• abhinavravi

All About Deferred MBA Programs

Updated: Jan 24

Professionals from all walks of life aspire to study at a top global MBA program to gain new skills, meet extraordinary people and transform their careers. However, the competition for these programs, combined with the demands of a full-time career, can cause significant uncertainty during the application period.


But what if you were assured of a place at some of the best MBA programs in the world, before you even graduated from college? Incredible as it may sound, this is a very real possibility with the introduction of Deferred MBA admissions in recent years!

Harvard's 2+2 Program is one of the most popular and competitive Deferred MBA programs in the world

So, let's get started.


What is a Deferred MBA?

As the name suggests, a deferred MBA application allows college students to apply to an MBA program during their final year in college. After going through the process, the selected candidates are assured of a place at the school’s MBA program, normally 2-4 years from the time they graduate. The students then spend the subsequent years pursuing a career in the field of their interest, all while having the comfort and security of a top MBA admit in their hand.


...deferred MBA application allows college students to apply to an MBA program during their final year in college...

What is the process?

The application process for most deferred MBA programs is almost identical to the regular MBA application in terms of its components. In most cases this would include,

  • Academic transcripts (unofficial scores accepted for final year)

  • Resume

  • Essay(s)

  • Letters of recommendation

  • GMAT/GRE score

  • Test of English proficiency (if applicable)

  • Admission interview (if shortlisted)

While the components are similar, it is important to note that the contents of these components are likely to be drastically varied between deferred and regular candidates.

  • Resumes would be more focused on academic projects, extra-curricular activities, internships and any other ventures pursued in college.

  • Due to the lack of work experience, the relative importance of academic capabilities is greater.

  • Where multiple letters of recommendation are required, at least one is likely to be written by an academic instructor (as opposed to both being written by managers/colleagues).


A Deferred MBA admit can allow you to explore your passions, without the risks.

Benefits of applying for a deferred MBA

The most obvious benefit of securing a deferred MBA admit is the assurance it provides for the early years of your career. It allows you to take risks and explore different sectors and industries, to understand what you are truly passionate about, which you can then capitalize on during the MBA program. Apart from this, going through the application process itself has some unique advantages over a regular application.


...understand what you are truly passionate about, which you can then capitalize on during the MBA program...

  1. GMAT/GRE: Standardized tests such as the GMAT or GRE are a crucial component of every MBA application. The biggest benefit in this regard is the comfort of studying for these tests while in college as opposed to preparing while working a full time job. This allows students to dedicate more time to their preparation, thereby increasing the likelihood of a higher score. The 5-year validity of a score c