A Guide to the UC Berkeley Haas Accelerated Applicants Deferred MBA Program

Considering applying to Haas' Accelerated Applicants Deferred MBA Program? Look no further! In this guide, we delve into important information about the program, key deadlines, and tips for maximizing your application.

Posted March 12, 2024

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What is the Accelerated Applicants Program?

Haas Accelerated Applicants is the more recently established deferred enrollment program at UC Berkeley. Current college seniors are able to claim their spot in a future MBA class and then defer for two to five years to gain professional work experience. Haas encourages Accelerated Applicants to specifically engage with leadership experience during the interim, with the goal of students bringing this skillset to campus in their matriculation year.

Deferred admission programs, in general, are a good idea for college seniors with a competitive application who want to pursue their passion, take a gap year, start a business, or explore different industry sectors while having the comfort of an already accepted application.

Read our full Haas MBA guide here for an in-depth look into the school and application process: University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business—MBA Program & Application Overview

Application Details

Note that the 2024 application deadline is April 25, 2024 with a decision notification by June 20, 2024. The application process is very similar to that for the full-time MBA program and requirements include a resume, two letters of recommendation, two short essays, undergraduate transcripts, and either the GMAT, GMAT Focus, or GRE. An interview will also be required for admission.

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The Accelerated Access program is open to two distinct groups of individuals. Firstly, it welcomes undergraduate students who are in the final stage of their studies, expecting to graduate between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024. Secondly, graduate students who have immediately pursued their graduate studies after completing their undergraduate studies and are not engaged in full-time employment are also eligible. For this category, the graduate degree graduation date should fall between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024. The Haas program is inclusive and actively encourages applications from students with diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines. The admissions team adopts a comprehensive approach to evaluating applications, aiming to gain insights into every facet of a candidate's character, qualifications, and experiences.

Who is Haas Looking For?

The Haas adcom typically looks for a combination of qualities and attributes in its prospective students during the admissions process:

  1. Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion: Haas greatly values fostering a sense of belonging and empathy in the business realm, so it is important to demonstrate these values through volunteering, leadership examples, or other activities in your application.
  2. Alignment with Haas Principles: The Haas School of Business has a set of guiding principles, including “Question the Status Quo,” “Confidence Without Attitude,” “Students Always,” and “Beyond Yourself.” Demonstrating alignment with these principles can resonate positively with the admissions committee.
  3. Leadership and Impact: Haas values candidates who have demonstrated leadership skills and have made a positive impact in their communities, workplaces, or extracurricular activities. They look for candidates who can contribute to the Berkeley community in meaningful ways.
  4. Initiative and Innovation: Candidates who have demonstrated initiative, innovation, and a willingness to take on challenges are often favored. This could be through entrepreneurship, creative problem-solving, or other notable achievements.
  5. Academic Goals and Fit: The Haas adcom is interested in candidates who have a clear understanding of their academic and career goals and can articulate how the Haas program aligns with those goals.
  6. Academic Excellence: Strong academic performance is a fundamental requirement. This includes undergraduate or previous graduate GPA, standardized test scores (such as GMAT or GRE), and the rigor of coursework.

Coach Recommendations

The best way to nail your deferred MBA applications is to work one-on-one with an admissions coach. They'll be able to provide in-depth, customized guidance based on your personal background, budget, and goals. Below are some of our most popular admissions coaches, browse all of them here.

How Hard is it to Get Into Accelerated Applicants?

While the deferred enrollment program is still relatively new, the graduate school at Haas is incredibly competitive and one of the best in the world. For the class of 2022 the acceptance rate was around 13%. However, UC Berkeley examines its applicants holistically and no student should discount their application.

Why Haas?

  1. Distinctive Academic Journey: Opting for Haas is embarking on a unique academic journey. Renowned for its commitment to academic excellence, Haas stands out by delivering cutting-edge business education through faculty who are leaders in their respective fields. This innovative approach not only imparts essential business knowledge but also cultivates creative thinking and adaptability, qualities crucial in navigating today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. Nestled in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area, Haas offers unparalleled access to a diverse range of industries, creating an environment ripe for networking, internships, and career growth.
  2. Inclusive Community and Leadership: Haas takes pride in fostering an inclusive community where diversity is celebrated. With students hailing from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, the Haas community offers a rich and multifaceted learning environment. Guided by its distinctive principles, including "Question the Status Quo," "Confidence Without Attitude," "Students Always," and "Beyond Yourself," Haas cultivates a unique culture that emphasizes personal and leadership development. Graduates are not just equipped with business acumen but also empowered to contribute positively to the broader society.
  3. Global Perspective and Immersion: Beyond its local advantages, Haas offers a global perspective. The school’s commitment to global immersion programs and study abroad opportunities opens doors to diverse cultures and markets, preparing students to navigate the complexities of an interconnected world. With an extensive alumni network, students gain access to a supportive community of professionals who offer mentorship, guidance, and potential career opportunities.

In the following video, current Haas students discuss why they chose to attend UC Berkeley; these are great points to consider touching on in your application materials.

Where Can I Start?

Applying to any MBA program can be a stressful, time-consuming, and costly process. That is why, here at Leland, we have lots of resources available to help you along the journey.

Read these articles to start your deferred MBA journey:

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