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Yale Silver Scholars

Unique opportunity for ambitious college seniors to pursue a Yale MBA degree immediately after graduation and begin an accelerated career path in any industry.

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. After the first year, you will work full-time for one or more years; this extended professional experience will put your management education into practice, develop your leadership skills, and give you a competitive advantage as you pursue a permanent position. After your work experience, 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.

While at Yale, you will learn from our renowned faculty of scholars and active practitioners, and you will have the benefit of your classmates' diverse life and work experiences. The Yale SOM Career Development Office will help you examine possible career paths, develop your networking and interview skills, and pursue an internship and a post-MBA position. The Yale SOM alumni network will serve as a resource during your job search and throughout your life.

Program Overview

Yale SOM Core Curriculum

Full-time Professional Experience/s (one or more years)

Yale Elective Courses

Frequently Asked Questions

The Silver Scholars Program was designed as an opportunity for students to enter our full-time MBA program directly from their academic studies, before acquiring full-time work experience. Candidates are predominantly college seniors who seek to begin the program immediately upon completing their undergraduate studies. The program is also open to students enrolled in a graduate program immediately following their undergraduate studies. Please read through the full criteria below to determine your eligibility.

If you meet the criteria to be considered for the Silver Scholars Program, you may apply in any of the three rounds within the 2024-2025 application cycle (Round 1: September 10, 2024; Round 2: January 7, 2025; Round 3: April 8, 2025), regardless of whether your graduation date falls before or after the deadline for the round in which you are applying.

College Seniors
If you are a college senior and your degree will be conferred between August 1, 2024 and July 31, 2025, you may apply in any round of the 2024-2025 application cycle. If you graduate early (earlier than the typical May/ June 2025 timeframe), starting part-time/ full-time work, taking on internship/s, or pursuing other academic or professional interests upon graduation (for the few months leading up to your enrollment in the Silver Scholars Program), will not affect your eligibility to apply to the Silver Scholars Program.

Graduate Students
If you are in a one- or two-year graduate program that started in the academic year immediately following the conferral of your undergraduate degree, and you did not take more than a few months to work in between the two programs, you are eligible to apply as a Silver Scholar. If you worked full-time for a substantial length of time either before, during, or after your graduate program, you will not be eligible for the Silver Scholars Program. This applies to both residential and online graduate programs.

Special Categories
Recent graduate: If you finished your undergraduate or graduate studies during the 2023-24 academic year, you may petition to be considered for the Silver Scholars Program. Make sure to detail in the Optional Information section of your application why you wish to be considered as a Silver Scholar applicant and why you would benefit from this program structure, given your academic and employment history. Whether you will be considered as a Silver Scholar or traditional MBA applicant will be at the discretion of the committee; we are unable to provide an advance review of your case.

US military service: If you are currently a college senior but have served full-time in the US military for more than two years before or during your college experience, you should apply as a traditional MBA student. Your application will not be considered in the Silver Scholars pool.

International military service: Short-term (up to two years) military service is mandatory in some countries around the world. If you complete such service before or during your college experience, you are still eligible to apply as a Silver Scholar. If you have more than two years of military service, your application will not be considered for the Silver Scholars Program.

International students: If your undergraduate degree entails a three-year course of study and is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible to apply as a Silver Scholar in your final year of studies. We evaluate this academic experience on par with that of a four-year undergraduate degree.

Integrated bachelor’s/ master’s programs: If you are completing an integrated 4- or 5-year program which allows you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at the end, you are eligible to apply as a Silver Scholar. You must apply in your final year of studies.

Gap year(s) during college: If you took time during your college experience to work in a part-time or full-time role, volunteer, complete one or more internships, a fellowship, or start your own company, you will still be considered for the Silver Scholars Program. If that work experience amounts to a significant number of years, a different determination might be made at the discretion of the committee.

Medical students: If you are currently an MD student, have completed a medical degree, or are in a medical residency, you most likely will not be considered for the Silver Scholars Program. You should apply as a traditional MBA candidate; we consider the activities associated with medical training as full-time work experience. Depending on the stage of your medical training and your intention to practice medicine at the start of your career, the committee might make a different determination. The committee’s decision will be rendered upon application review; no advance reviews can be offered.

Joint-degree candidates: Silver Scholar candidates can apply to any of the joint-degree programs across the Yale campus, with the exception of the two-year accelerated joint-degree program with the Yale School of Public Health (Silver Scholars remain eligible for admission to the 3-year joint-degree option).

If you are enrolled in a graduate program at Yale directly after your undergraduate program and are interested in pursuing a joint degree, you will typically be considered for the Silver Scholars Program, regardless of the duration of your graduate program (exceptions include students at the Yale School of Medicine and Yale Law School). You may contact us if you have questions about your eligibility or course of study.

Non-traditional students: If you pursued a non-traditional course of undergraduate study, we will evaluate your academics and work experience on a case-by-case basis after the application deadline. Typically, if you have extensive professional full-time work experience at any point before, during, or after college, you will not be considered for the Silver Scholars Program.

Case Review
Whether you are considered for the Silver Scholars Program or the standard MBA program is at the discretion of the admissions committee. We will evaluate all applicants on a case-by-case basis when we begin our full application review after each round’s deadline; unfortunately, we are unable to provide advance review of cases. Rest assured, we will match you with the program best suited to your academic and professional experiences, and with your best opportunity for admission.

Silver Scholars are chosen for their combination of intelligence and common sense, maturity and curiosity, passion and compassion. Each has made a difference and distinguished themselves in a particular field of interest. We are looking for pre-professional students who will be future leaders in business, government, and nonprofit endeavors.

We welcome students from all academic majors and professional interests into the program. Many students join the program from quantitative backgrounds in economics, business, finance, accounting, statistics, and mathematics. Others have earned degrees in majors across the humanities such as English language and literature, history, philosophy, film studies, and architecture. Still others have completed their studies in computer science, engineering, and the physical or biological sciences.

Every resume looks different. While some students have engaged in structured summer or winter internships across industries such as consulting, finance, technology, and marketing, others have gained experience through SMEs, family firms, start-ups, and NGOs. Some have worked at the largest multi-national and multi-lateral organizations; others have started their own ventures or passionately served their communities. We welcome students with many different backgrounds into the program and appreciate the way in which they enrich the Yale SOM community through the variety of perspectives and experiences that they bring.

Applicants to the Yale SOM Silver Scholars Program complete the same online application as all others applying to the  full-time MBA program. However, there are a few aspects of the application process that differ for Silver Scholars applicants:

Letters of Recommendation: Silver Scholars must provide two letters of recommendation: one (1) letter from an academic instructor or advisor and one (1) letter from an employer who served in a supervisory capacity. Academic recommendation: This can be a faculty member who has taught you in class and graded your performance; or an academic dean, mentor, or advisor who has observed your performance and is familiar with your academic achievements, curricular, extra-curricular, and co-curricular activities. Employer recommendation: This should be a manager or supervisor under whom you have completed an internship or any other type of professional experience (research, lab, special project) during college (full-time during a summer/ winter internship or part-time during the academic year). If you have no work experience, then you may secure a letter from an extracurricular activity or volunteer organization in which you have been actively involved.

Interview: If invited to interview, Silver Scholar applicants will spend one half-hour interviewing with one or two members of the Silver Scholars Committee. The interview will focus on your academic and professional experiences as well as your broader interests and career aspirations.

Work Experience: As a current college student or recent graduate, your professional track record may consist primarily of internships, research, part-time work, or limited full-time experience. You’ll have the opportunity to detail these experiences in the Work Experience section of the application, as well as on your resume. To ensure the correct questions populate on your application, be sure to first fill in the “College Seniors” questions in the Academic Record section. If you miss this step, you will only be prompted to add full-time, post-undergraduate experience in the Work Experience section, and will not have the opportunity to add internships or other work that took place during college.

Activities: You may use this space in your application to highlight up to two (2) activities to which you dedicate a significant amount of time outside of class. Do not re-list internship experiences in this section. Instead, be sure to detail activities and engagements that are meaningful to you. You may want to expand upon activities listed on your resume to illustrate your role and commitment more fully, or you may introduce new activities not covered in your resume. Do not make any entries under “Post-undergraduate Activities” unless you are a graduate student.

Silver Scholars pursue varied paths for their internships and post-graduation. They have secured roles at organizations such as Boston Consulting Group, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Vanguard, Coca-Cola, Bain & Company, Dow Jones, PwC, Tesla Motors, the U.S. State Department, Deloitte Consulting, Morgan Stanley, Uber, Bank of America, Blackrock, JPMorgan Chase, and Microsoft, among other organizations. Their post-MBA positions include jobs at Google, Barclays Capital, McKinsey, Mercy Corps, Citigroup, British Petroleum, Deutsche Bank, New Energy Capital Partners, Kraft Heinz, Credit Suisse, Facebook, Amazon, and the U.S. Treasury.

Meet Yale Silver Scholars

Mena Cammett

“After spending the last seven years helping investors manage country risk in emerging markets, it’s clear to me that the Silver Scholar Program paved the way for my career.”

—Mena Cammett ’12

“The Silver Scholars Program has been an invaluable asset for my personal and professional development.”

—Andrey Simeonov ’21

andrey simeonov portrait
Kelly Xu portrait

“SOM taught me how to think about my career choice systematically in terms of industry, function, and career path.”

—Kelly Xu ’17


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