Master of Finance | Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Our goal is to help you stay as informed as possible throughout the application process.

Can't find the answer to your question? Feel free to contact the MFin Office at mfin@merage.uci.edu.

General Questions

The Master of Finance is a 12-month (four-quarter) full-time program. It requires six core courses and seven electives, for a total of 52 units to complete the program. You are also required to participate in a three-quarter ProSeminar course coordinated by the Merage School Career Center. The course provides you with practical skills for success in the program and your future career in finance by teaching career planning, job search tactics and strategies, resume building, interviewing preparation, approaches to networking, salary negotiation, public speaking and business writing skills. All MFin students are expected to complete the program within four consecutive quarters during a consecutive 12-month period.

We are looking for students who want to receive extensive, practical training for quantitative and analytical jobs in the field of finance (asset management, risk management, wealth management and real estate). We evaluate and take into account a number of criteria including test scores, academic performance, essays, resume, work experience and letters of recommendation. The Admissions Committee balances the diversity of education, work experience, background and leadership potential to build a diverse and high quality classroom environment. We encourage you to apply if you have a genuine interest in the program.

No, but a quantitative background in subjects such as Calculus and Statistics is encouraged and undergraduate degrees in sciences, engineering, mathematics, economics and business provide a strong quantitative foundation. If you have never taken a finance course, we encourage you to take Financial Accounting. Moreover, prior exposure to computation programming such as C++ and familiary with statistical, econometric, and mathematical applications such as SAS, STATA, R, S-Plus, MATLAB or Mathematica is encouraged but not necessary for admission.

Work experience is not required for admission. Our wholistic approach to evaluating applications means that we look at all relevant information. Having been involved in internships, participation in any clubs or organizations having to do with the subject or have had some work experience enhances your application.

The MFin program is STEM-designated and eligible students have the option to apply for up to 36 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon graduation. This longer duration is especially attractive to companies interested in providing immigration sponsorship to international students. For more information about OPT and OPT STEM eligibility, please visit the International Center website.

MFin’s curriculum has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct within the program. This program positions students well to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charter. In addition, the MFin program will offer an elective course titled “Fundamentals of Financial Analysis” focused on CFA requirements and preparation. Through participation in this program, the University of California, Irvine is eligible to receive a limited number of CFA Program Student Scholarships each year.

Admissions Questions

If you submitted an application to a Merage School Master’s 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 of your program of interest and request instructions to re-apply.

You may only apply to one program at the Merage School in a given admissions year. If you are uncertain which program you would like to pursue, our admissions team is happy to discuss your background and career interests to determine which program would be the best fit. If you have already started an application, submitted an application or received an admissions decision from one program but wish to apply to a different program, please contact the admissions office associated with the program you initially applied to. The admissions office will provide further guidance and instructions.

No. Our program staff handles all transcript evaluations and do not accept WES evaluations. WES services are non-binding, meaning they do not have the authority to overrule the evaluations conducted by UCI's Graduate Division. WES is considered a suggested guide and is not considered an official evaluation of your credentials.

Applicants with a 3-year bachelor's degree* (except for the United Kingdom) need either an additional 1-year master's degree, a 1-year Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in the same field of study as the 3-year degree, or a 2-year master's degree in any field to be recognized as equivalent to a 4-year bachelor’s degree from the United States. We also accept the Chartered Accountant Final Examination certificates as postgraduate coursework when it is combined with a 3-year bachelor’s degree in accounting.

*For example: Degrees from India, Australia, Italy, etc. If you have any questions about your 3-year degree, please contact us at: mfin@merage.uci.edu.

Application Questions

Admission to graduate standing in The Paul Merage School of Business is accorded to those possessing an undergraduate degree with an acceptable level of scholarship from an institution of recognized standing. Applicants for admission will be evaluated on their academic record and potential for leadership as demonstrated in submitted application materials including:

  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended to obtain undergraduate degree (with English translation if needed)
  • The GMAT or GRE are not required but strongly recommended for applicants with GPA’s under a 3.3. While these tests are not required, the admissions team is looking for evidence of strong verbal and quantitative skills. GMAT and GRE scores are good for up to five years.
  • Examination (GRE) scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose essay
  • Resume
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS (international applicants)
  • $150 application fee
  • A personal interview (by invitation only)

The MFIN program is now accepting applications for Fall 2024.

Applications are submitted online. The MFin program has six rounds of application deadlines and it is your responsibility to ensure all parts of your application are completed by the stated deadline date. If you have any missing items by the deadline, your application will be considered in the next round. We encourage applicants to submit as early as possible.

Application Deadlines: 

  • Round 1: October 15
  • Round 2: November 15
  • Round 3: January 15
  • Round 4: March 1 (final deadline for international applicants)
  • Round 5: May 1
  • Round 6: June 1

After submitting a completed application, you will receive a decision upon the careful review of your application within two months from the stated application deadline.

Scholarships are available to qualified candidates and are granted according to merit. All applicants are automatically considered for scholarships. Applying early generally maximizes the chances of receiving a scholarship.

We are unable to accept unofficial test scores or transcripts. In order for your application to be complete, official documents should be sent to:

  • TRANSCRIPTS: UCI Paul Merage School of Business, Attn: Master of Finance Program, 4293 Pereira Drive, SB1 Suite 4500, Irvine, CA 92697-3125
  • GMAT: The Paul Merage School of Business, Master of Finance Program, institution code: 0DP-7R-05.
  • GRE: UC Irvine institution code: 4859
  • TOEFL: UC Irvine institution code: 4859
  • IELTS: You must submit a Test Report Form (TRF) to: UCI Paul Merage School of Business, Attn: Master of Finance Program, 4293 Pereira Drive, SB1 Suite 4500, Irvine, CA 92697-3125
  • Pearson: You must submit a Test Report Form (TRF) to: UCI Paul Merage School of Business, Attn: Master of Finance Program, 4293 Pereira Drive, SB1 Suite 4500, Irvine, CA 92697-3125

We will not receive your official TOEFL or GRE score reports until 2-3 weeks after you have submitted your online application.

While there is no minimum GPA to apply, we do expect that applicants will have an overall competitive profile. We encourage applicants from all backgrounds, especially those who demonstrate strong communication and conceptual thinking skills.

The minimum score for admission is 80 for the Internet-based test. TOEFL scores are valid for up to two years from your test date. Applicants may receive a waiver of the TOEFL if all of the requirements for the high school diploma, bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree in a country where the primary and dominant language is English and English was the language of instruction of the school where the requirements were completed. If transfer credits where applied to your degree, these courses would have to have been completed in a country where English is the primary or dominant language for the TOEFL waiver to apply. For more information visit UCI Grad Division's English Proficiency page.

Alternative to the TOEFL, you may also take the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For the IELTS, the minimum required score for admission is 7, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module.

We will notify applicants via email if their application is incomplete.

There is no need to send in a printout of your online application given that we receive this information once you submit it online. However, make sure you do submit official copies of your transcripts and other required items.

Applications will be processed when the minimum requirement of two recommendations has been met. If you would like to hold your application for review until we receive an additional letter of recommendation, please email our program office.