Evolving international academic systems have motivated The Anderson School of Management at UCLA to change their requirements for international applicants. According to a post on their MBA Insider Blog, Anderson will now consider applicants with three-year undergraduate degrees. The school will also admit some international applicants without TOEFL or IELTS scores. The changes come in the midst of an increase in applications to American business schools from students outside of the United States.
According to recent data from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), international applicants comprised 53% of applicants to full-time MBA programs last year. So far in 2011, 46% of b-schools have reported a rise in international applications. About 1/3 of this year’s incoming class at Anderson is made up of international students.
However, a 2009 study from GMAC –which owns and administers the GMAT- showed that the proportion of GMAT test scores sent by international students to programs in the United States has declined from 75% in 2000 to 42% in 2011. This larger trend is surely one reason why Anderson is aligning itself with the academic systems of other countries, particularly big feeders to American business schools like India and Singapore.
While the standard for admission to Anderson remains a four-year degree or its equivalent, the program will now use its discretion to admit candidates with three-year undergraduate degrees (like the new European standard) if their overall academic profile and application are strong.
The post stressed that a TOEFL or IELTS score remains “the best way for international applicants to ensure competitiveness in our evaluation process.” However Anderson will allow for some exceptions if students were schooled in English. “Our standard for English fluency still requires a TOEFL or IELTS score from all applicants who were not educated in English. But we will consider applications from those without TOEFL or IELTS scores if the candidate earned a degree where the sole language of instruction was English,” the blog read. Anderson will, however, look at other indicators like other verbal scores and essays, “to ensure total fluency within the incoming class.”