Get Started

Already have an account? Log In

© Leland 2023. All rights reserved.

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business — MBA Program & Application Overview

Applying to Darden? Read this guide for the most practical strategies and tips curated by the best MBA admissions coaches in the world and HBS alumni to get you that much closer to your dream school.

February 3, 2023

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business empowers agile, creative, and globally critical thinkers to be game changers in business and social transformation. They have a five-pillared philosophy that guides their approach:

  • 1- Their spontaneous but deliberate learning experience helps their students gain an influential voice and show confidence even in the face of uncertainty.
  • 2- The experiences they offer have a concentrated and purposeful intensity that simulates the pressures of modern, global businesses.
  • 3- Their high intellectual and emotional engagement ensures that there is mutual respect and positive intent among the members of their community.
  • 4- Their culture of commitment to the immediacy and their proximity to business practices makes a prompt impact on people and organizations.
  • 5- They are dedicated to honor and purpose. This anchors Darden’s diverse and inclusive community, which has an active participation in UVA’s Honor System.

Class Profile (2023)

  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Class Size: 351
  • Applicants: 2,730
  • Acceptance Rate: 36%
  • Average Work Experience: 5 years
  • Average GMAT: 715
  • Average GRE: 321
  • Average GPA: 3.52
  • Women: 40% of class
  • International: 40% of class

"Not all managers are leaders. The Darden approach is designed to graduate future-ready students primed to make an impact and flourish in the unknown. Through Executive Education, Darden shapes modern global leaders who seek to improve the world, their team, and themselves in equal measure."

Darden Admissions

Application Overview (class of 2024)

Darden Deadlines

Early Action: September 8, 2022

  • Decisions released October 19, 2022

Round 1: October 5, 2022

  • Decisions released December 7, 2022

Round 2: January 5, 2023

  • Decisions released March 15, 2023

Round 3: April 5, 2023

  • Decisions released May 3, 2023

Future Year Scholars Program Round 1: April 12, 2022

Future Year Scholars Program Round 2: August 2, 2022

Standardized Tests

Darden accepts a number of standardized tests including the GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment (EA), MCAT, and LSAT.

  • Darden has test flexibility. They encourage candidates to choose the test that best aligns with their strengths, application plans, and career goals.
  • They accept self-reported scores during the application process but during matriculation, students should arrange for GMAC, ETS or Pearson VUE to send their official scores directly to the Darden Admissions Office.
  • All standardized test scores are viewed equally by the admissions committee as part of the admissions process.
  • All valid test scores should be reported. Candidates are not required to report canceled or expired test results. However, you should include these results in the counts reported in the Standardized Test section of your application.
  • You may also apply for a test waiver which is given on a case-by-case basis. The Admissions Committee will consider a number of factors during evaluation, including indicators of academic and professional accomplishments.
  • Reminder: Standardized tests are just one part of the application which relies on a much broader, holistic evaluation.

Learn more here: GMAT vs. GRE for Business School—Which to Take and How to Ace Both.

Short Answer Questions

For the 2022–23 application cycle, we will again feature short essay questions, which provide a broader platform to showcase your background and personality. These questions are a great opportunity for you to help the Darden Admissions Committee understand who you are and who you will be at Darden.

1. 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 resume? (200 words) 2. Please describe a tangible example that illuminates your experience promoting an inclusive environment and what you would bring to creating an inclusive global community at Darden. (300 words) 3. 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? (200 words)

Our Tips:

  • Remember that when they are reading your answers, they do not have a “right” answer in mind. These questions are their opportunity to get a sense of your voice, perspective, experiences, and writing ability. How you choose to answer a particular question is as insightful as what you choose to write about.
  • The best essay responses are those that not only answered the question but are also authentic and genuine. Show, don’t tell.
  • Their best application tip is what they refer to as the “feedback stage.” You are allowed to share your responses with your friend, without telling them the prompts. Instead, check if they can guess the questions based on your responses. If they can, you are well on your way to finalizing your answers.

Learn more here: How to Write a Powerful MBA Essay—With Examples and UVA Darden Admissions: Essay Advice

Letters of Recommendation

Darden only requires one recommendation as part of the application process. MBA applicants can include a second recommendation if they desire. However, your additional recommender should offer new insights about you and your candidacy.

  • Consider choosing someone who knows you well and has supervised you in a professional setting. They should have observed your work in the last few years. Make sure it’s someone who will help the committee know about your accomplishments and leadership potential by giving specific examples and anecdotes. Academic recommendations are typically less helpful in their evaluation.
  • The recommendation process is completely electronic so keep that in mind when choosing your recommender. Your recommenders will fill out two pieces of information. The first part is a ratings grid in which you will be evaluated across a set of competencies and a series of short answer questions.
  • The short answer questions are:
    • Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization.
    • How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles?
    • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.
  • In a typical MBA application, recommendations are the slowest part of the application process, so make sure to identify your recommenders earlier than your target deadline. Make sure that they know why you are pursuing an MBA and why you want admission to Darden. You may also give them a copy of your resume so that they have a full understanding of your career. Stay in touch with them. Since most recommenders are deadline-oriented, make sure they know the application timing.
  • Once you enter your recommender’s information and how to contact them, they will receive an email with a link to the recommendation materials. Sometimes the email ends up in Spam and does not reach the recommender. If this happens, contact the Admissions team at (darden@darden.virginia.edu) and they will resend the link to your recommender.

Learn more here: How to Get the Perfect MBA Recommendation Letter—With Examples

Darden Interviews

The interview is a critical part of their assessment process and is required before acceptance to the program.

  • The interview takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete. It is a blind interview, meaning your interviewer does not know about your application materials and resume.
  • If you are an Early Action applicant, you can interview from August through the end of September on a first-come, first-served basis. Make sure you check their schedules frequently if you still do not have an interview scheduled. Since their interview times are limited, make sure that you only schedule your interview if you intend to submit a completed application by the Early Action deadline. For you to be considered for admission, you must submit your application and pay the fee by the deadline.

Learn more here: How to Ace Your MBA Interview: With Prep Questions & Answers.

Other Application Items

Application Fee

  • There is a non-refundable, required application fee of $250.
  • They offer fee waivers in select circumstances, including if any of the following apply to you:
    • Teach for America corps members and alumni
    • Peace Corps volunteers
    • Education Pioneers fellows
    • Current undergraduate students
    • U.S. military members
    • African citizens living in Africa
    • Citizens of countries on the UN's list of least developed countries
    • Forté MBALaunch members

Resume

  • Most full-time MBA applicants are required to submit a one-page resume, especially if they have ten years of professional work experience. There is also the “Employment History” section of the application where you will provide basic details about your different roles and responsibilities.
  • Your resume is an opportunity to clearly display your experience and offer a view of your passions and interests. It can include your hobbies, favorite activities, books you’ve read recently, podcasts you’re currently listening to, and countries you’ve visited. If you include these personal details, it can help the committee get a complete picture of you.

Learn more here: How to Craft the Ultimate MBA Resume—With Examples and Application Tips: Resume

Academic Transcripts

  • You may submit unofficial transcripts during the application process which should include all degree-related coursework. The unofficial transcript can be in the form of a PDF download or a scanned document and uploaded to your application. You should include a transcript for each institution that you entered in the Education History section of the application.
  • If you have a non-English transcript, you should make arrangements to have your academic records translated and sent to Darden along with the official transcript. All the translations should be complete and include literal versions of the original records.
  • Once you matriculate, you will be required to submit official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended.

International Students

If you are an international student applying at Darden, here is some helpful information.

Academic Record

  • All admission qualifications, including transcripts and recommendations, must be submitted online and in English.
  • The committee strongly encourages international students to apply during the first or second round deadlines to give applicants sufficient time to address any visa concerns.
  • It is required that you hold a college or university degree equivalent to a four-year American baccalaureate degree. They also recognize three-year degrees.
  • When applying, you will need to list down all post-secondary educational institutions attended. You will need to include full, actual names of the institutions attended and provide the titles of all diplomas or degrees earned.

English Proficiency Tests

  • Whether you will need to submit proof of English proficiency depends on your academic history:
    • Not Required: If you received your bachelor’s degree from a university where English was the medium of instruction, you are not required to take an English language assessment test.
    • Required: If you received your bachelor’s degree from an institution where the medium of instruction was not English, you have to take the English language assessment test.
    • Strongly Recommended: If you took a bachelor’s degree from a university where English was not the medium of instruction but received a master’s or Ph.D. from an institution where English was the medium of instruction, you are strongly advised to take an English language assessment test.
  • All of the following tests are accepted: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
  • They do not have a minimum score requirement. The average TOEFL score is 106. Scores are valid for two years from the test date.

MBA Programs

Full-Time MBA Program

  • Darden inspires responsible business leaders. MBA students dive into a rigorous core curriculum, matched only by their career rewards. Through their case methods, students learn by doing. This is Darden’s specific approach that has earned a lot of recognition. In fact, it was named the best business education experience in the U.S. by the Economist for nine years in a row.

Executive MBA Program

  • Assisted by world-class faculty, you will experience intentional learning that will provide you with the skills to lead projects and teams, even during times of great uncertainty. Their Executive Education Programs have a convenient hybrid structure of online and in-person engagement that allows you to earn your MBA while continuing your career. The program is designed with your life in mind.

Part-Time MBA Program

  • This Darden MBA program is for working professionals based in the Washington, D.C., metro area. It offers a hybrid transformational education experience with a mix of in-person and virtual delivery. Classes are offered on weekday evenings and the program can be completed during times that work best for students.

Darden’s Deferred Enrollment Program

The Future Year Scholars program is designed for exceptional college students. They will be given the opportunity to gain acceptance into one of the world’s top MBA programs before beginning their professional journey.

  • Students can apply during the final year of their undergraduate program. Full-time Master's students can also apply as long as they have not held a full-time work position.
  • Once admitted, you will have many opportunities to grow your network by engaging with Darden’s community including an assigned mentor and individualized career support.
  • You can choose to complete 2-5 years of professional experience before matriculating. This is for you to gain insight into the workplace and form a foundation for your MBA experience.
  • After gaining experience, you will start your MBA program with newfound expertise and perspective. Every student admitted will be considered for scholarships at the time of admission and is also able to receive additional awards at the time of matriculation.

Expert Admissions Coaches on Leland

… and many more! Click here for our full roster of world-class MBA admissions coaches.

MBA Curriculum

The learning experience at Darden is spontaneous yet deliberate. It is different from the lecture-based approach of other programs. This promotes engagement and develops your leadership voice.

First Year Experience

The first year of your Darden MBA not only prepares you for the second-year curriculum but also immerses you in a rigorous, case-based learning experience.

The focus of the first year is to offer students breadth in academic preparation, global understanding, and diversity of thought.

With the core curriculum, students gain knowledge of the fundamentals of business through rich case discussions facilitated by expert members of the faculty. After the core, students take electives that will help them prepare for an internship. Most MBA students gain global experience through a Darden Worldwide Course.

  • Collaboration and teamwork are very important in the Darden experience. A critical part of the case method is working with a learning team. This is a group of five to six students from across the different first-year sections. The students stay with their learning team throughout their first year. This is to strengthen relationships with peers and sharpen communication skills.

Core Curriculum:

  • Leadership Communication
  • Global Economies and Markets
  • Financial Management and Policies
  • Accounting for Managers
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Leading Organizations
  • Decision Analysis
  • Business Ethics
  • Strategic Thinking and Action

Second Year Experience

During the second year, the MBA class is given the chance to sharpen its professional interests. They will be able to personalize their approach according to their specific interests and skills. Through electives, students get to shape a unique academic experience with a wide range of available courses taught.

  • Electives continue the focus on experiential learning and practical application. These may include everything, from consulting projects to seminars to live-action cases, and more. Students continue to immerse themselves in real-life problems and develop the necessary skills to tackle these issues.
  • The second year is the chance for students to set themselves apart from other students by customizing their academic experience and leadership skills. This includes holding leadership roles in numerous clubs and organizations.
  • The Second Year Experience also gives students the opportunity to meet other people and build a network upon which they can draw in the future.

Management Science Specialization

  • For students who want a qualitative/analytical focus on their general management curriculum, Darden offers a management science specialization. This requires students to earn 12 credits from a select group of electives.
  • This specialization carries a STEM designation. As such international students are given an F-1 status after meeting certain requirements, and they are therefore allowed 36 months of work authorization in the US after graduation.

Career Track Concentrations

  • The concentrations are divided into career tracks and theme tracks. There are no limits to the number of concentrations a student may earn. As long as they are able to satisfy academic requirements for each of concentration they apply to, they are welcome to complete it.
  • Concentrations are not listed on the transcript, the only designation listed is the Management Science Specialization.

Career Track Concentrations:

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

Other Track Concentrations:

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

Area Focus Electives

  • Electives give students a chance to customize their MBA experience and develop specializations in their chosen path.
  • Starting the final term of the first year and throughout the second year, students will get to choose from over 100 electives. They can tailor fit these electives into their schedule in order to develop industry-specific expertise and technical skills

Industry Focus Electives

  • During the second year, students are given the opportunity to sharpen their professional interests and personalize their MBA education. Through both the area and industry focus electives, students shape their own academic experiences through the wide range of courses available.

Joint Degree Programs

Darden has several dual-degree programs, available both with other schools as well as other departments within the University of Virginia. These joint degree programs enhance the educational experience of what you can achieve if you took the two degrees separately.

  • For you to be admitted to a dual degree program, you must be accepted to both programs separately through each school’s normal admissions process. The dual-degree programs are only offered in combination with Darden’s Full-Time MBA program
  • If you are enrolled in a dual-degree program, you must complete 22.5 hours of electives for a combined 52.5 credits in your First Year, instead of the normal 60 credits. This is an addition to the required coursework for the participating program.
  • For you to receive your MBA degree, you must complete the non-MBA degree as well. The financial aid and grading standards are based on the program of enrollment.
  • The students must coordinate with both programs to ensure that all requirements are met. A faculty advisor is assigned to each student in a dual-degree program.

The following joint degrees are offered at Darden:

MBA/MSDS

  • This is a combined program with the University of Virginia School of Data Science. The degree granted is a Master of Data Science and an MBA in 24 months, instead of the 32 months they would take independently.

MBA/SAIS MA

  • This program is in partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and it allows students to earn their MBA degree with a SAIS Master of Arts in three years instead of four.

MBA/JD

  • This is a combined program with the University of Virginia School of Law that grants a JD and MBA degree in four years.

MBA/MD

  • This degree is in partnership with the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia. The objective of this program is to educate the future leaders of healthcare and inspire innovation.

MBA/M.Ed in Education Innovation

  • Together with the UVA School of Education and Human Development, this degree is designed to prepare creative and practical leaders. The dual-degree graduates will combine a deep knowledge of education with rigorous training in management to use their expertise to improve educational effectiveness.

MBA/MPP

  • Darden’s School of Business and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy offer the MBA/MPP dual degree. It takes three years to complete.

MBA/MPH

  • The Department of Public Health Sciences together with Darden offers the MBA/MPH dual degree. The focus of this degree is the management of healthcare-related businesses and models for addressing health.

MBA/MA in East Asian Studies

  • This joint degree combines the intensive managerial concepts and techniques of Darden School with the elaborate language and area studies in East Asia, focusing primarily on Japan and China.

MBA/ME

  • The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) along with Darden offers the joint MBA/ME degree program. The ME degree gives a strong foundation in engineering or applied science, well above the normal undergraduate level, while the MBA establishes the functional areas of business.

MBA/PhD

  • This dual degree is administered by the director of the Doctoral program. It is a five-year program that allows students to attend the entire First Year of Darden’s MBA program and then go directly to doctoral work.

The Darden Experience

Faculty

Darden professors are recognized as some of the best in the world. They are exceptional thought leaders who are committed to growth and development. At the University of Virginia, teaching truly matters and is a defining part of the culture. The professors work hard to create the tight-knit community that Darden is known for.

Their professors are accessible and compelling. They bring energy and enthusiasm to the classroom. They can make technical business school topics compelling, entertaining, and memorable. They also collaborate with one another to develop and continuously refine the integrated curriculum to ensure that it is always relevant and energizing.

  • Mentors, Coaches, Lifelong Connections: Their faculty are deeply committed not only to your professional development but also to your personal development, both during your time in Darden and all throughout your career.
  • Open-Door Policy: Darden’s faculty holds an open door policy, instead of holding specific office hours. Rather than scheduling an appointment in advance, students can just stop by a professor’s office to ask a question about a case, seek career advice, or simply chat.
  • Dinner With Faculty: At Darden, you will get to know your professors outside of the classroom as well as in. They frequently hold dinner at their homes for student clubs and other affinity groups. They also auction off special evenings at their homes for charitable events.
  • Involvement in Student Clubs & Activities: Faculty attend and participate in student club activities, social events, and sporting events.

Often, the connections that you form in Charlottesville result in lifelong connections. You will hear alumni talking about their professors with whom they have stayed in contact with years after graduation.

Learn more here: The Darden Faculty: Teachers, Mentors, Friends

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Darden’s MBA program gives you a lot of opportunities to get out of the classroom setting and gain hands-on experience with companies around the world.

  • Global Learning Opportunities
    • Global Immersion Courses: These are nine-day courses led by Darden faculty members who are outside the United States in January, March, and May. Each course will provide the opportunity to visit a different country and experience its business practices and culture. They are composed of classes with practitioner presentations and on-site visits to companies, government agencies, and cultural landmarks.
    • Exchange Programs: Darden works with partner schools around the world to create flourishing exchange programs. They are available to second-year students.
    • Global Client Courses: This includes both Kaizen projects, which are available to first-year students, and Global Consulting Projects for second-year students. Both courses allow students to directly work with an organization on a current challenge.
    • Executive MBA Format Global Residencies: EMBA (Executive MBA) students participate in one global residency while GEMBA (Global Executive MBA) students participate in four global residencies. They are immersive and the programming includes a mix of company visits, meetings with executives, cultural excursions, and talks with industry experts.
  • Domestic Learning Opportunities
    • Leadership Ride: Lessons in Leadership
      • This course focuses on leadership by studying a key battle from the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg’s evolving strategies, command structures, and decisions contained enduring messages about leadership, teamwork, and decision making.
    • Markets in Human Hope
      • This elective explores audacious business and market innovations as viable tools in promoting human development and transforming societies. Students are asked to come up with solutions in the private sector for long-standing social dilemmas.
      • Throughout the year, the students create products, services, business methods, financial instruments and/or market-based systems that address challenges in the socioeconomic and structural sectors faced by disadvantaged populations. Part of this course is a required field study component.
    • Consulting Darden Business Projects (CDBP)
      • These are for-credit projects that give students the opportunity to gain real-world consulting experience.
      • They are composed of three to six students who work with a corporate client to address a business challenge. Examples include:
      • Developing a business plan
      • Performing market analysis
      • Creating a financial forecast
      • During this project, you will work closely with a faculty advisor and present a final project to your corporate client.

Clubs & Organizations

  • There are numerous student organizations that work together to provide a complete and well-rounded experience to Darden students.
  • These organizations enrich the students’ academic, social, cultural, and professional lives by:
    • Giving career support and preparation
    • Organizing events to enhance social, cultural, and academic life
    • Networking with professional and alumni communities
    • Encourage dialogue and learning through speakers and conferences
    • Supporting the local community
    • Applying lessons on leadership outside the classroom
    • Clubs and organizations exist within the following sections:
    • Student Government
    • Job Function Clubs
    • Industry Clubs
    • Cross-sector Clubs
    • Affinity Clubs
    • Outreach Clubs
    • General Interest Clubs
    • Athletic Clubs
    • Advisory Groups

Campus

  • Charlottesville is a serene, two-hour drive from Washington, D.C. It sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia.
  • The town is full of classic architecture, at the center of which is Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village.
  • Around the school, you can find innovative cuisine, a lively music scene, and the East Coast’s premier wine country which keeps alumni coming back year after year.

MBA Tuition and Financial Aid

Darden is committed to making an MBA education accessible. As such, it offers Darden's Distinguished Scholarship Program which includes an extensive portfolio of merit scholarships, ranging from partial to full tuition.

  • AccessDarden is also available to admitted students. This is a new, need-based merit scholarship program and exists along with its robust student loan program.
  • Darden students can finance their education by applying to partial or full-tuition scholarships, need-based scholarships, military benefits, employer assistance (which includes corporate sponsorships), federal or private education loans, or some combination.
  • Darden acknowledges that the cost of attendance and expenses are high but they strive to help deserving students get an MBA education with their campaign “Powered by Purpose.”

The Darden MBA

How to Make an Impact in Your Application, According to the Admissions Committee

Meet Darden Admits & Applicants in Leland’s Free Slack Community

If you’re applying to Darden, boost your odds by joining the Leland MBA Applicant Community. It’s a free, private community of MBA applicants, admits, and world-class admissions coaches, all here to answer questions, give feedback, share stories, and help each other through the admissions process.

Membership in the Community is by invitation only. To apply, click below.

Darden FAQs

Can I begin the MBA in the Spring?

  • You can only be admitted during the fall.

Can I apply to Darden if I already have an MBA?

  • They do not admit students who have already completed an MBA from an AACSB accredited institution. You may check the list of institutions on the AACSB website.

Does Darden accept transfer credits?

  • No, they do not accept transfer credits.

If I am offered admission, can I defer my enrollment?

  • You should apply to Darden in the year you wish to enter the program. If you wish to defer, applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Recently granted deferrals have been related to military service or health issues.
  • College seniors who are accepted into Teach for America’s program may defer admission until after they’re done with their two years of service.
  • Some college seniors and recent college graduates can also be offered deferred admissions so they can attend next year.

Is it possible to work part-time while enrolled in the full-time MBA?

  • The MBA is designed to be taken full-time. During the First Year, students start their day at 8 a.m. and end in the evenings with their learning team meetings. Unscheduled hours are typically used for club meetings, recruiting, and case preparation. This full schedule does not leave enough time for a part-time job.
  • If you are interested in a flexible schedule that allows you to work while attending classes, you may check Darden’s Executive MBA Formats.

What global opportunities does Darden offer?

  • Darden partners with approximately 80 countries each year through academic programs, consulting programs, and visits. Students are required to have at least one global experience during their time in the institution.

What organizations and resources are available for women and/or underrepresented minorities?

Are there special resources for the military?

Does Darden have research centers?

  • Yes, Darden has the following research centers, each analyzing a unique aspect of the business world:
    • The Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS)
    • The Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • The Behavioral Research at Darden Lab (BRAD)
    • The Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics
    • The Center for Asset Management
    • The Center for Global Initiative
    • The Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education
    • The Institute for Business in Society
    • The Olsson Center for Applied Ethics
    • The Society for Effectual Action

When should I apply, and what are the application deadlines?

  • Admission offers are merit-based. There is no advantage during the evaluation if you apply on an earlier deadline; however, please note that if you would like to be considered for a scholarship, it is best to apply by the earliest possible deadline. Application deadlines depend on the round you plan to apply for. See the 2024 Application Deadlines here.

How do they assess candidates for the Darden MBA?

  • A minimum of three members of the Admissions Committee will review and evaluate your application based on three criteria: academics, professional experience, and personal qualities/characteristics. A balance of these three is best, but there is no formula that ensures admission. They do not have specific prerequisites but accounting and statistics are recommended before matriculation.

Can I apply to UVA Darden’s different MBA formats at once?

  • Multiple applications to Darden’s MBA formats are not accepted. You can only be evaluated in one format. When starting an application, you will be asked to choose a deadline depending on your preferred MBA format. During that time, you should target the format that best fits your desired schedule, experience, and interests.

My undergraduate college does not grade students with the GPA system, but with the percentage system. Should I leave the min and max GPA range on the application blank?

  • Yes, leave it blank if your undergraduate institution does not use a GPA. They will base the grading system on your transcript.

I do not have an undergraduate business degree nor do I work in a “business” functional area. Am I eligible for admission?

  • Yes, Darden students come from a variety of settings. It ranges from non-profit, government, entrepreneurial/start-ups as well as traditional business settings. Typically fewer than 50% of admitted students were undergraduate business or economics majors.

My official transcripts will not reach Darden in time for the deadline. Will my application still be considered for that deadline?

  • You are not required to submit official test scores and transcripts in order to process your application and for the committee to review it. You will only need to submit the official documents once you are offered admission.

How much work experience do I need?

  • They do not have a minimum requirement but the average is five years of experience.

Do internships and cooperative education count as work experience?

  • They are valuable experiences, but should not be counted as full-time work experience.

How can I submit my recommendations?

  • You will put the contact information of your recommenders while filling out your online application. After you enter the info, your recommender will get an electronic notification on what steps they should take to submit their evaluation online. Once they submit, the recommendation will automatically associate with your application record.

How many recommendations are required?

  • You are only required to submit one recommendation.

Can I get supplemental recommendations?

  • Yes, but remember to use discretion. Your additional recommendation should supply additional insight into your application.

How will I know if Darden has received my recommendations?

  • Once your recommendation is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email.

What if there isn’t enough space for me to enter my information in some of the data fields, for example in responses to essay questions?

  • Some fields are planned as restricted. If you are filling out the essay part, you should adhere to the stated limit.

If I applied before and was denied, offered, or waitlisted, can I reapply next year?

  • Yes, if you are a re-applicant, you need to submit a new application and check the box in the application that indicates that you applied previously. The committee will review both your past and current applications.
  • If you applied a year ago, you will only need to submit one recommendation. If it’s two or more years ago, you will need to submit two recommendations.

If I am applying for a dual degree program, will Darden accept my LSAT or MCAT score?

  • Yes, if you are applying for the joint JD/MBA degree, your LSAT score will be accepted. Same as when you are applying for an MD/MBA, your MCAT score can be submitted.
  • The EMBA or GEMBA also accepts an LSAT or an MCAT in lieu of a GMAT or GRE score.

How does Darden maintain a fair admissions process?

  • They do not tolerate conflicts of interest, and all UVA Darden personnel are prohibited from engaging in any outside employment or consulting which can be a conflict of interest with their duties. You may report by email any ethical or other concerns you may have about the admissions process so that they can be independently reviewed and investigated.

If I have already taken the GMAT, should I take the GRE?

  • You will only need one of these exams. Taking both tests will not give you an advantage in the evaluation.

What are the minimum requirements for the GMAT, GRE, and GPA?

  • Darden does not have any minimum requirements for standardized tests or GPA. If you take the GMAT or GRE multiple times, they will consider your highest total score during evaluation. They do not combine scores.

My test score is about to expire. Will it still be accepted?

  • The test scores should be valid by the deadline date of the round you are applying on. Both the GMAT and the GRE scores can be reported for five years following the test date.

What is the Executive Assessment?

  • This is a 40-question, 90-minute exam. It is designed with the top Executive MBA programs in mind.

Who should consider taking the Executive Assessment?

  • This is generally recommended as a potential test option for candidates with five or more years of work experience. Although it is encouraged that candidates choose the test that is best suited to their strengths and future application plans.

Final Note

Leland provides you with the content, community, and coaching that you need to get into your dream MBA program and accomplish other ambitious goals. Sign up today to gain access to additional free resources, community events, small group classes, world-class coaching, and more.