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

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Class Size 40
Women 35%
Mean GMAT 675
Mean GPA 3.44

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, Flex 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.

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What is the tuition for Merage's MBA program?

The tuition for Merage's MBA program is $50,510.97 for CA residents and $62,755.97 for non-CA residents.

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

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Merage is 675. The GMAT range is 620 to 720.

Does the Merage MBA program accept the GRE?

Yes. The Merage MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now. They do not provide the average GRE score.

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 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. On average, Merage students are 28 years old.

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

The average starting salary for Merage MBA graduates is $122,899.

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, 2023. The Round 2 deadline is January 10, 2024. The Round 3 deadline is March 1, 2024 (final deadline for international applicants). The Round 4 deadline is May 1, 2024.


The Class Profile

Forty students comprise the UCI Merage MBA Class of 2025. Thirty-five percent are women and 38% are international. During their undergraduate years, Merage MBA students averaged a GPA of 3.44. Twenty-four percent earned undergrad degrees in science. Twenty-one percent had majored in business/commerce and the same in humanities/social sciences. Eighteen percent had studied engineering and 16% economics/finance.

Merage MBA students averaged five years of work experience and an age of 28 at the time of matriculation. Twenty-one percent each came from healthcare/pharma/biotech. Eighteen percent had worked in gov’t/military or tech. Eight percent each came from consumer products, entertainment/media or financial services.

When it came time to take the GMAT, Merage MBAs averaged a score of 675 with scores ranging from 620 to 720.

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

Need help with your essays? Get our experts' advice.

UCI Merage Q&A's

UCI Merage LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire

March 18, 2024 5:13pm ET
Accepted to UCI Merage
Round: Round 2
Received via email on March 15, 2024
GPA: 3.28
GMAT: 710
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year

Accepted with $$

March 15, 2024 8:42pm ET
Accepted to UCI Merage
Round: Round 2
Received via phone March 15, 2024
GPA: 3.2
GMAT: 615
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Consulting

Submitted R2 deadline, interviewed early Feb, accepted with $$

February 26, 2024 1:35am ET
Accepted to UCI Merage
Round: Rolling Admissions
Received via phone February 26, 2024
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Entrepreneurship
February 8, 2024 12:16pm ET
Applying to UCI Merage
Round: Round 3
Received via email
GPA: 3.1
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Consulting
Application Location: India
January 19, 2024 12:41pm ET
Applied to UCI Merage
Round: Round 2
Received via n/a
GPA: 2.4
GMAT: 755
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year

Applied 1/15

December 29, 2023 11:16am ET
Accepted to UCI Merage
Round: Round 1
Received via email
GRE: 329
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Marketing
Application Location: Nigeria
November 21, 2023 6:13pm ET
Interview Invite to UCI Merage
Round: Round 1
Received via email November 21, 2023
GPA: 3.8
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Consulting
Application Location: Georgia, USA
December 31, 2022 11:08am ET
Interview Invite to UCI Merage
Round: Round 2
Received via n/a on December 22, 2022
GPA: 3.5
GMAT: 740
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Technology

MBA DecisionWire

July 15, 2024 5:27pm ET
Enrolled: Stanford GSB
Admitted: Rochester / Simon , Johns Hopkins / Carey , Rice / Jones , Penn State / Smeal , Oxford / Saïd , Ohio State / Fisher , NYU Stern , Notre Dame / Mendoza , Northwestern / Kellogg , Nanyang , MIT Sloan , Minnesota / Carlson , Michigan State / Broad , Michigan / Ross , Manchester / AMBS , London Business School , Yale SOM , SMU Cox , Stanford GSB , Temple / Fox , Toronto / Rotman , UCI Merage , UCLA Anderson , UMD / Smith , UNC Kenan-Flagler , UPenn / Wharton , USC / Marshall , UT Austin / McCombs , UVA / Darden , U. Washington / Foster , Vanderbilt / Owen , Washington U. / Olin , Wisconsin , CEIBS , Emory / Goizueta , emlyon , Duke / Fuqua , Dartmouth / Tuck , Cornell / Johnson , Columbia , Carnegie Mellon / Tepper , U. Chicago Booth , ESADE , Cambridge / Judge , Brigham Young , Boston College / Carroll , Berkeley / Haas , Bath , Babson / Olin , Arizona State / W.P. Carey , INSEAD , ESCP , ESMT Berlin , Florida / Warrington , Georgetown / McDonough , Georgia / Terry , Georgia Tech / Scheller , Harvard Business School , HEC Paris , HKUST , IE Business School , IESE , IMD , Imperial , Indian School of Business , Indiana / Kelley
Applied: SMU Cox, Rochester / Simon, Rice / Jones, Penn State / Smeal, Oxford / Saïd, Ohio State / Fisher, NYU Stern, Notre Dame / Mendoza, Northwestern / Kellogg, Nanyang, MIT Sloan, Minnesota / Carlson, Michigan State / Broad, Michigan / Ross, Manchester / AMBS, None, London Business School, USC / Marshall, Other, Yale SOM, Wisconsin, Washington U. / Olin, Vanderbilt / Owen, U. Washington / Foster, UVA / Darden, UT Austin / McCombs, Stanford GSB, UPenn / Wharton, UNC Kenan-Flagler, UMD / Smith, UCLA Anderson, UCI Merage, Toronto / Rotman, Temple / Fox, CEIBS, Emory / Goizueta, emlyon, Duke / Fuqua, Dartmouth / Tuck, Cornell / Johnson, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon / Tepper, U. Chicago Booth, ESADE, Cambridge / Judge, Brigham Young, Boston College / Carroll, Berkeley / Haas, Bath, Babson / Olin, Arizona State / W.P. Carey, HEC Paris, INSEAD, Indiana / Kelley, Indian School of Business, Imperial, IMD, IESE, IE Business School, HKUST, Johns Hopkins / Carey, Harvard Business School, Georgia Tech / Scheller, Georgia / Terry, Georgetown / McDonough, Florida / Warrington, ESMT Berlin, ESCP
Entering Year: 2024
Post MBA Career: Technology, MF, Auto, Aerospace, Entrepreneurship Companies: Google, Tesla, Tesla
GMAT: 700
GPA: 2.3
July 15, 2024 4:08pm ET
Enrolled: Dartmouth / Tuck
Admitted: Dartmouth / Tuck , Duke / Fuqua $
Applied: Yale SOM, UPenn / Wharton, Stanford GSB, NYU Stern, Harvard Business School, Duke / Fuqua, Dartmouth / Tuck, MIT Sloan, Cornell / Johnson
Entering Year: 2024
Post MBA Career: Family Business, Entrepreneurship
GRE: 321
Location: Africa

R2 applicant (R3 to Tuck and Stern). Waitlist after interview at Wharton and before interview at Cornell. 4 YOE.
Apply R1 if possible. Don't overlook importance of non-essay components of apps to complement/add rather than repeat. Take time to address weak points (e.g take math/finance courses if from humanitites background). Get mult. opinions.

July 15, 2024 3:54pm ET
Enrolled: Carnegie Mellon / Tepper
Admitted: Boston College / Carroll , Carnegie Mellon / Tepper , Vanderbilt / Owen
Applied: Boston College / Carroll, Carnegie Mellon / Tepper, Dartmouth / Tuck, NYU Stern, UVA / Darden, Vanderbilt / Owen
Entering Year: 2024
Post MBA Career: Investment Banking Companies: Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley
GPA: 3.4
Location: Boston
July 15, 2024 3:42pm ET
Enrolled: Other
Admitted: Other $
Applied: Rice / Jones, Washington U. / Olin, Other, Johns Hopkins / Carey
Entering Year: 2021
Post MBA Career: Other
GMAT: 640

scholarship+resident tuition, brother was an alum, lower cost of living, public university, metropolitan city



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 Flex MBA and an executive MBA. The Flex MBA 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

Flex 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

Of the 52% of graduates seeking employment in 2022, 91% had accepted job offers within 3 months of graduation. The average starting salary for Merage MBA graduates was $122,899 and average signing bonus was $31,917.

The most popular industry of the Class of 2022 was healthcare, which 30% of the class chose. Tech followed at 25%. Real estate and consumer products each claimed 10% of the Class of 2022. Seventy-five percent of the cohort stayed in the U.S. West for post-MBA employment.


For the 2023-2024 academic year, residents of California have tuition and student fees totaling of $50,510.97, whereas non-residents pay $62,755.97. On-campus living is estimated to cost $15,795 whereas off-campus costs over $22,900. Other expenses include books & supplies, a laptop, transportation and other personal costs. 

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: $50,510.97

Out-of-state tuition & fees: $62,755.97

Other Expenses:

Estimated room & board: $15,795 on campus, $22,902 off campus

Books & supplies: $2,400

Laptop: $1,800

Transportation: $3,346

Personal: $3,188


CA Resident, On Campus: $77,039.97

Non-resident, On Campus: $89,284.97


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