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 Size352
Acceptance Rate34%
GMAT Average716
GPA Average3.51
Average AgeDoes not disclose
Avg. Years Work Experience5.9
Diversity Women37%
Diversity Intl.41%
Pre-MBA IndustriesFinancial Services: 22%
Government: 13%
Consulting: 13%
Technology: 12%
NonProfit: 7%
Consumer Packaged Goods: 6%
Biotech / Healthcare / Pharma: 6%
Communication / Media / Entertainment: 4%
Energy: 3%
Real Estate: 3%
Manufacturing: 2%
Undergraduate MajorsDoes not disclose

The data above is from 2023 and represents the UVA Darden MBA class of 2025.
See the full report: UVA Darden MBA Class Profile

Student Experiences

UVA Darden MBA Employment Report & Careers

Salary Average$205,487.00
Offers Upon Graduation93%
Offers At 3 Mos.96%
Post-MBA IndustriesConsulting: 46.3%
Financial Services: 26.2%
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 Resources

UVA Darden Career Support

The data above is from 2023 and represents the career statistics for the UVA Darden class of 2023.
See the full report: UVA Darden MBA 2023-2024 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.

The Ultimate
MBA Admissions Checklist

Our free, comprehensive checklist covers everything you need to shop for an MBA admissions consultant.

Our free, comprehensive checklist covers everything you need to shop for an MBA admissions consultant.

Compare pricing across 35+ MBA admissions consulting firms

Learn why “success rates” are not to be trusted

Find the right service model for your needs

Prep for your consultation calls

Compare pricing across 35+ MBA admissions consulting firms

Learn why “success rates”
are not to be trusted

Find the right service model
for your needs

Prep for your consultation calls


Here are the prompts for Darden’s most recent application:

Personal Essay

  • What would you want your classmates to know about you that is not on your resume? (100 words)

Behavioral Essay

  • 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 Essay

  • 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)

Optional Essay

  • If there is further information you believe would be helpful to the Admission Committee, please provide it. (text box, 250 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 and Prompts

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.

Admissions Info MBA Program Home Page
Admissions Home Page
Application Guidelines
How to Apply Request Information
Start an Application
Meet Darden Business SchoolVisit Campus
Admissions Events – Upcoming
Connect with a Student
Do Your Research Darden Blogs
Darden News
Faculty Directory

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.)

Explore the unique features of the Virginia Darden MBA program and discover how our MBA consulting services can optimize your application.

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