Accepted’s B-School Selectivity Index shows that UCLA Anderson is 14th in selectivity and 16th in U.S. News’ ranking. Its average GMAT is 716, up one point from last year and the year before. However, the acceptance rate at Anderson has climbed a bit from 20.7% for the class that entered in 2016 to 22.3% for the class that entered in 2017 to 24.3% for the class that entered in 2018.
Even that increased acceptance rate means 3 out of every 4 applicants are rejected. So let’s look at advice for submitting a stellar application, which requires a 500-word goals essay and a 300-word short answer.
In essence, the longer question is about how you intend to benefit professionally from an Anderson MBA and the short question asks how you will benefit the Anderson community: What will you get from and what will you give to Anderson -and I don’t mean donations as an alum?
The essay advice that UCLA Anderson provides on its website is excellent, not just for Anderson’s essays, but for most MBA essays. Read it carefully. Our advice is in blue below.
UCLA Anderson 2019-2020 MBA application
UCLA Anderson MBA short answer questions for new applicants
Tell us about your MBA goals AND why you are applying to UCLA Anderson now:
- Describe your short term and long term goals (150 words maximum)
- Why is UCLA Anderson a good school for you? (150 words maximum)
Anderson has reduced its maximum for this question from 500 to 300 words. There is absolutely no room verbosity. Make sure this essay shows that you’re already a member of the Anderson community by virtue of your values and experience. You just haven’t yet paid tuition.
First think about Anderson’s motto: Share success. Think fearlessly. Drive change. Read the stories and posts that Anderson provides on each of those values. Watch the relevant videos. Think about the ways you can show that those values are your values while answering the question.
To respond to the question itself, first make sure you have professional direction that makes sense. Your short-term goals should be achievable given what you’ve done in the past and an Anderson MBA. Your long-term goals should flow naturally from your short-term goals.
If you can fit into the 150 words your motivation for these goals or influences upon their development, go for it
A great way to approach this essay would be to discuss an achievement that influenced your goals and reveals you acting in consonance with Anderson’s values (Share success. Think fearlessly. Drive change.). Then connect that story to your goals
In the second part of the question, you will discuss UCLA Anderson’s program and your reasons for choosing its MBA program. The focus should organically be on the specific elements and qualities at Anderson that will help you achieve your goals. Avoid writing about elements that Anderson shares with most MBA program.
UCLA Anderson MBA essay question for new applicants
At Anderson, we believe our students are engaged, courageous, humble, and open. Describe a time when you demonstrated one of these traits in your personal life. (250 words maximum)
This is a new question and it is a behavioral question First choose an experience that shows you exhibiting one of the traits listed. It could be a challenge you faced with humility, an achievement where you took risks, a community service activity were your participation was key, or many other situations.
It should be a succinct story or anecdote from your personal life — not your job. It can be about a community service involvement or a personal situation. It can show you involved and committed to the arts, sports, an ethnic, religious, or political group or cause. The options are endless.
UCLA Anderson MBA essay question for reapplicants
Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how you have enhanced your candidacy. Include information on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (500 words maximum)
This is the key question in every MBA reapplication: How have you enhanced your candidacy? Career progress is an obvious place to start and something you must address, but if academics were a weakness, then what have you done since you last applied to show you can excel at Anderson? Finally, if your career goals have evolved since you last applied, discuss that evolution.
UCLA Anderson MBA optional question (available to all applicants)
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.
If there are extenuating circumstances that would add perspective or context for a weakness, you can discuss them here. A few years ago, UCLA added the following: “Please do not submit redundant information in the Optional Essay.” Good advice for all optional questions. For more suggestions, please see Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them.
For expert guidance with your UCLA Anderson MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to UCLA Anderson’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!
UCLA Anderson 2019-2020 MBA application deadlines
|Application Deadline||Decisions Released|
|Round 1||October 2, 2019||
December 18, 2019
|Round 2||January 8, 2020||
March 26, 2020
|Round 3||April 16, 2020||
May 21, 2020
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essay, a free guide
• Why Does an MD Need an MBA? This UCLA MD/MBA Student Tells All, a podcast episode
• The B-School Selectivity Index: Discover the Schools Where You Are Competitive