The Doctor of Philosophy in Management programs prepares you for a career in teaching and scholarly research at the university level. Highly individualized, the doctoral program allows students to pursue their own areas of interest. This full-time program emphasizes a strong foundation in both methodological and theoretical training. Candidates are expected to work closely with the Merage School faculty members and, when appropriate, with faculty from other academic units on campus. A teaching requirement, supported by an ongoing seminar in pedagogy, will give you valuable experience in the classroom.

Program Structure

The doctoral program reflects the School's philosophy that a broad and cross-functional orientation is necessary to appreciate complex business problems that extend beyond the narrow confines of a particular discipline. Students planning academic careers can take advantage of teaching opportunities, along with instruction in teaching techniques that are especially effective in management education.

Within the general field of management, many disciplines and technologies are appropriate for advanced study. Because you work closely with the Merage School faculty, areas of concentration often parallel the strengths of faculty members. These areas include accounting, finance, information systems, marketing, operations and decision technologies, and organization and management, and strategy. The doctoral program is divided into two phases, qualification and dissertation.

Qualification (Phase I)

The Qualification Phase provides students with a general exposure to their area of specialization, the discipline of management, and methodological tools. The doctoral program curriculum is based on a flexible menu system, consisting of two menus of courses – one for research methods and one for theoretical breadth courses. 

Coursework requirements are approved by the faculty from your area of specialization. Before advancing to candidacy, your are also required to complete 4 breadth courses on the school-wide menu and the theoretical menu, outside your major field. During this phase, you acquire the knowledge necessary to conduct original research and scholarship including: 

  • Knowledge of research, theory, and key issues in the major subfields in the area of specialization
  • The appreciation of critical analytic abilities relevant to the area of specialization
  • Research methods relevant to the area, including both knowledge of methods and a demonstration of the capacity to use the methods

To advance beyond the Qualification Phase, you must complete all required coursework, a written preliminary examination, and a formal oral qualifying examination. The maximum duration of this phase is 9 academic quarters or 3 calendar years.

Academic Advisor

As a Phase I PhD student, you will be assigned an academic faculty advisor from your area of specialization to assist you in getting acclimated to the Merage School PhD program. The advisor guides you in planning your PhD coursework and supervises your academic progress for the first two years of the program. 
During this phase, you have the opportunity to identify/discover your research interests and find a faculty member who best fits your research needs. The Academic Advisor and the Qualifying Advisor may or may not be the same person.

Qualifying Advisor

At the beginning of the third year, the Qualifying Advisor provides you guidance in pursuing your research interests. The Qualifying Advisor may also be the chair of your thesis committee.

Dissertation (Phase II)

The Dissertation Phase requires the completion of a significant original research project and a dissertation which demonstrates your creativity and ability to launch and sustain a career in research. The type of research project selected is an important determinant of the amount of time you will spend in this phase. Upon approval of the dissertation and final examination (dissertation defense), your doctoral committee recommends the conferral of the degree. The Dissertation Phase is expected to take 24 months after you have advanced to candidacy, which ordinarily occurs three years into the program. The normative time to degree is five years.


What does the PhD in Management prepare you for?

The PhD in Management is for those who wish to pursue a career in scholarly research at an academic institution. A bachelor’s degree at minimum is required. Although the graduate degree is not required about 75% of those that do apply have a Masters/MBA degree. You need to ask yourself the following questions: Are you interested in research? Do you enjoy learning, innovating, and solving complex questions? Do you want to teach at a university? Do you wish to consult at a higher level? Are you able to draw conclusions from data?  If so, the PhD in Management prepares you for this academic career path.


How many students are in program? 

We currently have 59 students in the program.


What are the areas of specialization?

Areas of concentration closely parallel the strengths of the School’s faculty and include: Accounting (9), Finance (9), Marketing (12), Information Systems (7), Operations and Decision Technologies (8), Organization and Management (7), and Strategy (7).


How and where do I apply?

Learn more about PhD admissions requirements and apply via our online application portal by visiting the PhD Admissions page (link to underlined text Please note that the link to apply is only available between September and January 4 of each year.


What is the deadline for applications? 

Applications are accepted each year from September through January 4 for the following academic year.


Can I apply for a Winter or Spring start?

Admission is in the fall quarter only.   


Can I apply to more than one area?

You may only apply to one area in a given admissions year.


How many applications do you receive and how many do you admit?

We generally receive between 250-350 applications each year. We admit between 10-15 total across all areas. The number of students admitted to each area varies from year to year depending on faculty-student ratio and quality of applicant pool and typically ranges from one to three.


When will I be notified of the decision? 

Faculty will review applications between January and late March to identify and discuss their choices. 


Is it required that I meet with faculty member(s) prior to submitting my application to strengthen or increase my chances of admittance?

Contacting faculty prior to application is not necessary. Due to the volume of inquiries, faculty members regret that they are unable to respond to all inquiries. Prospective students are encouraged to learn about faculty research by visiting the faculty research pages.  (link underlined text to )


How long does it take to complete the program?

The expected completion time for the doctoral degree is five years with a maximum time of six years.


Do you offer a part-time program or online program option?

We do not offer an online or part-time options. Aside from courses which are oftentimes scheduled during the day and during the week, teaching assistantship appointments, research and independent study require students be on campus and on a full-time basis.


Do you provide a financial support package? 

Yes. Every candidate we admit, whether domestic or international, is offered a five-year financial support package covering tuition, fees and a living stipend. This support is provided through a combination of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. Health insurance is also provided and included as part of campus fees.


What standardized tests are required for admission and is there a minimum score?

All applicants must take either the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). You must submit a score report that is less than five years old.

While officially there is no minimum test score that is used as a cut-off, good performance on one of the standardized tests is usually required for a favorable admission decision. Generally, successful applicants score in the 80th and 90th percentiles on their standardized test. 

Regardless of test scores, each applicant is fully reviewed by the admissions committee. Evaluation of the applicant’s file will consist of an integrated assessment of all materials – test scores, transcripts of previous academic work, work experience, essays and letters of recommendation.

If I already have a graduate degree and/or extensive work experience, do I still need to take the GMAT or GRE?

Yes. These tests are required and cannot be waived under any circumstance. For more information on the GRE test please visit the Educational Testing Service (ETS) (link to underlined text and GMAT websites (link to underlilned text

GRE Institution Code: 4859

GMAT Institution Code: 0DP-7R-24 (first digit: ‘zero’)

If I have an undergraduate or graduate degree from a US university can I waive the TOEFL or IELTS test? 

Yes. For admission purposes, if you completed your ENTIRE degree in the US or from a country where English is the primary and dominant language (i.e. Canada [except for Quebec], England, Australia), you do not need to take an English Proficiency test. Visit UCI Graduate Division English Proficiency (link to underlined ) for a list of countries where English is considered the primary or dominant language, as approved by the UCI Graduate Council.

TOEFL Institution Code:  4859 


I am a permanent resident of the US. Do I need to take the TOEFL test?

Yes. Permanent residents are not automatically waived from taking the TOEFL. However, for admission purposes you are waived from TOEFL/IELTS if you completed your undergraduate or graduate degree at a US university or from a country where English is the primary and dominant language (ie. Canada [except for Quebec], England, Australia). Visit UCI Graduate Division English Proficiency (link to underlined ) for additional information on the English Proficiency Exam Requirement.


I am an international applicant and studied at an English language university in my country. Do I need to take the TOEFL test?

If English is the primary or dominant language of your country as recognized by UCI, not just the medium of education at your school, you will not be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS test for admissions purposes. Visit UCI Graduate Division English Proficiency (link to underlined ) for a list of countries where English is considered the primary or dominant language, as approved by the UCI Graduate Council.


Can I shorten my PhD program if I already have a Masters/MBA degree?

It is very unlikely. Courses taken toward a graduate degree at another institution cannot be transferred for credit toward a PhD at UCI. A key part of the PhD program is passing the field/comprehensive exam which is administered at the end of your second year covering material from doctoral seminars that you were required to take the first two years of the program. The first two years is coursework for all students regardless of area. It is in Phase II of the program where the duration will depend on the progress you make in your dissertation. 

Faculty Director

Terry Shevlin Professor Terry Shevlin is a professor of accounting, Paul Merage Chair in Business Growth, Associate Dean of Research and Doctoral Programs at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business. He earned his PhD from Stanford University in 1986 and joined the faculty at the University of Washington where he worked for 26 years until joining UCI in the summer of 2012.  He visited the University of Iowa in 1991-92.  He held the Paul Pigott/Paccar Professor of Business Administration from 2004-2012. While at Washington he held various administrative position: faculty director of the PhD Program 1998-2006 and Accounting Department Chair from 2006-2012.  He has served as editor on three academic journals: Journal of the American Taxation Association (1996-1999), Senior Editor, The Accounting Review (2002-2005) and Co-editor, Accounting Horizons (2009-2012) and on numerous editorial boards (including the top four accounting journals).  He has published nearly 30 articles in the very top accounting and finance journals.

Financial Support

Since the PhD program is a full-time in residence program of study employment outside UC Irvine should not be sought. During this period of time students receive a full support package.

The five-year support package covers tuition, fees and a living stipend. This support is provided through a combination of scholarships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships, and is subject to terms described in the acceptance letter.

Several other types of financial assistance are also available to graduate students at UC Irvine, including fellowships, tuition fellowships for nonresident students, and student loans. All graduate students who are US citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to access state and federal loans. Foreign students are not eligible for federal aid and do not need to complete the FAFSA. They may be eligible for a private loan with a US co-signer. Please contact Alda Ruggiero for details at or 949.824.7967.