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Darden School of Business – University of Virginia

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CLASS SIZE 352
Women 37%
MEAN GMAT 716
MEAN GPA 3.51

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.

UVA MBA

FAQ

What is the tuition for Darden's MBA program?

Tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year at Darden is set at $75,600 for residents of Virginia and $78,600 for non-residents, while international students pay $78,800.

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 716.

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

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Darden is 716.

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 average GRE score for admission to Darden's MBA program?

The average GRE score for the incoming class at Darden is 321.

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?)

The incoming class at Darden had an average of 5.9 years work experience.

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

The average starting salary for Darden MBA graduates is $167,899 with an average signing bonus of $37,588. 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 5, 2024. The Round 1 MBA application deadline is October 2, 2024. The Round 2 application deadline is January 7, 2025. The Round 3 deadline is April 2, 2025.

What percent of Darden MBA students are women?

The percentage of the class at Darden that are women is 37%.

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.

Admissions

The Class Profile

352 students comprise Darden’s Class of 2025. Of these, 37% are women and 14% identify as a U.S. minority. Forty-one percent are international, representing 33 countries. The mean GMAT score reported was 716 while the mean GRE score landed at 311. The average undergraduate GPA was 3.51 and 21% reported being the first in their families to attend college.

Students averaged 5.9 years work experience at the time of matriculation. Twenty-two percent hailed from financial services. Thirteen percent each had worked in government or consulting. Twelve percent came from tech.

Application Procedures

Applicants to Darden have their pick of four rounds of admission, which usually 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, short-answer essays, a recommendation, 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.

In admissions rounds 1, 2, or 3, interviews are given by invitation only, and all U.S. residents are required to interview either on Darden’s campus or virtually. Applicants who apply during the Early Action round may request an interview on a first come, first served basis.

Application Checklist

  • Core Data
  • GMAT or GRE Score
  • TOEFL Scores
  • Résumé
  • Essays
  • 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.

Interview Reports

UVA / Darden Q&A's

UVA / Darden LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire

July 2, 2024 8:19pm ET
Accepted to UVA / Darden
Round: Rolling Admissions
Received via phone on June 28, 2024
June 13, 2024 8:41pm ET
Rejected at UVA / Darden
Round: Round 4
Received via portal June 13, 2024
GPA: 3.85
Program Type: Deferred Enrollment
Post MBA Career Name: Other
Application Location: Houston, TX
Note:

From USA, went to T30 uni (STEM major), and my college program is ranked T5. I was an undergrad trying to skip deferred enrollment, except for two programs (Vanderbilt/UVA). I successfully obtained test waivers for 8 different T25 MBA programs. I have lots of successful start-up experience, full-time, before college with multiple internship experiences in Fortune 100 companies. I wish I could give away more but I do not want to get doxed :) . I decided today, after this final decision and going through the whole application process with waitlist offers and rejections, that the test waiver is a complete scam. It seems to benefit, particularly "under-represented" candidates, veterans (who actually deserve a waiver for serving our country), and those who have more than the average amount of work experience but not enough to get an executive MBA. To the OP, days ago on LiveWire, who applied to "Team Fuqua," I similarly share some of your grievances. For future applicants curious about what I did from my end, the interview at UVA went very well and I spoke with multiple alumni and people on the admissions team. I received an interview offer for all programs (except Michigan). One of my recommenders was also an alumnus of the uni and a senior manager at a Fortune 20 company. My essays were relatively good and some of the interviewers who had the opportunity to read them gave compliments. Also, I did not pay for any application consultants. I did use some advice from ClearAdmit + LiveWire + Leland Blogs + GMAT Club which was and will be helpful in the future. All I can do now is study (for the GMAT or GRE) a year later and do the process over again with a test score. WashU/UF would not even consider me and they are T40 programs. As I said, do not bother with the test waiver if you do not fit into the previous categories mentioned. Here is some extra advice for "non-under-represented candidates," Save your time and money doing something else and wait to take an exam. Good luck everyone and please DM me for any questions/advice. I am happy to help. It has been real LiveWire, see ya in two years.

June 12, 2024 4:10pm ET
Accepted to UVA / Darden
Round: Round 1
Received via phone June 12, 2024
GPA: 3.88
GMAT: 675
Program Type: Deferred Enrollment
Post MBA Career Name: Other
Application Location: Mid-Atlantic
June 12, 2024 2:05pm ET
Accepted from Waitlist to UVA / Darden
Round: Round 3
Received via phone June 12, 2024
GPA: 3.63
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Note:

In shock. Round 3 applicant with test waiver and 3.63 GPA. 9 YOE

June 4, 2024 11:54am ET
Enrolled at UVA / Darden
Round: Round 2
Received via phone
GMAT: 690
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Finance
Application Location: South America
June 4, 2024 11:17am ET
Enrolled at UVA / Darden
Round: Round 3
Received via n/a
GMAT: 690
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Note:

So excited!! It has been a GRIND.

May 24, 2024 1:36pm ET
Accepted from Waitlist to UVA / Darden
Round: Round 4
Received via phone May 24, 2024
GPA: 3.4
GRE: 322
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Consulting
Application Location: Virginia
Note:

Still Speechless! Darden was my dream school and I'd been on the waitlist since round 2.

May 24, 2024 1:10pm ET
Accepted from Waitlist to UVA / Darden
Round: Round 3
Received via phone May 24, 2024
GMAT: 690
Program Type: Traditional Two-Year
Post MBA Career Name: Healthcare
Note:

THANK GOD THIS HAS BEEN BRUTALLLL

MBA DecisionWire

MIT
July 11, 2024 6:17pm ET
Enrolled: MIT Sloan
Admitted: Columbia , MIT Sloan
Applied: Columbia, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, Stanford GSB, UPenn / Wharton
Entering Year: 2024
Post MBA Career: Consulting Companies: Bain, BCG, McKinsey
GRE: 326
GPA: 3.4
Location: New York
Notes:

Super excited to join the MIT Sloan community! Thank you to the Clear Admit podcast for being my weekly listen and for being my "therapists" over the two year period of my application process :)

Chi
July 3, 2024 11:27am ET
Enrolled: U. Chicago Booth
Admitted: U. Chicago Booth , IESE $
€25000
Applied: U. Chicago Booth, Yale SOM, Northwestern / Kellogg, MIT Sloan, IESE, Dartmouth / Tuck, Columbia, Berkeley / Haas
Entering Year: 2024
Post MBA Career: Other
GMAT: 700
GPA: 3.0
Location: LATAM
USC
July 1, 2024 3:19pm ET
Enrolled: USC / Marshall
Admitted: USC / Marshall $
$80000
Applied: USC / Marshall
Entering Year: 2024
Post MBA Career: Technology Companies: Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle
GMAT: 730
Location: Europe
CBS
June 30, 2024 4:41pm ET
Enrolled: Columbia
Admitted: Berkeley / Haas $
$70000
,
U. Chicago Booth , Columbia $
$50000
,
NYU Stern $
$150000
,
Yale SOM
Applied: Berkeley / Haas, U. Chicago Booth, Columbia, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Stanford GSB, UPenn / Wharton, Yale SOM
Entering Year: 2024
Post MBA Career: Investment Banking
GMAT: 750

Academics

Faculty

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 13 research centers and initiatives, which examine topics ranging from corporate sustainability to asset management and innovation.

Curriculum

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 six tracks while the latter comprises just one. 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 under 350 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 & Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Supply Chain Management

Theme Tracks

  • Business Analytics

Degree Offerings at Darden

Full-time MBA Program
www.darden.virginia.edu/web/MBA

Executive MBA Programs
MBA for Executives, Global MBA for Executives
https://www.darden.virginia.edu/executive-mba-formats/

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
https://www.darden.virginia.edu/mba/admissions/dual-degrees

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 

Ninety-six of the Class of 2023 had received job offers three months after graduation, and nearly 95% of the class had accepted a position within three months of graduating. The average base salary of 2023 graduates was $167,899 with an average signing bonus of $37,588.

Consulting was the most popular industry among 2023 Darden graduates, as 46% of the class entered this field, followed by financial services at 26%. The technology sector drew 11% of graduates, while 4% entered healthcare.

Geographically, most Darden MBAs relocated to the Northeast, where 33% worked after graduation. Twenty-three percent of the Class of 2023 remained in the Mid-Atlantic region, while 13% pursued roles in the South. Eleven percent each headed to the Southwest or West U.S.

Financing

Tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year at Darden is set at $75,600 for residents of Virginia and $78,600 for non-residents, while international students pay $78,800. The total expected costs rise to $108,951 for residents, $111,951 for non-residents and $112,243 for international students when considering the living expenses associated with the MBA program. First-year students should also reserve $1,800 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 2023-2024

Tuition & Fees

  • Virginia Residents $75,600
  • Non-Virginia Residents $78,600
  • International Students $78,800

Case Fees $1,100
Aetna Health Insurance $3,673
Room $12,600
Board $6,470
Miscellaneous Personal $3,800
Computer $1,800

Transportation (domestic students) $1,800
Transportation (international students) $4,000

Federal Loan Fees (domestic students) $2,108

Totals

  • VA Residents $108,951
  • Non-VA Residents $111,951
  • International Students $112,243

Contact

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]
Web: www.darden.virginia.edu
Blog: http://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/
Twitter: @DardenMBA