Riordan MBA Fellows

The Riordan MBA Fellows Program targets recent college graduates who are considering graduate education in business management. Its core purpose is to educate, prepare and motivate these individuals to competitively apply and succeed in a top MBA program and a career in management. This transformational experience will help professionals expand their network and build their leadership skills and community service profile. Fellows are required to attend in-person sessions at UCLA that include various activities and services.

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I attribute a large part of my achievement to the support and mentorship I have received from the Riordan Programs over the years. As a Riordan MBA Fellow, I was connected with a vast network of professionals who were wholeheartedly invested in my success. The program addresses every front of the MBA application journey and provides tailored preparation to ensure that every prospective applicant is well positioned to secure admission to the top MBA programs in the country. Today, I continue to engage with the Riordan Programs and am always excited to take on leadership roles that allow me to continue the program’s long-standing tradition of community service.”

Shirley Ceja-Tinoco (’17)
Riordan MBA Fellow 2013

About Riordan MBA Fellows


This transformational experience will help you expand your network and build your leadership skills and your community service profile. Fellows are required to attend in-person sessions at UCLA, which include:

  • Graduate-level discussions and case studies led by top UCLA Anderson faculty
  • Personalized one-on-one MBA Action Plan counseling session
  • Guest speakers from the corporate community
  • Guidance on MBA admissions, financial aid and GMAT preparation
  • Personal mentors who are current UCLA Anderson MBA students
  • Team community service project
  • Networking opportunities with industry professionals and the UCLA Anderson community
  • Social events with Riordan Programs alumni and corporate representatives

Our MBA Action Plan counseling sessions are a key component of the program, and with counseling you will develop a realistic timeline on the path toward an MBA. These sessions provide advice on professional and career development, academic preparation and other considerations for becoming a stronger business school applicant.

Why Apply


An MBA is the key to success in business or in any leadership position. If you have a strong ambition and want the tools and knowledge to create a lasting impact in an organization or as an entrepreneur, the Riordan MBA Fellows program will prepare you for the next step: an MBA at a top school.

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Applying to Riordan Fellows


Application Period

The application period for the 2021 - 2022 program year will open November 1, 2020.

Application Deadline for 2021-2022: Round 1 Deadline: January 15, 2021, Round 2 Deadline: April 9, 2021 
Interviews: By invitation only 
Decisions E-mailed by: Tentative Decision for Round 1: April 2, 2020, Tentative Decision for Round 2: June 25, 2021  


Prior experience in or knowledge of business is not required. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • On average, applicants are up to five years post graduate from an undergraduate college/university.
  • Applicant's cumulative grade point average must be at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicant should have at least 1 year of full-time work experience and be fully employed at time of application.
  • Applicant must have demonstrated leadership skills and community service involvement.


Please read through the cohort requirements for admission into the Riordan MBA Fellows Program. The scores below are not required at time of application and are only requested if accepted and admitted into the program following the admission process. However, if you have a GMAT/GRE official or diagnostic test score at time of applying, please include the score in the designated section on your application. 

Cohort 1:

Fellows looking to apply to business school within 1 - 2 years.

  • If applying to business school in 2021 - 2022 and admitted to Cohort 1, you will need an official GMAT or GRE Equivalent test score of 650.
  • If applying to business school in 2022 - 2023 and admitted to Cohort 1, you will need an GMAT or GRE Equivalent Diagnostic test score of 600.

Cohort 2:

Fellows looking to apply to business school within 2 - 4 years.

  • If admitted, you will need a GMAT or GRE Equivalent Diagnostic test score of 450.

Two-Step Application


Step One

Step One materials due, Round 1: January 15th, Round 2: April 9th

Online Application

Submit your online application. All applications items for Step 1 and Step 2 must be submitted online and will not be accepted via mail. No items will be accepted in person.

Submit your online application here.

Copy of unofficial transcript(s)

Transcripts must be submitted and uploaded to the online application. Official transcripts will be requested if you are accepted into the Riordan MBA Fellows Program.


Your resume must be uploaded to your online application as a PDF or MS Word document. Resumes cannot be emailed or sent separately.

Letter of recommendation*

Submit only one letter recommendation, preferably from a supervisor or manager at your current place of employment. When the Riordan application is submitted, an automatic email will be sent directly to your reference’s email address. This email will contain a link to the reference form. Please plan accordingly and give your recommender enough time before the deadline to submit. Visit our FAQ for additional information about the recommendation.

Essays (2 essays, 1 optional)

  • Essay 1: Please provide us with a summary of your personal and family background. Include information about your parents and siblings, where you grew up and perhaps a highlight or special memory of your youth. (500-word max.)
  • Essay 2: Discuss your career goals and why you want to earn an MBA, particularly at this point in your career. Why, specifically, are you applying to the Riordan MBA Fellows Program? (500-word max.)
  • Essay 3 (optional): Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the Admissions Committee in considering your application? If you feel the application already represents you well, do not feel obligated to submit Essay 3. (500-word max.)
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*When the application is submitted, an automated email will be sent directly to the email address you indicated for your reference. This email will contain a link to the reference form. Please give your recommender enough time to respond before the application deadline.


Step Two

Step Two materials due, Round 1: January 15th, Round 2: April 9th

We understand the time and effort it takes to complete the application. We ask all applicants to complete the following checklist:

  • Payment of application fee (visit this link to pay application fee HERE)
We require that all sections of the application be complete and will not review it until all items have been received.

Program Details


Program Schedule

2021 - 2022 Program Dates

Cohort 1 Session Schedule
Orientation Sessions #1 & #2: August 13 - 14, 2021
Session #3: October 9, 2021
Session #4: November 6, 2021
Session #5: January 8, 2022
Session #6: March 5, 2022
Graduation: Riordan Programs Graduation (May 2022)
Cohort 2 Session Schedule
Orientation Sessions #1 & #2: September 3-4, 2021
Session #3: October 9, 2021
Session #4: December 4, 2021
Session #5: February 5, 2022
Session #6: April 2, 2022
Graduation: Riordan Programs Graduation (May 2021)
*Dates are tentative


There is an application fee of $50 for all professional applicants to the Riordan MBA Fellows Program. Tuition for the 2021 - 2022 program year is tentatively set at $900. Breakfast, lunch, classroom supplies and materials are provided at the monthly Saturday sessions; lodging, transportation, parking and cost of books are not included.


Admitted Riordan MBA Fellows are required to attend all monthly Saturday sessions. Riordan MBA Fellows are expected to exhibit a professional demeanor and actively participate in class discussions, community service projects and all other program activities. Work-appropriate attire is required at all Riordan Programs functions.

If admitted into the Riordan MBA Fellows Program, you will be required to take and show proof of either an official GMAT/GRE test or GMAT/GRE Equivalent Diagnostic test meeting the required minimum score above (see Cohort Requirements) and your official transcripts will be needed before orientation. Please note we are not requiring the official GMAT/GRE test for Cohort 2, only the diagnostic.


View FAQ

Speak with the Riordan Programs Staff

Still have additional questions after reviewing the FAQ? Join us for a on-line webinar (sign-up is located in the "Take Action" section at the top). Webinars are designed to provide in-depth details on the Riordan MBA Fellows program, the curriculm, community services projects and answer questions. You can also schedule a one-on-one admissions meeting. One-on-One meetings take place weekly over the phone or in-person. Please contact Associate Director April Owens ( if you are interested in a one-on-one meeting.