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.
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.
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)
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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