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Deferred MBA | Admission into Deferred Programmes, Top 10 Colleges

MBA programmes seek to be diverse, recruiting students from a wide range of backgrounds to enrich their learning environment. MBA deferred entry programmes facilitate graduate programmes to entice committed candidates with bright business acumen and creativity. Prior to joining a business school, applicants to MBA programmes are typically required to have several years of solid industry experience. Students can apply for deferred entry during their sophomore year of undergraduate education. In postponed MBA programmes, pre-admission occurs immediately after graduation, but classes do not begin until the student has completed the required work experience. Please refer BYJU’S CAT College Predictor tool.

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Applicants are accepted directly after college and begin classes the following year in an early-career MBA programme. Whereas, Deferred MBA applicants are able to apply for pre-admission without having to complete the work experience requirement that is necessary for regular MBA applications. After applying for a postponed MBA programme, you must wait for the university’s decision. You will be invited to an interview at the following stage. If accepted, they reserve their spot and work professionally for 2-4 years, gaining corporate experience.

Deferred MBA: Difference Between Deferred and Traditional MBA

The majority of postponed MBA programmes follow a similar pattern: register beforehand, earn a spot, then work for two to five years in the interim. Due to the small number of students enrolled, the admissions procedure and intake will most certainly be difficult. The majority of them offer a reasonable application fee as well. Undergraduate students can use deferred admissions to get over an obstacle that previously stopped them from applying to these programmes. It becomes a hurdle for people without prior experience when every college wants high-profile candidates. Deferred MBA guarantees inexperienced MBA applicants deferred admission for two years after they complete a full-time job. Students selected for this program will be deferred for 2-5 years. For candidates who want to get an MBA but wouldn’t want to wait till they have some professional experience, a deferred MBA is the ideal alternative to a traditional MBA.

Traditional MBA

Deferred MBA

Traditional MBA is for candidates with/ without a work experience

Deferred MBA is a program which offers you admission in advance.

Candidates study for two years or more based on the duration set by the university. They then get recruited in companies.

It lets the candidate reserve a seat for the management program. Then, after the mandatory work experience is met, the candidate gets admitted to the school

It is a prerequisite for candidates to get through the management entrance exams and only if they meet the percentile set by the institution they get admitted to their desired schools. This gives room for uncertainty and anxiety.

Candidates can apply for this programme when they are in school, through this deferred MBAs can make the application process less intimidating

Once candidates meet the eligibility requirement, candidates need to pay the admission amount at once or in installments.

Financing is a concern for many ambitious university students, as opting for a normal MBA while working may not allow you to save enough money.

Candidates in traditional MBA programmes work in a variety of industries, making it difficult to choose a major. It is difficult for them to opt out once they enter into a domain.

Deferred MBA students have prior experience in the management domain and they can venture into their desired domain without having to stick to a particular sector.

Benefits of Deferred MBA

Certainty and Flexibility: A deferred MBA programme has the added benefit of allowing you to secure your admission whilst in school. You’ll feel more confident in your employment when you’ve earned a spot at a prominent management institution Furthermore, persons with an MBA start with a high salary. Firms are more likely to hire you if they see that you have an offer of employment from a prestigious business school.

Stability and Security: Traditional MBA programmes require payment in full up front, whereas deferred MBA programmes give you the benefit of saving money while earning . It also helps you manage your finances while working. When you are accepted to a prominent school of business, rest assured that your future is secure. Organizations are striving to hire talented employees from top business schools, and they also have received better remuneration

Career Prospects: Recruiters look out for candidates who have graduated from some of the top B-schools due to the versatility and environment students are exposed to. Students graduating from deferred MBA programmes have better career prospects when compared to other MBA degrees.

Lesser Financial Strains: While enrolling in a standard MBA school, many students are concerned about debt. But, some others will not be concerned about their finances. Candidates who are concerned about their financial situation might look for scholarships to help alleviate the fee burden of an MBA programme. Furthermore, if you meet certain conditions, some companies sponsor or reimburse the educational expenses. The most obvious benefit of a postponed MBA enrollment is the assurance it provides for your development of professional years. Several universities evaluate students directly for merit-based scholarships. A deferred MBA, can assist you in managing your finances and allowing you to save more resources. You’ll almost certainly save a significant amount of money prior to taking the leap.

Peer Network gets enlarged: Throughout the programme you have the opportunity to expand your professional connections. If you’re enrolled into a deferred MBA programme, you’ll most certainly have easy accessibility to the college’s former students, and faculty and staff. It would also present you with professional opportunities and help you build a strong professional network.

Admission Procedure for Deferred MBA

Every school has its own application process, but the most common admission procedures followed by most institutions are mentioned here. To enroll for a deferred MBA programme, you’ll need to have the following documents: Transcripts of Academic Work: Copies of your academic transcripts are mandatory. Because most of the students are in their final year, the transcripts will be unofficial.

Referral Letter: Since the students have no prior work experience, they can acquire a recommendation letter from a legitimate source ( academic instructor and employer)

Admission Essays – Generally 2 essays are required and it should cover your MBA goals, leadership potential, contributions so far, future plans, etc.

GMAT or GRE score in the last 5 years. English language proficiency test score if English is not your first language. The score requirements are also pretty high such as for IELTS (nothing less than 7.5) and for TOEFL (nothing less than 109).

A Professional Resume with internships, part-time positions and full-time positions.

Interview Process – In-person or skype interview. After completing the two-stage process, you receive the final admit from the college.

Eligibility Criteria

In terms of eligibility, most programmes only accept applications from students who are in their final year of undergraduate education. It makes no difference whether undergraduate programme is three or four years long. The common deferred MBA eligibility criteria is listed below

  • Candidates who have completed a combination bachelor’s/degree master’s programme or who have never worked full-time are also eligible.
  • Those who are approaching the completion of their education as a graduate can apply . Applicants must have begun their graduate degree programme shortly after completing their bachelor’s degree to be eligible for the Deferred MBA .
  • Candidates who have recently joined a graduate programme after completing an undergraduate or undergraduate/graduate programme can apply
  • In deferred MBA programmes, students can apply in their sophomore year and, if accepted, must work for 2-4 years, dependent on the school’s criteria. Students in their last year of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme can apply.
  • STEM background based on percentages. GMAT Scores are taken into consideration.
  • Based on the Degree of Acceptance.

*It must be noted that internships, live projects, and similar types of work experience are not counted as work experience.

Admission Process

The application process for every school differs and the common admission procedure that most of the colleges follow are listed below

  • To apply for a deferred MBA program you will generally need the following: Academic Transcripts: A copy of college transcripts with final year courses.The transcripts will be unofficial, as most of the students are in the final year.
  • Letter of Recommendation: Since the students have no work experience, they can take the letter of recommendation from the respected authorities ( academic instructor and employer)
  • Admission Essays – Applicants are required to submit two essays that should address your MBA goals, management abilities, prior accomplishments, and current aspirations, long term plans, etc. For applicants whose first language is not English, a valid GMAT or GRE score from the last five years is mandatory. Minimum scoring standards for IELTS is 7.5, Minimum TOEFL score is 109
  • Resume: Applicants must include their professional achievements here. The format is prescribed by the colleges..
  • Interview: There is a face-face interview or an online interview . The management will intimate students on their admission status when they have successfully completed the two-stage process.

Colleges for Deferred MBA:

When it comes to the selection of colleges for deferred MBA candidates have strong options to choose from. The following table provides the list of top colleges for deferred MBA

Top Colleges for Deferred MBA

ISB Young Leaders Program


Stanford GSB Deferred Admission

Berkeley Haas Accelerated Access

Kellogg Future Leaders Eligibility

Wharton MBA Advance Access Program

The University of Buffalo

Harvard’s 2+2 Program

MIT Sloan MBA Early Admission

IESE – Young Talent Path

Emory Goizueta MBA Early Admission

Indian School of Business

NYU Stern

Wharton’s Moelis Advance Access Program

Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment

Northwestern Kellogg

Berkeley Haas

Yale SOM Silver Scholars Program

The Columbia Business School Deferred Enrolment Program

The University of Buffalo

The Rollins Early Advantage MBA

Chicago Booth Scholars Program

Factors to Consider Before Enrolling in Deferred MBA

The above-mentioned eligibility are only preliminary requirements. To ace through the entire process you’ll need to submit outstanding essays, produce exceptional recommendation letters, and perform well in the interview. Because of the low enrollment ratio and competitiveness each year, exceptional applications are received, making the situation even more challenging.

  • Applicants need to have established an amazing profile because applicants will lack professional experience. Regardless of the fact that you may lack practical expertise in the corporate sector, your academic achievements and performance will speak for you.
  • Applicants must have an exceptional GMAT score and prepare diligently for the exam as the difficulty level of the exam ranges between medium to difficult.
  • Candidates are chosen depending on a variety of factors. Instead of just applauding the applicant, recommenders should write persuasively on behalf of the candidate
  • Apart from academics, Extra-curricular activities can be a great opportunity to show creativity and a diversity of hobbies. Deferred MBA programmes are designed for high-potential students who business schools want to acquire soon.

The selection panel considers a variety of factors when considering a student’s candidacy for the Deferred MBA programme. The finest business schools look for a well-rounded profile, which means that internships, coursework, GMAT/GRE grades, voluntary activities, and extra-curricular activities are given equal weightage.


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