University of California
Freshman Admission Requirements
UCLA receives applications from far more students than it can admit. To gain admission to UCLA, you need to present an academic profile much stronger than represented by the minimum UC admission requirements below. The Freshman Profile gives some idea of what the academics of competitive applicants look like.
The "a–g" subject requirements represent the 15 minimum academic preparatory courses that freshman applicants must have to be meet University of California admission requirements. Applicants must complete 11 of the 15 "a–g" requirements by the end of their junior year. For more information on these requirements, please visit the UC a-g interactive website. The University of California also maintains a list of certified "a-g" courses for high schools in California.
(a): History/Social Science
2 years required – Two years of history/social science including one year of world history, cultures, and geography; and or one year U.S. history or one half year U.S. history and one half year of civics or American government.
4 years required – Four years of college preparatory English that include the reading of classic and modern literature and frequent and regular writing. No more than one year of ESL-type courses can be used to meet this requirement.
3 years required, 4 years recommended – Three years of college-preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra, and one year-long course in geometry that includes two and three-dimensional geometry. Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement, as may math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades that your high school accepts as equivalent to its own math courses.
(d): Laboratory Science
2 years required, 3 years recommended – fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three foundational subjects: biology, chemistry, and physics. Advanced laboratory science courses that have biology, chemistry, or physics as prerequisites and offer substantial new material may be used to fulfill this requirement. The last two years of an approved three-year integrated science program that provides rigorous coverage of at least two of the three foundational subjects may be used to fulfill this requirement.
(e): Language other than English
2 years required, 3 years recommended – Two years of the same language other than English. Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding and include instruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading, composition, and culture. Courses in languages other English taken in the seventh and eighth grades may be used to fulfill part of this requirement if your high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.
(f): Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)
1 year required – A single year-long approved arts course from a single VPA discipline: dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art.
(g): College Preparatory Electives
1 year required – One year (two semesters), in addition to those required in "a-f" above, chosen from the following areas: visual and performing arts (non-introductory-level courses), history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science, and a language other than English (a third year in the language used for the "e" requirement or two years of another language).
For additional information regarding the University of California a-g subject requirements, please visit the UC’s Doorways website.
Applicants must submit scores on an approved core test of mathematics, language arts, and writing. This requirement can be satisfied by taking the following:
Note: The SAT exam changed significantly as of March, 2016. Applicants may submit scores from either or both the old and new SAT, however those who take the new SAT must complete the essay section for UCLA (or any University of California campus) to recognize the exam. We will accept scores from either the old or new SAT for all freshman applicants who graduate from high school prior to 2020; applicants who graduate in 2020 or later must take the new SAT.
Note: for each test above, we will use the sitting with the overall highest composite score; we do not combine test scores from multiple sittings.
- Applicants to the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science also are strongly encouraged to take the following SAT Subject Tests: Math Level 2 and a science test (Biology E/M, Chemistry, or Physics) that is closely related to the applicant’s intended major.
Take these tests as early as possible, and have your test scores sent directly to UCLA. December of the year prior to the fall you intend to enter UCLA is the latest you can take any test in time for scores to be used for our selection process.
The Scholarship Requirement defines the minimum grade point average (GPA) in the "a-g" subjects to meet University of California admission requirements. The minimum GPA for California applicants is 3.0. It’s 3.4 for nonresidents.
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.
Freshman Admission – 2017-18
Guide for Freshman Applicants
This page provides admission selection information for freshman applicants. Refer to Applying for Admission for information about how to obtain an application and application filing deadlines.
Each year UCLA admits an extraordinary group of students. We have carefully designed our review process to ensure fairness and expand opportunity. We perform a holistic review of all applicants to UCLA in which all of your achievements, both academic and non-academic, are considered in the context of the opportunities you have had and how fully you have taken advantage of those opportunities. No single attribute or characteristic guarantees admission. Since admission to UCLA is highly selective, it is crucial that freshman applicants present complete pictures of themselves, their educational histories and their personal perspectives by thoroughly and carefully completing the application.
How UCLA Selects Its Freshman Class
We consider the following academic elements:
- Academic grade point average (GPA), calculated using 10th and 11th grade UC–approved courses only
- Performance on standardized tests: the ACT Assessment Plus Writing or the SAT
Note: if you take the new SAT exam (March, 2016 and later) you must complete the essay section for UCLA to recognize the exam.
UCLA Undergraduate Admission reviews all applicants for admission. Freshman applicants to the UCLA College of Letters and Science are reviewed without regard for major. Therefore, no Letters and Science major (including Undeclared) is more or less selective than any other. Representatives from all other schools—the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science ; the School of the Arts and Architecture; the Herb Alpert School of Music; the School of Nursing; and the School of Theater, Film and Television—further review their respective applicants and admit students by major. The portfolio/audition is the primary consideration in the review of applicants to the School of the Arts and Architecture; the Herb Alpert School of Music; and the School of Theater, Film and Television. Applicants to the School of Nursing must submit a supplemental application.
The Personal Insight Questions
The personal insight question portion of the application allows you to provide information that will give us more insight about you during the review process. Your answers to the personal insight questions should add clarity, richness, and meaning to the information in the other parts of your application. You should respond to four of the eight questions and share with us the accomplishments, perspectives, experiences, and talents that are important to you. The answers to the questions should reflect your own personal perspectives and should complement, not repeat, the information included elsewhere in your application.
The personal insight questions.
- Offers us an understanding of you as a unique individual within the context of your family, school, community, and the world
- Provides us with information that may not be evident in other parts of your application
- Is a forum for you to explain how factors outside of your school environment have enhanced or impeded your ability to maximize available academic and intellectual opportunities
We use these elements from the application to increase our understanding of you as a whole person. We consider the following:
- Your likely contribution to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus
- Your personal background and experience
- Extensive leadership and initiative in school and/or community organizations and activities
- Exceptional achievements, such as recognition for special talents or extracurricular activities
- Employment or personal responsibilities
- Overcoming life challenges relating to personal or family situations, social or economic difficulties, lack of educational opportunities, or challenges particular to the urban or rural environment, including foster care if relevant
- How military service has been instrumental in the developing of your educational plans
For Additional Information
Please refer to University of California Admission Requirements for information the subject, test score and scholarship requirements.
Refer to the Applying for Admission for information about how to obtain an application and application filing deadlines.
Refer to Majors and Minors for a complete listing of undergraduate majors.
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
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A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring. Alexander Pope
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Question: Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which 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)
My short term goal is to seek a US-based position as Business Development Manager in a company such as Sony or Apple in a business group with a technological orientation in New Media or Mobile Devices. I look forward to leading the entrepreneurial initiatives and innovation such a position requires. Here I would be responsible for locating undeveloped market areas, and creating innovative business models for new products. My plan is to stay with this company for 4-5 years, fulfilling at least one other position in another business group, as I would like to broaden my knowledge of the markets more quickly in order to move on to pursue my own entrepreneurial venture. Eventually, I hope to return to the high tech industry in my country and work to found my own company.
My interest in pursuing management and marketing aspects of software development was sparked during my student job at WeFi when I participated in WeFi’s teams’ impressive marketing efforts for the product release. Since then I have worked as a software engineer in two leading International companies to solidify the technological foundation necessary to support my goals. I know that if I relied solely on my Engineering training I would probably be able to advance to project and even product management, but I will need an MBA if I am to advance to highest management positions, eventually starting my own venture. At this point I am eager to gain the specialized business training that Anderson’s MBA could offer me to help achieve my goals.
One of the biggest attractions of Anderson is the Applied Managerial Research Program, which is unique in its breadth and extent. This level of real world training would provide an opportunity to meet with industry leaders that can help launch my career, and gain experience in the operational workings of a large US company while still in school. I believe this experience will offer me a serious edge over graduates of other programs who will not have this training when seeking my first job after graduation. I am excited to see how the required electives for the Engineering and Technology Management Career path address the exact skills of technology and project management and product development I will need for my post MBA positions. Another big attraction is the significant role that the Price Center plays in Anderson’s program and how it could offer me key insights in the area of entrepreneurship. The unique opportunity to consult entrepreneurial firms for six month, and the amount of extra-curricular activities if offers, which is unparalleled to any other center in any other program, make me sure that I could gain skills and knowledge of new venture management that I know I will need in order to eventually start my own company.
In addition, Anderson’s entrepreneurship orientation would gives me a distinct advantage utilizing the alumni network to forward my plans for my own future venture. Being a part of a network where many of its members are or were trained as entrepreneurs is a benefit other programs can’t offer. It would assure that in the future I could consult and cooperate with people with similar goals who are more likely to have direct experience in areas that I will be working in myself.
Finally, I am eager to be a part of a program that emphasizes creating a supportive open community. I know myself to make friends quickly and working in cooperative environments has always made me achieve the best results. I spoke to MBA 2010 Arik Waldman, who assured me that at Anderson team play really shines both in and outside of the classroom, which I connect with as a core value in my own life and which I know will support my professional skills and assure a high quality social experience.
Amongst the activities offered by the Anderson Student Association, I will naturally join the Entrepreneur Association, but I am also looking forward to joining the Anderson Public Speaking Club as I was a passionate debater during my undergraduate degree. Also, I am excited about the opportunity to finally learn to surf.
It’s easy to see why Anderson’s MBA offers an advantage on so many important points for me and I look forward towards leveraging all of the advantages to help me achieve my future goals.
Question: What is something people will find surprising about you?
Though I was never the fastest or the strongest I have always been considered a good player. Thinking about my days playing rugby what I remember most is how much I enjoyed spending time with the team. We were a close group of friends and I think the team patriotism and companionship were what gave me the motivation to excel.
I played as scrumhalf; I was agile and could give a proper tackle, but I think my most significant part in the team was building the team’s spirit. I’d motivate on difficult matches, make sure we were sportsmanlike when we were winning and always keep a fun atmosphere during practices.
My friends used to say I never give up. Indeed, every time we took the field I felt there’s no way I’ll let any of them down. Playing with the team I’ve suffered from a brain concussion, torn muscle, broken teeth and up till today my shoulder makes a ticking sound but I always came back to play and gave it my best.
In our first season’s last game, seconds from the final whistle I stopped with a diving tackle an opponent player from scoring a try. We lost miserably that day but my friend and I still reminisce on that tackle, the tackle that got my invited to the national team.
I trained with the national team on several camps. Unfortunately when finally our first international game arrived – a friendship game against the South-African team, I missed it because I was accepted to the military’s flight academy and was enlisted to the army before the match. Though disappointed by the unfortunate schedule I learnt that my experiences with the team have prepared me well for my time at the army and I soon found myself playing similar roles with my fellow trainees as I did with my teammates.
Question: Describe the biggest risk you have ever taken, the outcome, and what you learned in the process. (500 words)
I couldn’t sleep. Earlier that night, during my weekly poker game, I learned that a neighborhood nightclub is closing down after suffering losses. The sense of opportunity kept me awake. Jaded, I got out of bed, made two phone calls, and started writing my thoughts. A few hours later the paper was filled with ideas and calculations.
At 9 am, my friends Dan and Alex arrived. The sight of breakfast I prepared seemed to erase their crankiness from being woken up earlier that night. We then started reviewing my plan: Establishing a new nightclub.
My friends were skeptical. “How will we finance this?” asked Alex, “I’m not sure this is worth losing our regular jobs” said Dan. I then took the notes I made and presented my rough business plan, “This evolves taking a chance, I believe we can make it work” I said. Later, while washing the dishes, I wondered whether getting into business with friends was wise. I remember feeling good; I’d rather pursue such adventure with trustworthy friends than with strangers.
Next, we met with the venue’s owner and negotiated a cost and profit sharing method. Now we could set a date for the launching party and divide responsibilities amongst ourselves.
I was in charge of sponsors and public relations. I realized every endorsement meant less money we’ll have to invest. I approached a beverages supplier and negotiated a deal; in return for him sponsoring our invitations, we printed a picture of a drink he promoted. I also persuaded my sailing club, a diving club, and a flight school to give out lessons as prizes as endorsements and initiated an opening night raffle to attract more people.
Next, I established a public relations team. I only wanted to hire people who believed, like I did, we’re going to do something great. I hired 35 people, created groups and appointed team leaders. We brainstormed PR strategies together such as a membership card.
With the help of team leaders, I guided our PR staff, monitored and coordinated the distribution of posters and invitations. I also oversaw the forming of our guest lists and helped negotiate special “birthday deals” with clients.
Finally, opening night came. We expected 400 people to arrive, but more than 650 came. Our revenues totaled nearly $9,000, and we made a profit. I was incredibly proud of our team. Although I quickly realized I didn’t enjoy working in the “nightlife scene”, now that my initiative was running, my friends could continue without me.
For the rest of the season the club was at full capacity of 1,100 people.
In retrospect, taking this risk was an invaluable experience that taught me much about launching a business. I learned that working in teams motivates me to excel and gained more confidence in my abilities to lead people. I realized that thoroughly planning ahead can reduce much of the risk but creativity, resourcefulness and teamwork are crucial in solving problems on-the-go.
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 email@example.com 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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