Deferred Enrollment

While most MBA programs expect students to spend about three to six years in the workforce before applying for business school, deferred admissions opportunities give candidates a guaranteed pathway to the MBA before having extensive career exposure. These top MBA programs allow early career candidates and less experienced candidates to apply immediately after their undergraduate degree or at their final year of study. If they are admitted they can defer their enrollment and use the time to gain more work experience, or start their MBA immediately after their undergraduate degree. These programs are usually very competitive, as deferred programs have very small classes in terms of who they’re going to admit into their early career program, and successful applicants tend to have exceptional academics, demonstrated leadership and unwavering passion. Candidates are advised to be clear about their professional goals, to be prepared to make up for lack of professional experience with proven leadership potential and exceptional extracurricular exploits, and have high test scores and grades, to demonstrate potential in the absence of real world work experience.

HBS 2+2

The 2+2 Program is a deferred admission process for current students, either in college or full-time masters programs. It is comprised of two years of professional work experience followed by two years in the HBS MBA Program.

Upon graduation, admitted 2+2 students spend two years working in a professional, HBS-approved position in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. The 2+2 Program attracts accomplished students from all fields of study. We encourage students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines to apply.

We’re looking for innovative thinkers who have demonstrated leadership and analytical skills and want to apply their knowledge and passion to make a difference in the world.

Are you eligible?

If you are in your final year of study, you are eligible to apply in the current application cycle. This timing applies to:

  • Candidates from bachelor degree programs
  • Candidates from joint bachelor/graduate degree programs
  • Candidates from graduate degree programs who have not held a full-time work position.  To be eligible for the 2+2 program, candidates need to have gone directly from undergraduate to graduate school.

To be considered for admission to the 2+2 Program Class of 2022 (entering Fall 2020), you must be graduating from your program between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. All applications and recommendations must be submitted online. 2+2 applications have only one deadline: Round 3. Applications are not reviewed on a rolling basis so your application will not be considered until the deadline.

Stanford MBA Deferred Enrollment

Criteria for Deferred Enrollment

To be considered for deferred enrollment, you must be a full-time student graduating from your educational program this academic year. In addition, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.
  • You are enrolled in a combined undergraduate/graduate program, in which you are pursuing your bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously.
  • You are enrolled in a graduate program, which you entered directly from an undergraduate program. If you took off an academic year or more between the two programs (to work full-time or do something else), you do not qualify for deferred enrollment.
  • It is recommended to apply in the 3rd round.

Requesting Direct or Deferred Enrollment

If you meet the criteria for deferred enrollment, you may apply either to attend business school immediately following your university program (direct enrollment), or to work one to three years before attending business school (deferred enrollment).

In your Stanford MBA application, you must select the year in which you would like to enroll. Note that, even if you request direct enrollment, we may grant you deferred enrollment if we feel you would better contribute, grow, and learn after gaining full-time work experience.

If you request, and are qualified for, deferred enrollment, you will pay a reduced application fee of $100.

Choosing Between Direct or Deferred Enrollment

Choose direct enrollment if you feel ready to pursue your MBA because of your current academic background, extracurricular experiences, impact through internships and work experiences, and personal aspirations. Note that for most college seniors, deferred enrollment is a better choice.

Choose deferred enrollment if you feel you would benefit from obtaining full-time work experience before enrolling. This is a good choice if you are unsure of your long-term professional path, and would like to explore an industry before earning your MBA.

Additionally, certain industries — private equity and biotechnology in particular — tend to recruit only MBA candidates with pre-MBA experience in that field, or with specialized knowledge. Management consulting firms also typically prefer MBA candidates with work experience. Deferring enrollment for a couple of years may be a wise decision if you wish to work in one of these industries.

If you choose to defer enrollment, we expect you to work full-time during the deferral period. Pursue opportunities that enable you to build expertise, enhance your skills and knowledge, expand your perspective, and develop professional judgment and self-confidence. We ask you in the application what your plans are for the period between graduation and your enrollment at Stanford.

Wharton – Moelis Advance Access Program

Ken Moelis and Julie Taffet Moelis Advance Access Program

The Ken Moelis and Julie Taffet Moelis Advance Access Program provides Penn undergraduates an opportunity for guaranteed deferred admission to the Wharton MBA Program (this program is for Wharton undergrads only!).
The Moelis Advance Access Program is a deferred admission program that gives Penn undergraduates a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA while they pursue quality work experience. Moelis Fellows access the Wharton network and resources during their deferment period and will be considered for a $10,000 per year fellowship during the 2-year full-time MBA program.


  • $100 application fee
  • Transcript with senior year fall and spring courses listed
  • Standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE)
  • Current resume with full-time job offers listed
  • Two letters of recommendations from a Professor, Internship Supervisor/Employer, or a Campus Leadership Advisor
  • Two essays (Same essays as general MBA applicants)
  • Team Based Discussion and interview with Director of the Moelis Program

Yale Silver Scholars Program

The Silver Scholars Program is a unique opportunity for college seniors to earn an MBA in three years directly after graduation and move more quickly toward their career goals.
As a Silver Scholar, you will spend your first year at Yale SOM developing the basic skills and mindset of a manager through our innovative core curriculum. During the second year, you will complete a full-time internship; this extended work experience will help you put your business education into practice, develop your leadership skills, and give you a competitive advantage as you pursue a permanent position. In your third year, you will return to campus for the conclusion of the MBA program, taking electives at Yale SOM and elsewhere at the university in the areas that most interest you and support your career goals.

Chicago Booth Early Career Candidate Programs

Early career candidates are identified as those with three or fewer years of full-time, post-undergraduate work experience, including college students. If you are eager to enroll in an MBA program at an early stage of your career, Chicago Booth welcomes your application for admission.


  • Overview – Broaden your skillset, develop a global network of peers, and start your career with confidence. Through courses in finance, accounting, and marketing, liberal arts majors learn the language of business and open their possibilities to a whole new range of career options. Students who are already studying business gain a competitive advantage over their peers by exploring the Chicago Approach to management education.
  • Criteria – Open to all current/recent undergraduates interested in pursuing an MBA degree in the future.
  • Timing – Three-week summer program in July.


  • Overview – Highly motivated undergraduate students at the University of Chicago get greater access to Chicago Booth coursework, mentoring, and professional development resources. Students gain a deeper understanding of the discipline of business management through a rigorous six-course curriculum, selective cohorted programming, and advising by a dedicated undergraduate advisor at Chicago Booth.
  • Criteria – Open to first- and second-year undergraduates at the University of Chicago. This program is currently not available to students at other institutions.
  • Timing – Dougan Scholars complement their undergraduate studies with a rigorous six-course curriculum.


  • Overview – Fourth-year students at the University of Chicago have a special opportunity to apply to Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program prior to graduation and defer enrollment for three years. During the deferment period, Booth Scholars are expected to seek substantive work experience that will position them to succeed at Chicago Booth and beyond.
  • Criteria – Open to fourth-year students at the University of Chicago. This program is currently not available to students at other institutions.
  • Timing – Granted a provisional three-year deferment to the Full-Time MBA Program.


  • Overview – Exemplary young professionals with three years or fewer of full-time work experience who are interested in earning an MBA while continuing to work can take advantage of the Chicago Business Fellows program, part of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs. Chicago Business Fellows program offers the same academic experience and MBA degree as our Evening MBA or Weekend MBA Programs, with additional professional development programming.
  • Criteria – Open to young professionals with three years or fewer of full-time work experience who have demonstrated strong leadership potential and excellent scholarship.
  • Timing – Applications for Chicago Business Fellows in the Evening MBA Program is in spring or autumn. For the Chicago Business Fellows in the Weekend MBA Program, applications are once a year in autumn.

Darden future year admissions

Darden’s future year admissions program is a deferred admissions program. College students can apply and be admitted to Darden while completing their final undergraduate year, but wait to enroll in the MBA program until they have completed three to four years of work experience.
Students in the final year of their undergraduate degree can apply to the Future Year Admissions program. Our next application cycle will be open to applicants in the Class of 2017.

Oxford 1+1 MBA

The Oxford 1+1 MBA is a unique opportunity for talented individuals to combine a Master’s degree from one of several Oxford University departments with our one-year MBA. As the global business environment becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, this powerful combination allows you to gain deep knowledge and expertise in your specialist fields, as well as developing a comprehensive understanding of business, exceptional leadership skills and practical experience.