UCLA Anderson School of Management: Everything You Need to Know


The John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles—more commonly known as simply UCLA Anderson—typically places solidly among the top 20 U.S. business schools in MBA rankings. Located in one of the largest cities in the United States, UCLA Anderson offers its business school students access to a fairly wide variety of industries, with 34.1% of the Class of 2022 taking jobs in technology, 23.8% going into consulting, and 12.1% entering the financial services industry. Access to “Silicon Beach,” which is home to more than 500 technology companies and start-ups, means that UCLA Anderson is in one of the most prominent technology hubs in the world. Therefore, MBA students interested in this field are well positioned for jobs at tech companies and start-ups, as well as for tech entrepreneurship

As a relatively small program, with a target class size of approximately 360 students, UCLA Anderson fosters camaraderie and a positive environment. But if you want to enjoy the school’s warm, sunny weather and close proximity to the beach, all while expanding your skill set and knowledge, you will have to stand out among many strong MBA applicants. UCLA Anderson’s credentials, including its average GMAT score, have skyrocketed in the past few years, and it has become a much more competitive business school to get into. Fortunately, mbaMission can help you on your MBA application journey.


Media and Entertainment at UCLA Anderson

Anderson, unlike most other top business schools, has invested in the development of a research center specifically dedicated to media and entertainment—the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment, and Sports. This is quite fitting, given that Los Angeles is at the epicenter of the U.S. entertainment industry. In addition to being known for media and entertainment, Los Angeles also boasts a vibrant arts scene that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the LA Philharmonic. It is also home to numerous major professional sports teams, including the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, Kings, and Galaxy.

A Note on UCLA Anderson’s Academics

With regard to its current MBA curriculum, Anderson falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between flexible and rigid. Anderson’s professors employ a variety of teaching methods and select the format that best fits the subject matter being conveyed. UCLA Anderson courses can involve lectures, the case method, group work, interactive games, and applied projects, including the 20-week Applied Management Research (AMR) project.

The UCLA MBA program appears to pride itself on integrating academics and teamwork into involvement with the business community. The AMR project is an example of this integration of academics and practical work experience and is one option UCLA Anderson students can select for their capstone project. A unique aspect of the Anderson curriculum, Applied Management Research has been incorporated into the MBA program for more than 50 years, and during that time, students have completed projects for more than 5,000 organizations within the United States and internationally, including Cisco, Microsoft, Jamba Juice, Black & Decker, Cartoon Network, Johnson & Johnson, Xerox, Starbucks, and Mars. Working in teams of five, students partner with organizations on projects such as making business plans, developing pricing strategies, and creating marketing campaigns. Projects might also involve risk assessment, new product development, and management assessments.

mbaMission’s UCLA Anderson School of Management Insider’s Guide

The UCLA Anderson School of Management Insider’s Guide

We have updated our Insider’s Guide to the UCLA Anderson School of Management after consulting with the school’s MBA students, program representatives, and alumni about their Anderson experiences. We take a deep dive into life as a UCLA Anderson MBA student, highlighting how the business school’s location, class size, curriculum, specializations, teaching methods, facilities, and alumni involvement all affect its culture and MBA experience. We also delve into Anderson’s unique research center, standout faculty, student clubs, and capstone project, identifying how they accelerate the professional growth of Anderson MBA students. Through our guide, you will learn more about the Applied Management Research program (also known as the “field study”), which many students choose to participate in to complete their capstone project. We also cover the Business Creation Option, which allows budding entrepreneurs to launch a company while at Anderson. Other options for fulfilling the capstone project include taking part in the Student Investment Fund, the Anderson Strategy Group, or the NAIOP Real Estate Challenge. Our Insider’s Guide also discusses the variety of teaching methods that UCLA Anderson employs.


UCLA Anderson Interview Guide

The UCLA Anderson School of Management Interview Guide

UCLA Anderson MBA admissions interviews—most often conducted by Anderson second-year students—are “blind,” meaning the interviewer will have reviewed only your resume, not your entire application. In preparation for the invitation-only interview, candidates should think about their reasons for pursuing an MBA, why they are a good fit for Anderson, their career goals, and their interests. Interviews might include behavioral questions, in which candidates are asked about specific projects or experiences and must detail what they accomplished or learned from them. This interview is not one-sided. Be prepared to talk about yourself, engage in the conversation, and ask thoughtful questions. The interview is also an opportunity to learn more about UCLA Anderson from your interviewer. For sample interview questions and commentary from past students, check out our UCLA Anderson School of Management Interview Guide.


The UCLA Anderson School of Management MBA Essay Analysis, 2023–2024

The UCLA Anderson School of Management requires candidates to provide just one essay, asking them to discuss a time when they refused to give up on a goal and persisted in pursuing it. For this sole essay, the admissions committee has set a maximum length of just 250 words, meaning that applicants must be concise and direct in their response. Some candidates might be tempted to use the optional essay to squeeze in more information about themselves, but anyone considering this option must be prudent about doing so because Anderson very clearly states that the essay is specifically for “extenuating circumstances.”

Required Essay: UCLA Anderson seeks to develop transformative leaders who think fearlessly, drive change, and share success. We believe the ability to persevere is an essential component of effective leadership. Please share an example from your personal or professional life where you demonstrated perseverance to accomplish a significant goal or milestone. (250 words maximum)

Optional Essay: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)

Click here to read our analysis

UCLA Anderson MBA Class Profile (Class of 2025)

Number of Applications Received 2,180
Class Size 300
GPA Range (Middle 80%) 3.1–3.8
GMAT Range (Middle 80%) 650–760
Average GMAT 710
Women 37%
Minorities 28%
International Citizens 48%
Countries Represented 41
Average Years of Work Experience 5.7

UCLA Anderson MBA Rankings

UCLA Anderson typically ranks solidly among the top 20 U.S. business schools in what are generally considered the most prestigious MBA surveys. The school was ranked 14th internationally and 11th domestically in the 2023 Financial Times survey. Anderson stood in the 20th spot in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2022–2023 domestic ranking and was ranked 16th domestically by Poets&Quants in 2022. In U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 survey, the school was ranked 19th in the country.

UCLA Anderson MBA Application Deadlines (2023–2024 Application Season)

Round 1 Application Deadline
October 5, 2023

Round 1 Decision Release Date
December 14, 2023

Round 2 Application Deadline
January 4, 2024

Round 2 Decision Release Date
March 22, 2024

Round 3 Application Deadline
April 12, 2024

Round 3 Decision Release Date
May 17, 2024

mbaMission Testimonials from UCLA Anderson MBA Applicants

Melissa [Blakeslee] Rocks!!!

Melissa was a great coach throughout the entire MBA application process! I did introductory calls with four different admissions consulting companies but thought Melissa was far and away the best consultant I talked to. I’m so glad I chose to work with her. She is very friendly and has a really positive attitude but will still help identify areas of weakness in the application and help you craft a great story that emphasizes your strengths in order to receive admission into your dream school. Her feedback was provided in a timely manner, and she was always available to answer a quick email question as well.

I was an hourly client, and in five hours, she helped with a brainstorming session, a resume review, at least one or two revisions on the different essays and short answers for Haas and Anderson, and a mock interview where we covered both schools. While I had competitive statistics (GPA and GMAT), I had little to no extracurriculars since starting my professional career four years ago and come from an overrepresented applicant pool, so Melissa’s help with the applications was instrumental in my success. I was even able to leverage what Melissa and I had discussed to apply to Marshall on my own, although I do think the applications I submitted with her direct help were stronger. When it was all said and done, I was accepted to Anderson and Marshall and waitlisted at Haas, receiving roughly two-thirds and one-half merit-based scholarships with my acceptances. This outcome greatly surpassed my expectations, and I could not have done it without Melissa.

I highly recommend working with Melissa if you are at all uncertain in the MBA application process, as I know my applications were many times better than they would have been had I gone at it alone.

Highly recommend!

I used hourly services for Nisha Trivedi, after getting a recommendation from a current b-school student. She is worth every penny. She was timely with her reviews and really strategic with the feedback she provided. Business school applications are all about being strategic, and as important as it is to be authentic with your story, it is equally as important to be strategic to put yourself in the best light. Nisha’s expertise truly shines here, and I was able to get into two of my dream schools—NYU and UCLA, thanks to her. Also, in addition to the essay help, she helped prep for the interview in a real-life scenario, with direct, actionable feedback that helped me succeed.

Unless you understand b-school application strategy (which not many do), HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND using mbaMission, but more importantly, Nisha Trivedi.
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