MBA Admissions single


MBA Insider

UCLA Anderson Application Insider: Which Round To Apply In?

This blog post is part of our “Application Insider” blog post series that provides insider information, tips, and advice about applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program.




The UCLA Anderson application is already live and with our Round 1 deadline a little over a month away (October 2nd), it’s time to start thinking about what round you’re planning on submitting your application. Although the application process can be daunting, it is also a time to embrace the excitement of what may very well be one of the most transformational opportunities of your career.

There are pros and cons to each of UCLA Anderson’s three rounds, but if you ask me, 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.


Pros: All seats are available in Round 1 (for UCLA Anderson, that’s about 360 in our full-time MBA class), so we have room to admit all of the qualified candidates that we come across. Round 1 is generally for the program(s) that happen to be one of your top choices because due to the early deadline dates, you really only have time to focus heavily on a few applications. This round is ideal because if you get admitted to UCLA Anderson and we’re your first choice (which we hope we are!), you can sit tight until August when school starts. If you do not get admitted (which hopefully you will), you will have ample time to apply to other programs in later rounds. Further, in Round 1 we have the full amount of merit-based fellowship funds left to distribute.  Applying early can also show the Admissions Committee that you’re serious about attending our business school.  

Cons: Due to the earlier deadline dates, applicants may feel rushed to complete their application by a Round 1 deadline. All programs are different and will have different requirements for their application process. You will need to have sufficient time to reflect on your short- and long-term goals as well as answer essay prompts that need a great deal of attention. Rushing though essays will be very evident to an Admissions Committee, especially when we’re looking for students who will fit in with Anderson culture. Further, 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 also will have the least amount of time to complete your entrance exams, and without proper planning, will likely not have time to re-take the exams if you’re not satisfied with your first score.



Pros: Round 2 is the most popular round for applicants here at UCLA Anderson because 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. One of the greatest advantages of applying in Round 2 is that you have more time to learn about our program by attending Admissions events. Perhaps you can even schedule a campus visit or stop by our fall open house, “Access Anderson” to meet with current students and observe a class! 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.

Cons: Although we do not see a difference when it comes to the chances of a student being admitted in Round 1 vs. Round 2, we do receive the largest number of applications during Round 2. Therefore, competition is high (especially since we also have Round 1 waitlisted candidates 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.  


Pros: Perhaps the biggest benefit in applying in Round 3 is not just having the most time to put together the strongest application possible, but you also 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.  

Cons: Unlike Round 2 where it’s competitive due to the sheer number of application received, 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. 

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: 

1 October 2, 2019 December 18, 2019
2 January 8, 2020 March 26, 2020
3 April 16, 2020 May 21, 2020

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!

Stay in Touch: Introduce Yourself
Follow the Admissions Team @uclaMBA:  Twitter and Instagram
Questions? Contact us at:

mba insider single


Follow Us