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The Paul Merage School of Business – University of California, Irvine

UC Irvine Full-Time MBA Program Structure

The University of California, Irvine full-time MBA at the Paul Merage School of Business is a 21-month daytime program taking place Monday through Thursdays. There is one intake of students each year, and classes begin in the fall semester. A cohort structure helps to optimize learning. During the course of the UC Irvine full-time MBA, students are given the opportunity to participate in a week-long international study trip. Students may also participate in a quarter-long International Exchange Program at partnering schools in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.


First-year UC Irvine full-time MBA students start their studies with an intensive two-week orientation designed to prepare them for the rest of their MBA careers. This experiential learning course teaches ethical decision making, the fundamentals of team dynamics, persuasive communication skills, and how to identify and understand global markets. It helps to establish student cohorts or collaborative learning groups.

Students begin the MBA program with the core courses that build the foundation of the degree, such as Financial Accounting, Principals of Marketing and Corporate Finance. Students learn the quantitative tools, systematic analysis, and persuasion skills necessary to succeed in business.

Between the first and second year, students will have a chance to apply their knowledge and gain real-world experience during a summer internship.

The second year includes a variety of innovative electives to prepare you for a future in business. Electives expand on the key components of the UC Irvine Full-Time MBA program: strategic innovation, information technology and analytic decision making. During the winter quarter, students can also enroll in EDGE—a course that explores how technology and globalization are transforming the business landscape.

Second year students have the opportunity to participate in the Merage MBA Field Project, where they will be asked to address current business challenges in southern California-based global companies. Working in a team directly with company employees, students complete a 10-week corporate project while receiving guidance from a faculty expert.

During the second year, students may also experience a week-long international study trip. This opportunity provides a richer grasp of global business through informative seminars and company visits, led by an experienced Merage School faculty.

Class Profile

The most recent UC Irvine full-time MBA class featured 95 students, half of which were born outside of the United States. Students join with a 3.35 GPA and an average GMAT score of 659. Most students join the program with around 5.5 years of professional work experience.


Providing unique programs such as Career Visioning, which helps students determine the best fit career, the Merage School MBA Career Center also offers Career Management Workshops such as Behavioral and Case Style Interviewing and Job Offer Evaluation and Negotiation.

Additionally, students have access to a team of dedicated, business-savvy career advisors who will help prepare them for career success.

Second year MBA students provide career coaching and are available to provide first-year students guidance and advice to help them effectively conduct a job search.

The Merage School MBA Career Center partners with students to find internship opportunities with companies ranging from large global firms to start-ups. The Merage School MBA Career Center supports career development and job search by providing resources such as: Career Days and Fairs, Company Presentations, Internship and Full-Time Job Databases, On- and Off-Campus Interviews, Access to Online Resources (CareerSearch, Vault, Wetfeet), UC Business Research Library, Web-based Career Training Modules, Corporate Contacts Database.

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

The UC Irvine full-time MBA tuition is $43,830.50 per year for California State residents, and $51,479.50 for out-of-state students. Including estimate costs of living on campus, supplies, transportation, and other personal and miscellaneous costs brings the total cost up to $67,422.50 for California residents living in the Palo Verde on-campus apartments and $75,071.50 for non-California residents. Those living in apartments off campus can expect costs to be around $76,318.50 for California residents and $83,967.50 for out-of-state residents.

All international and U.S. applicants are automatically considered for merit-based fellowships and are informed of any award upon admission. Criteria for fellowships include academic record (GPA), GMAT/GRE, work experience and leadership.

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 with a 3.0 GPA.

To apply to the UC Irvine full-time MBA program, applicants must submit a completed application form, official copies of transcripts from each institution attended, current résumé, and two letters of recommendation. The school also requires applicants to complete a personal statement. One optional essay may also be submitted to supply information on extenuating circumstances. Official GMAT score or GRE scores must also be sent in by applicants, along with a $150 application fee. There is no minimum GMAT score, however students who apply usually score between 670 and 675. International applicants must submit TOEFL scores that were taken in the past two years. The recommended minimum score on the TOEFL is 600 on the paper-based test or 80 on the online-based test.

Interviews are conducted on an invitation basis only after submitted applications are reviewed, and an interview must be completed to be admitted to the program.

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