noting that HBS, in particular, has signaled a strong preference for applicants from the latter four categories. Applicants from these groups are less likely to consider applying for business school in the future; schools like HBS want to capture them early, before they get too immersed in the workforce and decide they don’t need an MBA.

Get Expert Help on Your Application

The best way to have a deferred MBA application that stands out from the crowd and best portrays your story is to work with an expert coach. They have already gone through the process themselves and helped tons of others do so too, so they really know what it takes to get into a top program. Here are some of our most popular MBA coaches, browse all here or get personalized recommendations.

Read more here: How to Stand Out as a Deferred MBA Applicant—From a GSB/HBS Admit and The Deferred MBA Process and Top Programs: An Expert Guide

The Top 10 Deferred MBA Programs

All right — now that we've covered what deferred MBA programs are and what types of candidates they're looking for, let's take a look at the top 10 deferred MBA programs. We'll dive into each program so that you can get a good idea of what programs are out there, and make an informed decision about where you'd like to apply.


Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment

  • Deadline: Can apply to any round (most will apply to R3 on April 9, 2024)
  • Emphasis: Technology, entrepreneurship
  • Acceptance Rate: 6-7%
  • Application Fee: $100

Ranked first in US News’ 2022 report on top business schools, many think of Stanford as the place to go. With its emphasis on technology and entrepreneurship, it’s a magnet for those interested in the increasingly popular startup world and reaps the benefit of its proximity to Silicon Valley. Many students are drawn to its highly collaborative, down-to-earth culture, beautiful campus, and fine Palo Alto weather. However, at ~6.9%, it has the lowest acceptance rate in the country, so keep in mind that you’ll need a very competitive application to apply here. (PS - Leland can help you stand out, check out our coaches with Stanford MBA experience here.)

Stanford GSB Class Profile

Total Students431
Average GPA3.77
Average GMAT738
Average GREVerbal: 164, Quant: 164
Average Work Experience5 years
Countries Represented55

*Stats for the full-time class, which includes the deferred admits. Stanford doesn’t provide deferred-only admit data.

Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment Eligibility

The program is open to college seniors and students in their final year of a bachelor’s degree or joint bachelor/graduate program, with their degree conferred between October 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024.

Additionally, graduate students who began a master’s degree, PhD, law, or medical degree immediately following an undergraduate or undergraduate/graduate program, and who did not work full-time before starting the graduate program, are eligible if their degree will be conferred within the specified timeframe.

Students who are admitted into Stanford GSB’s Deferred Enrollment program are generally allowed to request to work for up to four years until they must begin MBA coursework. In some cases, the admissions committee may offer an alternate amount of time to a student than initially requested.

Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment Essays

Applicants to the Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment Program are required to write two personal essays, allowing them to express their values, passions, aspirations, and reasons for pursuing an MBA. These essays are the same as those for traditional applicants.

  • What Matters Most and Why?
    • Reflect deeply and write from the heart about what matters most to you. Once you've identified what matters most, explain why it holds such significance for you. Consider what makes this important, and how your perspectives have been shaped by people, insights, or experiences.
  • Why Stanford?
    • Describe your aspirations and how your Stanford GSB experience will help you realize them.

Combined, both essays may not exceed 1,050 words, with a recommended limit of up to 650 words for Essay A and up to 400 words for Essay B. It's important to write authentically and concisely, focusing on conveying your genuine voice and motivations.

Here is our overview of the GSB deferred program as well as our guide to an MBA from GSB: GSB Deferred Enrollment Program and Stanford GSB—MBA Program and Application Overview.

Harvard Business School 2+2 Program

  • Deadline: April 25, 2024
  • Emphasis: Balanced, contemporary
  • Acceptance Rate: 9-12%
  • Application Fee: $100

One of the few programs with existing and accessible data on their deferred enrollment acceptance rates, HBS’ 2+2 Program reports 1,403 applicants with only 9% admitted for its class of 2023, which is a slightly smaller acceptance rate than its general acceptance rate. There is a reason for the high demand: HBS is great for those who want a more balanced education, and it offers plentiful extracurricular/club opportunities, strong network building, and an emphasis on section unity. Its more formal classroom format and higher competition may or may not be a good fit for you.

HBS 2+2 Class Profile

Total Students118
Average GPA3.79
Median GMAT730
Average Work Experience2-4 years
Countries Represented17

HBS 2+2 Eligibility

To be considered eligible for Harvard Business School's 2+2 program, applicants must be in their final year of study at the time of application, with graduation scheduled between October 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024. This program is open to undergraduates, joint bachelor/master’s degree program candidates, and master’s degree program students who have not held full-time work positions (excluding internships or co-ops).

HBS 2+2 Essays

The HBS 2+2 program changed its application essays for the first time in many years in the 2023-2024 application cycle. The prompts, each with a limit of 300 words, are now different than those for the full-time program:

  • Personal Essays: Applicants are required to choose two out of three prompts…
    • Experiences and Leadership: How have your experiences shaped who you are, how you lead, and how you will contribute at HBS?
    • Intellectual Influences: What intellectual experiences have influenced your approach to learning and have led you to pursue an MBA?
    • Community Engagement: What communities have you been engaged with that have defined how you invest in others?
  • Career Essay: Applicants must respond to the following prompt:
    • How do the career plans you shared in the Career Plans section of the application fit into your current long-term career vision? What skills and/or professional experiences do you hope to obtain in the deferral period that will help build the foundation for your post-MBA career?

See our guides for the HBS 2+2 application here:

Wharton Moelis Advance Access Program

  • Deadline: April 24, 2024
  • Emphasis: Finance, leadership
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): 14-20%
  • Application Fee: $100

With triple the acceptance rate of Stanford GSB, Wharton still ranked second on US News’ 2022 business school list. The Wharton MBA carries a powerful badge and brand, especially internationally. This Pennsylvania school boasts a very social and supportive atmosphere, and the Wharton community is a good fit for prospective students looking to specialize in finance. 2020 was the first year Wharton opened up the Moelis Advance Access Program to non-U Penn grads, so it's still very fresh.

Wharton Advance Access Class Profile

Total Students118
Average GPA3.79
Average GMAT741
Average GREVerbal: 161.7; Quant: 163.6
Average Work Experience5 years
Countries Represented22

Wharton Advanced Access Eligibility

To be eligible for the Wharton Moelis Advance Access Program, applicants must apply during their senior year of undergraduate studies or in the final year of their master’s degree program if they enrolled immediately after completing their undergraduate studies.

Students who receive offers of admission to the program may work for two to four years before coming back to Wharton’s full-time MBA program.

Wharton Advanced Access Essays

First-time applicants must respond to two essay prompts, regardless of whether they are a traditional or deferred applicant.

  • How do you plan to use the Wharton MBA program to help you achieve your future professional goals? You might consider your past experience, short and long-term goals, and resources available at Wharton. (500 words)
  • Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)
  • Optional Essay: Please use this space to share any additional information about yourself that cannot be found elsewhere in your application and that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee. This space can also be used to address any extenuating circumstances (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, areas of weakness, etc.) that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider. (500 words)

See our Wharton Deferred School Hub at Wharton Moelis Advance Access and our full Wharton hub at The Wharton School—MBA Program and Application Overview. If you’re working on the Wharton application right now, read our Guide to the Wharton Essays.

Kellogg Future Leaders Deferred MBA

  • Deadline: April 24, 2024
  • Emphasis: Marketing
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): 20%
  • Application Fee: None

Ranked fourth on the US News list, Kellogg also specializes in collaboration and socialization in and out of the classroom. Kellogg has a particularly flexible program with an amazing core curriculum; it even includes an option to complete your MBA in just one year. Ask any current students how their experience has been, and they'll tell you they love it.

Total Students529
Average GPA3.7
Average GMAT731
Median GREVerbal: 163; Quant: 163
Average Work Experience5 years

*Stats for the full-time class, which includes the deferred admits.

Kellogg Deferred MBA Eligibility

Students who are graduating between October 2023 and September 2024 are considered eligible for the Kellogg Future Leaders Deferred MBA program. This includes undergraduates in their final year of study, regardless of their major, as well as master's students who transitioned directly from undergraduate to graduate programs.

Once accepted, students will be able to work for two to five years, after which they can return to any of Kellogg’s MBA programs.

Kellogg Deferred MBA Essays

Applicants are required to address several essay prompts – both long- and short-form – that offer insights into their leadership experiences, values, and future plans.

  • Applicants are asked to provide a recent example where they have demonstrated leadership and created value. (This essay, with a maximum of 450 words, prompts candidates to reflect on challenges faced, lessons learned, and the impact of their leadership actions.)
  • Candidates are prompted to discuss the values that are important to them and how these values have influenced their lives and work. (With a maximum of 450 words, this essay invites applicants to delve into their personal principles and their role in shaping their decisions and actions.)
  • Applicants are required to outline how they intend to spend the next several years prior to joining Kellogg, along with the motivations behind their short- and long-term goals. (This essay has a maximum of 250 words and encourages candidates to articulate their aspirations and the driving forces behind them.)

Short-Answer Questions:

  • What drives your interest in these short- and long-term goals? (240 characters)
  • What is your desired position after Kellogg? (150 characters)
  • What is your long-term career goal? (150 characters)

See our Kellogg Deferred School Hub at Kellogg Future Leaders Program and our full Kellogg hub at the Kellogg School of Management—MBA Program and Application Overview.

Chicago Booth Scholars Deferred MBA

  • Deadline: April 4, 2024
  • Emphasis: Research, quant/data, finance
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): 12-20%
  • Application Fee: None

Chicago Booth placed third in the US News ranking. Even though it has an exceptionally robust academic offering, Booth also provides flexibility in coursework, and offers, many opportunities for leadership and involvement in clubs. This commuter school is known for its Midwest friendliness, which may make you feel right at home. The Chicago Booth Scholars Program, like Wharton's Advanced Access Program, is quite fresh, so it's still growing and developing — and very much worth a look.

Chicago Booth MBA Class Profile

Total Students637
Average GPA3.6
Median GMAT730
Average GREVerbal: 162; Quant: 163
Work Experience5
Countries Represented54

*Stats for the full-time class, which includes the deferred admits.

Chicago Booth Scholars Deferred MBA Eligibility

The Chicago Booth Scholars Deferred MBA program is open to applicants who are in their final year of undergraduate studies, including those enrolled in joint bachelor's/master's degree programs, regardless of their major or background. Additionally, any graduate degree student who transitioned directly from undergraduate studies to a master's degree program is eligible to apply.

Students can defer their enrollment for a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years before beginning their full-time studies at Chicago Booth. If, however, students want to continue working after their deferment period, they can choose to enroll in the Evening or Weekend MBA Programs.

Chicago Booth Scholars Deferred MBA Essays

Deferred applicants are required to respond to both short-answer and essay questions that provide insights into their career goals, personal growth, and unique attributes.

Short-Answer Question:

  • What do you plan to accomplish after graduation and prior to starting your MBA?


  • How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250-word minimum)
  • An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we'd like to learn more about you outside of the office or classroom. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are... (250-word minimum)

See our Chicago Deferred School Hub at Chicago Booth Scholars Program. as well as our school guide at Chicago Booth—MBA Program and Application Overview. If you’re currently working on your Chicago application, read our Guide to the Booth Essays.

10X Your Chances of Getting Into a Top MBA Program

Access an in-depth content library just on deferred MBA applications with example applications (essays, resumes, etc.), templates/workbooks, exclusive coaching discount codes, answers to your most challenging application questions, and more. Sign up and get into your dream deferred MBA program - starting as low as $10/month!!

Free trial!

Access a library of videos, templates, and examples curated by Leland’s top coaches.

undefined's profileundefined's profileundefined's profile

From 110 top coaches

Example Essays

Example Essays Image

Example Resumes

Example Resumes Image

Application Prep

Application Prep Image

Video Courses

Video Courses Image

MIT Sloan Early Admission MBA

  • Deadline: April 19, 2024
  • Emphasis: Engineering, technology (STEM)
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): ~14%
  • Application Fee: None

This Massachusetts school has an MBA program in very high demand, with a strong emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). If you're interested in a STEM-related business path, this is the place to be. But remember, STEM does not mean anti-social, especially not here; MIT Sloan has a down-to-earth and collaborative class profile, so applicants who can prove strong social skills are preferred. Applicants hoping to pursue a career in Product Management or in other technical-related fields have found success at MIT. If that sounds like you, give the MIT Sloan MBA Early Admission program a look.

MIT Sloan Early MBA Class Profile

Total StudentsN/A
Median GPA3.84
Median GMAT750
Median GRE740
Countries Represented25

MIT Sloan Early MBA Eligibility

Applicants eligible for the MIT Sloan Early MBA program include undergraduate students who are in their final year of undergraduate studies and graduate between August 2023 and September 2024. Additionally, eligible candidates will not enroll in an MD, JD, or PhD program immediately after completing their undergraduate program, and they must not have had any prior full-time work experience, except for internships or co-op experiences. Graduate students in their final year of a graduate program who graduate within the specified timeframe and meet the stated criteria are also eligible to apply.

The deferred admission period for MIT Sloan’s program can last anywhere from two to five years.

MIT Sloan Early MBA Essays

For the MIT Sloan Early MBA application, applicants are required to complete two video questions and are given the option to respond to an additional short-answer question.

  • Video Question 1: Introduce yourself to your future classmates. This is an opportunity to showcase your personality and engage with the admissions committee. Videos should adhere to specific guidelines, including being no longer than 1 minute (60 seconds), single take (no editing), speaking directly to the camera, and excluding background music or subtitles.
  • Video Question 2: Randomly Generated Open-Ended Question: All MBA Early applicants will be prompted to respond to a randomly generated, open-ended question. This question is designed to assess your communication style and how you express yourself. Applicants are given one minute to prepare a 60-second response.

Optional Short Answer Question:

  • How has the world you come from shaped who you are today? For example, your family, culture, community, all help to shape aspects of your life experiences and perspective. Please use this opportunity if you would like to share more about your background. (250 word limit)

For information on the MBA program at MIT, visit MIT Sloan Early Admission Deferred MBA Program: What You Need to Know and MIT Sloan—MBA Program and Application Overview.

Columbia Deferred Enrollment MBA

  • Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Emphasis: Finance
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): 18-22%
  • Application Fee: None

Located deep in the big city of Manhattan, Columbia Business School’s MBA program has the advantage of sitting at the heart of the modern business environment. Although it has a history of a highly competitive culture, the university has recently attempted to encourage a more diverse and collaborative one. Keep in mind that living costs here will likely exceed those of your other options.

Columbia Deferred MBA Class Profile

Total Admitted Students232
GPA Range3.11-4.0
GMAT Range540-790
Countries Represented28

Columbia Deferred MBA Eligibility

Students eligible for the Columbia Deferred Enrollment MBA program include those graduating during the current academic year from a bachelor's degree program, as well as 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.

After students graduate, they will have two to five years to begin Columbia’s full-time MBA program. Once a student is ready, they can send a letter of intent to Columbia specifying whether they want to enroll in January (16-month program) or August (traditional 20-month program featuring a summer internship).

Columbia Deferred MBA Essays

For the Columbia Deferred Enrollment MBA application, applicants are required to respond to a short-answer question and two essay prompts.

Short Answer Question:

  • Immediate Post-Graduation Goal: What is your immediate post-graduation professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Essay Questions:

  • Applying to a deferred enrollment program suggests that your aspirations in the next 2-5 years will include an MBA. Why do you feel you need an MBA to achieve your long-term career goals, and why would you like to pursue your MBA at Columbia Business School? (300 words)
  • Contributing to the community is an important part of the CBS experience. Discuss one experience or situation in your undergraduate or graduate career where you feel you contributed to your community and what you learned from the experience. (250 words)

See our Columbia Deferred School Hub at Columbia Deferred Enrollment Program or visit our full school hub at Columbia Business School—MBA Program and Application Overview.

Yale Silver Scholars Program

  • Deadlines: April 9, 2024 (Round 3)
    • Deferred applicants can apply in any of the traditional deadlines but most choose to apply for R3
  • Emphasis: Nonprofit, leadership
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): 28-33%
  • Application Fee: Variable (sliding scale)

The Yale School of Management (SOM) comes in lower on the US News’ business school ranking list, but it has the oldest deferred enrollment program on this list, and the Silver Scholars Program only admits (roughly) 5% of all applicants! It's highly competitive but worth attending. Yale SOM remains world-renowned for its global networking opportunities, integrated curriculum, and leadership training. Plus, its exclusivity means it boasts a small class size and a tight-knit community.

It has a longstanding history of sending a disproportionately high (but recently, decreasing) amount of graduates into the nonprofit industry. Keep in mind that this program begins immediately following your senior year of undergrad.

Yale SOM MBA Class Profile

Total Students339
Median GPA3.64
Average GMAT720
Median GREVerbal: 164, Quant: 166
Countries Represented46

*Stats for the full-time class, which includes the deferred admits.

Yale Silver Scholars Eligibility

The Yale Silver Scholars Program is tailored for students seeking to enter the full-time MBA program directly from their academic studies, without acquiring full-time work experience. Eligible candidates include college seniors graduating between August 1, 2023, and July 31, 2024, as well as students enrolled in a graduate program immediately following their undergraduate studies. Various special categories, including recent graduates, international students, and those pursuing joint-degree programs, are also considered for eligibility.

Once accepted, students will spend their first year at Yale SOM learning the foundations of management through a robust core curriculum, after which they will be able to work full-time for “one or more” years. Once their full-time working experience is over, students must return to campus for a final year of Yale Elective Courses.

Yale Silver Scholars Essays

Applicants to the Yale Silver Scholars Program are provided with three essay prompts from which to choose, allowing them to share insights into their background, passions, motivations, challenges, and aspirations.

  • Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. Why is this commitment meaningful to you, and what actions have you taken to support it?
  • Describe the community that has been most meaningful to you. What is the most valuable thing you have gained from being a part of this community, and what is the most important thing you have contributed to this community?
  • Describe the most significant challenge you have faced. How have you confronted this challenge, and how has it shaped you as a person?

Choose the prompt that resonates most strongly with your experiences and passions, allowing you to provide concrete examples that showcase your character and potential contributions to the MBA program. The word limit for each essay is 500 words.

See our full Yale school hub at the Yale School of Management—MBA Program and Application Overview.

Darden Future Year Scholars Program (FYSP)

  • Deadlines: April 11, 2023 (Round 1) and August 1, 2023 (Round 2)
  • Emphasis: Balanced
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): 26-35%
  • Application Fee: None

Darden offers a balanced curriculum that incorporates exceptionally modern business practices. Known for outputting great communicators, Darden expects its students to work collaboratively. If you’re Darden-bound, prepare for an intimate and tight-knit learning environment. It's also clear that the Darden admissions team is putting a strong emphasis on its deferred program, so if you are interested in Darden, this program is a great option.

Darden Future Year Scholars Program Class Profile

Total Students92
Average GPA3.74
Median GRE720
Median GRE324
Countries Represented15

Darden Future Year Scholars Program Eligibility

Applicants eligible for the Darden Future Year Scholars Program at the University of Virginia (UVA) include bachelor's degree students in their final year of study and full-time master's students who have not held a full-time work position. Students graduating between October 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024, are eligible to apply in 2024, regardless of whether they begin full-time employment after graduation.

Students can work for two to five years after being admitted. Something to note is that they are not required to decide how long they’ll be working immediately upon admission and will rather be asked by Darden at the beginning of each year whether they plan on matriculating into the program in the fall.

Darden Future Year Scholars Program Essays

For the Darden Future Year Scholars Program application, applicants are required to respond to short-answer questions that provide insights into their experiences, values, and career aspirations.

Short Answer Questions:

  • What would you want your classmates to know about you that is not on your resume? (100 words)
  • Please describe a tangible example that illuminates your experience promoting an inclusive environment and what you would bring to creating a welcoming, global community at Darden. (300 words)
  • At this time, how would you describe your short-term, post-graduate goals in terms of industry, function, geography, company size and/or mission, and how does it align with the long-term vision you have for your career? (200 words)

Read more about the program at Darden at UVA Darden: Future Year Scholars Deferred MBA Program and UVA Darden—MBA Program and Application Overview.

Berkeley Haas Accelerated Access MBA

  • Deadline: April 25, 2024
  • Emphasis: Balanced, leadership, innovation
  • Acceptance Rate (for all MBA applicants): 13-20%
  • Application Fee: $200

The Berkeley Haas Accelerated Access MBA program is geared toward UC Berkeley undergraduates or graduates, hoping to return to Berkeley for their MBA. At present, it's not open to non-Berkeley undergrads, but keep an eye on it: we expect that to change at some point in the future. With proximity to Silicon Valley, Berkeley grads are known for being plugged in with all of Northern California's top tech companies and VC firms.

Berkeley Haas MBA Class Profile

Total Students244
Average GPA3.64
Median GMAT740
Median GREVerbal: 162, Quant: 165
Average Work Experience5.8
Countries Represented39

*Stats for the full-time class, which includes the deferred admits.

Berkeley Accelerated Access Eligibility

The Berkeley Haas Accelerated Access MBA program is available to undergraduate students in their final year of study with a graduation date between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024. Additionally, graduate students without full-time employment who enrolled in their graduate program immediately after completing their undergraduate studies, with a graduation date between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024, are eligible to apply.

Once accepted, students are allowed to work for two to five years and may choose to return to business school at any time. Admitted students are also subject to consideration for Berkeley Haas’s dual MBA degree programs.

Berkeley Accelerated Access MBA Essays

Applicants to the Berkeley Haas Accelerated Access MBA program are required to complete two essays, each with a maximum of 300 words, focusing on personal reflections and leadership aspirations.

  • What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why?
  • What kind of leader do you aspire to be and why?

These required essays offer applicants the opportunity to express their passions and leadership aspirations, providing insights into their personal motivations and future goals. Additionally, the application includes optional sections for applicants to provide context for their achievements and address any relevant information not covered elsewhere.

Read A Guide to the UC Berkeley Haas Accelerated Applicants Deferred MBA Program and visit our Berkeley school hub at the University of California Berkeley Haas—MBA Program and Application Overview.

How to Get Into Your Dream Deferred MBA Program

Okay: now we've covered the top 10 deferred MBA programs. We've briefly touched on the application materials, and what each program is looking for. Now, the million-dollar question: how do you get in?

Browse our Free Content

First, visit the Leland Deferred MBA Library for school guides, application tips, and other helpful articles. We are constantly updating it with new articles and insider advice on everything you need to get into your dream deferred program.

Find an MBA Admissions Coach

Second, search for and partner with an MBA admissions coach.

It can be difficult, especially when applying to deferred MBA programs, to find reliable information out there about the application process. An experienced coach, one who has gone through the deferred application process, or who has coached many deferred admits before, can be the difference between earning that coveted admissions letter and not. The right coach can offer the guidance and mentoring you'll need to secure a seat at your dream school.

Popular Coaching Packages

These are some of our most popular deferred MBA packages, geared toward helping you get into your dream program. Book FREE intro calls with any of these coaches to find out more.

Not sure if an admissions coach is for you? Check out our article: Are MBA Admissions Consultants Worth it? Ready to partner with the perfect coach? Find them by browsing our world-class MBA admissions coaches.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles