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!
In this article, we answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about Deferred MBA programs - from the top business schools offering such programs to how to prepare for them!
Let's get started.
What are Deferred MBA programs?
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 2-5 years from the time they graduate.
The admitted 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.
How is Deferred MBA different from a normal MBA?
There is no difference between the program itself. Deferred MBA is NOT a separate program offered by business schools. Instead, they are simply an early entry point for candidates looking to apply for business schools.
So who can apply for Deferred MBA programs?
For most programs, only candidates in their final year of college, without any work experience, can apply to Deferred MBA programs. However, there are some exceptions.
Indian School of Business - Young Leaders Program: Both final, and pre-final year students can apply for the YLP Deferred MBA.
How do schools evaluate applicants for Deferred MBA, since they do not have any work experience?
Business schools employ a very holistic evaluation approach while evaluating Deferred MBA candidates. The exact details can differ from school to school, but overall these are the aspects to keep in mind.
Academic Credentials: This constitutes your GPA, and your GMAT/GRE score.
Extra-Curriculars: Being involved in extra-curricular activities is a great sign of showcasing your activities, interests, and how you add value to your immediate communities. This can also be a great way to showcase your leadership skills.
Internships: Showcasing great internships and what you have learnt through those can be an excellent way to highlight your professional skills and competencies.
Letters of Recommendation: Getting excellent LoRs is critical as they can highlight the values you bring from a third-person's perspective to the business school.
Clarity about career plans: It's very important to showcase how you expect the Deferred MBA to add value to your career plans. Interacting with previous candidates who have been on this journey can help you understand how the Deferred admit helped them during their career, and what they were able to gain out of it.
Which are the top business schools offering the Deferred MBA option?
Most top US business schools offer Deferred programs now. HBS, Stanford, Wharton, CBS, Kellogg, Booth, Sloan, Haas, Tepper. Also ISB in India, and IESE in Spain. You can find the complete details here.
By when can I apply to these programs?
What do I need to submit an application for these programs?
To apply to these programs, you are required to submit the following:
Latest transcripts from college.
Letters of Recommendation (number can vary depending on school)
Filled up online application form
Some schools also require video essays to be submitted
Is there a difference between GMAT and GRE scores? Is GMAT preferred over GRE?
None at all. Almost all business schools accept both scores, without any preferences. In fact, both of our admits last year to CBS and Darden, applied with GRE scores.
How much does it cost to apply to Deferred MBA programs?
If I apply to a Deferred MBA program, and get rejected, will it affect my application to the college a few years down the line?
Absolutely not. Most business schools treat Deferred MBA as a completely separate application, and it doesn't have any repercussions on your future applications.
Have you previously helped candidates secure admits to Deferred MBA programs?
Yes, we have. In the 2022 admissions session, we helped two of our candidates get admits from Columbia Business School and University of Virginia: Darden. You can read more about our CBS admit and his journey here.
How should I start preparing for Deferred MBA applications?
That would depend heavily on your current status of prep.
If you are in your final year, and have the time available, the first thing to finish is your GMAT/GRE scores. There is not much you can do about the rest of your profile.
However, if you are in the initial years of your college, we would suggest you to either self-evaluate, or connect with admissions consultants to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and how you can optimize your profile for your future application.