Riordan MBA Fellows Program

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 the Riordan MBA Fellows Program


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: obtaining an MBA from a top school.


Applying to the Riordan Fellows Program


Applications for the 2021–2022 program year are now being accepted

First Round Deadline: January 31, 2021

Final Round Deadline: April 9, 2021

Interviews are by invitation only. Decisions will be sent out via email.

First Round Decisions: April 2, 2021

Final Round Decisions: 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 graduation from an undergraduate college/university.
  • Applicants cumulative grade point average must be at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicants should have at least one year of full-time work experience and be fully employed at time of application.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated leadership skills and community service involvement.

Please read through the cohort requirements for admission into the Riordan MBA Fellows Program. GMAT/GRE scores are not required at the time of application, but they will be required if you are admitted into the program. However, if you have a GMAT/GRE official or diagnostic test score when applying, please include it on your application.

Cohort 1:

Fellows looking to apply to business school within one to two years

  • If you plan to apply to business school for the 2021–2022 school year and you have been admitted to Cohort 1, you will need an official GMAT/GRE or equivalent diagnostic test score of 650.
  • If you plan to apply to business school for the 2022–2023 school year and you have been admitted to Cohort 1, you will need a GMAT/GRE equivalent diagnostic test score of 600.

Cohort 2:

Fellows looking to apply to business school within two to four years

  • If you are admitted to Cohort 2, you will need a GMAT/GRE equivalent diagnostic test score of 450.

Step 1


First Round Deadline: January 31, 2021; Final Round Deadline: April 9, 2021.

Online Application

Complete the 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.


Upload a copy of your unofficial transcript(s) to the online application. Your application is considered incomplete without the transcript(s).


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


Submit contact information of one teacher, counselor or community reference. Notify your listed reference that you have applied, as we may contact him or her directly.


Each essay must be a maximum of 350-400 words. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to The Riordan Programs and describe how The Riordan MBA Fellows Program can benefit you in pursuing your long-term career and/or academic goals.

* After you submit your application, your reference will receive an email at the email address you provided that contains a link to the reference form. Please make sure to give your reference ample time to complete the form before the application deadline.


Step 2


Step two materials due, Round 1: January 31st, 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 (click here to pay)

You must complete all sections of the application. We will not review your application until we have received all application materials.


Program Details


Program Schedule

2021–2022 Tentative Program Dates

Cohort 1 Session Schedule
Orientation Sessions 1 and 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 and 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 2022)


The application fee is $50. Tuition for the 2021–2022 program year is currently $900 and is subject to change. Lodging, transportation, parking and 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 you are admitted to the MBA Fellows Program, you will be required to attain and show proof of the required minimum score on either an official GMAT/GRE test or an equivalent diagnostic test (see cohort requirements above). Please note that you do not have to take an official GMAT/GRE test for Cohort 2, only an equivalent diagnostic test. You must also provide your official transcript(s) before orientation.




Speak with Riordan Programs Staff


Do you still have questions after reviewing the FAQ? Join us for a webinar (you can sign up in the “Take Action” section at the top) that will provide details on the MBA Fellows Program, its curriculum and community service projects, as well as answer your questions. You can also schedule a one-on-one meeting, which can be conducted either over the phone or in person. Please contact Associate Director April Owens at ( if you would like to schedule a meeting.