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UCI Merage application FAQs for specialty masters programs

Are you thinking of applying to a specialty masters program at UCI Merage? Whether you’re unsure about the GMAT or looking for a scholarship, here are the answers to applicants’ most asked questions.

In short

1. What does UCI Merage look for in specialty masters applicants?

The MSc in Business Analytics, Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Master of Professional Accountancy and Master of Finance programs are specialty programs with a dedicated admissions team. The first and arguably most important thing to consider before applying to these programs at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business is what they’re looking for in applicants. After all, every business school is different and looks for a slightly different type of student. 

Oscar Guzman is a Recruitment and Admissions Advisor Assistant at UCI Merage, he says, “We holistically review all of your application materials including your academic background, experience and communication skills.” (00:22)

And, as a community-focused school, UCI Merage also looks for “motivated individuals who actively participate in classroom discussions and engage in their community,” according to Oscar.

2. Do I qualify for an English proficiency waiver?

English is the lingua franca of the business world, and most business programs across Europe and North America will be taught in English. You may need to prove your proficiency if English isn’t your first language. You have two options to do that for your UCI Merage application.

First is by having a degree from an English-only school. “To see if you qualify for an English proficiency waiver, visit the World Higher Education Database to find out if your undergraduate institution’s primary and only language is English,” explains Natalia Sanchez, who is the Assistant Director of UCI Merage’s Master of Finance and Master of Innovation & Entrepreneurship programs. (00:42)

 “If your institution shows two or more languages then you must provide either a TOEFL or IELTS score. These are the only two proficiency exams we accept,” she adds.

3. Do I need to take a GMAT or GRE exam?

The GMAT and GRE exams are hot topics in business education at the moment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many institutions waived the requirement to take the GMAT or GRE as part of the application process. Though pandemic restrictions have been lifted, that waiver has often remained in place – including at UCI Merage.

“We do not require a GMAT or GRE,” says Jana Cheng; Associate Director of the Master of Professional Accountancy program at UCI Merage. However, there are certain situations when it’s still advisable to take one of the tests.

“Keep in mind, for our STEM-designated programs if you do not come from a solid quantitative background, or if you have a GPA below 3.3, we recommend you take either exam to demonstrate your quantitative skills.” (01:09)

4. Which UCI Merage application deadline should I aim for?

Another common question for business school applicants is when to apply. Business schools typically have several application rounds throughout the year, which can make it hard to decide when to apply. Do you apply as early as possible? Or do you wait until your application is 100% ready? At UCI Merage however, things work a little differently.

“We review applications on a rolling basis,” explains UCI Merage’s Lisa Shulman. “This means the listed dates are just suggested deadlines, except for March 1st, which is the last deadline for international students.”

Lisa also says that when it comes to applying, the earlier the better. “You can submit your application anytime throughout the year, but we generally recommend you apply as early as possible for more scholarship opportunities.” (01:29)

The most important thing is that you apply when your application is the strongest.

5. What scholarships are available at UCI Merage?

In the 2022 GMAC Prospective Students Survey, cost was cited as the biggest obstacle to applying for business school. Yet it can be surprising to learn just how many students are eligible for scholarships that help cover the cost of tuition. At UCI Merage, for example, around 85% of admitted students receive some kind of scholarship.

The best thing is that scholarships often don’t require a separate application. “All students are considered for merit-based scholarships based on a holistic review of your application,” explains Nadine Abu-Seraj. “We encourage you to make your application as competitive as possible before submitting.” (01:56)

There’s a lot to think about before applying to business school. We hope this article has cleared up some of your biggest doubts. 

If you would like some more information then feel free to ask one of our master’s ambassadors before applying. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.

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