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The Columbia Business School Deferred Enrollment Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to gain a few years of work experience with a guarantee of admission to Columbia's highly selective MBA program, and the flexibility to begin the full-time program two to five years after college graduation.
Columbia is looking for future leaders from all academic and personal backgrounds to maintain the diverse and supportive community for which Columbia is known.
Apply to Columbia Business School:
Apply during your senior year in college or during a subsequent graduate program. When reviewing your application, the admissions committee will look at your academic background, any work experience or internships that you have, and your engagement in activities outside the classroom.
Gain Work Experience:
After completing your current studies and before starting your MBA at Columbia Business School, enter the workforce for two, three, four, or five years. Use the time to explore what drives you, knowing that you have the flexibility to start the MBA program when the time is right for you.
As an admitted student you are part of the Columbia Community, and will have access to select conferences, events, and School-wide resources to enhance your academic experience and to help you throughout your career.
Start Your MBA:
When you are ready to start the MBA program, send us a letter of intent, specifying whether you want to enroll in January (16-month program) or August (traditional 20-month program featuring a summer internship.) You will have the option to choose the program that fits your personal and professional goals.
Fellowships and Scholarships:
Once you send your letter of intent to start the MBA program, you will be considered for merit-based fellowships and be able to apply for need-based scholarships. Find more information on fellowships and scholarships here.
Who is eligible for the Deferred Enrollment Program:
- Students graduating during the current academic year from a bachelor's degree program.
- Students completing a graduate degree program. Candidates must have started the graduate degree program directly after completing their undergraduate degree to be eligible for the Deferred Enrollment Program.
- Students enrolled in Ph.D. programs, law school, or medical school are not eligible. Please apply through the standard MBA or EMBA application process.
- Online application
- Academic transcript
- Standardized test scores (GMAT, Executive Assesment, or GRE)
- Current resume (feel free to include a note on any post undergraduate job offers)
- One letter of recommendation from a professor, mentor, internship supervisor or employer. We ask recommenders to consider the following when writing their recommendation (recommended limit - 1000 words):
- Please share how you feel the applicant will contribute to the Columbia Business School classroom and community.
- Three short answer questions
- How is a Columbia MBA going to help you? (maximum 250 words)
- What has been your favorite class, and why? (maximum 250 words)
- Who is a leader you admire, and why? (maximum 250 words)
Candidates will be notified if they are invited to interview with Columbia Business School.
There is no application fee for students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or eligible graduate-level program. Once admitted, students will be required to submit a $500 deposit two weeks after admission. Subsequent deferral continuation fees will be due each year that you defer. The year that you decide to matriculate you will also be required to verify your work experience during the deferral period.
- The Deferred Enrollment application opened on November 1, 2019 and will close on April 15, 2020
- Recommendations and GMAT, Executive Assessment, or GRE scores must be received within three weeks of submitting your application
- Completed applications will begin the review process after the April 15, 2020 deadline
- Interview invitations will be sent on or before April 30, 2020, or within two weeks of receiving all required application materials
- Final decisions will be released on a rolling basis and within two weeks of your interview being conducted
Contact us to learn more about the Deferred Enrollment Program.
Walk-in hours: M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Uris Hall Room 216
New York, NY 10027