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UCLA Anderson Application Insider: Which Round Should I Apply In?



The UCLA Anderson application is already live and with our UCLA Anderson Round 1 deadline a little over a month away (October 5th), one of the questions that we consistently get is “Which Round Should I Apply In?” Like many other top MBA programs, UCLA Anderson offers multiple application rounds within each academic year. The various rounds will coincide with when your application is due and when you find out if you’re admitted – generally speaking, the earlier you apply, the earlier the decision is made (though it’s not always the case if you’re waitlisted…more on that below).  

In terms of “when is the best time to apply?” The answer is, apply when your application is as strong as can be, even if you have to wait until rounds 2 or 3. However, based on prior class, rounds 1 and 2 are a level playing field. Round 3 is still a good time to apply, though selectivity can increase as seats are filling up by admits from previous rounds. We do want to reiterate thought that the best time to apply is when you feel your application is at its strongest. The biggest disservice you can do for yourself is submit a hastily put together application to meet an earlier round deadline. UCLA Anderson accepts top-quality applicants across all three rounds!

The pros and cons of each round below may help you determine which is the best round for you. With that said, please remember that the relative competitiveness of each round varies, as the applicant pool changes from year to year.



  • All seats are available in Round 1 (for UCLA Anderson, that’s about 330 in our full-time MBA class), so we have room to admit all of the qualified candidates that we come across.
  • The application process can be grueling as time goes on so front loading the extra effort to target schools in Round 1 will ensure that you are not fatigued when applying to your top choices in later rounds.
  • If you get admitted to UCLA Anderson and we are your first choice, your application process is done and you get to hang out for a solid 8 months before embarking on your new adventure.
  • Round 1 will also have the full amount of merit-based fellowship funds to distribute.   


  • Applicants may feel rushed to complete their application by Round 1 due to an earlier deadline date. Without proper time management, individuals may not allot sufficient time to put together the highest quality application that they are capable of run the risk of hurting their chances for acceptance into our program.
  • If you have not given sufficient time for your recommenders to complete their letters of recommendation, the quality of those crucial elements of the application may also be compromised.  
  • You will have the least amount of time to complete your GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS exams, and without proper planning, will likely not have time to re-take the exams if you’re not satisfied with your first score. 



  • You have additional time to complete your application and write your essay; plus your recommenders also have more time to finish their recommendations.
  • We only evaluate your top score so if you were not satisfied with your GMAT/GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS score the first time around, you will likely have time to re-take the exams.
  • You have more time to learn about our program by attending Admissions events. By having this time to get first-hand experience on our program, you may gain a better understanding of your own school preferences and MBA goals, all which will reflect in your application. 


  • Round with the most application submitted including those we also have waitlisted in Round 1 that are still under consideration.
  • If you do not get accepted (which hopefully won’t be the case!) you may not have sufficient time to apply to another program within the same academic year.
  • Although competition is high, it does not mean your chances of being admitted are lower. We have more applications, but percentage-wise, based on previous years, Rounds 1 and 2 a very similar in acceptance rate. 



  • You will have the most time to put together the strongest application possible and you will have additional time to enhance your application profile — the additional time may allow you to get a promotion at work, take on a new project, and/or get involved in more leadership activities, for example.
  • If you applied to other programs in earlier rounds, you will likely also be equipped with acceptance information from those schools.
  • You will also have ample time to take (and potentially re-take) the GMAT/GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS exams.  


  • This last round is the most competitive because our class size is capped. Fewer applicants are historically admitted in the last round simply due to the limited spots we have remaining to round out the in-coming class. While you can still be placed on our waitlist, there are still likely many other individuals from earlier Rounds on our waitlist that you’ll be still compared against. 
  • You will have the least amount of time to prepare yourself for the shift back to being a full-time student, especially if you’re making a major move. 

Now that you have a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of each round, below is a reminder of our application deadlines by round for this academic year: 

1October 5, 2022December 14, 2022
2January 4, 2023March 22, 2023
3April 12, 2023May 17, 2023

Check back for more “Application Insider” blog posts that will cover information and tips on the many aspects of applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program!

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