Breaking Down the UCLA Extension Program

UCLA Anderson Admissions GuideA new resource has recently gained prominence in the business school application process amongst enterprising MBA candidates. With candidates always looking for an edge during application season, the UCLA Extension has provided a nice option for students looking to improve their chances of admission.

So what is the UCLA Extension, you ask? Well, the UCLA Extension is a continuing education program that allows interested students to take an array of courses online or in-person. This program is specifically designed with distance learners, working adults, and other non-traditional learning arrangements in mind. For many business school applicants, the UCLA Extension offering represents the perfect resource to address concerns within their candidate profile.

UCLA Extension courses can be used in a few different cases for applicants, including to address a low GPA, prove the student’s ability to handle analytical coursework, correct any transcript outliers, or just prepare the student for the rigor of the MBA core curriculum.

Now that the offering and reasons for utilizing the UCLA Extension are clear, let’s discuss some of the best courses to consider. With hundreds of online courses offered via the program, interested candidates should not have a hard time finding some to take. The convenience of these online classes will allow many students to simultaneously complete their application while taking targeted coursework in an area of need.

All of your favorite business classes are here, but interested candidates should focus on the more analytical classes offered through the UCLA Extension. I would suggest classes such as Managerial Accounting, Basic Managerial Finance, Introduction to Statistics and Quantitative Methods, and Principles of Micro/Macroeconomics as good places to start. Generally the classes commonly described as “soft skills” are better left for the traditional classroom environment, and not to showcase your pre-MBA academic aptitude.

UCLA’s Extension Program is not the only academic program that offers this type of coursework, so make sure to conduct an exhaustive search to identify the program that makes the most sense for you and your application needs.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here

UCLA Anderson Application Essays and Deadlines for 2014-2015

UCLA AndersonToday we take a look at UCLA Anderson’s admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2017. Last year Anderson was on the vanguard of the effort across MBA programs to reduce essay count, dropping down to just one required essay, and for the 2014-2015 admissions season the school’s application returns with just one required essay once again. However, that one essay is all-new this year.

Here are UCLA Anderson’s admissions deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

UCLA Anderson Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 22, 2014
Round 2: January 7, 2015
Round 3: April 15, 2015

Not too much to discuss here. UCLA Anderson’s admissions deadlines are exactly the same as they were last year. Note that, unlike most top business schools, Anderson doesn’t release its Round 1 admissions decisions until late January. So, if UCLA is your first choice, you will need to already have your Round 2 applications done for your backup business schools before you now where you stand with Anderson.

UCLA Anderson Admissions Essays

  • UCLA Anderson is distinguished by three defining principles: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change. What principles have defined your life and pre-MBA career? How do you believe that UCLA Anderson’s principles, and the environment they create, will help you attain your post-MBA career goals? (750 words)

    This question is new this year, although it’s really a heavy revision of last year’s question more than an entirely new prompt. The difference this year is that this question highlights Anderson’s three principles, and the takeaway here is that the Anderson admissions team clearly is looking for a fit with the program here. You don’t need to echo those same themes — in fact, the question explicitly asks what your own principles are — but here the school sends a strong signal about what traits it values in applicants. Knowing that Anderson wants applicants who are generous with others (“Share Success”), aren’t afraid to take chances (“Think Fearlessly”), and make an impact on those around them (“Drive Change”), what traits and experiences do you want to highlight from your career up until now?

    Not that you really want to demonstrate a knowledge of and a passion for UCLA Anderson. One way any school protects its admissions yield is by eliminating applicants who don’t show enough enthusiasm for the program. Failing to answer the second part part of the question — how will UCLA Anderson help you to achieve your goals? — is a quick and easy way to get weeded out by the admissions committee.

  • Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)

    We always tell applicants the same thing regarding optional admissions essays: Only answer them if you need to explain a low undergraduate GPA or other potential blemish in your background. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any. If you don’t have anything else you need to tell the admissions office, it’s entirely okay to skip this essay. That advice especially holds now that Anderson’s application only includes on essay prompt… Don’t feel the need to submit extra essays simply to command a few extra minutes of the admissions committee’s attention!

Do you plan on applying to UCLA Anderson? Be sure to download our Essential Guide to UCLA Anderson, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. For even more personalized advice, sign up for a free profile evaluation by one of our MBA admissions experts. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

UCLA Anderson Admissions Essays for 2013-2014

UCLA AndersonWe can add UCLA Anderson to the long list of top business schools that have cut down their essay requirements for the coming admissions season. Anderson recently released its admissions essays and deadlines for the coming year, and the school dropped one essay prompt, going down to just one required essay for 2013-2014. We can’t wait until next year, when schools go from one essay down to zero. (Just kidding!)

Without further ado, here are UCLA Anderson’s application deadlines and essays for the Class of 2016, followed by our comments in italics:

UCLA Anderson Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 22, 2013
Round 2: January 7, 2014
Round 3: April 15, 2014

Anderson’s deadlines have barely changed since last year. Note that, unlike most other top schools, Anderson will not get back to you before January if you apply in Round 1. With other programs, one benefit of applying in Round 1 is that you will receive a decision before the holidays, giving you plenty of time to work on Round 2 applications (which usually have deadlines in early January). But, no such luck at Anderson. For some applicants, this is enough to push back their Anderson applications from Round 1 to Round 2.

Also, note that UCLA Anderson’s Round 3 deadline is pretty late compared to those of most other top MBA programs. The Anderson MBA admissions team has stated that it doesn’t want to miss out on strong applicants who may choose an MBA program outside the U.S. simply because that school still accepts applications as late as April. However, note this language on the Anderson website: “Round 3 becomes more competitive as seats in the class fill up, and we look for distinctive profiles to round out the student mix.” So, Round 3 is very much an option at Anderson, but be realistic about your chances, especially if you submit a mediocre application.

UCLA Anderson Application Essays

  1. What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (750 words)

    This question — the only required question on this year’s Anderson application — carries over unchanged from last year. Accordingly, our advice mostly remains the same. This question is pretty much your standard “Career Goals” / “Why an MBA?” essay. Note that, while the “Why an MBA?” component is very important, you absolutely MUST demonstrate in this essay a knowledge of and a passion for UCLA Anderson. One way any school protects its admissions yield is by eliminating applicants who don’t show enough enthusiasm for the program. Failing to answer the second part part of the question — how will UCLA Anderson help you to achieve your goals? — is a quick and easy way to get weeded out by the admissions committee.

    One other thought: We find this advice from the Anderson website to be interesting: “Essays are more compelling if they include specific courses, programs, groups, opportunities, activities, etc. from which you would benefit, if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through website research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).” Every year we see applicants who lazily browse a school’s site and drop one or two course or professor names into an essay to seem more interested in the program, and we wonder if Anderson’s guidance here will only make the problem worse.

  2. (Optional Essay) Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)

    As we always tell applicants when it comes to optional admissions essays, answer this question if you need to explain a low undergraduate GPA or other potential blemish in your background. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any. If you don’t have anything else you need to tell the admissions office, it is entirely okay to skip this essay. That advice especially holds now that Anderson’s application only includes on essay prompt… Don’t feel the need to submit extra essays simply to command more of the admissions committee’s attention!

For more advice on getting into Anderson, download our Essential Guide to UCLA Anderson, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Anderson and other top business schools, get a free profile evaluation from an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

UCLA Anderson Embraces Online Learning, Introduces FEMBA Flex Option

UCLA AndersonUCLA Anderson became the latest highly ranked business school to incorporate online learning into how it delivers it curriculum. Anderson has just announced its new FEMBA Flex program, a new way for students to complete its existing FEMBA (short for “Fully Employed MBA”) program through a combination of online and in-person learning. The new program will launch in the fall of 2012.

Convenience is clearly a selling point of the new program, perhaps best summed up by this headline on the school’s website: “Make fewer trips to campus, get 100% of the UCLA Anderson MBA experience.” The new program will only require four weekend campus visits per quarter for core classes, with the remainder of learning taking place through the school’s online learning platform.
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UCLA Anderson Is a Good Fit for You If…

UCLA Anderson We work with dozens of UCLA Anderson applicants every year. Given the school’s strong community and its strength in a number of academy departments, it’s no wonder that so many applicants aim for Anderson every year. What does surprise us, though, is how many UCLA applicants don’t really know whether the school is good fit for them. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they start crafting their Anderson applications.

Are you thinking about applying to UCLA Anderson? If so, why? How do you know if it’s really is a good fit for you? More importantly, how do you know the Anderson admissions team will think you’re a good fit for the school? Today we present a few reasons why Anderson might be a good fit for you:
Continue reading “UCLA Anderson Is a Good Fit for You If…”

UCLA Anderson Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

UCLA Anderson Admissions GuideUCLA’s Anderson School of Management recently released its admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. At first glance, there are not a lot of changes this, but what’s most interesting with Anderson’s essays this years is something that’s not included. Let’s dig into the school’s deadlines and essays, followed by our comments in italics:

UCLA Anderson Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 26, 2011
Round 2: January 11, 2012
Round 3: April 18, 2012

All three of Anderson’s admissions rounds have been pushed back by close to a week. Keep in mind that, if you apply to Anderson in Round 1, you may not receive your final decision until late January, meaning that you won’t know where you stand with Anderson before most other top business schools’ Round 2 deadlines come and go.
Continue reading “UCLA Anderson Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012”

Five Things that Make UCLA Anderson Different

UCLA Anderson Admissions GuideVeritas Prep has a special affinity for UCLA Anderson, given that the school is near our headquarters and we have had a number of Anderson alumni as employees (and friends) through the years. In our years of offering GMAT prep and MBA admissions consulting, we are frequently surprised by the degree to which candidates underestimate Anderson. For some reason — perhaps because it is “just” a state school — many of our clients consider UCLA Anderson their second or third choice — and that they don’t need to put much effort into an application if their GMAT score is high enough.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Anderson is a competitive program, and getting in requires a great deal of effort (and some luck). Today we present five things that make the school unique:
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UCLA Anderson Admissions Essays for 2010-2011

UCLA Anderson Admissions GuideToday we dig into UCLA Anderson’s MBA admissions essays for the coming year. You will notice that Anderson has changed its essays pretty extensively this year. And, the school’s famous “video essay,” which is optional, returns for 2010-2011. Pay special attention to our advice regarding the video response, below.

Here are the school’s essay topics (for new applicants) for the coming season, followed by our comments in italics:

UCLA Anderson Application Essays

Required Essays

  1. What event or life experience has had the greatest influence in shaping your character and why? (750 words)
    This question is new, although it’s not radically different from last year’s first essay prompt. Really, the admissions committee is trying to dig deep into who you are and what makes you tick. We actually prefer last year’s wording, since this year’s version seems to put extra emphasis on a single event, which may create some pressure in applicants’ minds to come up with a dramatic single incident. In reality, the “or life experience” part of this year’s question still leaves it open-ended enough that you shouldn’t feel the need to focus on one single point in time. Try to answer this question with your personal development in mind. Your tendency will be to tie it right back to your career and why you’re pursuing an MBA, but consider this input from the admissions office: “Please be introspective and authentic in your responses. Content is more important than style of delivery. We value the opportunity to learn about your life experiences, aspirations, and goals.”
  2. Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. What is your motivation for pursuing an MBA now and how will UCLA Anderson help you to achieve your goals? (750 words)
    This question carries over unchanged from last year, and should be approached the same as most other “Career Goals” / “Why an MBA?” essays. Note that the “Why an MBA?” component is very important, but you absolutely MUST demonstrate in this essay a knowledge of and a passion for UCLA Anderson. One way any school protects its admissions yield is by ferreting out those who don’t demonstrate enough enthusiasm for the program. Failing to answer the “how will UCLA Anderson help you achieve your goals” part of the question is a sure way to get ferreted out by the admissions committee.

Optional Essays

  1. You may respond to the following question via written essay, audio or video clip: What is something people will find surprising about you?
    It’s back! But, this year the school only gives you one answer option, rather than giving you a choice between a question about entrepreneurship and the one presented here. It’s easy to get too worked up over this video response. But, in short, we do recommend that our clients take advantage of it, despite the point that Anderson makes about not giving preference to those who submit one. Why? It’s simply easier for an admissions officer to envision you at the school if he or she can see your face and feel at least some connection with the real you. It’s simply human nature, despite their best efforts to remain objective. We think you should prepare well and make sure you deliver your answer smoothly, but a more impromptu-sounding response will sound warmer and more authentic than an overly scripted response. Lastly, have fun with this! Your response doesn’t need to be funny or wacky, but brightening the admissions committee’s day always helps.
  2. Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)
    Our advice for this type of question is always the same: Only use this question as necessary. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our UCLA Anderson Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

UCLA Anderson Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

Continuing the wave of new deadlines and questions from top business schools, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management recently released its application deadlines for the coming admissions season. Here they are, followed by our comments:

UCLA Anderson Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 20, 2010
Round 2: January 5, 2011
Round 3: April 13, 2011

While the trend among top MBA programs has been to move their Round 1 deadlines forward, Anderson actually moved its deadline back by six days this year. Note that, unlike other business school, Anderson won’t give you our Round 1 decision until the second week of January, so you may need to submit your Round 2 applications to other programs before receiving your Round decision from Anderson.


The school’s Round 2 deadline is virtually unchanged since last year, but its Round 3 deadline is actually almost a month LATER than it was in 2009-2010. Anderson previously expressed that it doesn’t want to miss out on strong applicants who may choose an international program such as LBS simply because that school still accepts applications as late as April. This is a smart move, in our opinion.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check out our UCLA Anderson Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Five Things That Make UCLA Anderson Unique

Business School GuidesContinuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top MBA programs, this week we investigate a few things that make UCLA Anderson’s approach to graduate management education unique. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Anderson research.)

UCLA Anderson’s methodology is composed of a multi-faceted approach primarily delivered through lectures. The following are five key aspects of a UCLA Anderson education that comprise the framework of the MBA experience:

  • The UCLA Anderson Culture. The emphasis on teamwork inside and outside of the classroom is the hallmark of the UCLA Anderson experience and the foundation for the rest of the school’s approach. Student collaboration and leadership within teams is the attribute that ties everything together at UCLA Anderson. There are several schools with great student cultures

UCLA Anderson to Give World MBA Tour Visitors a Taste of a Business School Class


If you’re in Los Angeles, here is a unique opportunity to attend a business class before you ever even begin your applications. UCLA Anderson professor Sanjay Sood will be leading a sample MBA class at the QS World MBA Tour this Saturday, October 3rd at 3:00 p.m, in Downtown Los Angeles.

Professor Sood specializes in cutting edge research in marketing management, brand management, advertising and consumer behavior. This class will be a great experience for prospective applicants interested in learning more about what class is like at UCLA Anderson.

Adrian Aguirre, one of the school’s Associate Directors, and some current UCLA Anderson students will also be on hand to answer questions about the school and its admissions process.

Event Information:
World MBA Tour
When: Saturday, Oct. 3rd at 3:00 p.m.
Where: World MBA Tour Wilshire Grand Los Angeles
Register at: www.topmba.com

For more advice on applying to UCLA Anderson, visit the Veritas Prep UCLA Anderson information page. And, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

UCLA Anderson’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans

This weekend UCLA’s Anderson School of Management wrapped up its Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), a terrific program that offers training in entrepreneurship and small business management to U.S. military veterans who were disabled as a result of their service supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The EBV was first introduced by Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in 2007. In 2008, the EBV Consortium of Schools was launched, a national partnership with UCLA Anderson School of Management, Florida State University’s College of Business, and Mays Business School at Texas A&M.

The program was created to provide focused, practical training in the tools and skills of new venture creation and growth, reflecting issues unique to disability and public benefits programs. Veterans who complete the course also benefit from a support structure that they can call upon as they enter the business world, giving them years of ongoing value.

According to UCLA Anderson’s EBV web site:

“The EBV program represents a unique opportunity for men and women who have sacrificed for America’s freedom to take an important step toward realizing their own freedom – economic freedom – through entrepreneurship. EBV is a selective, rigorous, and intense educational initiative that has been created to make a difference. Accordingly, the application process itself is rigorous and selective.

“Successful candidates for admission will demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship, high motivation for owning and managing a business, and a high likelihood of successful completion of this intense training program.”

Most impressively, EBV is entirely free for military veterans. All costs — including travel, lodging, and meals — are covered for delegates accepted to the EBV thanks to the participating universities as well as generous donations from corporations and individuals.

Every year we work with many military veterans who are returning from duty and getting ready to apply to business school, but not all veterans necessarily want to pursue an MBA. EBV occupies a valuable space, serving those who have been injured in service to their country and now want to go to work for themselves in the private sector, but who don’t want to (or can’t afford to) make the full investment in a two-year graduate business program.

If you are interested in applying to the EBV program, click here. If you’re interested in learning more about UCLA Anderson’s MBA program, visit the Veritas Prep UCLA Anderson information page.

Applying to B-School in a Few Years? Maximize Your Candidacy Today.

A significant portion of my MBA admissions consulting applicants come to be with little to no extracurricular experience since their undergraduate days. While this is a problem that can be addressed, it can show a lack of proper planning over the long term. A lot of applicants don

UCLA Anderson Application Essays & Deadlines for 2008-2009

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management has released its online application and announced its application deadlines and admissions essays for the 2008-2009 season. Here they are, with our comments in italics:

UCLA Anderson Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 9, 2008
Round 2: January 8, 2009
Round 3: April 2, 2009

UCLA Anderson Admissions Essays

  1. How has your family and/or community helped shape your development? Please include information about where you grew up, and perhaps a highlight or special memory of your youth. (750 words)

    (This question is a rework of last year’s more unusual “Tell us about your parents and siblings” essay, although the “highlight or special memory” part remains. Our guess is that they’ve reworded the question to make sure your response is more focused on you, rather than on your family. This is a good rule of thumb with all of your essays — keep the focus on YOU as much as possible.)

  2. What experience has had the greatest impact on who you are today and why? (500 words)

    (Interestingly, this question replaces last year’s “Tell us about a time when you took a leadership role” essay. Given the overall movement of MBA programs towards putting more emphasis on leadership, we’re a little surprised to see that question replaced. But this is another question where they really want to know more about the real you. Don’t feel the need to impress them with your example. If you have a great leadership story to tell here, then great. Otherwise, answer the question honestly — what experience really changed you, and why?)

  3. Discuss your short-term and long-term career goals. What is your motivation for pursuing an MBA now at UCLA Anderson? (750 words)

    (While reworded from last year, this question pretty much remains the same, and should be approached the same as most other “Career Goals” / “Why an MBA?” essays.)

  4. Audio or text: Select and respond to ONE of the following questions. We would like you to respond to the question by recording an audio response (up to 1 minute). If you are unable to submit your response via audio, then please upload a written response (250 words) instead. The supported file types for audio files are: .avi, .wav, .mp3, .wmv, .midi, .wma, .aiff, .au, .mp4

    a. What does entrepreneurial spirit mean to you?
    b. What global issue matters most to you and why?
    c. What is something people will find surprising about you?

    (Whoa! Now that’s thinking outside the box. While Chicago GSB generated much hoopla when they added a PowerPoint question, we think this is an even more interesting departure from the standard MBA essay topic. We suspect that the Anderson admissions committee is interested in hearing how you communicate as much as they want to hear your specific answer. Have a little fun with it this one. Prepare well and make sure you deliver your answer smoothly, but we suspect that a more impromptu-sounding response will sound warmer and more authentic than something read from a script.)

  5. OPTIONAL: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)

    (Our advice for this type of question is always the same: Only use this question as necessary. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any.)

For more advice on applying to Anderson, visit the Veritas Prep UCLA Anderson information page.