A Look at MBA Deferred Admissions Programs

A Look At MBA Deferred Admissions Programs

For those looking to enter business school before acquiring work experience, an MBA deferred admissions program is the way to go.

Question is, what deferred programs are out there and what differentiates each from one another?

Judith Silverman Hodara, of Fortuna Admissions, recently gave an overview of top MBA deferred admissions programs and what makes each one special.

Harvard’s 2+2

Harvard’s 2+2 program consists of at least two years of professional work experience followed by two years in the regular HBS MBA program.

“We’re looking for innovative thinkers who have demonstrated leadership and analytical skills and want to develop their knowledge and passion to make a difference in the world,” according to HBS. “Upon graduation, admitted 2+2 students spend a minimum of two years (maximum of four years) working in a professional position in the public, private, or nonprofit sector.”

One thing to note about the HBS 2+2 program is that it was originally designed to cater to students who wouldn’t traditionally apply to b-school, such as those from STEM.

According to Fortuna’s Malvina Miller Complainville, former Assistant Director of Career Services at HBS, about 65% of 2+2 commits have STEM backgrounds, compared to 38% in the standard track program.

However, while 2+2 attracts STEM and huminites students, they aren’t requirements for admission.

“This year, the 2+2 web page specifically cites a preference for four categories of ‘high potential individuals’ including candidates planning to work in an operating company (tech, manufacturing or industrials, among others.), from lower socio-economic backgrounds, pursuing entrepreneurship or going into a technically demanding role,” Hodara writes.

Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment

At Stanford’s GSB Deferred Enrollment program, applicants are encouraged to take one-to-three years of deferral.

Unlike Harvard’s 2+2, those enrolled in law or medical graduate programs straight from their undergraduate studies are eligible to apply to GSB.

“Stanford’s program is pretty flexible – you can tell them what year you would like to enter, so could be more or less than two years,” former Stanford GSB alumni interviewer Heidi Hillis tells Fortuna. “You can also apply as a college senior to go directly into the GSB, and Stanford might accept and defer you if they think you would benefit from some experience.”

Wharton Moelis Advance Access Program

The Moelis program at Wharton is set up as a fellowship experience and candidates are eligible for an annual $10,000 award.

Fortuna notes that Wharton’s Advance Access program offers access to Wharton’s community, career services, and dedicated professional development services.

“Wharton will keep you connected – that’s key to your career advancement,” Fortuna’s Michel Belden, Wharton former Associate Director of Admissions, says. “It’s pretty incredible to step out as a 21-year-old and have those assets at your fingertips. It takes a lot of pressure off as well.”

For information on the Yale SOM, Virginia Darden, MIT Sloan, and Chicago Booth deferred admissions program, click on the Fortuna Admissions link below.

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton

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