Frequently Asked Questions

The Program

How long is the MBA program? How many units do I need to complete it?

The Full-Time MBA Program is a two-year program that follows the quarter system. The academic year typically runs from late-September to mid-June, although you will begin Orientation for your first year in early September. 92 units are required to complete the program.

Does the MBA program offer areas of concentration?

During the second year of the MBA program, you have the opportunity to customize your curriculum in the area of your interest with the electives offered.  The program offers focused areas of study, including:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Global
  • Healthcare
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Operation and Decision Technologies
  • Organization & Management
  • Real Estate
  • Strategy

Application Requirements

Applicants are required to apply through our online application.  Supporting documents such as official transcripts and letters of recommendation (if you are not submitting them online) should be mailed in one package to:

The Paul Merage School of Business
UC Irvine
Full-Time MBA Recruitment and Admissions 
4293 Pereira Drive, Suite 4500
Irvine, CA 92697-3125

Applications are processed on a rolling admissions basis, meaning they are evaluated as they are received. Below are target deadlines to assist you in your application planning:

  • November 1
  • December 1
  • February 1
  • April 1
  • June 1

Note: If you are an international applicant, we encourage you to apply early to allow enough time to obtain your student visa.

How much is the application fee? Can I request an application fee waiver?

The application fee is $150.00. We do not offer application fee waivers at this time.

What does the Admissions Committee look for in an applicant?

The Admissions Committee seeks to create a dynamic and diverse MBA class with students who will make a unique contribution to the MBA experience. Students come from various academic and professional backgrounds and share in common intelligence, a proven track record in their academic and professional pursuits, and in their drive to excel and fulfill their leadership potential. For additional information, please refer to the class profile sheet.

Is work experience required for admission?

Work experience is encouraged, but not required for admission. MBA students have an average of five years of full-time work experience. The Admissions Committee, however, will take into consideration any internships and part-time work experience.

Are there any prerequisites for admission to the MBA Program?

There are no specific prerequisite requirements for the Full-time MBA Program. However, the Admissions Committee does look for evidence of quantitative proficiency in all applicants. We strongly recommend that applicants complete, at a minimum, a college-level mathematics and statistics course.

If I take the GMAT/GRE or TOEFL/IELTS more than once, how will my scores be evaluated?

The admissions team will take your highest total score into consideration when reviewing your application.

How is each component (such as GMAT/GRE, GPA, letter of recommendation, interview, etc) of my application weighted?

Applications are reviewed by our admissions committee holistically, which means we look at the overall competitiveness of your application, not just one component. There are many factors that go into our decisions, including the GMAT, TOEFL (if applicable), work experience, undergraduate performance, recommendations, essays/goals, fit with the program, etc. All of these components are carefully reviewed once your application is submitted and complete with all supporting materials. We would recommend trying to make each element of your application as competitive as possible in order to make yourself a strong candidate.

Is there a minimum GMAT/GRE required for admission?

We do not have a GMAT or GRE minimum score requirement; however, students who entered the MBA Program in the past years have reported an average score of 660. For the GRE, we do not publish an average score at this time. However, you may use's GMAT conversion calculator to see how your GRE score compares to our GMAT average.

Is there a minimum GPA required for admission?

We do not have a minimum GPA requirement; however, students who entered the MBA Program in the past years have reported an average GPA of 3.45.

Is there a minimum score for TOEFL/IELTS required from international applicants?

The recommended minimum TOEFL score for admission is 600 for the paper-based test or 80 for the Internet-based test. For the IELTS, the minimum required score for admission is 7, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module.

Applying to the Merage School and What Happens Next?

Are there any advantages to applying early?

Yes. Applicants are notified of admissions decisions and fellowship award packages continuously throughout the admissions cycle.  The class fills throughout the cycle, so apply as early as possible.

May I defer my admission?

Because the nature of the applicant pool can change from year to year, we do not grant admission deferrals.

If I have already completed MBA classes at another university, may I waive some of the classes or transfer credit?

We do not transfer MBA credit from other universities, so any work you completed at other institutions would not count toward a degree at the Merage School. It may be possible to waive core courses, which is at the discretion of the faculty and will not expedite your graduation. All students must complete the same number of units (92).

Am I eligible to apply if I already have an MBA degree from another university?

University of California, Irvine policy prohibits the awarding of duplicate degrees. We are unable to consider your application if you have an MBA degree from another university.

When will I find out the Admissions Committee's decision on my application?

Once the online application and supporting documents are received, your application goes through an initial review process and selected applicants are invited for an interview. Applicants usually find out a decision 2-4 weeks following the interview.

How will I know when my application is complete?

Once you have submitted your online application, we will notify you regularly via email with updates on the status of your application. We will notify you when supplemental materials have been received and when your application is complete and has been forwarded for review.

Can I submit unofficial or scanned transcripts?

We will conduct an initial review, but we are not able to grant final admissions with unofficial transcripts. We will need to receive original hard copies of your transcript and degree conferral from all universities attended in a sealed envelope from your university. We recommend submitting these as soon as possible requesting two copies – one for UCI and one for your records.

Can I submit unofficial test scores? (GMAT/GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/PTE)

No. We are unable to accept unofficial test scores. We will notify you as soon as your official test results arrive to our office. Official test results should be sent to:

  • GMAT: The Paul Merage School of Business, Full-time MBA Program, institution code: 0DP-7R-16.
  • GRE: UC Irvine institution code: 4859
  • TOEFL: UC Irvine institution code: 4859
  • IELTS: You must submit a Test Report Form (TRF) to: The Paul Merage School of Business, 4293 Pereira Drive, Suite 4500, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3125 - Attention: Full-Time MBA.
  • Pearson: You must submit a Test Report Form (TRF) to: The Paul Merage School of Business, 4293 Pereira Drive, Suite 4500, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3125 - Attention: Full-Time MBA.

Please note, we will not receive your official TOEFL or GRE score reports until 2-3 weeks after you have submitted your online application. We will notify you as soon as we receive your official score results.

I received an email notification from the admissions committee stating that I have not submitted my GMAT/*GRE and/or *TOEFL/IELTS score report(s).

Please note that if you have submitted your application with re-take test date information, we will not update these sections of your application until we have received your new score report; even if you have already submitted previous test scores. Our office will wait until we have received your new score report to ensure we use the highest obtained score.

*Note: If you have already submitted a TOEFL or GRE score, it takes two weeks from the date you submitted your application for your score report to show in our system.

Are your transcripts issued under a different name than you reported on your online application and our office has sent you an email notification stating we are missing your official transcript(s)?

If so, please respond directly to this email notification with the first and last name which is reported on your transcript. This will help our office match up your documentation to your application.

Do you have transfer credits on your transcript from where you earned your degree?

If you have any transfer credits to the university where you have earned your degree, we will need official transcripts from all colleges and universities you attended.

How does the interview process work? Do all applicants who get admitted to your program go through an interview process?

Interviews are by invitation only and are required for admission. Whenever possible, applicants are encouraged to conduct interviews on campus. However, for those applicants unable to travel to Irvine, Skype interviews are acceptable. Interviews are conducted by the Recruitment and Admissions Staff.


From whom should I get my recommendations?

Letters of recommendations from direct supervisors are preferred. They may also be obtained from people who know you professionally, such as clients, former bosses, or others who know your professional abilities. Recommendations from professors are not helpful unless you have done extensive work or research with them, or you have been out of school for less than two years.

May I submit more than two recommendations?

Students may submit a maximum of three letters of recommendation. However, due to the large number of applications and recommendations received by our office, we ask applicants to submit no more than two letters of recommendation.

How do I submit my letters of recommendation?

We prefer that you submit your recommendations through our online application. Recommenders will then receive an email giving them access to our online recommendation form. We prefer that this be submitted online through the application system.

However, we will accept a standard letter of recommendation instead of our online recommendation form. If your recommenders prefer to complete a recommendation letter outside of our online recommendation form, we will accept it in a signed and sealed envelope directly from the recommender.  Please have your recommenders mail your letters to:

The Paul Merage School of Business
UC Irvine
Full-Time MBA Recruitment and Admissions 
4293 Pereira Drive, SB1 Suite 4500
Irvine, CA 92697-3125


What if I want to reapply?

If you submitted an application to the MBA program within the last two years, you are considered a re-applicant.  The first step towards reapplying is to contact the Recruitment and Admissions office to let them know of your interest.  In addition, please send the following items to the Recruitment and Admissions office:

  • One new letter of recommendation.
  • One new essay.  This essay should be a statement one to three pages in length, describing your activities since you last applied, including your reason for re-applying to The Paul Merage School of Business.
  • An updated copy of your resume.
  • Any new test scores, if applicable.

Application fee of $150.

My Question is not Answered Here

Feel free to contact the MBA Office at 949.824.4622 between the hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday or you can email us at

For more information, please contact us.