Wharton Deferred Admission

Moelis Advance Access Program

Apply in final year of study. Work for two to four years.
Get a Wharton MBA.

The Moelis Advance Access Program is a deferred admission program that offers both undergraduate and full-time master’s students in their final year of study a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA after pursuing two to four years of quality work experience. The program seeks students who are innovative, intellectually curious, and ready to take professional risks while impacting the world. Students from all academic fields and disciplines are encouraged to apply, and the program will accept a highly selective cohort of students, named Moelis Fellows, whose academic and career interests expand the traditional notions of business education.

The program was established in 2017 with philanthropic support from Ken Moelis, W’80, WG’81, and Julie Taffet Moelis, W’81. Read the news release.

Why Consider a Deferred MBA Program?

The first years of full-time work include a range of exciting and challenging opportunities, experiences, and decisions. Whether you are a student who wants to explore your dream career, pursue a non-traditional path, launch a business, or join a start-up, we know that you have long-term goals of changing careers or industries. You already know that an MBA will strengthen your skills and provide you with knowledge that you might not find in your first job. Deferred MBA programs offer the opportunity to secure a guaranteed seat at a top MBA program two or more years down the road so that you can pursue these early years with increased confidence and risk-tolerance.

About Wharton’s MBA Deferred Admission Program

Apply

Apply during the final year of your undergraduate or master’s degree program during the Moelis Round of MBA Admissions. The application process for the Moelis Advance Access Program is similar to the application process for the larger Wharton MBA program; however, deferred admission candidates are only evaluated relative to peers applying to the Moelis Program. 

GAIN WORK EXPERIENCE

Follow your professional passions and obtain substantive work experience for two to four years. Wharton deferred admission students are encouraged to take professional risks during the deferment period, such as starting your own company, working for a nonprofit or pursuing global externships while working in traditional business industries. 

ENGAGE WITH WHARTON

Your journey with Wharton starts from the moment you are admitted. During the two to four years before you begin your MBA, you will have access to a network of scholars having an impact professionally across the globe and will remain in contact with Wharton through online communities, email, invitations to student conferences and access to admitted student programming.

BEGIN THE MBA PROGRAM

Join us after two to four years of work experience, and bring all of the skills and lessons you gained with you to the Wharton classroom. An MBA elevates your potential — start your journey today.

The Moelis Advance Access Program is designed for students from all educational backgrounds and professional pursuits. The Moelis Fellows cohort consists of individuals from liberal arts colleges, engineering schools, nursing schools, business programs, and many other degree programs. 

Application DeadlineInterview InvitationsInterview DatesDecisionsDeposit Deadline
Tuesday, March 23, 2021Thursday, April 15, 2021Wednesday, Thursday, April 22 - Friday, April 30, 2021Tuesday, May 11, 2021Monday, June 7, 2021

Application Components

  • Reduced application fee of $100 (active-duty military, veterans who have received an honorable discharge, and applicants for whom the fee presents a financial burden can have their application fee waived with proper documentation)
  • Unofficial copy of college transcript(s) with final year fall and spring courses listed
  • GMAT or GRE exam scores (both tests administered at a test center or online/at-home are acceptable)
  • Current resume with all internships, part-time positions, and future full-time position listed
  • Two letters of recommendations from any of the following: college faculty, supervisor from an internship or employment, campus or community leader, advisor, or coach
  • Two essays (same essays as general MBA applicants)
  • Team-Based Discussion (virtual only) and one-on-one interview with a member of the Wharton MBA Admissions Office

Enrollment

Students accepted into the Moelis Advance Access Program are required to pay a split deposit of $1,000 on or before the deposit deadline and $1,000 due the year of matriculation. All Moelis commits will also submit a yearly declaration of intent to enroll and verification of work experience.

We encourage you to connect with us to learn more about the Moelis Advance Access Program.

Moelis Advance Access Program Information Sessions and Webinars

Throughout the year, we will host periodic informational sessions designed to educate about the benefits of applying to an MBA via our deferred admission program, the value of an MBA, and details about the Moelis Advance Access Program.

Application Tips Webinar and Mock Application Workshop

In the months prior to the application deadline, we will provide various informational sessions and workshops to provide an inside look at selective MBA admissions and advice to strengthen your application.

Connect with Current Students

We have 55 current second year students across many backgrounds, careers, and interests that are available to speak with you about their experiences at Wharton. Browse the profiles of the Admissions Fellows and find someone with similar career goals, interests, and maybe even the same undergraduate background as you.

College and University Information Sessions

Over the course of the year, we will host virtual and/or in-person informational sessions at many colleges and universities around the world. If you do not see your college or university on our list of scheduled visits, please email us at mba-advanceaccess@wharton.upenn.edu with information about who to contact to coordinate an informational meeting. 

Undergraduate Visit Days and Campus Visit Program

We will host several specialty visit days focused on exposing undergraduate students to the MBA experience and Wharton community. If you are unable to attend an Undergraduate Visit Day, come see campus, learn about the admissions process, attend classes, meet current students, and get a firsthand look at our diverse and collaborative culture during one of our Campus Visit Programs. 

The Moelis Fellows cohort is comprised of a diverse group of students who attended institutions around the globe, majored in a wide range of academic disciplines, and are pursuing various professional career paths during their deferment period.

The ability to engage with the Wharton community after enrolling is what sets the Moelis Advance Access Program apart from other deferment admissions programs. Moelis Fellows access exclusive professional development and Wharton resources, such as:

    • Social and professional development events and retreats
    • Professional mentoring and networking
    • Complimentary tickets to select Wharton conferences and events

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR WHARTON'S DEFERRED ADMISSION PROGRAM?

Any undergraduate student or master’s student in their final year of study (graduating from their program between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021) can apply to the Moelis Advance Access Program.

CAN I APPLY IF I AM GRADUATING FROM MY UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES A SEMESTER OR YEAR EARLY?

Yes, all students graduating early are eligible to apply. If you graduate between October 1 and December 31, you must apply during the Moelis Round (same application deadline as Round 3) in spring after you graduate. If you are graduating between January 1 and September 30, you must apply during the Moelis Round of your graduation year.

CAN I APPLY IF I AM CURRENTLY A MASTER'S DEGREE STUDENT?

Yes, you are eligible to apply to the Moelis Advance Access Program if you are in the process of completing a master’s degree, are in the final year of your studies, and you did not take a full-time job in between your undergraduate and master’s degree programs.

IF I FINISHED MY UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES LAST YEAR AND THEN IMMEDIATELY STARTED A MASTER'S PROGRAM, CAN I APPLY TO THE MOELIS ADVANCE ACCESS PROGRAM?

Yes, you are eligible to apply as long as you did not work full-time between your undergraduate and graduate studies. This includes any candidate that sub-matriculated into their graduate program.

WHEN IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THE DEFERRED ADMISSION PROGRAM?

Apply to the Moelis Advance Access Program during the Moelis Round, which is at the same time as Round 3 each spring. This upcoming Moelis Round application deadline is March 31, 2021.

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION FEE?

There is a $100 application fee. Active-duty military, veterans who have received an honorable discharge, and applicants for whom the fee presents a financial burden can have their application fee waived with proper documentation. If you have any questions about the application fee, please email mba-advanceaccess@wharton.upenn.edu.

DO YOU ACCEPT BOTH THE GRE AND THE GMAT?

Yes, we accept both tests and do not have a preference for either. Additionally, we will accept scores from exams that were completed in person at a test center or online from home. Please make sure to take the test by our testing deadline and submit your unofficial scores with your application.

ARE THE RECOMMENDATION REQUIREMENTS THE SAME FOR MOELIS ADVANCE ACCESS APPLICANTS AND GENERAL APPLICANTS?

Yes, all applicants to the Wharton MBA are required to submit two recommendation letters. Moelis applicants can submit letters of recommendation from any of the following individuals: college faculty, supervisor from an internship or employment, campus or community leader, advisor, or coach. We recommend submitting letters from a mixture of sources.

WILL I HAVE AN INTERVIEW FOR THE MOELIS ADVANCE ACCESS PROGRAM?

The Admissions Committee will invite a select number of candidates to interview. If you receive an invitation to interview for the Moelis Program, you will participate in the Team-Based Discussion, as well as a one-on-one interview with a member of the Wharton MBA Admissions Team.

IF I AM INTERESTED IN THE LAUDER INSTITUTE, THE CAREY JD/MBA PROGRAM, OR THE HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, CAN I APPLY TO THE MOELIS ADVANCE ACCESS PROGRAM?

Yes, you may apply to these integrated programs at the time of your Moelis Program application, but admitted students will also be able to apply to these specific programs during their deferment period. If you apply to one of these integrated programs at the time of your Moelis Program application, then you will also need to complete the application materials (e.g., LSAT, language test, etc.) specific to each program.

CAN I APPLY TO JOINT DEGREE PROGRAMS AFTER WORKING FOR SOME TIME AND DISCOVERING AN INTEREST IN THE PROGRAM?

Yes, Moelis Fellows can apply to any of the joint or dual degree programs during their deferment period. Each program will require its own separate application for consideration to a joint or dual degree, and that application must be completed prior to your matriculation at Wharton.

IS THERE A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR A PARTICULAR SCHOOL OR ACADEMIC BACKGROUND?

No, we are looking to admit the strongest candidates across all academic fields and professional areas of interest.

IF I AM NOT ACCEPTED TO THE MOELIS ADVANCE ACCESS PROGRAM, WILL MY CHANCES OF ADMISSION TO THE WHARTON MBA PROGRAM BE WORSE IN THE FUTURE?

No, your future application will not be disadvantaged. The Moelis Program is only one pathway to the Wharton MBA Program, and it is highly selective; we hope that the promising candidates who do not gain their spot in the Wharton MBA via the Moelis Program apply to Wharton again after several years of full-time work experience.

WHAT IS THE ENROLLMENT DEPOSIT?

Accepted applicants are expected to pay $1,000 by the enrollment deadline to secure their space in the Moelis Fellows cohort. An additional $1,000 deposit will be paid in the year they matriculate and begin classes.

HOW LONG CAN I DEFER MY START DATE IN THE MBA PROGRAM?

You can defer for two, three, or four years. During those years, you still need to pursue career options that develop professional and leadership skills. You will be required to submit a yearly intent to enroll form, keeping us informed of your plans to matriculate.

HOW WILL I ENGAGE WITH WHARTON DURING MY WORKING DEFERMENT PERIOD?

Moelis Fellows will be a part of a close-knit network of professionals making an impact across the globe – you will be able to grow and learn from one another and Wharton throughout your deferment period. You will remain in contact with Wharton through online communities, electronic communications, invitations to Wharton student conferences, and access to admitted student programming in the year of your matriculation.

Current undergraduate and master’s students from all schools and programs at the University of Pennsylvania are encouraged to apply to the Moelis Advance Access Program.

Students who completed an undergraduate program at Penn receive additional benefits:

  • Waived application fee
  • Special Moelis Fellows gathering at homecoming each year

Additionally, graduates of any of Penn’s undergraduate degree programs who are admitted into the Moelis Advance Access Program are eligible to receive a $10,000 Moelis Fellowship for each year of the Wharton MBA.

If you are a junior at Wharton on schedule to finish early, you may be considering whether you should apply to submatriculate in your junior year or apply for the Moelis Advance Access Program. The Wharton MBA values students bringing professional experience to the MBA classroom. It is rare that students are admitted without any full-time work experience. Unless you have standout entrepreneurship experience or extensive work with a family business that you know you will return to after your studies, then the Moelis Advance Access Program most likely will be a better fit for you. Please talk to your Undergraduate Advisor to help guide you through the decision-making process.

Moelis Fellows Admitted Cohort of 2020 Profile – Penn students

College of Arts and SciencesSchool of Engineering & Applied ScienceThe Wharton SchoolSchool of NursingDual Degree
Number of Students43413

Moelis Fellows Admitted Cohort of 2020 Profile

Every year, we admit a truly outstanding, diverse cohort of students across all academic backgrounds from around the globe to join the Moelis community.

Commits
0
Academic Profile

590 – 790

*GMAT Range
(Average 741)

150 – 169

*GRE Verbal Range
(Average 161.7)
Female
0
%
Academic Profile

3.34 – 4.00

GPA Range
(Average 3.79)

145 – 170

*GRE Quant Range
(Average 163.6)
Colleges/Universities Represented
0
institutions
Undergraduate Academic Program
  • Business/Economics, 31%
  • STEM, 43%
  • Humanities/Social Sciences, 26%

*NOTE: Due to COVID-19, we changed our GMAT/GRE submission policy and not all candidates have submitted scores yet. They have until December 31, 2020 to submit.

Questions about the Moelis Advance Access Program?