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The Complete Guide To The UCLA Part Time MBA Program

February 27, 2024
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About UCLA Anderson School of ManagementUCLA Part Time MBA Acceptance RateOverview of the UCLA Part-Time MBA ProgramUCLA MBA Part-Time Class ProfileUCLA Part Time MBA Benefits Level of CompetitionEligibility and How to ApplyTop Tips on How to Get Into UCLA Part-Time MBA ProgramFAQs

The Anderson School of Management at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is situated in the sun-kissed Westwood neighborhood. 

Los Angeles is the world's creative capital and has a serious business culture reflected in Silicon Beach, home to over 500 technology companies, including Snap, Hulu, and Disney. UCLA is a fantastic place to pursue an MBA as Los Angeles contains the largest manufacturing economy in the western United States and is a significant location for consulting and bank firms. 

The UCLA Anderson School of Management was founded in 1935 and began offering the MBA degree to students in 1939. The UCLA part-time MBA, known as ‘FEMBA’ or fully employed MBA, was recently ranked in the top 5 best part-time MBA programs in the United States by US News.

UCLA’s FEMBA is designed for students who want to pursue their MBA on a part-time basis; some students choose to pursue a part-time MBA because they want to advance in their current organization or have other family or community obligations. 

If you’re looking to pursue an MBA on a flexible schedule, the UCLA part-time MBA may be an excellent fit for your education and lifestyle. 

About UCLA Anderson School of Management 

UCLA Anderson School of Management’s mission statement is guided and defined by three core qualities: “We share success, we think fearlessly, and we drive change.” UCLA Anderson knows that collaboration is a crucial part of the program and that success is a collective victory for all involved.

UCLA Anderson prides itself on its student culture, guiding faculty, involved alumni, and supporting academic and career advancement services. Thinking fearlessly means that students “are encouraged to approach innovation with a curious, nonconformist philosophy” to tackle real-world problems. UCLA Anderson also aims to equip students with the leadership skills and knowledge to drive positive change that is real and lasting. 

UCLA Anderson is best known for its MBA progra, focusing on early specialization and hands-on experience. Many students who graduate with an MBA from UCLA Anderson primarily pursue careers in the technology, management consulting, and financial sectors.

UCLA Anderson offers three MBA programs: the Fully Employed MBA, the Full Time MBA, and the Executive MBA. The Fully Employed MBA is UCLA’s part-time MBA program and offers three flexible scheduling options for students’ MBA journey. 

The full-time MBA program is completed over two years, and students will receive the same degree whether they complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis. The 22-month-long executive MBA program is a part-time program available to students in senior or leadership positions and offers three scheduling options: 

  • Bi-weekly Saturday and Sunday classes 
  • Monthly classes mixed with online learning
  • Blended biweekly option with in-person instruction delivered once a month and additional instruction biweekly on Zoom

Source: UCLA Anderson School of Management

UCLA Part Time MBA Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for the UCLA Part-Time MBA program is 38%. This means that out of all the applicants who applied to the program, approximately 38% were accepted.

Overview of the UCLA Part-Time Program

The UCLA part-time program is an excellent choice for students currently employed full-time. The program’s schedule is flexible and allows students to complete their MBA while keeping up with the responsibilities of everyday life. 

Curriculum

Students enrolled in the UCLA part-time MBA program will complete classes over 27 months. Students will complete 44 units of core courses in the first half of the program, followed by 36 elective courses in the second half. These electives allow students to tailor their MBA education in whatever way is best suited to their career goals. 

Specializations, Capstone Projects, and Global Experience 

Students can choose a specialization in various areas of study, including entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, tech management, and entertainment management. Each discipline requires students to select specific classes related to their chosen field. 

The UCLA Anderson part-time MBA requires students to complete a capstone project, where they can apply the knowledge from their first two years of study to real-world business challenges. The capstone project offers students a wide variety of options to satisfy this requirement; whether working for a consulting or tech company or building an entirely new business.

Students are offered three different paths to fulfill this requirement: the Global Access Program (GAP), Business Creation Option (BCO), or Anderson Student Asset Management (ASAM). 

The Global Access Program partners students in their last year of study with high-growth companies worldwide “in a cross-cultural, market-entry consulting project.” 

Students work in small teams of five or six and spend six months gaining consulting experience while traveling internationally and domestically to consult with company executives and attend industry conferences. At the end of this project, students will present a completed business plan to company executives, three industry professionals, and potential investors. 

The Business Creation Option allows students to work with their classmates to develop, plan, and launch their businesses. These projects span two academic quarters in the summer and fall. Students will have the opportunity to “formulate strategies for the sales, marketing, operations, finance, accounting and management departments.” 

Along with formulating strategies in the industry of their choosing, students will also “develop and test hypotheses and conduct effective research that leads to a strategic business or implementation plan for your startup.” 

The Anderson Student Asset Management project allows students to manage an investment fund to pursue favorable risk-adjusted returns and work with student portfolio managers to maximize long-term success. 

The project allows students to benefit from the “guidance from an advisor and oversight committee, [and] students determine an optimal mix of equity, fixed income and cash investments.” 

This option requires students to meet in a weekly class on campus. It is worth noting that the workload for this program fluctuates over time as students rotate roles within their teams. 

The UCLA part-time MBA also allows students to gain global experience while completing their MBAs. Along with the option of the Global Access Program outlined above, students can also choose to participate in the Global Immersion Program or the International Exchange Program. 

The Global Immersion Program allows students to choose various subjects before embarking on an international one-week trip. Students will learn from local business leaders, government officials, and professors at partner universities during this time abroad. 

They will also have the opportunity to visit historical and cultural sights during their visit! The International Exchange Program lets students participate in a one-week program at a university abroad. 

The program’s purpose is to allow “students [to] gain a closer understanding of the cultural and business customs of the host country while simultaneously expanding their networks.”

Program Structure

The UCLA part-time MBA offers three flexible options for students to choose from to best plan their studies around their personal and professional lives. Students completing their core schedules can choose between attending all-day classes on Saturdays or weekly classes on 

Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The third option is a hybrid model, which allows students to attend class four weekends (Saturday and Sunday classes) per quarter on campus while completing their courses online. 

When students meet their course requirements and are ready to embark upon the elective portion of the program, they are offered even greater flexibility. Students can choose to complete their courses through the pathways mentioned and take daytime electives with full-time MBA students, any graduate-level electives, and global electives. 

On average, students complete their UCLA part-time MBA within 2.5 to 3 years. With these scheduling options, the UCLA part-time MBA program offers the flexibility that students need to complete their MBA at their own pace. 

UCLA MBA Part-Time Class Profile

The UCLA MBA Part-Time program attracts over 850 fully employed students from diverse backgrounds, representing 44 nationalities. 

What's notable is that 21% of these individuals have advanced degrees, with 18 holding Ph.D.s and 7 having medical or legal backgrounds. Additionally, the program is proud to have 53 active-duty military members or veterans, highlighting its dedication to diversity and inclusion.

The professional diversity within the student body is equally impressive, with representatives from over 600 companies across 30+ industries. This broad spectrum of experience underscores the program's relevance across different sectors of the economy.

Over the past ten years, the program has seen a significant 54% increase in its student body, indicating its growing popularity and influence within the realm of business education.

Source: UCLA Anderson

UCLA Part Time MBA Benefits 

The UCLA part-time MBA can have a significant impact on graduates’ professional lives. In a recent survey, UCLA reported that graduates saw a 61 percent salary increase four months after graduating. 

Incoming students reported their wages for an average of around $95,208, whereas graduating students earned an average of approximately $156,834 four months post-grad and a signing bonus of roughly $35,584. UCLA part-time MBA students can undoubtedly reap the monetary rewards of their education in a reasonably short time after graduating. 

The UCLA part-time MBA program also offers career coaching services. These services help students further their careers by offering coaching on effective career management strategies, developing necessary career skills, teaching interpersonal techniques through mock interviews, and providing strategies to help students leverage their MBA to advance their current roles. 

The UCLA part-time program can assist students looking to make a career change; eligible students may participate in on-campus recruiting programs run by big-name companies that seek out UCLA Anderson students. Some of these companies include Adobe, Google, The Walt Disney Company, Amazon, and more!

Along with these great program benefits, students become part of the Anderson Network, where alumni and students can search for jobs or connect with local and international alumni. This networking resource can be a great help to those seeking more professional connections.

‍One testimonial from Francisco Alejo, a senior consultant at Infosys Consulting, said that his classmates, faculty and alumni have helped broaden his global perspective. “I have had countless opportunities to learn about new industries, career paths and business models. I am truly amazed at all the alumni who come back to Anderson to stay connected and find new talent for their firms.”

Eligibility and How to Apply 

If you’ve decided that the UCLA part-time MBA is an excellent fit for you, you must fulfill all the requirements and apply. You will have to craft an online application and MBA profile outlining your professional and personal experiences. 

Although the competition level for the UCLA part-time MBA is not as fierce as some other programs, it will not serve you well to be complacent with your application. You will need to meet certain prerequisites to apply to UCLA:

Requirements

  • An online application
  • Two mandatory essay responses
  • You can choose to write an additional essay to share more information with the admissions committee
  • A professional resume
  • University transcripts
  • GMAT, GRE, or EA scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • English Language Proficiency Examinations (TOEFL and IELTS) if you are a non-native English speaker 
  • Application fee of $200
  • Based on how the above requirements are received, an interview with the admissions committee

More on Essay Responses 

You must complete two essays as part of your application. These essay questions may change over time, but examples of recent essay questions are as follows: 

FEMBA Essays

1. Tell us about yourself and what you will bring to the learning community at UCLA Anderson. (500 word maximum)

2. What are your short and long term career goals and what aspects of UCLA Anderson will support you in achieving those goals? (500 word maximum)

Optional Essay

Should the Admissions Committee be aware of any additional circumstances in your profile?

Please address any of these scenarios if they apply to you:

If you will be commuting from out of the area or relocating, please explain your plans.

If you are not employed full-time, please explain your current employment situation and your career search plan to be employed by the beginning of the program.

If you are currently enrolled in another graduate program (including MBA), please clarify your status in the program (standing, % complete, etc.) and explain your reason for wanting to begin UCLA Anderson.

If your cumulative undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 or in a lower degree classification, please explain the circumstances around this.

More on Two Letters of Recommendation 

You must provide two letters of recommendation. These should ideally be from your current managers or supervisors, but you may also ask a previous employer. Your UCLA Anderson Part Time MBA letters of recommendation should touch on the following topics: 

  • A description of the recommender's interaction with you and their role in your organization.
  • How does the applicant’s work performance compare to others in the same or similar roles? What are the applicant’s strengths?
  • Describe what the most impactful constructive feedback you have given was about. How did the applicant respond to feedback?

More on On-Campus Interviews ‍

After you submit your application within the timeframe of the round to which you are applying, you may be prompted to attend an optional interview at UCLA’s campus. Though it is optional, a face-to-face interview can allow the admissions committee to get to know you personally and increase your chances of admission.

Top Tips on How to Get Into UCLA’s Part-Time MBA Program 

If the UCLA Part-Time MBA sounds like an exciting and perfect venture for you to take, there are numerous ways to significantly strengthen your application. Here are a few top tips to give yourself a greater chance of acceptance at UCLA: 

1. Visit the campus and attend an event.

Not only is visiting a prospective university choice an excellent way for you to gauge the school’s fit, but it’s also a great way to get to know the alumni, faculty, and students. You can attend these events either in person or virtually, so if traveling to the campus isn't possible for you, you don’t have to miss out on this great resource. There are six ways to get involved with UCLA Anderson: 

  • Online Webinar: This option allows potential applicants to learn about UCLA’s part-time MBA, followed by a Q&A period with an admissions officer. 
  • Mixer: A casual in-person event to meet admissions staff and students. 
  • FEMBA chat and AMP AMA: Student Perspectives: This event will give you the chance to join a small group of current students in a Q&A session to gain students’ perspectives on the program. 
  • Why FEMBA?: You can attend this event in-person or virtually and listen to Assistant Dean Dylan Stafford explain why UCLA may be the best fit for you. 
  • Preparing Your Best FEMBA Application: This a great resource to help your application stand out from the crowd. This event is hosted by admissions staff offering help with the admissions process, an interactive resume workshop and advice on what to expect ‘post-admission.’
  • Class Visits: Lastly, you can experience a real UCLA part-time MBA class after first attending one of the other five events. After this, you may register for one session of each class per quarter to better feel for the curriculum. 

2. Showcase how you are an active participant in the community, classroom, and workplace.

Alex Lawrence, the Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at UCLA, said that “good candidates will demonstrate how they have gone above and beyond in pretty much everything they have done, including at an undergraduate level.” 

Show the admissions committee how you have actively participated in community or volunteer projects, clubs, and academics in your undergrad and what progress you have made in professional settings.

However, Lawrence said that just that alone is not enough; the ideal candidate is in a senior or leadership position and has “sought more responsibility, dealt with challenging situations, or attempted to make a change that aligns with their own personal values.” 

3. Interviews - get to know UCLA Anderson as much as your interviewer gets to know you.

Your interview at UCLA should flow less like an interrogation and more like a conversation. While you want to remain professional, you should be authentic and let the conversation flow naturally. Make sure that you know your application inside out! “If you know what you want to do with your MBA, showcase some knowledge, some level of effort and wisdom about the MBA,” said Lawrence.

He said that having this foundation will go a long way for a positive reaction from the admissions committee. Lawrence also stressed that getting to know the figures on campus will be beneficial for you, as you can align yourself with different sectors and faculty members who can put you on a path to success. 

FAQs

Let's take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding the UCLA Part-Time MBA program.

1. Will I receive the same degree as I would completing the full time MBA program? 

Yes. You will take the same core courses, be taught by the same faculty, and receive the same MBA as the full-time program. 

2. Can I apply to both the full-time and part-time programs in the same year? 

No, you may only choose one program to apply to in a given year. Each program has separate application processes. 

3. What makes a successful application in a few words? 

A successful application will demonstrate the candidate’s academic ability and commitment to giving back. Strong standardized test scores are an asset, as well as quality and quantity of work experience. In terms of giving back, UCLA wants to know about your leadership abilities and how they will add value to the class. 

4. Can I transfer from another part-time MBA program? 

UCLA does not accept transfers from outside of the University of California system. If you wish to transfer from another UC part-time MBA program, you must complete the application process and essays. You must also write a third essay describing why you want to transfer and your standing in your current program. 

5. What should I write in the optional essay if I choose to complete it? 

The admissions committee wants you to write the optional essay if any of these situations apply to you: 

  • You are commuting from out of the area or relocating. This is a great opportunity to explain your plans.
  • If you’re not employed full-time, it’s a good idea to explain your situation and what steps you are taking in your career search.
  • If you are already enrolled in another MBA program, explain why you want to transfer to UCLA Anderson and communicate your standing in that program.
  • If you have a GPA of lower than 3.0, explain the circumstances around why. For example, did you have family obligations or have to work while completing your undergrad?

6. Do I need to complete any additional materials if I am reapplying?‍

Reapplicants must craft an entirely new application after indicating that they are a reapplicant. Reapplicants are asked to provide one new recommendation, highlight progress made since their last application, and write an additional essay.

This essay asks you to describe your career progress, how you’ve improved your candidacy, and update on your career goals.

Conclusion

Applying to the UCLA part-time MBA program can be a significant step in your career, especially if you are already working a full-time job. You must research the program and elective classes to better understand how the program can work to fit your long-term career aspirations and consider how the UCLA part-time MBA can return on your investment.

Keep in mind all the requirements that you must fulfill, and ensure that your application’s foundation is sound before applying. Spend time making sure that your application is an excellent representation of who you are and culminates all of your relevant experiences. If you do all of the above, you will be increasing your chance of acceptance.

Visiting the campus or attending the events outlined above will help you evaluate what the 

UCLA part-time MBA offers you and how your life can look post-grad. With all of these tips in mind, you can craft a stellar application to secure your seat in the UCLA part-time program. 

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At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.
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