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Darden Class Profile: UVA Responds to Challenges with Flexibility and Accommodation

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See the UVA Darden MBA Class of 2023 profile here.

The UVA Darden School of Business released its MBA Class of 2022 profile featuring its first-ever January cohort and record Consortium members. The class came together as the applicants faced significant challenges related to the pandemic, which the school responded to with flexibility and accommodation. Namely, the Darden admissions team extended the final application deadline to July 15 and accepted alternatives to standardized tests to demonstrate academic merit. Enough students faced too many challenges to make the August semester start date, so Darden created a new section of around 60 students to start on January 4th.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Darden community for the effort it made to offer a January start given the challenges so many of our admitted students faced due to COVID-19 and other factors that particularly impacted our international students,” Dawna Clarke, Executive Director of Admissions said in a statement. Overall, the business school saw a 25 percent increase in applications and enrolled 404 students into the class of 2022.

Here is the breakdown of stats within the Darden class profile.

Darden Class Profile: Undergraduate Background

Average Undergraduate GPA 3.5
Percent majoring in arts, humanities, social sciences 21%
Percent majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math 25%
Percent majoring in business 29%

Darden Class Profile: GMAT & GRE Scores

Average GMAT Score 703
Average GRE (Combined) 319

Darden Class Profile: Student Characteristics

Women 39%
Countries Represented (by citizenship) 35
International Students 24%
Average Work Experience 5 years

International, Women, and Minority Representation

Twenty-four percent of the class are international students (born outside the U.S.) and represent 35 countries. Thirty-nine percent of the class are women, a record for the school.

Darden has adopted multi-dimensional reporting for minority and underrepresented minority students, which allows multi-race students to be represented in every race and ethnicity with which they identify. Sixteen percent of the class are US minorities, and 10 percent are considered underrepresented minorities, categorized as U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are Native American or Alaskan Native, African American,  Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or Chicano.

“It’s critical that Darden students come from diverse backgrounds,” said Clarke. “We have a multitude of outreach and recruiting efforts aimed at increasing the representation of women, minority students, international students, and veterans.”

Darden hosts an annual Diversity Conference each fall, hosts events for veterans, and participates in events with the Forté Foundation and the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. The school held MLT (Management Leadership for Tomorrow) in June and enrolled a record 45 Consortium students in the Class of 2022.

Undergraduate and Professional Experience    

The Darden class profile reveals diverse interests. Twenty-nine percent of the class got their undergraduate degree in business. Seventeen percent majored in economics and 16 percent in science. Another 12 percent had studied humanities and 9 percent graduated with an engineering degree.

The class comes from an array of professional backgrounds, with 20 percent having worked in the financial service industry. Fifteen percent worked in consulting and 10 percent were in the technology industry. Healthcare, education, and military careers were each the chosen profession for five percent of students. Eight percent of the class are military service members.

Darden Takes Extraordinary Steps in the Face of COVID-19

“I couldn’t be prouder of the dean and the faculty and staff who contributed to navigating this with great flexibility and compassion,” says Clarke of the effort Darden put into their COVID response.

Darden’s move to virtual instruction was a dramatic change. The school invested heavily in virtual teaching technology, even converting one of its theater-style classrooms into two studios purpose-built for virtual delivery of courses and other programs and events. The semester began in a hybrid format. To encourage healthy and safe community-building and to help offset meal costs for students on campus, Darden renovated its dining facilities and provided lunch for all first-year students and will also extend this meal plan to second-year students.

Said Clarke, “The manner in which Darden navigated this has been really energizing for me. This is a community that is so focused on not only delivering a world-class education, but doing so with great compassion and collaboration!”

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.