FAQ

 

Before contacting us, please take a moment to review these frequently asked questions.

 

We aim to make sure you’re as informed as possible during the application process. If you’re not able to find the answer you need, feel free to email us.

 

Prospective Applicants – General

 

How long is the program?

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The program is 15 months. For Fall 2021, classes begin September 23 and end December 9 of the following year.

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How large is the entering class?

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Our target class size for the entering class of Fall 2021 is 80 students.

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Do I need to know programming languages to enter the program?

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Yes! 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).

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

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The MFE program differs from the MSBA in that quantitatively focused MFE students take courses directly related to modern finance theory and practice such as stochastic calculus and data analytics and machine learning. The MSBA program aims to prepare graduate-level students with the knowledge, training, and skills required to fulfill business analytics roles. 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 coursework in the MBA programs is broader and geared toward students with an interest in general management theories and practice.

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Which test is preferred, the GMAT or the GRE?

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

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What is the academic calendar schedule for the program?

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The MFE curriculum is held on-campus from Fall 2021 through Fall 2022, and is cohort-based. The 15-month program typically begins in September and ends the following year in December.

 

Please note: Students cannot accelerate their studies and graduate early. This is a 15-month, full-time program, and the courses are only offered once per year.

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What kind of jobs do UCLA Anderson MFE graduates land?

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MFE graduates land a wide range of roles across multiple industries, often based upon the level of quantitative ability and technical skills they bring to the program. Students with stronger technical backgrounds, if interested, are more likely to land roles in fintech or become “data scientist.” Financial engineers pursue rewarding careers in a variety of areas: some work within banks that create, sell and trade financial instruments, also known as the “sell side”; and many work on the “buy side” within investment firms, mutual funds, hedge funds or corporations and governments that need to earn a return on their investors’ money, raise capital and manage various risks.

For an in-depth overview of career outcomes and the career services support we offer, please see the Career Impact page.

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How much do MFE graduates make in their first job out of the program?

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The average base salary for the Class of 2019 was $97,000. This does not include additional compensation such as signing bonuses, year-end bonuses and stock.

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Are there any prerequisites for this program?

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All prospective students are expected to have a strong quantitative background, including linear algebra, multivariate calculus, differential equations, numerical methods and advanced 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 your quantitative abilities and analytical skills in your application, through undergraduate math courses and/or your GMAT or GRE score.

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Does the MFE qualify as a STEM program?

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Yes, the UCLA Anderson MFE program qualifies as STEM, which can extend an international student's Optional Practical Training (OPT) by 24 months - for a total of 36 months. OPT is temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. OPT rules may be found here.

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Can I work while I am in the program?

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UCLA Anderson's MFE Program is a full-time program. Part-time student status is not permitted. Students may work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) during their summer internship the quarter prior to graduation, and may work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during Winter, Spring, and the final Fall quarter with program approval. Graduate students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 each quarter and cumulatively, prioritizing academics over employment. 

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

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

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Can I defer my admission?

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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.

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Will prerequisite courses completed on Coursera or MOOCs be eligible for consideration?

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Yes, we will consider pre-requisite courses completed on Coursera or 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.

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Do you accept transfer credits?

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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.

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Are course waivers accepted?

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Course waivers will not be accepted.

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Can I take individual MFE courses?

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

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Do I need a laptop computer for the MFE Program?

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Yes. UCLA Anderson is fully networked, students often 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.

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International

 

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

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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.

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I am an international student, can I still apply?

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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 MFE 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.

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

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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.

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Application - General

 

Where can I get an application?

When is the deadline to apply?

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Round 1: Application Deadline: December 31, 2020 (Tentative decision release date March 1, 2021)
Round 2: Application Deadline: March 1, 2021 (Tentative decision release date April 30, 2021)
Round 3: Application Deadline: April 30, 2021 (Tentative decision release date May 31, 2021)

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

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

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Where do I mail my official transcripts?

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The UCLA Anderson MFE office will accept an unofficial electronic copy of the transcript submitted with your application for admissions consideration, but will require an official copy sent directly from your university upon admission.


Transcripts can be mailed to:


UCLA Anderson School of Management
Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) Program
110 Westwood Plaza
Entrepreneurs Hall, Suite C401
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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

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

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

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The third recommendation letter is optional. If you do not wish to submit a third recommendation with your application, then enter our email address (please use mfe.admissions@anderson.ucla.edu) in the third space. In the first and last name spaces, you can type "3rd Letter." This will "trick" the system into thinking that the recommendation section of your application is complete.

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What is the cost of the MFE Program?

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The total program fees for the Master of Financial Engineering, Class of 2021 is $78,470. This does not include living expenses, transportation, parking, books, health insurance or a laptop computer. Program fees are subject to change on an annual basis.

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How much is the application fee?

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

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Is there an admission enrollment deposit?

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Yes, admitted students who 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 is expected to be $2,000 for Fall 2021. This fee is non-refundable and counts as a deposit towards the total program fees.

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

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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.

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

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

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Where can I get information about the GRE and GMAT?

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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.

GMAT: Online testing will continue to be available through December 31. 2020. Nearly 80% of global test centers are open, including almost 100% of centers located in China. However, certain centers will operate at limited capacity to comply with social-distancing rules and new health and safety measures. For more information regarding the online exam format, please visit the following page: https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat-online.

GRE: Online testing will continue to be available through September 30, 2020. The test is identical in format and experience to the physical test. This is a home-based exam monitored by a human proctor online. Eligibility is determined by whether the traditional GRE exam is offered in your location or country. For more information regarding the online exam format, please visit the following page: https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/.

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Is there a foreign language requirement?

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Application - Test Scores and GPA

 

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

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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.

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

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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%)
GRE: Verbal score of 157 (above 75%)

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

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The overall minimum required band score on the IELTS is 7.0.

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.

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What is the ESLPE for Admitted Applicants?

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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.

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What if my submitted exam score is not reflecting on my application? e.g. GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS.

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Please disregard the exam status on the application, as we have the data at the departmental level. The IT department at UCLA is aware of the issue and making adjustments. If documents or information are missing from the application, we will contact you directly to request for the materials. Otherwise, if you do not receive a request for additional materials via email, your application is considered complete. Thank you for your patience.

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Application - Work Experience

 

Is work experience required before applying to the UCLA Anderson MFE program?

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Work experience is not required but it is recommended for admission to the UCLA Anderson MFE 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 demonstrated leadership in college, are encouraged to apply to the UCLA Anderson MFE 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.

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Application - Interview

 

Are interviews part of the application process?

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

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Financial Aid

 

Is financial aid available?

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Yes. Direct Unsubsidized Loans ($20,500 per academic year) are available. 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 submit a FAFSA application: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The school code for UCLA is 001315.


Private loans (Discover Custom Grad Loan and Quorum) for international students are also available. U.S. cosigners are not required. Please be advised that international students may only borrow up to mandatory student charges and health insurance. All international private loans are made by the specific lending institutions and not by the university. For more information, please contact connie.kwan@anderson.ucla.edu.


Please be advised, to be eligible for the Discover Custom Graduate Loan, you must be residing in the United States during your program studies.

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What is the cost of attendance (for financial aid purposes)?

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All UCLA Anderson students are assigned a budget for the cost of education, including student charges, living expenses, books and supplies, and more. Please note the first-year budget includes a computer allowance. Typical Housing Costs information is also compiled by UC Office of the President and can give you an idea of housing costs in areas close to UCLA.

Program Fees* $58,853
Room and board $21,600
Books $627
Travel $5,868
Personal $4,680
Health insurance $4,458
Computer (first year only) $1,137
Loan Fees $1,815
Total Eligibility $99,038

*Budget listed is for one academic year.

Please note: The student charges posted to the student billing statements are estimates based on existing amounts. These figures may not be final. Accordingly, final approved student charges (and thus a student’s final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

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Are scholarships available?

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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 MFE Program at the time of admission or at any point during the admissions cycle.

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COVID-19 Updates

 

Will COVID-19 result in a different start date for the class of 2022?

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The incoming class is expected to start on time.

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COVID-19 has kept me from taking required tests such as the GMAT, GRE and TOEFL. How can I meet the application deadline?

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Considering the difficulty that some applicants currently face in taking the GMAT or GRE and the TOEFL or IELTS exams, our initial evaluation of the application can begin without a score, but we may not be able to issue a final decision until the required official test score(s) are received. Applicants who do not have a score when applying should put the round deadline for which they are applying as the default test date on their application and have the official score from the actual test date sent to us electronically as soon as available.

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Can I defer my admission to next year?

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UCLA Anderson does not grant admission deferrals, as admission offers are only valid for enrollment the same year. Admits who decide not to accept their offer may use the streamlined renewal process to reapply in the following application year and be evaluated with the new pool of applicants. Being admitted again is likely but not guaranteed.

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I am unable to get my official transcripts due to school closures. Can I submit them later?

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You are not required to upload official transcripts to complete and submit your application; instead, you may upload your unofficial transcripts and a scanned copy of your diploma. Only applicants who are offered admission will need to send official hard-copies or electronic documents sent directly from the university to our admissions director.

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Will you accept the at-home test scores? If so, will they be evaluated differently than those taken at a testing center?

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At-home test-taking options are now available for some exams in select regions. Please visit the testing agency's website for more information. We will accept scores from at-home exams, and they will be evaluated in the same way as exams taken at test centers.

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What steps has UCLA Anderson taken to ensure that career recruiting is strong during the coronavirus pandemic?

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Our Career Services Team continues to offer a strong level of support and expertise to our MFE students. The staff is gathering resources for students by expanding the career fair, sending resume books to companies and leveraging alumni resources. The Career Services Team will also continue to grow company contact lists, create job-hunting strategies, craft great informationals, conduct mock interviews and help students make smart career decisions.

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Can I get an application fee waiver due to the impacts of the coronavirus?

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We wish we could provide an application fee waiver to applicants who are experiencing financial hardship. However, we do not offer fee waivers (except to those with specific affiliations, as indicated in the application), so we are unable to accommodate your request.

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How can I make sure I won't miss out on the social aspects of the MFE program?

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Our school is exploring innovative ways to conduct virtual events and keep our community connected and engaged.

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I'm currently an undergraduate student, and because of the coronavirus, my school is offering a Pass/No Pass option for my courses. Will this impact me if I apply to your MFE program in the future?

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We understand the far-reaching global impacts that the coronavirus epidemic is creating, including those on current undergraduate students. We will take into account the circumstances regarding any coronavirus-related grade changes during our application evaluation.

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If I was laid off due to impacts of the coronavirus, will this impact my chances of getting admitted?

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We understand the far-reaching global impacts that the coronavirus epidemic is having, including those on the job market. We will be sure to take into account the circumstances regarding any coronavirus-related layoffs during our application evaluation, and instead focus on your prior career history and future career goals.

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If I can't make an on-campus visit due to travel restrictions, will this impact my admissions chances? How can I still learn more about your program?

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The evaluation of your application is not impacted by whether or not you visited campus or attended any events. Nevertheless, we always encourage you to learn as much as possible about our program and community. We offer different types of virtual events, which are a great way for you to get acquainted with our program without visiting campus. Additionally, we encourage you to become familiar with our website, which is an excellent resource for information on our application requirements, costs, academic curriculum, etc., as well as to access the application.

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How will my UCLA Housing be affected?

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UCLA Housing has added a Live Chat feature to its student resources to assist with any questions.

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