A Guide to the UVA Darden MBA Program

The Darden School of Business located at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Photo by Gvahistory, link, under CC license

The Darden Graduate School of Business at University of Virginia , like HBS, uses a case method teaching approach, and frequently wins high ratings for professor and teaching quality in publications including The Princeton Review and Bloomberg. Because of the intense academic curriculum, the MBA program is sometimes lovingly referred to as a “bootcamp” by current and former students. In turn, this helps the school to place graduates successfully in fields that appreciate hard work, including management consulting and investment banking.

The limited class size of just over 330 students, secluded location in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the community rituals including First Coffee–a gathering in which the entire school community meets each morning–mean that you’ll get to know nearly every other classmate in this program.

Darden is also committed to offering international education to the entire student body; through a generous donation, the Darden Worldwide Scholarship Program provides funding for every full-time MBA student to undertake an international opportunity as a part of their Darden business school experience.

UVA Darden MBA Class Profile

Class Size348
Acceptance RateDoes not disclose
GMAT Average720
GPA Average3.51
Average AgeDoes not disclose
Avg. Years Work Experience5.8
Diversity Women37
Diversity Intl.43
Pre-MBA IndustriesDoes not disclose
Undergraduate MajorsDoes not disclose

The data above is from 2022 and represents the UVA Darden MBA class of 2024.
See the full report: UVA Darden MBA Class Profile

Student Experiences

UVA Darden MBA Employment Report & Careers

Salary Average$191,839.00
The average salary is a total of average salary + signing bonus ($157,090 + $34,749)
Offers Upon GraduationDoes not disclose
Offers At 3 Mos.97.5
Post-MBA IndustriesConsulting: 43.5%
Financial Services: 25.4%
Technology: 13.8%
Consumer Packaged Goods: 3.4%
(Including Products and Services): 3.4%
Manufacturing: 2.8%
Retail: 1.4%
Transportation and Logistics Services: 1.4%
Real Estate: 1.1%
Hospitality: 0.8%
Non-Profit/Education: 0.8%
Other: 0.8%
Energy: 0.6%
Government: 0.3%
Media/Entertainment: 0.3%
Post-MBA LocationsUnited States: 100%
Mid-Atlantic: 19.8%
Midwest: 7.6%
Northeast: 35.2%
South: 12.2%
Southwest: 13.4%
West: 11.9%
Post-MBA Companies

Top Hiring Companies

Career Development ResourcesUVA Darden Career Support

The data above is from 2022 and represents the career statistics for the UVA Darden class of 2022.
See the full report: UVA Darden 2022-2023 MBA Employment Report

UVA Darden MBA Academic Programs 

MBA Curriculum

UVA Darden’s MBA curriculum focuses on equipping their students with practical problem-solving abilities throughout the two years of the program. Year one has a strong emphasis on the case method, and in year two, you will continue to gain a hands-on academic experience by taking a range of elective courses. Students complete 10 courses over the first three quarters of their MBA as part of the core curriculum. Some of the topics covered in these courses are Decision Analytics, Strategic Thinking and Action, and Leadership Communication. Students complete these courses together with the “learning team” they are assigned to in their first year. At Darden, you can choose from over a 100 electives in a wide range of subjects to shape their academic experience. These electives fall under areas of study such as Communication, Ethics, and Sustainability.

See the full offering of courses: Darden MBA Course Catalog


Darden does not offer official majors as part of the MBA; however, the program does offer career track concentrations and specializations. The Management Science Specialization at Darden is a designated STEM specialization, which allows students to develop their analytical skills. Moreover, students can also select one or more of the following concentrations:

  • Asset Management / Sales and Trading
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Development and Growth
  • Corporate Finance / Investment Banking
  • Corporate Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Business
  • Innovation for Sustainability
  • Marketing
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Supply Chain Management

Experiential Learning Programs

Darden integrates the experiential learning component of the MBA throughout its curriculum. In addition to the program’s emphasis on the case method, students also participate in consulting projects and live action cases as part of their coursework. The practical aspects of these classes are also complemented by global and domestic learning opportunities.

Research Centers

With nine research centers and initiatives, students at UVA Darden can find a rich community to further build on their academics. Among these initiatives are the Global Water Initiative and the Business Innovation and Climate Change Initiative

MBA International Study Programs

As part of the full-time MBA international experience, students can elect to complete a global consulting project, a worldwide course, or an exchange program. The Batten Worldwide Scholarship at UVA Darden also covers the course fee for one worldwide course for all full-time MBA students.

Video Resources on UVA Darden Academics

UVA Darden MBA Application

The latest application requirements set by the Darden MBA admissions office are described below.


Here are the prompts for Darden’s 2022-2023 application:

  • Introduce Yourself

    Given that you will be forming lifelong connections with your classmates that extend beyond the classroom, what is important for your classmates to know about you that is not on your resumé? (text box, 200 words)

  • Inclusive Leadership

    Please describe a tangible example that illuminates your experience promoting an inclusive environment and what you would bring to creating a welcoming, global community at Darden. (text box, 300 words)

  • Career Goals

    At this time how would you describe your short-term, post-MBA goal in terms of industry, function, geography, company size and/or mission and how does it align with the long-term vision you have for your career? (text box, 200 words)

  • Global Travel

    Darden has an incredible network of alumni and partners around the world, and, in a typical year, the School connects with over 80 countries. If you could choose any location in the world, where would you want to travel? (text box, 5 words)

    And why? (text box, 50 words)

  • Reapplicant Essay

    What have you done to improve your candidacy since you last applied? (text box, 100 words)

Read more: Virginia Darden MBA Essays: Tips for 2022-2023

Letters of Recommendation 

The 2022-2023 Darden recommender questions are as follows:

  • Optional — (Optional) Is there anything else we should know? (Text box)
  • Constructive feedback and the applicant’s response — Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (Text box, 500 words)
  • Performance comparison — How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (Text box, 500 words)
  • Interaction with the applicant — How would you characterize your relationship with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization? (Text box, 50 words)
  • (Optional) Comment — (Optional) Is there anything about your competency ratings on which you would like to comment? (Short answer)

Video Resources on UVA Darden Admissions

UVA Darden MBA Admissions Interviews

Darden interviews are conducted by either admissions committee members, students, or alumni who will be looking for you to demonstrate soft business skills like communication and interpersonal skills. 

For more on this, see our UVA Darden MBA Interview Guide.

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What Makes UVA Darden Unique?

First Coffee: Students and faculty meet for daily coffee at 9am. Starting in 1955 at the school’s founding, this intimate and friendly tradition allows the Darden community to connect outside of class.

Dual Degrees: MSDS+ MBA: These joint degree programs are designed to enhance the educational experience beyond what could be achieved if the two degrees were pursued independently. This program is similar to the Fuqua MSTEM program.

Jefferson Fellowship: If you submit a high GMAT score to Darden early on (through the official GMAT score reporting), they may invite you to apply for this full-tuition scholarship.  Only a few applicants will win the scholarship, but a larger number of finalists will be awarded ordinary admission.

Darden Worldwide Scholarship Program: “With this scholarship, students can choose from courses based in more than two dozen countries on five continents, and the course fee will be covered by the Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarship.” (At most programs, students pay extra to join the international programs.)

*All data retrieved from the UVA Darden MBA Program webpages, unless otherwise stated.