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

The University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business is located in California’s second largest county, Orange County, about an hour south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego. It is considered the center of Southern California’s Tech Coast and is home to such industry giants as Google, Disney and Hyundai. The Merage School of Business offers a full-time MBA, Fully Employed MBA, and Executive MBA. Hallmarks of the full-time MBA program include its close-knit community with the advantages of larger university facilities, location in an entrepreneurial environment and global exposure.


What is the tuition for Merage’s MBA program?

The tuition for Merage’s MBA program is $52,709 per year. The total cost of the Merage MBA program is $86,505 per year; this includes budgeted living expenses.

What is the average GMAT score for admission to Merage’s MBA program?

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Merage is 655. The GMAT middle 80% range is 610 to 710.

Does the Merage MBA program accept the GRE?

Yes. The Merage MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.

What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to Merage’s MBA program?

Merage does not state a minimum requirement for years of work experience. However, it is important for candidates to be aware that they are being considered against other candidates with an average of 5.5 years of experience.

What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to Merage’s MBA program? (or, What is the average age of a Merage MBA student?)

The average number of years of work experience among students in Merage’s MBA program is 5.5. On average, Merage students are 29 years old.

What is the average starting salary for graduates of the Merage MBA program?

The average starting salary for Merage MBA graduates is $100,000 (median base annual salary).

How long is Merage’s full-time MBA program?

Merage offers a traditional 2 year MBA program.

What are the application deadlines for Merage’s full-time MBA program?

The Round 1 MBA application deadline is November 1, 2019. The Round 2 deadline is December 1, 2019. The Round 3 deadline is February 1, 2020. The Round 4 deadline is April 1, 2020.


The Class Profile

The Class of 2019 is comprised of 90 students. Students had an average of 5.5 years of work experience and an age of 29. Thirty-one percent of the class are women and 45% are international. The students’ average undergraduate GPA was 3.43 and average GMAT was 655 with the 80% range falling between 610 and 710. Most pursued engineering in undergrad, with 26% earning a degree in the discipline.  Another 20% studied science and 18% had majored in humanities/social sciences. Sixteen percent earned degrees in business/commerce and 14% in economics.


Application Procedures

Merage has five rounds of target deadlines from November to June; however, applications are reviewed and processed on a rolling basis. International applicants are encouraged to apply early to obtain a student visa. The school notes that candidates can expect final decisions within 6 weeks following receipt of all supporting information, including their interview, which is required and by invitation only. Interviews are conducted by recruitment and admissions staff.  While the admissions committee prefers candidates to travel to campus, they understand that this may not always be possible. In such instances, Skype interviews are conducted.

Applicants to the MBA program typically have five years of work experience; however, work experience is not required for admission. While two recommendations are required—ideally from direct supervisors—applicants are allowed to submit up to three. If applicants cannot obtain recommendations from direct supervisors, clients, former supervisors or other professional contacts are allowed. Professors should only be used as recommenders in the event that a candidate has not been out of school for more than two years or has conducted extensive research with the recommender.

Re-applicants, i.e., those who submitted an application to Merage within two years, need to submit one new recommendation, the re-applicant essay, an updated résumé, new test scores, if applicable, and the application fee.


Application Checklist

  • Online Application Form
  • Transcripts
  • Official GMAT/GRE Score
  • Official TOEFL Score (International applicants only)
  • Two Recommendations
  • Essays
  • Employment History/Résumé
  • $150 Application Fee
  • Interview (Invitation only)

Essay Topic Analysis

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UCI Merage Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines University of California, Irvine, Paul Merage School of Business (Merage) MBA admissions essays for the 2018-2019 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. UCI Merage Essay […]

Recommendation Questions

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MBA Recommendation Questions

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Interview Reports

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Uci-merage Q&As

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Class Size90
Mean GMAT655
Mean GPA3.43


Mailing Address:
The Paul Merage School of Business
UC Irvine
Full-Time MBA Recruitment and Admissions
4293 Pereira Drive, Suite 4500
Irvine, CA 92697-3125
Phone: (949) 824-4622
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @UCIrvine_MBA

Uci-merage LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire for UCI Merage

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
January 15, 2019 7:34pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.91. GMAT: 740.
December 22, 2017 6:02pm
Accepted via phone.
GPA: 3.85. GMAT: 640. Los Angeles.
March 6, 2017 1:45pm
Accepted via phone.
February 15, 2017 6:31pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.15. GMAT: 680. Los Angeles.
December 2, 2016 9:34am
Accepted via email.
GMAT: 670. Kota, India.

MBA DecisionWire for UCI Merage

Enrolled: USC / Marshall
Admitted: UCI Merage, USC / Marshall
GMAT: 570 GPA: 2.9
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: UCI Merage, UCLA Anderson, USC / Marshall, Yale SOM
GMAT: 740 GPA: 3.9
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: UCI Merage, UCLA Anderson
GMAT: 740 GPA: 3.91
Post-MBA Career: Media
Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: UCI Merage
GMAT: 570 GPA: 2.9
Post-MBA Career: Technology
Enrolled: U. Washington / Foster
Admitted: UCI Merage, U. Washington / Foster
GMAT: 710 GPA: 3.2
Post-MBA Career: Technology



Merage’s faculty span nine departments: accounting, economics/public policy, finance, information systems, interdisciplinary, marketing, operations and decision technologies, organization and management, and strategy. More than 80 professors are distributed across the eight disciplines with over 100 additional visiting and affiliated faculty and researchers. In addition to teaching, professors contribute regularly to prominent publications including Management Science, International Journal of Research and Marketing, and Strategic Management Journal. Faculty members also participate in the Research Colloquia, a series of open forums that include presentations from Merage and other university faculty.



The full-time MBA program at Merage requires 92 credits to complete. The two years of study are broken down into a quarter system and typically span late September to mid-June; there is an orientation in early September of the first year. Merage faculty blend lectures, case studies and team projects in their teaching style. Faculty may allow waivers of core courses, but students must still complete 92 credits to graduate.

First-year students officially start the school year with an intensive two-week orientation designed to prepare them for the rest of their MBA studies. During orientation, students complete the first four units of the program in a four-day-long class.

During the remainder of the first year, MBA students take 10 four-unit core courses across eight academic areas and may begin to take electives. Select core courses include Financial Reporting for Management, Information Technology for Management and Strategic Management. The core accounting course, Financial Reporting for Management, may be waived if a student has a CPA. Between the first and second year, students complete summer internships.

The entire second year is occupied by electives, of which EDGE in the Information Systems academic area is one of the most popular. Second-year students also have the opportunity to spend a quarter abroad at one of the university’s 12 partner schools, which span Latin America, Asia and Europe, as well as take a weeklong travel course to destinations such as Cuba, Vietnam and Japan. Second-year students may also partake in the Merage Applied Consulting course, which lasts 10 weeks. Participants in the project work in teams and collaborate with a faculty expert to advise a major company on a real-world business issue.

In conjunction with the full-time MBA, students may obtain a specialized MBA certificate; there are no majors or specializations to officially declare. In partnership with the Centers of Excellence, the following certificates are offered: Digital Transformation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Real Estate and Urban Development.


Other MBA Degree Options

In addition to the full-time MBA program, Merage offers a fully employed MBA and an executive MBA. The fully employed MBA (FEMBA) takes 24 to 33 months to complete, depending on entry and scheduling, and is designed for working professionals, as courses are held on evenings and Saturdays. The curriculum breaks down to nine core courses, seven electives and three experiential residencies, one of which is international, for a total of 19 courses.

The Executive MBA is designed for professionals with at least eight years of work experience, though class cohorts typically average 16 years of work experience. The program lasts 21 months and there is only one intake; classes are held every third weekend. To complete the program, students must complete 78 credits and three offsite residence experiences.

Healthcare professionals seeking to balance their industry experience with business acumen can complete their executive MBA on the Healthcare Leadership track. Students must complete 78 credits and three residencies, one of which is focused on federal policy in healthcare. Classes are held every third weekend.


Academic Areas

  • Accounting
  • Economics/Public Policy
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Decision Technology
  • Organization and Management
  • Strategy


Degree Offerings

Full-time MBA

Fully Employed MBA

Executive MBA

Dual Degree MBA Programs



Joint Degrees

MS in Engineering Management

MS in Biotechnology Management

Campus Life

Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

Merage MBA students have several opportunities to get involved with the school community. Every enrolled student is automatically a member of the Merage Student Association (MSA), which organizes and promotes club and activity experiences outside of the classroom.  Merage’s 17 clubs span professional and social interests. For example, students can find support for their soft skills in the Merage Speech & Presentation Association. Meanwhile, the Merage Challenge for Charity (C4C) unites students, administration, and faculty to raise money for various charities (Special Olympics, Junior Achievement, and Project Echo), perform philanthropy, and participate in the C4C Weekend up at Stanford in April. C4C is considered a guiding force in the effort to develop a close-knit family culture at the small program. Finally, because technology is a major business enabler, the Merage Business & Technology Association focuses on increasing the percentage of MBA graduates recruited into tech leadership regardless of the industry.

The UC Irvine business school also hosts and supports a variety of conferences that incorporate faculty, students and business professionals. For example, the Distinguished Speaker Series, hosted by the Center for Global Leadership, welcomes business professionals to campus to discuss a range of topics, including leadership, ethics and other issues pertaining to business. In 2017, Merage hosted David Pyott, former CEO of Allergan. Other issues, including healthcare in relation to economics and politics, are discussed during the national Health Care Forecast Conference. The Net Impact Conference is also popular.

The Beall Center for Entrepreneurship hosts the UCI New Venture Competition. In 2019, teams will compete for more than $75,000 in cash and awards to fund their startup ideas. Past winners have addressed orthodontics, food waste, party supplies and solar panels, among other business issues. The competitions are broken down into four categories: consumer products, consumer services, business products/services, life sciences, and social enterprise. Students may also participate in the ACG Cup, and Nespresso Sustainability MBA Challenge.


Campus Spaces

A 80,000 square foot state-of-the-art teaching, meeting, dining, and learning space serves as the gateway to The Paul Merage School of Business. The Colloquia Room is an inviting space for executive briefings, board meetings, research colloquia and various events showcasing the school and its corporate and research partners. The Executive Terrace, adjacent to the Dean’s Suite, is used for high profile business executives as well as to showcase faculty research and student initiatives. Students can make use of five case study rooms, five flexible classrooms, 21 team rooms, a trading lab and more.

MBA Careers

Career Services

The Merage MBA Career Center offers a program called Career Visioning, which includes self-evaluation of one’s strengths and weaknesses and analysis of one’s career interests and opportunities. 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), web-based career training modules, and a corporate contacts database.


Career Statistics

By graduation, 57% of the Class of 2018 had received job offers and within three months of graduation the percentage rose to 87%. The median starting salary for Merage MBA graduates was $100,000.

The most popular industry of the Class of 2018 was technology, which 37% of the class chose. Consumer products followed at 15%. Financial services and healthcare/pharma/biotech each claimed 11% of the Class of 2018. Consulting services (9%) were the fifth choice of Merage graduates—though that industry typically ranks high among MBA graduates. Real estate welcomed 7% of the class. Media and entertainment were popular, relative to the business school community, as 4% of Merage’s Class of 2018 entered the sectors. 


For the 2018-2019 academic year, residents of California have a mandatory student fee of $45,287.63, whereas non-residents pay $52,708.63. On-campus living is estimated to cost $13,786, whereas off-campus costs over $23,000.  Other expenses include books & supplies, a laptop, transportation and other personal costs and total $9,933. California residents can expect to spend $68,957–$79,085, depending on housing options. Non-California residents can expect a total of $76,378–$86,505, depending on housing.

Further, residents of California are guaranteed at least a $10,000 fellowship. Other international and U.S. applicants are automatically considered for merit-based fellowships, criteria for which are academic performance, leadership and work experience. Students may apply for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan Program, and private educational loans. Teaching assistantships are also available to defer costs.


Estimated Cost of Attendance


In-state tuition & fees: $45,287.63

Out-of-state tuition & fees: $52,708.63

Other Expenses:

Estimated room & board: $13,786

Books & supplies: $2,400

Laptop: $1,800

Transportation: $2,936

Personal: $2,797


CA Resident: $68,956.63

Non-resident: $76,377.63

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