MBA Apps Tumble At Another Top B-School: Down Almost 30% In 2 Years At UCLA Anderson

UCLA Anderson has released a class profile for its MBA Class of 2025

The early returns continue to come in showing that full-time MBA applications are down at some of the top business schools in the United States. And one of the premier B-schools on the U.S. West Coast has not escaped the trend.

MBA apps at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management have nosedived over the last two cycles, and the result is a much smaller class than in previous years. In its newly published MBA Class of 2025 profile, the Anderson School reports receiving 2,180 applications in 2022-2023, down nearly 300 apps from the previous year.

UCLA’s app total in the last cycle is down 11.8% in one year, and nearly 30% from the school-record year of 2021, when more than 3,000 applied to join the MBA class that graduated this spring.

Class Profile UCLA Anderson Class of 2025 UCLA Anderson Class of 2024 UCLA Anderson Class of 2023 UCLA Anderson Class of 2022
Applications 2,180 2,471 3,085 2,865
Class Size 300 330 360 360
Average GMAT 710 711 714 706
Middle 80% Median GPA 3.1-3.8 3.1-3.8 3.1-3.8 3.1-3.8
Women 37% 35% 42% 40%
Minorities 28% 28% 32% 30%
International 48% 47% 36% 36%
Countries 41 43 41 37
Backgrounds High Tech 24%, Finance 22%, Consulting 14%, Health/Biotech 10%, Marketing 9% High Tech 26%, Finance 24%, Consulting 14%, Marketing 11% Tech 22%, Finance 21%, Consulting 21% Tech 26%, FInance 22%, Consulting 15%
Undergrad Major Business 26%, Engineering 19%, Economics 15%, Humanities 15%, Math/Computer Sciences 9% Business 26%, Engineering 26%, Economics 14%, Humanities 14% Business 26%, Engineering 20%, Economics 20% Business 23%, Engineering 22%, Humanities 17%


UCLA is not unique in seeing application declines in its full-time MBA. This summer, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania reported a second year of declines. Some schools continue to see app growth. But the severity of the declines at other schools warrants — and is receiving — concern.

UCLA’s application decline between the previous two cycles (from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022) was 20%, among the biggest drop-offs of any top-25 U.S. program. This came after a post-pandemic app explosion at the Anderson School, a phenomenon that lifted various other metrics with it, including women and international students in the class and the class Graduate Management Admission Test average, which jumped an incredible 8 points in one year.

What the app explosion did not do was impact the size of UCLA’s MBA class, which remained steady through 2021 at 360 students — in fact, to that point the Anderson School was among the few top schools to keep its class size exactly the same year to year. But last year, faced with the first of two drop-offs in applications, Anderson cut its class size by 30 seats, down to 330, an 8% cut; and this year, grappling with a second straight shortfall, it cut the class by another 30 seats — making the MBA Class of 2025 about 17% smaller than the class that graduated this year.

Meanwhile, the class GMAT average — which had declined in 2022 to 711 from a school-record 714 — fell again, to 710.


The number of women in UCLA’s full-time MBA slipped last year to 35% from a school-record 42% in the Class of 2023, but grew again this fall to 37%. In this regard, UCLA remains behind most of their peers in the upper tier of U.S. schools. Minority enrollment was flat this year at 28% after dropping from 32% two years ago.

What has not dropped year-to-year is international enrollment, which climbed 1 percentage point to 48% of the class this fall — a school record, and 12 points higher than the class that just graduated in the spring. (However, the number fro countries represented in the class dipped this fall to 41 from 43.) Initially a reflection of post-pandemic struggles in European and Asian economies, UCLA’s continued strength in attracting foreign students can be credited to its steady presence in the U.S. rankings (where it is 16th on P&Q‘s latest list), its California location, and its status as a premier public school with a broad array of available scholarships and other aid, including a dean’s fellowship that can total up to $30K.

What may explain the school’s overall difficulty in drawing interest, however, is its price point: UCLA Anderson has the fifth highest estimated two-year cost of any U.S. MBA program.


In the fall of 2022, for the first time, UCLA MBA students who majored in engineering in undergrad equaled those with business bachelor’s degrees, at 26% each — another sign of international influence. Economics and humanities made up the other double-digit populations, at 14% apiece. This fall, however, business undergrads are back on top, staying steady at 26% of the class while engineering students dropped to 19%; economics and humanities each grew by 1 point, to 15%.

In work experience, the class average last fall was 6 years, higher than most peer schools and a full year more than the previous UCLA class. This year the average slipped to 5.7 years — still among the highest of any top U.S. school — with 59% reporting between 3 and 6 years (down from 61%), and 29% having more than 6 years (same as last year). Only 12% of the class have between 0 and 3 years’ work experience, up from 10% in the MBA Class of 2024.

In one of the only other metrics published by UCLA for its MBA class profile, the newly enrolled Class of 2025 boasts a middle-80% undergraduate GPA range of 3.1-3.8 — exactly the same as the previous three student intakes.


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