University of Virginia Darden School of Business

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The University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Darden Business School
Parent institution
The University of Virginia
Endowment$448.4 million[1]
DeanScott C. Beardsley
Location, ,

38°03′08″N 78°30′50″W / 38.052096°N 78.513901°W / 38.052096; -78.513901Coordinates: 38°03′08″N 78°30′50″W / 38.052096°N 78.513901°W / 38.052096; -78.513901

The Darden School of Business is the graduate business school associated with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Darden School offers MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The School was founded in 1955 and is named after Colgate Whitehead Darden, Jr., a former Democratic congressman, governor of Virginia, and former president of the University of Virginia. Darden is on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.[2] The School is famous for being one of the most prominent business schools to use the case method as its sole method of teaching.[3] The Dean of the school is former McKinsey & Company executive, Scott C. Beardsley.


The Darden School was the first graduate school of business of the Southern United States when it was originally founded in 1955.[citation needed] The original business school was nestled in the central grounds of the University of Virginia, before being moved its current location at the North Grounds. Designed by the Driehaus Prize winner Robert A. M. Stern, the Darden school's buildings feature sand-struck Virginia brick, Chippendale balustrades and red-metal standing seam roofs. In 2018, the Sands Family Grounds was inaugurated by the Darden School, in Arlington County, Virginia, in proximity to Washington D.C.'s central business district.[citation needed] The Sands Family Grounds occupy the top two floor of a 31-story skyscraper emblazoned with the UVA Darden Logo, and provides extensive facilities for students and event guests.


The full-time MBA program is located in Charlottesville, Virginia at the UVA Darden Goodwin Family Grounds, which is roughly two hours from Washington, D.C.

In 2017, it was announced that Darden would establish dedicated facilities in Rosslyn, formerly introduced as the UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds in February 2019,[4] as the new home base for the Executive MBA formats and new M.S. in Business Analytics degree launched with the McIntire School of Commerce.[5]


Designed for students who seek to strengthen their leadership, business and communication skills, Darden's two-year MBA program — ranked #1 in educational experience by Economist[6] — combines core and elective courses in Charlottesville, Virginia with opportunities for every student to study abroad.


The Jeffersonian corridors along the School grounds

Admission requirements for the MBA include an earned four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or the international equivalent, completion of application forms and essays, GMAT or GRE score, academic transcripts, two professional recommendations, and the payment of a fee. The MBA Class of 2021 has an average GMAT score of 713 and an average GPA of 3.48, and an average age of 27 years old. Of the 335 students enrolled, 33% are international students, 40% are women and 21% are domestic minority students. The School had an acceptance rate of 36.5% as of 2019.[7]


The required curriculum in the First Year is designed to provide students with an integrated perspective on general management. Beginning in the final term of the First Year, the curriculum is made up entirely of electives to allow students to develop more depth in chosen areas of interest. Students may choose two from among the following optional concentrations:

  • Consumer Marketing
  • Business to Business Marketing
  • Business Development and Growth

In addition to the above academic concentrations, Darden offers a specialization in management science that is STEM designated which is especially useful for students interested in the tech sector and/or international students who wish to find employment in the United States after graduation by allowing better chances of receiving an H-1B work visa if they qualify for Optional Practical Training ("OPT") extension.

Employment statistics[edit]

A total of 97% of MBA graduates from the class of 2019 received full-time offers within three months of graduation, the median starting salary and sign-on bonus upon graduation was $162,000.[8] Among the graduates, 36% entered consulting positions, 24% obtained investment banking and financial services roles, and 15% entered careers in technologies.[9] Top employers include McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Amazon (company), Microsoft, Danaher Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, and Credit Suisse.

Study abroad[edit]

Students are offered study abroad programs as well as Darden Worldwide Courses which offer international immersion courses which are funded by a $15 million gift from philanthropist and donor, Frank Batten.[10] The following schools participate in Darden's exchange program:

Executive MBA Formats[edit]

Designed with a hybrid structure of online learning with in-person residences at the new UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds in the Washington, D.C., area, two formats of the MBA are offered which provide the same degree as the MBA. The EMBA (Executive MBA) is designed for working professionals and the GEMBA (Global Executive MBA) is an option that provides additional global residences compared to the EMBA. Both formats have the same core curriculum over a period of twenty-one months with all students entering in the same cohort each academic year. Global residencies include Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Ghana, Israel, India, Estonia and Cuba with changes in locations possible each year.[11]

Darden Executive Education[edit]

The inaugural Executive Education program was offered in 1955. Darden Executive Education offers both short courses and custom solutions, as well as consortia, corporate university design and development, and industry specific partnerships. Short course focus areas include leadership, general management, strategy and decision-making, negotiation, growth and innovation, project management, sales and marketing, financial management and corporate aviation. These programs are ranked in the top five of the Financial Times annual survey.[12]


Business school rankings
Worldwide overall
Worldwide MBA
Business Insider[14]11
Financial Times[16]18
Bloomberg Businessweek[17]5
U.S. News & World Report[19]11
U.S. undergraduate
Bloomberg Businessweek[21]NR
U.S. News & World Report[22]6

Darden is regularly ranked as being among the Top 15 business schools in the U.S. and Top 30 in the world.[23] Its current rankings are as follows:

MBA Rankings[edit]

  • #5 Bloomberg Businessweek 2019[24]
  • #11 U.S. News & World Report 2021[25]
  • #13 Forbes 2019[26]
  • #16 (North America) - The Economist 2019[27]
  • #16 (Global) - The Economist 2019[27]

MBA Specialty Rankings[edit]

  • #1 Best Professors - The Princeton Review 2019[28]
    • #2 Best MBA For Consulting - The Princeton Review 2019[28]
    • #2 Best MBA For Management - The Princeton Review 2019[28]
    • #4 Best Campus Environment - The Princeton Review 2019[28]
    • #6 Entrepreneurship - The Princeton Review for Entrepreneur magazine 2019[29]
  • #1 Education Experience in United States - The Economist 2019[27]
  • #1 Corporate Social Responsibility - Financial Times 2019[30]
  • #1 General Management - Financial Times 2016[30]
  • #2 Learning - Bloomberg Businessweek 2019[31]
  • #11 Career Services Rank - Financial Times 2019[30]

Executive Education Rankings[edit]

  • #1 Course Design (Global) - Financial Times 2003-2010[32]
  • #1 Faculty (Global) - Financial Times 2004-2011[33]
  • #7 Facilities (Global) - Financial Times 2019[34]
  • #20 Open-Enrollment Programs (Global) - Financial Times 2019[34]
  • #52 Custom Programs (Global) - Financial Times 2019[34]

Notable alumni[edit]

Darden's list of alumni includes:

List of Deans[edit]

Number Dean Term
9 Scott C. Beardsley[35] 2015-2025
8 Robert F. Bruner[36] 2005-2015
7 Robert S. Harris[37] 2001-2005
6 Edward Adams 'Ted' Snyder[38] 1998-2001
5 Leo Ignatius Higdon, Jr.[39] 1993-1997
4 John W. Rosenblum[40] Interim 1982-1983, 1983-1993
3 Robert W. Haigh[41] 1980-1982
2 Charles Stewart Sheppard[42] 1972-1980
1 Charles Cortez Abbott[43] 1954-1972

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "America's wealthiest business schools".
  2. ^ Friedman, Megan (21 July 2014). "And the Happiest City in America Is..." Good Housekeeping.
  3. ^ "What is the Case Method?".
  4. ^ "UVA, Darden, Dignitaries Celebrate Sands Family at DC Area Grounds Dedication". Darden Report Online. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  5. ^ "Darden School's new Rosslyn space to host new UVa. master's program". Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  6. ^ "University of Virginia – Darden School of Business" – via The Economist.
  7. ^ Schmitt, Jeff (2019-12-14). "Meet Virginia Darden's MBA Class Of 2021 | Page 2 of 15". Poets&Quants. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  8. ^ Byrne, John A. (2019-09-09). "Record MBA Pay & Job Stats For Darden's Class Of 2019". Poets&Quants. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  9. ^ Darden UVA employment report, 2019
  10. ^ The Batten Foundation gives UVA business students $15 million for world travel, 2018
  11. ^ "EMBA - Admissions FAQ". UVA Darden School of Business. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  12. ^ Financial Times, 2011
  13. ^ "QS Global MBA Rankings 2020". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "The 50 best business schools in the world 2015". Business Insider. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  15. ^ "Full time MBA ranking". The Economist. 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  16. ^ "Global MBA Ranking 2020". Financial Times. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "Best B-Schools". Bloomberg Businessweek. November 8, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "The Best Business Schools". Forbes. 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  19. ^ "2019 Best Business Schools Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  20. ^ "Best Business Schools". 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  21. ^ "The Complete Ranking: Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  22. ^ "2019 Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  23. ^ "Facts & Figures - Darden School of Business UVA".
  24. ^ [1], 07 Nov 2019
  25. ^ [
  26. ^ "The Best Business Schools 2019". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  27. ^ a b c [2][3], "Full time MBA ranking", ‘’The Economist’’, 2019
  28. ^ a b c d [4], “The Princeton Review Ranks UVA Darden No. 1 MBA for Best Professors for Third Straight Year,” Darden School of Business, 19 November 2019
  29. ^ [5], “Top 25 Entrepreneurship”, ‘’Princeton Review’’, 2019
  30. ^ a b c [6][7], "FT Global MBA ranking 2019", Financial Times, January 2019
  31. ^ [8], “Best Business Schools 2019”, ‘’Bloomberg Businessweek’’ 2019
  32. ^ Times Rankings.pdf, “Executive Education - Open”, ‘’Financial Times’’, 2010
  33. ^ [9], ‘’Financial Times’’, 2011
  34. ^ a b c "Business school rankings from the Financial Times -". Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  35. ^ "Scott C. Beardsley". UVA Darden School of Business. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  36. ^ "Robert F. Bruner". UVA Darden School of Business. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  37. ^ "Robert S. Harris". UVA Darden School of Business. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  38. ^ "New Yale SOM Dean Appointed: Edward A. Snyder". YaleNews. 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  39. ^ "Leo "Lee" Higdon Named As New Chairman Of The Board Of HealthSouth". Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  40. ^ "John Rosenblum". UVA Darden School of Business. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  41. ^ "Robert Haigh, Former Darden Dean, Dies at 80". UVA Today. 2006-12-28. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  42. ^ "Graduate Record, Chapter 7: Darden Graduate School of Business Administration". Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  43. ^ "Abbott, Charles Cortez (1906–1986)". Retrieved 2020-07-11.