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The Paul Merage School of Business – University of California, Irvine - Executive MBA

UC Irvine Executive MBA Program Structure

The UC Irvine Executive MBA (EMBA) at the Merage School of Business is characterized by three offsite residential learning experiences. The Executive MBA classes are taught in cohorts designed to strengthen interpersonal relationships and sharpen business acumen. The program begins in the fall and spans 21 months, culminating in a Capstone Residential course on Executive Leadership, during which a 360-degree evaluation of each student and allows them to reflect on what they have learned, how they have developed professionally, and how they will shape their future as a manager and leader. Classes are held on Fridays from 12 to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The UC Irvine Executive MBA program includes 10 required courses, two non-core courses, and three off-site residential learning experiences for a total of 92 units. The Executive MBA curriculum focuses on three key drivers of business growth: strategic innovation, information technology, and analytic decision making throughout the courses, equipping students with skills to effectively compete in today’s global economy.

UC Irvine Executive MBA students start their studies with an Opening Residential: Management of Innovative Organizations. This four-day experience, held prior to the first regularly scheduled class weekend in a business-class hotel in Orange County, lays the groundwork for the collaborative EMBA learning environment. Topics include organizational design, organizational culture and power, group processes, competitive analysis, corporate strategy, and business ethics. During this residential students work intensively with a cohort and small-study team, getting to know new classmates. Students engage in case analysis, class discussion, presentations, group projects, and experiential learning.

The Executive MBA’s 10 course core curriculum is the foundation business education. Structured so that students progress logically through material, the core coursework offers a thorough and rigorous grounding in the fundamental disciplines of business, such as Organizational Leadership for Executives, Microeconomics for Executives in the Digital Age, Marketing Leadership, and Financial Reporting Policies for Executives.

The EMBA program includes two non-core or special topics courses. If scheduling allows, additional electives are available via cross-enrollment in other Merage MBA Programs, expanding the opportunity for class choice. Non-core special topics courses are offered in the areas of: Accounting, Economics/Public Policy, Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, Operations and Decisions, Technologies, Organization and Management, Real Estate, Strategy.

One of the highlights of the Executive MBA program, the International Residential takes a thematic approach to exploring global business. Students have the opportunity to experience global business first hand from a corporate, academic and cultural standpoint. Typical topics include: major issues faced by U.S. companies overseas, investment climate, banking and finance, supply chain management, manufacturing, technology, government, marketing, and economic transition in emerging economies. Leveraging the knowledge gained in the Global Business I course, recent international residentials have been held in Shanghai/Chongqing, and Hong Kong/Suzhou.

The UC Irvine Executive MBA Program culminates in a Capstone Residential course on Executive Leadership, held for five days at a Southern California mountain retreat conference center. This residential provides a 360-degree evaluation of each student and provides a clear perspective on their skills as a leader.

UC Irvine Executive MBA Rankings

The Economist: 30

Class Profile

The typical UC Irvine Executive MBA class features 49 students. About 22 percent of the class identifies as female, with 78 percent male students. Students in the program are usually around 40-years old and have about 16 years worth of professional work experience.

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

Tuition for the UC Irvine Executive MBA class entering the program is $19,429 per quarter and $136,000 for all seven quarters. There are four quarters in the first year of the program and three quarters in the second year. Tuition typically increases 2-5 percent for each entering class. However, once you begin the EMBA program, tuition fees are locked for the duration of the program and do not increase.

EMBA applicants are automatically considered for the school’s merit-based fellowships. These fellowships are not based on financial need but solely on academic performance and business experience. Recipients are selected by the EMBA Admissions Committee.

The Office of Student Financial Services attempts to assist qualified applicants who have financial eligibility to meet their educational and living costs. All United States citizens and permanent residents of the United States may be considered for federally funded programs.

Most student loans are based on either financial need or creditworthiness and are available only to US citizens and permanent residents. Howard students commonly use the Federal Stafford Loan Program, Alternative Education Loans, and the ACCESS Loan Program. Private loans may also be available.


Applicants to the MBA programs must have completed a Baccalaureate degree or recognized qualifications equivalent to a degree. A minimum of eight years of professional work experience, with at least five years of management experience, is preferred. A previous undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is suggested for new applicants, but is not explicitly required.

To apply to the UC Irvine Executive MBA program, applicants must submit a completed application form, official copies of transcripts from each institution attended, current résumé and two professional letters of recommendation. The school also requires applicants to complete two self-evaluation essays. Official GMAT score or GRE scores must also be sent in by applicants, along with a $150 application fee.

An admissions interview is a required part of the admissions process.

Merage School of Business MBA - Connect with Admissions

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