From The Staff of MBA Admit.com
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The Anderson 2013-2014 Application
The Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles has radically changed their admissions process by streamlining and minimizing several of the application requirements, as highlighted below.
2013-2014 Application Deadlines
The application deadlines for Anderson have remained fairly consistent from last year. Deadlines for the Class of 2015/2016 will be as follows:
Round 1: October 22, 2013
Round 2: January 7, 2014
Round 3: April 15, 2014
According to the Anderson Admissions Committee, the changes we see on this year’s application were set to focus applicants' and the admissions board’s time and efforts on the parts that they, in the past, have found to be most impactful. For this reason, the first big change that we see in the Anderson application is that first-time applicants are required to answer only one essay question, as seen below:
What are your short-term and long-term goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (750 words maximum)
In addition to this question, there is an optional essay for applicants to explain any extenuating circumstances that may affect their candidacy (in 250 words or less), as well as a second required essay for re-applicants to describe career progression and any updates on short- and long-term career goals since the last application was submitted (in 700 words or less).
The minimization and streamlining of the Anderson essay requirement can be seen as either good or bad for each candidate. First, there is no doubt that writing one essay may be less time consuming than writing three or four essays. Additionally, the essay prompt is a very run-of-the-mill Why Anderson/Why Now/Why MBA setup of a question, meaning that the majority of your response may be something that you have already thought about – not just for UCLA but for other MBA programs as well. However, because there is only one essay question, there may be more pressure for applicants to differentiate themselves in their application, resume, recommendation, and interview. In addition, applicants will need to be able to make a very strong case for their goals in the one required essay in order to differentiate themselves as best as possible.
Letters of Recommendation
The second big change that we see in Anderson’s application this year is that they have cut down the number of letters of recommendation from two to one. According to the Anderson Admissions Committee, requiring an additional letter of recommendation was “a huge source of anxiety that did not generate a substantial amount of additional insight over just one recommendation”. Again, this is good news for most applicants, but it will also mean that the one letter of recommendation needs to be a strong persuasion for your candidacy, and should preferably be from a current direct supervisor.
Other Application Requirements
In addition to the above requirements, all Anderson applicants must submit a valid GMAT or GRE score (although Anderson officially states that they strongly prefer GMAT), a TOEFL score for applicants who were not educated in an English-speaking institutions for their undergraduate degree, scanned official copies of all academic records, a work history and resume, and a $200 application fee.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com