FAQ

How is the MSBA program different than the MBA and MFE programs offered by UCLA Anderson?

Business analytics is the application of statistical, computational, quantitative, econometric, and management tools to the informational flows of an organization for the purpose of addressing business needs. The aim of the MSBA program is to prepare graduate level students with the knowledge, training, and skills required to fulfill roles in the business world in the area of business analytics. The Anderson MBA programs are longer in duration, 2 to 3 years in length depending on the program, and require work experience. In addition, the course work in the MBA Programs is broader and geared toward students with an interest in general management theories and practice. The MFE program differs from the MSBA in that quantitatively focused MFE students take only courses directly related to modern finance theory and practice such as stochastic calculus.

How large is the entering class?

Our target class size for the entering class of Fall 2018 is 35 students.

How long is the program?

The program is 13 months. Classes begin in November and end in December of the following year.

What is the academic calendar schedule for the program?

The program begins in Fall Quarter 2018 (November 1, 2018 – December 14, 2018). However, the first five weeks of classes are conducted online, there are no classes taught on campus. Therefore, any visas required by international students would not need to start until January 2019 when campus based classes begin. Campus based classes begin in the Winter Quarter (January 7, 2019 – March 22, 2019), continue through the Spring Quarter (April 1, 2019 – June 14, 2019), followed by a summer internship (July-August, 2019, exact dates to be determined). The final segment of the program begins in the Fall 2019 Quarter (September 26, 2019 – December 13, 2019). During the Fall 2019 Quarter, international students must continue to take campus based classes. Upon successful completion of all requirements, students graduate from the program in December 2019.

Please note, students cannot accelerate their studies and graduate early. This is a 13 month, full-time program, and the courses are only offered once per year.

When is the deadline to apply?

Please see here.

Can I apply to both the Masters of Financial Engineering (MFE) and MSBA programs this year?

No, you cannot apply to both programs. However, if you apply to the MFE program and do not receive an offer of admission from them and you meet the minimum qualifications for the MSBA program, we can consider your application. Alternatively, if you only wish to be considered for the MSBA program this year, you would have to withdraw your MFE application before applying to the MSBA program.

Where can I get an application?

UCLA is currently in the process of switching the application platform and expect for the new platform to be live by November 20, 2017. We will post an update when the application link is available. Thank you.

Are there quotas for international, in-state or out-of-state students?

No, there is no set quota for any type of student in our class; our aim is to recruit the best qualified students for our program.

Are there any prerequisites for this program?

All prospective students are expected to have a strong quantitative background including linear algebra, multivariate calculus, statistics and probability. In addition, applicants should have some experience or coursework in computer programming (e.g., C, Java, or Python) plus statistical and econometric modeling (e.g., R, SAS, STATA, or MATLAB). It is important to demonstrate competence in analytical skills in your application, through undergraduate math courses and/or your GMAT or GRE score.

What is the cost of the MSBA Program?

Program Charges for the Masters of Science in Business Analytics Class of 2019 is anticipated to be $62,579 total. Program charges do not include living expenses, transportation costs, parking, books, medical insurance, campus fees, or a laptop computer. Charges are subject to change on an annual basis.

Is Financial Aid available?

Yes. Direct Unsubsidized loan ($20,500 per academic year) is available, and Graduate PLUS and private loans for amounts in excess of $20,500 are also available. For more information and to apply for a student loan please go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. The school code for UCLA is 001315. Private loans for international students are also available. For more information, please contact connie.kwan@anderson.ucla.edu.

Are scholarships available?

Merit scholarships of varied amounts are awarded to students based on the overall strength of their admission application and relative strength in the pool of admits. Awards are made by the UCLA Anderson MSBA Program at the time of admission or at any point during the admissions cycle.

Does the MSBA qualify as a STEM program?

Yes, the UCLA Anderson MSBA Program is qualified for STEM which can extend an international student's Optional Practical Training (OPT) by 17 months - for a total of 29 months. OPT is temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. OPT rules may be found here.

Is work experience required before applying to the UCLA Anderson MSBA Program?

Work experience is not required but it is recommended for admission to the UCLA Anderson MSBA Program. It is important for you to assess your own readiness when deciding to apply. Recent college graduates who have exceptional academic records and test scores, as well as strong leadership in college are encouraged to apply to the UCLA Anderson MSBA program. We seek to admit students at different points in their professional lives. Please note that it is not the quantity, but the quality of your experience (and how it fits with your goals), that counts.

How many letters of recommendation do I need, and by whom should they be written?

Two. It is suggested that letters of recommendation be written by individuals who can evaluate your quantitative skills and your management potential such as professors, employers and managers.

If only two letters of recommendation are required, why is the application system asking for three?

The third recommendation letter is optional. If you do not wish to submit a third recommender in your application, then enter any (arbitrary) email address and it will be ignored.

What should I do if there is a problem uploading a recommendation letter or the letter writer does not receive a confirmation email?

Please ask the letter writer to send a copy of the letter directly to msba.admissions@anderson.ucla.edu.

How much is the application fee?

The non-refundable application fee is $200 for all applicants.

Is there an admission enrollment deposit?

Yes, admitted students that want to reserve a space in the incoming class must complete the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) and must pay the enrollment fee. This fee in expected to be $2,000 for Fall 2018. This fee is non-refundable and counts as a deposit towards the total program fees.

How much do the letters of recommendation, interview, GMAT/GRE, etc., matter? Do you weigh one more heavily than the others?

Components of an application are not weighted -- all of the factors are important aspects of the application and we do a comprehensive review and look at the total application holistically.

Is there an expected GMAT/GRE score or GPA required for admission?

GPA: 3.0+ (on 4.0 scale), or the equivalent of a B average on the undergraduate school’s scale
GMAT: 710 overall (above 90%)
GRE: Quantitative Score of 167 (above 92%)

Which test is preferred, the GMAT or the GRE?

The MSBA Program will accept a test score report from either the GRE or the GMAT. Preference to one exam is not given over the other.

Where can I get information about the GRE and GMAT?

Applications for and information concerning the GRE may be obtained by calling 609-771-7670, or by visiting the GRE website. Be sure to send GRE scores to institution code 5988.

Applications for and information for the GMAT can be found on the GMAT website. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) that is administered three weeks per month, six days per week throughout the year at approximately 400 computer-based testing sites in North America and many other parts of the world. To obtain further information and/or to make testing arrangements, visit the Graduate Management Admission Council website. Our school code to send test results to UCLA Anderson is 2NZ-2F-21.

If I take the GMAT/GRE more than once, will the Admissions Committee average the scores or take the highest one?

We will see all of your scores but will take your higher score if you take the test twice. If you take the test more than twice, we consider all scores, but will not average them.

Is there a foreign language requirement?

There is no foreign language requirement; only English proficiency is required. This is consistent with all of the graduate degree programs offered by UCLA Anderson School of Management.

I am an international student, can I still apply?

Yes! UCLA Anderson is home to many international students and faculty members. Applicants who do not have U.S. citizenship or permanent residence at the time of applying are considered as international. Please direct all your visa related inquiries to the Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars website for the most up-to-date information.

International students who have been admitted to the MSBA program will receive an email notification from the Dashew Center. This email will be sent shortly after paying the enrollment deposit and will have instructions on how to request an I-20.

If I am not from the United States or another English speaking country, do I need to take the TOEFL?

Applicants who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life and the medium of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution, are exempted from the TOEFL / IELTS requirement. Applicants who were educated in countries where English is not the primary spoken language of daily life are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS, no matter the language used at their school.  This includes applicants with degrees from multi-lingual countries such as India, Nigeria, Pakistan, etc. 

What is the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score that is required?

The overall band score on the IELTS should be at least 7.0. 7.0 is the minimum required. There are two different types of TOEFL tests you may take. The minimum score requirement for each is as follows:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT): 87
  • Paper-based TOEFL (TOEFL PBT): 560

Please note  For the TOEFL iBT, the following are expected passing scores for each section and the minimum total passing score:

  • Writing: 25
  • Speaking: 24
  • Reading: 21
  • Listening: 17

Total minimum passing score: 87

Bear in mind that these are minimum scores, and that few applicants have been admitted with scores below 100 on the iBT, 260 on the TOEFL-CBT, or below 600 on the paper-based version. For more information, visit the TOEFL web site or call (609) 771-7100. 

TOEFL test scores are valid for two (2) years.
To report the TOEFL score to us electronically, you must select institution code 4837 - UCLA ANDERSON SCHL OF MGMT and then choose "Graduate Schools of Management" as the department code.

What is the ESLPE for Admitted Applicants?

If you are an admitted applicant who has not met UCLA’s English language requirement, you must, upon arrival at UCLA, take the UCLA English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE). The ESLPE is an English diagnostic test.

If you achieved a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL iBT, or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS, the ESLPE requirement is waived!

If you scored below 100 on the TOEFL iBT, or below 7.5 on the IELTS, you must sit for the ESLPE upon arrival at UCLA.  Depending on your results on the ESLPE, you may be required to complete English as a Second Language courses beginning in your first term at UCLA. If English courses are required, you should enroll in them right away, and you should also anticipate spending a longer period of time at the University.

Admission is canceled for those who do not pass the ESLPE.

What type of degree does the admissions committee require for domestic and international applicants?

At a minimum, students must satisfy the UCLA Graduate Division admissions requirements:

The general requirement for admission for a U.S. student is a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, comparable in standard and content to a bachelor's degree from the University of California. A scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better is required (or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used)—for the last 60 semester units or last 90 quarter units of undergraduate study and in any post-baccalaureate study.

Degrees which are not considered comparable include those granted on the basis of work completed at institutions which are not fully accredited and those granted on the basis of non-academic prior learning, test scores, or other than organized supervised coursework in academic subjects.

An international student whose post-secondary education is completed outside of the U.S. is expected to hold a degree representing completion of at least four years of study with above average scholarship from a university or university-level institution.

I have a degree from a 3-year program. Will my application be considered?

In general, UCLA requires a degree from a 4-year program or better. However, exceptions can be made for 3-year degrees from universities in Commonwealth countries. As mentioned before, the degree should demonstrate a quantitative background.

Are interviews part of the application process?

Yes. Interviews are done on an invitation-only basis. The MSBA office will contact you after an application has been submitted if you are invited for an interview.

Can I work while I am in the program?

UCLA Anderson's MSBA Program is a full-time program. Part-time student status is not permitted. Students may work during their summer internship only.

Will there be a rolling admissions process or is there a deadline for release of admissions decisions?

Yes, we will have a rolling admissions process, there will not be a particular deadline for release of admissions decisions.

Can I check my application status over the telephone or via email?

No, for purposes of confidentiality, we will not give information regarding your application status via telephone or e-mail. You will be able to check your application and admission status through the online application system when it is available.

I received an offer from a competing program with a deadline but I still have not heard from UCLA Anderson, what should I do?

Please send an email letting us know about your deadline and we will try to update the status of your application in time for you to make a decision. In the email, please include a proof of admission to the other program.

Will pre-requisite courses completed on Coursera or as MOOCs be eligible for consideration?

Yes, we will consider pre-requisite courses completed on Coursera or as MOOCs, but a strong application should have additional evidence of a quantitative background, such as a bachelor degree or substantial work experience in a related field.

Do you accept transfer credits?

No. We do not accept transfer credits.  You must apply online and go through the entire admissions process to see if you qualify for an offer of admission.  If you are admitted, we require that you take all the courses offered in the curriculum while you are in the program, even if you had already taken them at another university.

Are course waivers accepted?

Course waivers will not be accepted in our first class intake.

Can I take individual MSBA courses?

No, the MSBA courses are only available to students enrolled in the program.

Do I need a laptop computer for the MSBA Program?

Yes. UCLA Anderson is fully networked, and at times students use computers in class. Every student is required to have a laptop computer that is compatible with the Anderson network. Admitted students receive details about computer requirements with their orientation materials.

Can I defer my admission?

We assume that applicants each year are serious about entering UCLA Anderson when admitted; therefore, Anderson does not grant admission deferrals. Instead, all admission offers must be either accepted or declined.

What kind of job prospects are there for graduates?

The opportunities for graduates of UCLA Anderson's M.S. in Business Analytics program will, by all evidence we have seen, be plentiful. A McKinsey Global Institute report[1] on the state of the data science and analytics market estimates that by 2018, “the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the knowhow to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.” The report goes on to say that, “By 2018, in the United States, we estimate that 4 million positions will require these types of skills in a big data world. However, if we add together the number of people with these skills and new graduates who will enter the market (on current trends), we reach a total of only 2.5 million people in the United States in 2018. So there is a potential shortfall of 1.5 million data-savvy managers and analysts. This is not a gap likely to be filled simply by changing graduate requirements…”

In our own independent study based on LinkedIn data, we estimated that there were about 150,000 unique ads posted in 2016 that had the keyword "business analytics" in the job title (e.g., Business Analytics Associate or Business Analytics Consultant). Moreover, 19.4% of these jobs were located in California, which was the largest fraction among all states.

[1] http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/big-data-the-next-frontier-for-innovation

Master of Science in Business Analytics