Deferred MBA: 7 Key Insights on Columbia’s Program

Hello, Applicants!

We all know about regular MBAs, but if you are a college senior wanting to explore the option of securing a seat in the world’s best B-Schools before entering the job market, then a deferred MBA is for you!

A complete guide about Columbia Deferred MBA where we’ll discuss everything from the program, eligibility, application requirement, fees, and deposits, deadlines, class profile, difficulty level, what the school seeks from you, and a lot more.  

As an applicant, navigating through the abundance of information for both regular and deferred MBA programs can be overwhelming. Finding authentic insights remains a challenging task. Taking directions from an experienced person with intensive knowledge about top B-schools will always be worth it. You can avail the opportunity of getting our limited number of complimentary profile evaluations each week. Book a 1:1 profile evaluation session with our experts to understand how you can maximize your chances of getting into Columbia’s deferred MBA.


Deferred MBA programs offer an opportunity tailored for students in their final year of undergraduate or master’s studies. These programs guarantee a spot in a future class, allowing students to gain relevant professional work experience beforehand.. After admission, students have a deferment duration of two to five years, during which they can pursue a career, explore new industries, become entrepreneurs, and discover what drives them.


The school seeks individuals possessing strong leadership, intellectual prowess, and collaborative skills conducive to teamwork. They aim to understand the rationale behind why you perceive Columbia as uniquely positioned to assist you in achieving your goals, emphasizing logical and clear reasoning.They want students from various academic and extracurricular backgrounds. Once admitted to the program, they want students to consider themselves a member of the Columbia Deferred MBA Community and willing to participate in events, conferences, school-wise resources, and interact with the Columbia alumni network.

To know more about: What Business Schools look for in Candidates for the Deferred MBA?


Given that Columbia is among the most competitive and globally renowned MBA programs, it attracts a diverse cohort of students distinguished by exceptional academic achievements and extracurricular involvement. This diverse student body hails from 23 countries and 80 undergraduate schools.

Similar to the regular, full-time MBA program, a deferred program requires interviews for admission, conducted by invitation only.

An admissions committee member conducts these interviews, which applicants can attend virtually on campus. Those who aren’t offered a seat in the deferred program are encouraged to reapply later for a full-time MBA.

There is no concept of “re-applicant” for a deferred MBA.

In the realm of MBA admissions, Columbia Business School (CBS) stands as a beacon of excellence, offering a transformative journey for aspiring business leaders. With its rigorous yet dynamic curriculum, Columbia’s MBA program challenges students to push boundaries and innovate. One pivotal aspect of the application process is crafting compelling essays that reflect one’s unique experiences, aspirations, and fit with CBS’s values. Alongside essays, the GMAT serves as a benchmark for academic readiness, though CBS considers a holistic view of each candidate. For those fortunate enough to secure an interview, it’s a chance to showcase their personality and passion for business. Furthermore, Columbia offers various scholarships to support diverse talent and foster a vibrant community. From the essay stage to scholarship opportunities, navigating the Columbia Business School application journey requires diligence, introspection, and a drive for excellence.

Want to pursue an MBA but not sure if your profile fits?

Talk to our Profile Experts to know your chances for a top MBA Program.



  • Students graduating during the current academic year from a bachelor’s degree program. (Example: Those who graduate between September 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024 are eligible to apply for the 2024 Deferred Enrollment Program admissions cycle)
  • 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. 


This women’s day, we are offering free scholarship help to you, wonderful women!
You need to sign up for our full packages in the month of March to get this deal!


  • Online application
  • Academic transcript
  • Current resume (feel free to include a note on any post undergraduate job offers)
  • Standardized test scores (GMAT*, Executive Assessment, or GRE)
    • All applicants must submit a self-reported valid GMAT*, Executive Assessment, or GRE score when submitting an application. Please note that additional test scores cannot be added to an application after that application has been submitted.
    • The Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score when reviewing your application and will not combine subscores from multiple exams into a single composite score.
  • 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.
  • Short answer question:
    • What is your immediate post-graduation professional goal (50 characters maximum)
  • Two essay questions:
    • Applying to a deferred enrollment program suggests that your aspirations in the next 2-5 years will include an MBA. Why do you feel you need an MBA to achieve your long-term career goals and why would you like to pursue your MBA at Columbia Business School? (300 words)
    • Contributing to the community is an important part of the CBS experience. Discuss one experience or situation in your undergraduate or graduate career where you feel you contributed to your community and what you learned from the experience. (250 words)

*We accept both GMAT Exam and GMAT Focus Edition scores.


  • 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 non-refundable deposit by 11:59 pm EDT on August 1, 2024. 
  • 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 and submit deposits for your entry-point.


  • The Deferred Enrollment application will open in November 2023 and will close on April 15, 2024 at 11:59 PM EDT.
  • Completed applications will begin the review process after April 15, 2024
  • Interview invitations will be sent on or before May 15, 2024
  • Final decisions will be released in late June 2024. A $500 deposit is due by 11:59 pm EDT on August 1, 2024.


GMAT Range570-780
GPA Range3.3 – 4.0
Number of Schools Represented108
Number of Countries Represented28

Are you among those women who want to be an inspiration to many students in the future?
If you want to be part of this powerful session, join us! You need to sign up for our full packages in the month of March to get this deal


Upon sending your letter of intent to start the MBA program, we will consider you for merit-based fellowships and enable you to apply for need-based scholarships.. 

US-Based Scholarships 

If you wish to secure a seat at Columbia Deferred MBA, you must step up your game. Additionally, delve into the overall development of your personality and cultivate skills that can bolster your leadership, social impact, innovation, and more. If you seek success stories and desire to converse with experts or alumni who have traversed this path and can provide valuable insights, then we have something for you.

We have organized a coffee chat with alums and the admissions team of top B-Schools that will prove to be a hallmark for you to learn the strategies we employ to facilitate our applicants in acing their MBA. Moreover, this presents a golden opportunity for you to address your doubts with an expert and engage with other candidates to gain further insight into your surroundings.

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