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Darden School of Business – University of Virginia

Darden invites reapplicants

The Darden School of Business is based in Charlottesville, Virginia at the University of Virginia. Darden provides its students with three paths toward earning an MBA—the full-time MBA as well as two executive MBA options—among its other academic offerings. A hallmark of the Darden MBA experience is the instructors’ use of the case method in the classroom, a technique that fosters discussion among stu­dents about real-world business problems. The school estimates that each student will examine more than 500 business cases over the course of the two-year MBA program.



What is the tuition for Darden’s MBA program?

The tuition for Darden’s MBA program is $72,600 per year. The total cost of the Darden MBA program is $100,372 per year; this includes budgeted living expenses.

How hard is it to get into Darden’s MBA program?

The acceptance rate for Darden is 26%. It is important to consider the acceptance rate in the context of the student profile of those who are admitted. For example the average GMAT score is 713.

What is the average GMAT score for admission to Darden’s MBA program?

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Darden is 713.

Does the Darden MBA program accept the GRE?

Yes. The Darden MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.

What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to Darden’s MBA program?

Darden does not state a minimum requirement for years of work experience.

What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to Darden’s MBA program? (or, What is the average age of a Darden student?)

Darden does not state an average number of years work experience. However, the average age of a Darden MBA student is 27.

What is the average starting salary for graduates of the Darden MBA program?

The average starting salary for Darden MBA graduates is $135,168 (average base salary). The salary will vary by industry, with consulting and finance jobs generally commanding the higher salaries.

How long is Darden’s full-time MBA program?

Darden offers a traditional 2 year MBA program.

What are the application deadlines for Darden’s MBA program?

The Early Action application deadline is September 2, 2020. The Round 1 MBA application deadline is October 5, 2020. The Round 2 application deadline is January 4, 2021. The Round 3 deadline is April 7, 2021.

What percent of Darden MBA students are women?

The percentage of the class at Darden that are women is 40%.

What type of interview does Darden use for MBA admissions?

Darden offers open interviews for Early Action applicants. For other rounds, Darden offers interviews by invitation. The interviews are resume-based. This means the interviewer has not had access to the application materials.


ROI in Darden’s Executive MBA Program

In this video, three recent Executive MBA alumni reflect upon how their Darden experience accelerated their careers, sharpened key skills and helped them grow both personally and professionally.

UVA Darden Professor Lalin Anik

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is consistently ranked No. 1 for the world’s best faculty. Hear from Professor Lalin Anik, named one of the Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors in 2019 by Poets&Quants, on what makes the Darden teaching and learning experience special and her authentic connections with students.


The Class Profile

Darden’s Class of 2021 comprises 336 students.  Of these, 40% are women and 21% identify as members of domestic minority groups, including students who are African Ameri­can, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino American, and Native American.  Thirty-three percent of students were born outside of the U.S., and in total 38 countries were represented in the Class of 2021.  The mean GMAT score reported was 713, and the average GPA was 3.5.  Students averaged 27 years of age at the time of entry into the program.

Application Procedures

Applicants to Darden have their pick of four rounds of admission, which begin with an early action option in September and culminate in early April. Those interested in pursuing the MBA must submit Darden’s online data form, GMAT or GRE results, TOEFL scores if applicable, a résumé, an essay, two recommendations, transcripts, residency verification for Virginia residents, and an application fee of $250, though not all of these apply to students applying through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.  Darden also notes that prospective students who do not agree with UVA’s honor code need not apply.

Interviews are given by invitation only, and all U.S. residents are required to interview on Darden’s campus, though in-person interviews are temporarily suspended in favor of video interviews. Those residing abroad can either travel to Darden or interview closer to home through Skype, Darden alumni or the admissions committee, depending on its international recruiting trip schedule.

Application Checklist

  • Core Data
  • GMAT or GRE Score
  • TOEFL Scores
  • Résumé
  • Essay
  • Recommendations
  • Interviews
  • Transcripts
  • Residency/In-State Status
  • Visa Information
  • Application Fee
  • Honor Code

Essay Topic Analysis

Need help with your essays? Get our experts' advice.

UVA Darden School of Business MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2019-2020

The following essay topic analysis examines the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business (UVA / Darden) MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all of the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. UVA / Darden Essay Topic […]

Recommendation Questions

Find out what top MBA programs ask recommenders.

UVA Darden MBA Recommendation Questions

The UVA Darden MBA recommendation questions are now available to applicants and their recommenders.  UVA Darden uses the Common Letter of Recommendation by GMAC. 2020-2021 UVA Darden MBA Recommendation Questions Section 1: Recommender Information Context of Relationship: Current employer Previous employer University / Academic Extracurricular / community Other Nature of relationship Direct Supervisor Other Supervisor Advisor […]

Interview Reports

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / Zoom

The Darden interview is blind, meaning the interviewer has not even seen your resume. Because of this, the focus is largely on how you want to tell your story. The interview was roughly broken into the following sections: 1) We had a few minutes of small talk in the beginning, and then the interviewer let […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions: Early Action / Second-year Student / Skype

As expected, the interviewer gave me 15-20 minutes to run through my life story, resume, why I am seeking an MBA. Additional questions asked were regarding diversity. “Provide me with a time you worked in a diverse environment?” “Why is diversity important?” Interviewer provided 10 minutes at the end to answer questions about her background/experience […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / Skype

Interviewed with senior adcom member at UVA Darden in late February. The interview lasted for a duration of 30 minutes. Questions asked were: Walk me through your resume, Why MBA and Why Darden? I was allowed to speak for 10-15 minutes with minimal intervention from the interviewer who was mostly taking notes. Tell me about […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / On-Campus

The interview was very open. The interviewer started with “Tell me about yourself.” I quickly brought up my upbringing, college experience, etc., but focused most of the answer on my resume. The interviewer periodically asked me questions, but nothing related to behavioral questions. He genuinely wanted to get to know me better. I went through […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On-Campus

I interviewed with a member of the adcom. They asked me to tell them about myself — it was open very open ended and the interview was blind. I was told by a friend beforehand that I should be expected to talk for 5-10 minutes in the beginning though. After my summary, I was asked […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / On-Campus

The interview was a blind interview. I was interviewed by a second-year student and the interview was fairly informal and conversational. The interviewer started with an open-ended “tell me about yourself,” where I was prompted to give my life story, not just what was on my resume. The interviewer took no notes, but periodically stopped […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / On-Campus

I interviewed for Round 2 on-campus with a second-year student. My interview was the first of the day at 8am, and there were at least a dozen other candidates at the school at the same time as me. Everyone (faculty, current students, applicants) were all very welcoming and friendly, which certainly calmed the nerves. For […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / Skype

The interview lasted for about 40 minutes. Skype is really unstable in China. I’d recommend using a VPN. It was a totally blind interview. The interviewer didn’t have my resume, so I started with an long self introduction. Tell me about yourself. It can be your personal background, academic, work or whatever is important to […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / Skype

List of interview questions: “Tell me about your early life.” “Tell me about your professional career.” “Why MBA/Darden?” Commentary: Did you receive your admissions decision? Not yet, expected next week. What did you think of the interview? They give you a few long answer questions and it is on you to manage that time and […]

UVA Darden Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / On-Campus

Interviewed in the afternoon with a second-year student. I waited in the lobby with 10-15 other interviewees and was the first to be taken to one of the “learning team” rooms to be interviewed. Questions were mostly as expected. My interviewer laid out the interview and explained that it was a completely blind interview (my […]

Uva-darden Q&As

Real Humans of MBA Admissions: Darden’s Sara Neher

We know. Admissions directors at top-tier business schools can seem all but omnipotent, charged with assessing your worth and charting the course of your future with the decisions they dole out. To be sure, there are admissions directors who have truly changed individuals’ fates with the calls they make. But here’s something else we know. […]

Admissions Director Q&A: Sara Neher of UVA’s Darden School of Business

We recently caught up with Sara Neher, director of MBA admissions at Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (UVA), who had just returned from a family trip to celebrate her dad’s 70th birthday in the mountains of Colorado. Trading one beautiful environment for another, she’s back now in Charlottesville and ready to […]




Mailing Address:
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Office of Admissions
100 Darden Boulevard
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Phone: 434-924-7281
Fax: 434-243-5033
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @DardenMBA

Uva-darden LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire for UVA / Darden

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
January 24, 2021 5:50pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.53. GMAT: 760. Austin, TX.
January 24, 2021 3:08am
Applied via portal.
GPA: 2.8. Nigeria.
January 23, 2021 6:15pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.15. GMAT: 710.
January 23, 2021 9:39am
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.49. USA.
January 23, 2021 8:24am
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.6. GMAT: 690. US.

MBA DecisionWire for UVA / Darden

Enrolled: Northwestern / Kellogg
Admitted: Northwestern / Kellogg, UVA / Darden
GMAT: 730 GPA: 62
Post-MBA Career: Technology
Enrolled: UVA / Darden
Admitted: UVA / Darden
GPA: 3.81
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: Michigan / Ross
Admitted: Duke / Fuqua, Emory / Goizueta, Michigan / Ross, UVA / Darden
GMAT: 760 GPA: 3.2
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: UVA / Darden
Admitted: U. Chicago Booth, Dartmouth / Tuck, Northwestern / Kellogg, UVA / Darden, Yale SOM
GMAT: 770 GPA: 3.6
Post-MBA Career: Other



Darden employs over 120 faculty members. Faculty specialize in courses across Darden’s nine subject areas, though the school encourages a very integrated curriculum. Darden’s faculty also help staff the school’s 15 research centers and initiatives, which examine topics ranging from corporate sustainability to asset management and innovation.


Darden offers a balanced management curriculum within the framework of the case method teaching style and active classroom engagement.  Darden’s case-based program means that student discussions constitute a significant chunk of in-class time as the students work through practical scenarios to resolve different business challenges.

There is no selection of academic majors at Darden.  Instead, students may opt to pursue concentrations in specific areas of business, though this is not required.  The school classifies its concentrations by “career track” and “theme track” categories, and the former includes seven tracks while the latter comprises six.  MBA students may pursue as many academic tracks as they would like during their tenure at Darden, provided they can satisfy the academic requirements of each.

The typical incoming class at Darden includes just over 300 students, and each class is divided into five sections of 60 to 65 students and then into learning teams of five to six students. Each section works with its own set of faculty members and competes together in various events throughout the year as part of the Darden Cup. The Darden Cup comprises sporting events, trivia contests and myriad charity efforts for which each section can earn points.

First-year students are afforded several pre-term and orientation options prior to the start of fall classes, which include optional courses in key quantitative areas and many informal meet-and-greet events. The Darden MBA program structures first- and second-year schedules differently, giving first-year students core coursework over four terms and a capstone project while second-years have four quarters in which to take classes. In the first year, students all undertake the same required courses, and first-years participate in a strategy simulation upon finishing the required core curriculum. In the final term of students’ first year, they may begin to take electives and complete Darden Consulting Projects in their areas of interest.

During the second year of the MBA, students take electives at Darden and can also complete courses at other schools within the University of Virginia. Second-years are required to finish one leadership elective before graduation. Students may also study abroad through Darden’s exchange programs; in total, the school offers MBA exchange programs with 18 international institutions. Students wishing to spend one to two weeks abroad may opt for Darden’s Immersion Courses, which are usually offered in March. The Immersion Courses are open to both first- and second-year students.

Other MBA Degree Options

The Darden MBA can be earned in one of three ways: a traditional full-time MBA, the MBA for Executives option, and the Global MBA for Executives program. All programs take 21 months to complete and chiefly employ the case method style of teaching. Darden also provides students with the opportunity to undertake one of 10 dual degree programs offered in cooperation with other schools at the University of Virginia.

Concentrations at Darden

Career Tracks

  • Asset Management/Sales & Trading
  • Corporate Finance/Investment Banking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Supply Chain Management

Theme Tracks

  • Corporate Innovation
  • Business Development and Growth
  • Business Analytics
  • Innovation for Sustainability
  • Global Business


Degree Offerings at Darden

Full-time MBA Program

Executive MBA Programs
MBA for Executives, Global MBA for Executives

Dual Degrees
MBA/JD, MBA/SAIS MA, MBA/MSDS, MBA/MD, MBA/MPH, MBA/MPP, MBA/MEd in Innovation in Education Reform, MBA/MA in East Asian Studies, MBA/MA in Government or Foreign Affairs, MBA/ME, MBA/MSN, MBA/PhD

Campus Life

Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

The close-knit community at Darden makes for a collection of over 50 active student clubs and organizations. These groups help MBA students pursue their professional, social, athletic and affinity-related interests and include such organizations as the Turnaround & Restructuring Club, the Outdoors Club and the European Society. The Darden Student Association is the student governance body, and Darden’s Prize for Club Excellence rewards the organizations that best serve their members and the Darden community with cash prizes at the end of each year.

Student groups are also behind many of Darden’s conferences.  The school plays host to a variety of professionally and affinity-focused conferences each year, including the annual Private Equity Conference, the Darden Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Conference, and the Darden Investing Conference.  Darden also supports somewhat more atypical conferences that meet students’ interests, such as the “From Farm to Table: Trends in Sustainability & Innovation” Conference.  This event was sponsored by Darden’s Wine & Cuisine Club in 2014 and brought together industry leaders from various sub-sectors to discuss sustainability practices and entrepreneurial initiatives within the food and beverage industry.

Campus Spaces

Darden’s elegant campus was designed to fit with the classical layout of UVA and Thomas Jefferson’s aesthetic for academic institutions. The UVA campus is often known as “the Grounds,” and Saunders Hall serves as the entry point to Darden. Darden’s campus boasts 60 rooms for learning teams, seven conference rooms, 18 classrooms with theater seating, a fully equipped video production studio and conferencing platform, and the i.Lab, or Darden’s innovation laboratory. Three on-campus housing options are open to graduate students, with a separate option for those students living with families. As there are limited on-campus housing openings, the school reports that many students take up residence in apartments or homes located within easy walking distance of campus.

MBA Careers

Career Services

The Career Development Center at Darden matches students with career consultants, thus affording them one-on-one counseling with trained planners.  First-year students also benefit from the Second Year Coach program wherein second-years share recent job search experiences in the industries and functions of interest to the first-years.  The center provides myriad other opportunities as well, which span from career fairs and job treks both in the U.S. and abroad to workshops, forums and specialized assessment tools.  The first networking night for second-year students takes places in early September, and on-campus interviews and recruiting for full-time positions start up in mid-October.

Career Statistics 

A full 97% of the Class of 2019 had received job offers three months after graduation, and 96% of the class had accepted a position within three months of graduating.  The average base salary of 2019 graduates was $135,168 with an average signing bonus of $33,458.

Consulting was the most popular industry among 2019 Darden graduates, as nearly 36% of the class entered this field, followed by financial services at 24%.  The technology sector drew 15% of graduates, while 4% entered manufacturing and 3% opted for consumer packaged goods.  Students also chose positions in industries such as real estate and energy.

By function, the Class of 2019 pursued the most roles in consulting, a function chosen by 36% of students.  Finance was the second most popular function at 24%, and General Management and Marketing attracted approximately 19% and 15%, respectively.

Geographically, most Darden MBAs relocated to the Northeast, where 31% worked upon graduation.  Nineteen percent of the Class of 2019 remained in the Mid-Atlantic region, while 12% pursued roles in the South, 17% in the West and 7% in the Midwest.  Finally, 8% of students chose to work in the Southwest, and another 6% pursued work outside of the U.S.


Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year at Darden is set at $69,600 for residents of Virginia and $72,600 for non-residents, while international students pay $72,800.  The total expected costs rise to $97,372 for residents, $100,372 for non-residents and $101,456 for international students when considering the living expenses associated with the MBA program.  First-year students should also reserve $1,500 for a computer.  Students are automatically considered for Darden’s more than 150 merit-based scholarships when they submit their applications.  U.S. students who wish to finance their MBA through loans must file the FAFSA as well as a separate application for aid to UVA; this does not apply to international students.  Beginning with the Class of 2020, Darden offers international students loan program options so that they can borrow up to approximately 99% of the cost of attendance, but the school also encourages prospective international applicants to seek other loan and funding options.

Cost of Attendance 2020-2021

Tuition & Fees
• Virginia Residents $69,600
• Non-Virginia Residents $72,600
• International Students $72,800

UVA Health Insurance $2,980
Living Expenses $18,176
Case Fees & Books $2,000
Computer $1,500

Transportation (domestic students) $1,000
Transportation (international students) $4,000

Federal Loan Fees (domestic students) $2,116

• VA Residents $97,372
• Non-VA Residents $100,372
• International Students $101,456

Recent UVA / Darden News

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