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

UC Irvine Health Care Executive MBA Program Structure

The UC Irvine Health Care Executive MBA at the Merage School of Business imparts the fundamentals of business management and a thorough understanding of the economic, political, and social dynamics that are reshaping the global healthcare industry. 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 one weekend per month, from Thursday at 7 p.m. to Sunday at 12 p.m. Students attend seven consecutive 10-week quarters, including summer. Students must complete 92 units for the degree, including 12 core courses, as well as additional electives and residentials. Classes start in fall and are completed in June of the student’s second year.


UC Irvine Health Care 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 UC Irvine Health Care Executive MBA program’s 12-course core curriculum is the foundation is structured to allow logical progression through material with a thorough and rigorous grounding in the fundamental disciplines of business. MBA courses interweave the topics of strategic innovation, information technology, and analytic decision making, equipping students with skills to compete in today’s complex global economy.

The program includes three 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.

Held for five days in Washington D.C. the second-year residential allows students to delve deeply into the complex world of health care policy. Topics include: Key Health Issues and the Government, Issues with Medicaid, The Current Health Care Agenda in Congress, Long-Term Trends in Healthcare, Budgetary Crisis, Patient Safety Regulation, False Claims and Investigations, Physician Reimbursement, Tax Treatment Issues of Insurance, Medicare Reform and SCHIP, Influencing Congress, Public Health Preparedness, Intellectual Property and Health Care Policy Initiatives in the New Congress. Students meet with health industry leaders, policy analysts, politicians, lobbyists and consumer group leaders. Furthermore, students may earn up to 30 CME units during this residential.

The UC Irvine Health Care Executive MBA Program culminates in a Capstone Residential course on Executive Leadership, held for 5 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.

Class Profile

The most recent Paul Merage Executive MBA class features 67 students, 43 percent of which identify as female and 52 percent international students. Students in the class are 39-years old and have 13 years of professional work experience.


Students can take advantage of career workshops and seminars specifically designed for mid-career professionals. These workshops are themed around real career scenarios and career goals including Career Advancement, Entrepreneurism, and for those whose careers have been suddenly disrupted.

In addition, a self-paced, online career management training program has been developed for individual use at any time during your education at Merage. These modules cover some of the basic job search topics not necessarily focused on during the in-class workshops.

In addition to career management workshops, professional development seminars delivered by industry experts are offered throughout the year. Previous topics include Emotional Intelligence, Developing an Executive Blueprint, Working with Executive Search Firms, and Personal Branding and Image Management.

The Executive to Executive (E2E) Mentor Program pairs current EMBA students with Merage School executive alumni and successful leaders in the business community. The program is conducted over a 12-month cycle of engagement, with a 1-3 hour a month commitment. Quarterly breakfast meetings with speakers/presentations are scheduled for additional mentor/mentee networking.

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

Tuition for the UC Irvine Health Care Executive MBA class entering the program is the same as the Executive MBA, costing $16,173 per quarter and $113,211 for all seven quarters. There are four quarters in the first year of the program and three quarters in the second year. All residential fees with the exception of airfare are included in the tuition.

HCEMBA 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 HCEMBA Admissions Committee. UC Irvine also offers partial scholarship awards to outstanding candidates in the form of tuition assistance. All candidates are considered for partial scholarship awards; there is no additional application required.

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 five years of professional work experience in the healthcare industry.  A previous undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is suggested for new applicants, but is not explicitly required.

To apply to the UC Irvine Health Care 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. International students may have to submit their TOEFL scores in order to be accepted.

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

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