This blog post is part of our weekly "Application Insider" blog post series that provides insider information, tips, and advice about applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program.
APPLICATION INSIDER TOPIC:
We want all our MBA students to benefit from the rigorous academics here at UCLA Anderson and to help others learn, as well. So we carefully screen all applicants to ensure that they have the "academic horsepower" to thrive here based on their past performance in school. For this, we analyze the whole undergraduate record and for those who also have prior graduate degrees, we examine those, too. Naturally, we take into account the full context of each applicant's academic profile so that our evaluation is a balanced assessment of past accomplishments in the classroom.
When you submit scans of your transcript with your application, rest assured that our years of experience give us the context we need to analyze your records properly. We know the relative rigor of schools around the world and the difficulty of different majors. International applicants are evaluated in terms of their country's own system, so for example we would not try to convert grades to the American 4.0 scale. What we look for in each file is a record of above-average achievement, and if there are weak spots then we seek offsetting strong points (e.g., a trend of grades getting better over time). Quantitative coursework is a plus since the MBA program core is quant-based, but we need a variety of backgrounds in the class including liberal arts majors. Overall the applicants we tend to like are those who consistently performed above their peers in similar schools and concentrations.
If your academic profile could use a boost, you can take additional coursework in MBA-related fields (such as accounting, statistics or finance) and add that additional transcript to your application. Professional certifications such as a CPA or CFA, or a whole graduate degree, can help too. Just remember that there are many different elements to a successful application and we look at everything so you do not necessarily need superstar academics as your strong suit in order to get admitted.
On a logistical note, please do not send us hard-copy documents unless we request them (generally this will happen along with an interview invitation). The scans you upload with the application are sufficient for our preliminary evaluation. Please see our application requirements website for more information on academic evaluations and other aspects of the application.
The academic environment at UCLA Anderson is fast-paced and challenging, and we welcome those who are well-prepared to come join in for the benefit of all!
Make sure to check back next week for the next "Application Insider" blog post about TOP APPLICANT FAQs!