University of California – Admissions
How to apply
Personal insight questions
The personal insight questions are about getting to know you better — your life experience, interests, ambitions and inspirations.
Think of it as your interview with the admissions office. Be open. Be reflective. Find your individual voice and express it.
While this section of the application is just one part we consider when making our admission decision, it helps provide context for the rest of your application.
Welcome to UCLA
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Los Angeles is about dreaming big, so let us help you realize your dreams. At UCLA, you can discover your purpose, develop your career and determine to make a meaningful difference in society. That’s what it means to be part of the worldwide UCLA community.
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Personal Insight Questions
The following are tips to help applicants find appropriate topics, styles, and tones for their answers to the personal insight questions. Please also see the University of California’s instructions.
In your application—including your answers to the personal insight questions—we are looking for evidence of your intellectual curiosity and your interest in personal development. UCLA is a dynamic and exciting place—due largely to our creative, ambitious, and diverse student body. We anticipate that the applicants we admit will contribute to the intellectual vitality, cultural life, and diversity of UCLA.
Your Answers to the Personal Insight Questions
- These questions are about getting to know you better, so be open, reflective, find your individual voice and express it.
- Freshman Applicants: You will have 8 questions to choose from, you must respond to any 4 of the 8 questions. The questions you choose to answer are entirely up to you.
- Transfer Applicants: There is one required question you must answer; then you answer 3 out of 7 additional questions. Which 3 of the 7 you choose to answer are entirely up to you.
- All applicants: We recommend you select questions that are most relevant to your experience and best reflect your individual circumstances.
- All questions will be given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
- Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
Tips for Success
Give yourself time to think about your topics, and carefully consider the rationale behind each question.
Be clear. Be focused. Be organized.
Make sure your answers to the personal insight questions follow a logical structure. Try to think about how it may seem to an audience who doesn’t know you. Input from people you trust—teachers, friends, relatives—can help you get different perspectives on how your answers to the questions affect those who are reading them.
Be careful with humor and clichés.
What might seem funny or bitingly ironic to you might not seem that way to someone who doesn’t know you. Remember that these questions are an opportunity for you to give us a complete picture of yourself. Don’t allow clichés to speak for you.
Don’t manufacture hardship.
Your answer to a personal insight question isn’t effective simply because it chronicles difficult circumstances. Rather, an effective answer to any question gives us a clear sense of your personal qualities and how you have used and developed them in response to your opportunities and challenges.
Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.
Most students will answer some of these questions discussing initiative. A much smaller number will show us initiative with concrete examples of demonstrated motivation and leadership. But examples are only one part of the equation: we need you to prove to us with written examples that you have a sense of who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to use your education and your experiences to accomplish your goals. Although some events have long-term or even lifetime ramifications, it is usually better to focus on recent events because they shed more light on who you are right now.
Finally, give yourself plenty of time for revisions.
Read your writing to others, and revise for clarity in content and in style. Pay attention to rules of correct grammar and punctuation, and don’t forget to spell check.
We hope these tips will help you get organized and will inspire you. Your accomplishments, your opinions…you are important! Your answers to these questions are the best tool you have to show us the individual gifts you have to offer to the UCLA community.
Please visit the University of California site for more help with your personal insight questions, including the text of the questions you will be asked to answer.
Special Instructions for Veterans
The University is interested in knowing about your military service. Therefore, you may wish to use the personal insight questions to communicate the following.
- Describe how your military service has been instrumental in developing your educational plans.
- Indicate if you are entitled to educational benefits as a result of your own military service to the service connected death or disability of a parent or spouse.
- Indicate if you are affiliated with the military such as, but not limited to, the spouse or dependent of someone who is on active duty or a current participant in an ROTC-type program.
The UC Personal Insight Guides are also available in Spanish.
University of California – Admissions
How to apply
Freshman: Personal insight questions
What do you want UC to know about you? Here’s your chance to tell us in your own words.
- You will have 8 questions to choose from. You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions.
- Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
- Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you: But you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.
Keep in mind
- All questions are equal: All are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
- There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions: It’s about getting to know your personality, background, interests and achievements in your own unique voice.
Questions & guidance
Remember, the personal questions are just that — personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help. The important thing is expressing who you are, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC.
1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?
How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?
Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?
If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today?
If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?”
Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?
7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?
From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don’t be afraid to brag a little.
Need more help?
- Download the worksheet for freshman applicants [PDF]
- See our writing tips & techniques
Ready to get started?
It’s a good idea to work on the questions before you enter them into the application. Here’s a word doc with all the questions to help you.
Ucla admission essay
- ADMISSION OVERVIEW
- UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSION
- GRADUATE ADMISSION
- EXTENSION ENROLLMENT
- INTERNATIONAL ADMISSION
- TRANSFER ADMISSION
- AFFORDABILITY & FINANCIAL AID
What are you looking for in a university? Are you hoping to just learn or make an impact? Would you like to leave with a degree or a career?
At UCLA we’re looking for more than straight-A students. You might also be in your high school’s jazz band and the starting point guard on the basketball team. Or perhaps you’re the senior class president and coordinator of a local charity organization. Ideally, you are all these things and more.
And your rich experience brings the type of perspective and leadership we value at UCLA. Continue to Undergraduate Admission
Ucla admission essay
- ADMISSION OVERVIEW
- UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSION
- GRADUATE ADMISSION
- EXTENSION ENROLLMENT
- INTERNATIONAL ADMISSION
- TRANSFER ADMISSION
- AFFORDABILITY & FINANCIAL AID
It’s a responsibility. As a student, you will be charged with impacting the world from the moment you step on campus. You will be given every resource and opportunity that comes with the second-highest ranked public university in the nation. You will be supported and guided by faculty who are the foremost experts in their field.
Whether you’re enrolling in our undergraduate program or pursuing a graduate degree, UCLA provides a reach and scope of academic experience that has a reputation for producing world-renowned, highly influential, game-changing graduates. They are politicians and Academy Award-winning directors. Olympic gold medalists and Nobel Prize winners. Doctors, scientists, researchers and social activists who aren’t just saving lives—they’re changing life as we know it.
Here are the most common questions we get from students who are considering UCLA.
Q: How DO I APPLY?
Q: When should I apply?
A: Fall quarters (which begin in late September): the usual deadline is November 30 of the prior year.
The deadline to apply to Fall Quarter 2017 has passed. The next opportunity to apply will be for Fall Quarter 2018; the application will be available in August.
Winter quarters: UCLA is not open to new students for winter quarters.
Spring quarters: UCLA is not open to new students for spring quarters.
Q: What are the average GPA and test scores for freshmen admitted to UCLA?
A: These statistics and many more are available on our Freshman Profile page.
This is often the first question prospective freshmen ask us. Many students instinctively focus on GPA and test scores without fully understanding how these numbers are used in our admission process. These statistics are only two of the elements we use in our academic review; we carefully balance many factors to gain a complete sense of an applicant’s achievements.
Here are some of the additional criteria we will use to evaluate your application:
- The quality, content, and level of college prep courses you have taken throughout your entire high school program, especially coursework completed beyond the minimum University of California subject requirement.
- The strength of your senior year coursework.
- The number of and performance in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), school-designated honors, and college courses you have taken, particularly in your junior and senior years.
- The degree to which you have challenged yourself within the context of your own high school.
So you can see that GPA and test scores are just two of the elements we will examine within the larger context of your academic achievements.
Q: Which counts more in admission decisions–grades or test scores?
A: GPA–combined with the quantity and level of your high school courses–is of primary importance (a strong GPA, for instance, on an academic program that lacks honors level courses or does not include courses well beyond those that meet the basic UC subject requirement, will not likely result in admission). That being said, test scores are still an important element.
First and foremost, you should take the most challenging courses you are able to handle. This is also the best way to prepare for your standardized tests. It is also a good idea to be prepared to take the tests more than once–in other words, don’t wait until your senior year. That way, if you do not perform your best on some tests, you have a chance retake them in the fall of your senior year.
We also find academic strength in AP exams with scores of 3 and above (and IB exams with scores of 5 and above).
It should be noted, however, that because UCLA does not use a mathematical formula when evaluating applicants, there is no fixed numerical weight attached to either GPA or test scores.
Q: Is it easier to be admitted to UCLA as a freshman or as a transfer student?
A: To be admitted as a transfer student is not necessarily harder or easier than being admitted as a freshman; the two paths are different. For freshman applicants we look primarily at the performance in high school and on the standardized tests, whereas transfer applicants do not provide information about their high school curriculum and are not required to take standardized tests. For transfer applicants, the degree of preparation for the major and the college GPA are crucial considerations; strong preference is given to students ready for upper division coursework in their major. Some majors at the transfer level are highly competitive, and preparedness and GPA are even more important for applicants to these majors.
Instead of thinking of freshman vs. transfer admission in terms of "easier" or "harder," we encourage you to reflect upon your own personal circumstances and preparedness for university work when deciding which path to UCLA is more appropriate for you.
Q: What’s the difference between Meeting UC admission requirements and being competitive?
A: The University of California (UC)’s admission requirements depend upon whether you are a freshman or transfer applicant and whether you are a California resident.
Applicants who meet the UC’s admission requirements have at least met the minimum academic preparation necessary for admission to the one of the campuses in the UC system. However, since several UC campuses, including UCLA, receive far more applications from qualified applicants than we have room to accept, students who apply here must exceed these criteria to be a likely candidate for admission. This brings us to the next term–competitive:
Students who are admitted usually have academic achievements far higher than the minimum requirements. So, to gain admission, an applicant must also be "competitive," or among the strongest achieving students to apply. Last year, UCLA admitted approximately 18% of the freshmen who applied.
Q: Does my choice of major have an impact on my chances for admission?
A: For freshmen applying to a major in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science (L&S), choice of major will neither enhance nor diminish their prospects for admission. In fact, a large number of freshman applicants apply as "undeclared." Major is a factor for freshmen applying to non-L&S schools at UCLA (Arts and Architecture; Engineering; Nursing; Theater, Film and Television).
For transfer students, major choice is extremely important for all applicants. Our evaluation of transfer applications is based largely on students’ preparation for the major they select and their GPAs in the completed preparatory courses. We give preference to applicants with strong academic records who will be ready to begin upper division coursework in their major when they enter UCLA.
All applicants–freshman and transfer–should be aware that applicants to majors in the School of the Arts and Architecture; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the School of Nursing; and the School of Theater, Film and Television are evaluated differently than applicants to the College of Letters and Science:
The majors in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science are very competitive–especially Bioengineering. All engineering applicants will be expected to have especially strong performances in math and science courses.
The School of Nursing has a separate application in addition to the general UC application that all applicants to the school must complete.
Q: What tips can you give me about answering the personal insight questions?
A: The personal insight questions provide an opportunity for you to tell us more about yourself, your life experiences, and your personal qualities so that we can have a clearer idea of your personal and intellectual development. Applicants must choose four out of eight questions to answer. They give students flexibility and control in what personal stories they want to tell. You should use the personal insight questions to give us a more complete picture of you by augmenting—not repeating—the information elsewhere in the application. The tips we have to offer you are surprisingly straightforward and based on a lot of common sense—the sort that is easily lost under the pressure of the application process.
Q: How can I find out more about the different majors at UCLA?
A: Students are attracted to UCLA for its wealth of distinguished academic and research programs. Six exceptional schools on campus offer undergraduate instruction leading to a Bachelor’s degree. We encourage you to investigate all of them.
Q: Is it better to take a regular-level course and get an A or take an AP course and get a B?
A: We are looking for students who are taking advantage of the opportunities available to them at their schools. IF you have the opportunity to take advanced courses, take them.
The University of California adds extra "weight" to grades received in UC-certified honors, AP/IB, and transferable college courses. (For more information about how letter grades are assigned point values in calculating GPAs, refer to the UC’s page on calculating your GPA.
At UCLA we recognize that honors, AP/IB, and college courses are more rigorous and require high levels of commitment and effort. By choosing the most advanced courses for which you are prepared-and by doing well in them-you can send a powerful message about your desire to challenge yourself in an academic environment and about your preparation for the demands of UCLA’s academic programs.
Q: Which is better to take: honors, AP/IB, or college courses?
A: UC-certified honors, AP/IB, and transferable college courses are equally meritorious in the sense that they are all challenging courses, and they all add extra weight to an applicant’s GPA.
(For more information about the definition of honors-level courses, refer to the UC’s document on honors courses.)
The benefit of an AP/IB course is that it is part of a nationally standardized program culminating in an exam that, if passed, can earn college credit. Similarly, satisfactory grades received in transferable college courses will also earn credit at UCLA. High school honors courses, in contrast, will not earn college credit. If you are still in high school and are interested in completing college courses, you can access a list of UC-transferable courses offered at California community colleges at www.assist.org.
Q: I am getting involved in a lot of extracurricular activities and sometimes I can’t keep up with my classes. Won’t my activities make up for any drop in my grades?
A: Of course, a strong academic performance combined with sustained, meaningful involvement in extracurricular activities is the ideal. But if it comes down to a choice between excelling in your coursework or your extracurricular activities, choose your academics.
Q: What are the best extracurricular activities to be involved in?
A: We do not consider any one kind of extracurricular activity inherently "better" than another. What is important is that students select activities that are truly meaningful to them and that they really get involved with them. We look for long-standing dedication and significant time commitment to an activity, and we notice students’ progression to positions of leadership or recognition of achievement.
Q: Do you have limits on the number of students you can accept from a given high school or community college?
A: No. There is no limit on the number of students UCLA can accept from a given school. Each student is evaluated on the basis of his or her individual achievements and potential for contributing to UCLA. We evaluate freshman applicants in the context of their individual high schools as well as in the context of the applicant pool as a whole. We evaluate transfer applicants based on their preparation and performance within the pool of applicants to their majors as well as in the context of the entire transfer pool. Students should take advantage of all the academic and intellectual opportunities available to them in their schools and communities.
Q: How many out-of-state and international students apply to UCLA, and how many are admitted?
A: UCLA received almost 35,000 freshman applications from out-of-state and international freshman applicants for the fall 2015 term. Over 6,500 of them were admitted. Since UCLA is a state-supported institution, the vast majority (about 90%) of our undergraduates are California residents. UCLA, however, enrolls students from all 50 states and from over 100 countries.
Q: How can I get on UCLA’s admissions mailing list?
A: You can sign up to receive e-mails for prospective students here. We also maintain a General Information Library which contains PDF versions of all our print publications.
UCLA Admissions Essays
These college essays are from students who got accepted at University of California – Los Angeles. Use them to get inspiration for your own essays and knock the socks off those admissions officers!
1. The World I Come From
It is incredible how social environment plays such a great role in a person’s holistic development. It is like the butterfly effect on an individual, yet grand scale. Each decision is like a ripple that spreads out uniformly, increases many fold, and eventually changes the person’s futur.
2. Resource in Mind
I only allow myself to watch one movie in theatres every year. Although some people may view me as cheap, my frugal nature has been a strong source of my self-identity. This sense of resourcefulness is apparent throughout my family’s activities, whether it is cooking our own dinner or bargaini.
3. Education is my life
Many scholars have come up with different definitions for the concept of education. Some motivational speakers call it “the key to success”. Others refer to it as the backbone of our society. Many leaders, especially duri.
Essays That Worked
Read the top 3 college essays that worked at UCLA and more. Learn more.
University of California – Los Angeles Facts
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the second-oldest of the general-education campuses of the University of California system. UCLA is considered a Public Ivy of the UC.
- 18.6% acceptance rate
- 43,239 enrolled students
- $12,753 tuition & fees
- #23 in US News & World Report
Located in Los Angeles, CA
- 108,029 views
A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring. Alexander Pope
What is Study Notes?
That’s easy — it’s the best way to study for AP classes and AP exams! StudyNotes offers fast, free study tools for AP students. Our AP study guides, practice tests, and notes are the best on the web because they’re contributed by students and teachers like yourself. Always 100% free.
Ucla admission essay
The application process ensures we find not only the best students, but also the most diverse group to fit hand-in-glove with our Think in the Next credo.
We make sure that you and your classmates will excel while supporting each other in reaching beyond conventional thinking and becoming the industry-shaping leaders of tomorrow.
All applicants must apply to the MBA program online. Applications will be accepted for fall 2018 starting August 1, 2017. The application fee is $200. Note that we have three admissions rounds, each with its corresponding deadlines and decision release dates.
Four-year Bachelor’s Degree or Equivalent
Candidates must hold a completed undergraduate degree in order to enroll in our MBA program. Usually this is a four-year bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent in other countries.
International applicants with just a three-year undergraduate degree may be admitted if the Admissions Committee determines that their entire academic profile and overall application are strong enough.
- You should submit scanned copies of your academic records with your application. Only applicants invited to interview should send us official hard-copy documents upon request.
- Records needed from schools outside the United States include multiple documents as described on the International Students page.
- We understand the differing rigor of schools and grading scales around the world, and we always evaluate academics within their own context, without converting them to any other system. Grades on scales other than the American 4.0 standard should NOT be converted for reporting purposes on the application. No discrepancy should exist between what you report and what we see on your transcripts.
- Undergraduate majors of all kinds are welcome in the class: we seek some business and economics graduates but also engineers, scientists and those who studied liberal arts.
- Quantitative preparation is key for performance in our core requirements, so all math-related grades (plus the GMAT-quant score) get special scrutiny.
- Grade trends are important, and we like to see averages that get better over time as undergraduates learn to thrive in their chosen major. We give you the benefit of the doubt for occasional difficulty in classes, but our students tend to show a consistent level of functioning above their peers.
- If you want to bolster your academic profile, you could complete additional coursework now and submit the transcript with the application for consideration. MBA-related classes such as calculus, statistics, accounting or finance are preferred.
- Professional certifications such as CFA, CPA, Chartered Accountant, etc., can add value to your profile and there is a section in the application to note them.
- Undergraduate courses taken in a term at another institution (e.g., during an exchange program) do not require an additional transcript as long as they appear on the degree-granting school’s transcript. You should submit transcripts for all coursework taken after secondary school (high school).
- To facilitate our evaluation of your degree(s), you may choose to supply a course-by-course credential evaluation report from World Education Services along with the scanned documents from your school.
All applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE), though no minimum score is required. For an idea of the typical range we admit, see the latest class profile.
The GMAT and/or GRE test date must be no earlier than five years before the application submission date to be valid, and not later than the deadline date for the round in which you are applying.
- Within the MBA application, you must report the test date and score you want the Admissions Committee to evaluate.
- Applications cannot be reviewed without complete test scores (as self-reported by the candidate or officially by the GMAT or GRE office), and applications are only reviewed in the round when scores are received.
- Official GMAT score reports are sent electronically upon your request from Pearson VUE to UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions (with the School Code 2NZ-2F-24). Official scores are required for enrollment but not for applying.
- Official GRE score reports are sent electronically upon your request from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions (with the school code 0771).
- We primarily evaluate your top score, but all scores reported to UCLA Anderson are visible to the Admissions Committee.
- No minimum GMAT score is required, and the Admissions Committee has the flexibility to consider all scores in the context of your overall academic preparation and management potential.
- For further information and testing arrangements, please visit the GMAT or GRE website.
Although the majority of our students do have full-time work experience, early career and college senior prospective students may still apply.
We evaluate candidates on their work in any given field after the completion of their undergraduate degree. Backgrounds and interests vary widely among our students, but they all share a vision of how the MBA will empower their future.
- Quality of experience is more important than quantity.
- We look at your impact in the context of the time you had and the field you’re in.
- Diverse paths lead to business school, and we find that students learn more when we mix people from every type and level of organization. Your application should show us how you will contribute to the mix of your class.
- We are most impressed by increasing levels of responsibility over time; those who advance faster than their peers are the people we admit first.
- The majority of our students are career-switchers using the MBA to leverage roles in a new field. Others will springboard back into higher positions in their current sectors.
- We admit very few people without at least a year or two of post-baccalaureate work. Our “early career” admits contribute more in terms of academic excellence and contagious study skills.
- Leadership in work, campus or community organizations helps to demonstrate management potential. Show us that you can commit to an organization, create a vision and motivate others to achieve goals together.
- Jobs held prior to completing your undergraduate degree may be listed if desired, but our focus is on post-baccalaureate experience.
- A resume must be submitted with the application and should create a compelling summary of your career, ideally on one page but not more than two pages.
New applicants are required to submit two recommendations. Reapplicants only need to submit one new recommendation. Recommendations should be written by individuals who are well acquainted with your performance in a work setting, preferably from a direct supervisor or manager.
The recommendations provide us with third-party confirmation and insights into your achievements. You should choose recommenders who will support your candidacy with concrete examples of performance and impact on the organization.
- Questions from the online recommendation form are shown below and are for reference only.
- The Recommendations must be submitted online, not via hard-copy responses to these questions.
- You must register your recommenders, who then use the confidential online link they receive directly from our online application. Your recommenders also have the option to upload an additional document if desired.
- If a recommender does not write in English, the uploaded document can be a certified translation of their comments.
- Only two recommendations are accepted per application.
- Ideally your recommendations should be from current direct supervisors or managers who are best equipped to answer questions about your leadership, communication, teamwork, initiative and other skills.
- If you are unable to ask a current supervisor for a recommendation, then you can ask a former boss, a manager from another department, or a consultant or client who knows you well enough to answer the questions insightfully.
- Academic contacts are not usually able to provide information on management potential. Similarly, family members, peers and friends are not appropriate as recommenders.
- Your recommenders’ own titles or positions are not important – instead, their ability to comment knowledgeably and specifically about you is vital.
- Letters from contacts (including alumni) who do not know you well cannot add value like direct supervisors can.
- Recommendations are due by the application deadline.
- Re-applicants only need 1 recommendation.
Recommendation Questions and Topics*
- 1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization.
- 2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?)
- 3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.
*Please note: Questions and topics listed above are for reference only. Actual submission of letters of recommendation is done online, through the online application system only.
For the 2017–2018 application year (to start in 2018), first-time applicants must respond to one essay question and one short answer question. Reapplicants are required to respond to the reapplicant essay question.
Essay Question: Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)
(For applicants who applied for the MBA program in the previous two years)
Optional Question: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)
No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit a response to the optional question.
Your essays are the primary way for you to share your perspectives and plans with the Admissions Committee. The best essays are introspective, genuine and succinct in directly answering our questions and responding to our topics.
- You should try to distinguish yourself by showing what makes you different from others who share similar profiles.
- Personal expression is what we are looking for, not platitudes.
- Making a strong case for your future plans requires you to first do research on career paths and find one that resonates. Even if this target will change during business school, your application essays should lay out a clear trajectory for short-term and long-term goals. Do this by demonstrating how you expect to build on skills from your past, and those you expect to gain from the MBA.
- Essays are more compelling if they include specific courses, programs, groups, opportunities and activities from which you would benefit if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through online research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).
- Content and clarity are key elements, as we seek superior communication skills.
- Style is a consideration, too, although we understand that those who speak other languages may have different manners of expression in English. We do check your essays for plagiarism, so make sure you always submit your own work.
- Length does not equal strength. A well-written short essay can have even more impact than a longer essay. Please try to respect the word limits indicated above.
- All essays and short answer responses are to be submitted in written form only.
- All essays and short answer responses are to be entered directly in the text box provided in your application.
Interviews are conducted on an invitation basis only after submitted applications are reviewed. An interview must be completed to be admitted to the program.
Interviews are conducted on an invitation-only basis and one is required before admission can be offered. Applications are reread following the interview, comments are added, and then the Admissions Committee decides whether to make an admission offer.
- Instructions on how to set up an interview are provided at the time of invitation.
- Interviews are held on campus, or off campus via Skype, and they last approximately 30 minutes.
- All interviews carry equal weight; they are conducted by second-year MBA students who are thoroughly trained on our evaluation metrics and on providing current perspectives for candidates.
- Interviewing on campus allows candidates to see the campus and visit a class, but there is no advantage to interviewing on or off campus.
- Interviews are blind in order to avoid interviewer bias. Your interviewer will receive a copy of your resume in advance but will not see your application.
- Questions are straightforward and generally cover topics already addressed in the application, such as reasons for getting an MBA, short-term and long-term career goals, fit with UCLA Anderson and personal interests.
- Pre-rehearsed speeches do not make for a good interview. You should be prepared to succinctly walk your interviewer through your resume in 2 minutes or less so that there is ample time left to discuss specific areas your interviewer may want to explore with you.
- Remember that the word “interview” implies an exchange of views between people, so be ready with pertinent questions and go with the flow of the conversation.
- Business attire is appropriate for this professional interview, and we check photo identification to ensure integrity.
- After being invited for an interview you should submit official test scores and hard-copy official academic records to us, as described in your interview invitation.
- Hint: Relax, be genuine and enjoy the opportunity for us to get to know each other.
TOEFL / IELTS
TOEFL or IELTS scores are required of all applicants EXCEPT those from a select list of countries. For more information please refer to UCLA Graduate Division Office English requirements.
Please note that work experience in English is not sufficient for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver; the key factor is being educated in English.
- Applicants who were educated in countries where English is not the primary spoken language of daily life are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS, no matter the language used at their school. This includes applicants with degrees from multilingual countries such as India, Nigeria, Pakistan and others.
- No preference is given to either language test and all scores will be evaluated in conjunction with GMAT verbal scores and the AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) to determine your true proficiency level.
- Applications cannot be reviewed without complete test scores (as self-reported by you or officially by the testing firm), and applications are only reviewed in the round during which your scores are submitted.
- Official TOEFL score reports are sent electronically upon your request from ETS to UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions (with the School Code 4837-02). Official scores are required for admission but not for applying. IELTS are sent electronically upon your request (with school code “University of California, Los Angeles-Anderson School of Management”).
- Work experience in English is not sufficient for a waiver of the language exam requirement.
- More information on the university’s testing rules for all international applicants is available under UCLA Graduate Division’s English requirements.
- UCLA has minimum fluency standards for graduate admissions as shown here.
Reapplicants are those who submitted a completed MBA application within the previous two years (that is, who applied for the MBA program starting in 2016 or 2017) and received a final decision. The process to reapply is streamlined:
- Create a new application.
- Indicate on the Additional Info page of the application that you are a reapplicant.
- Submit only one new recommendation.
- Watch for decision notifications according to the standard release schedule.
- You will be evaluated by the same standards as first-time applicants, so there is no disadvantage to reapplying.
- Highlighting progress made since the prior application is the best way to get a different result this time.
- Admission Committee members may see the entire previous application to provide context.
- Standardized test scores (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and IELTS) remain on file if previously reported, though scores are subject to expiration dates.
- You may submit new test scores if desired and, of course, higher scores make an application more competitive.
- If you would like to get feedback on your application from the past season before reapplying, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org between June 1 and June 15 (please put “feedback request” in the subject line), and we will schedule a telephone feedback session with you in late June.
Required Reapplicant Essay Question: Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)
Decision release date December 15, 2017
Decision release date March 29, 2018
Decision release date May 24, 2018
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