How Darden Hit No. 1 in Student Satisfaction

In any case, Carraway believes that student satisfaction is often cyclical. “If one class is unhappy, the next one tends to more more happy,” he says. “The challenge now is how to break that cyclicality.” Carraway also believes that another important factor in overall satisfaction is student leadership. “When student leadership is weak, the class tends to be unhappy, in part because the leadership drives the engagement.” The student leadership in Darden’s Class of 2010 was exceptionally strong. “So now we’re asking ourselves how do we help insure there is strong student leadership? How do we influence that process.”


School & 2010 Rank 2008 2006 2004 2002 2000 1998
1. Virginia (Darden) 14 6 7 6 2 15
2. Chicago (Booth) 1 1 5 3 24 9
3. MIT (Sloan) 5 5 4 11 7 19
4. Berkeley (Haas) 8 7 13 10 14 14
5. Harvard Business School 4 8 11 14 4 13
6. Northwestern (Kellogg) 6 2 2 1 1 6
7. Stanford 2 3 1 5 15 8
8. Cornell (Johnson) 15 14 8 2 8 4
9. USC (Marshall) 25 19 23 16 19 18
10. Columbia Business School 7 16 15 17 17 21
11. Pennsylvania (Wharton) 3 4 3 12 3 2
12. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 20 20 19 22 13 5
13. Michigan State (Broad) 33 31 NA 28 29 NA
14. Dartmouth (Tuck) 11 12 8 4 12 7
15. Duke (Fuqua) 13 9 12 9 10 10
16. Michigan (Ross) 10 10 9 13 5 3
17. UCLA (Anderson) 18 15 10 7 6 1
18. Yale School of Management 19 13 21 8 22 11
19. UNC (Kenan-Flagler) 17 18 17 16 11 17
20. New York Univ. (Stern) 12 11 14 20 16 20
21. Southern Methodist (Cox) 21 NA NA NA NA NA
22. Emory (Goizueta) 16 17 20 19 26 NA
23. Georgetown (McDonough) 26 23 26 32 27 NA
24. Notre Dame (Mendoza) 23 32 35 35 NA NA
25. Georgia Tech 31 NA NA NA 39 NA
26. Indiana (Kelley) 9 21 18 23 20 25
27. Rice (Jones) NA NA NA NA NA NA
28. Washington Univ. (Olin) 24 27 16 21 9 16
29. Texas-Austin (McCombs) 22 24 22 25 21 26
30. Vanderbilt (Owen) 29 25 27 27 23 NA
31. Brigham Young (Marriott) 27 NA NA NA NA NA
32. Wisconsin-Madison NA NA NA NA NA 32
33. Maryland (Smith) 28 22 24 15 25 23
34. Boston University 36 NA NA NA NA NA
35. Minnesota (Carlson) 41 NA NA NA NA NA
36. Washington (Foster) 30 NA NA NA NA NA
37. Rochester (Simon) 34 28 25 24 18 NA
38. Babson (Olin) 32 NA NA NA NA NA
39. Purdue (Krannert) 37 26 28 26 28 29
40. Arizona State (Carey) 35 NA NA NA NA NA
41. Ohio State (Fisher) 39 NA NA NA NA NA
42. Penn State (Smeal) NA NA NA NA NA NA
43. Texas A&M (Mays) NA NA NA NA NA NA
44. Wake Forest NA NA NA NA NA NA
45. Boston College (Carroll) NA NA NA NA NA NA
46. William & Mary (Mason) NA NA NA NA NA NA
47. Thunderbird 38 NA NA NA NA NA
48. Northeastern NA NA NA NA NA NA
49. George Washington 43 NA NA NA NA NA
50. Howard University NA NA NA NA NA NA
51. Case Western (Weatherhead) NA NA NA NA NA NA
52. Tulane (Freeman) NA NA NA NA NA NA
53. Georgia (Terry) NA NA NA NA NA NA
54. Pittsburgh (Katz) NA NA NA NA NA NA
55. Rutgers University NA NA NA NA NA NA
56. Illiniois-Urbana Champaign 44 NA NA NA NA NA
57. Buffalo NA NA NA NA NA NA
  • Guggenheim,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Best, John

  • guggenheim

    To all,

    I am a complete, legit Darden Alum from the early ’90’s. Whew, way back then. Even in those old days the McKinseys, Goldman Sachs, top advertising agencies, P&Gs etc. recruited at Darden. Of course, Darden was ranked in the Top Ten of the US News and World Report lists long before so many like North Carolina, Yale et al played catch up. Georgetown, really? Which of course is the larger question, how and why did Darden slip at all?

    I am sure that most of you who are students, all of you who are real grads and a few of you who are candidates have heard this truth: The MBA experience as it relates to placement only holds currency during the first FEW years after graduation. Following that, and for most of people’s careers, recruiters and hiring managers will look at concrete professional, business accomplishments. Someone above said that accounting is the easiest course offered in business school. That person clearly has not been in the working world very long. Please don’t repeat that on a interview, it’s not true, especially to those who have NOT taken accounting and those will be most of the people for whom you interview and work.

    The MBA experience as it relates to your career is a different story. As a Darden grad, you will know so much more than many of your other B School peers, work colleagues and bosses. Don’t be so shortsighted as to not realize that. Also as time goes on, your degree from Darden will command respect and dollars as do the degrees earned from other major B-Schools.

    But hold on to your hats, especially you newbies , the MBA is often mentioned as a “preferred” credential, not a requirement as jobs move further upwards. I recently watched a 60 minutes episode about Tyra Banks the former model and media mogul pursuing an executive MBA at HBS. She has already built a pretty major media company of HER OWN BEFORE pursuing an MBA, only now that she has already has millions sans MBA she wants a better understanding of what those Wall Street folks are talking about as she looks to grow further for herself.

    So try to take a longer view. And average? There is nothing average about a Darden grad or a grad from any major, intensive MBA prgram. BTW, you should read up on the satisfaction surveys from grads of HBS. I’m not knocking HBS, it’s a great program in my view and I’m a Darden grad. But read what the people who went there say. It does not or will not rank with the student satisifaction achieved by Darden. It’s tough, but sometimes it really does help to start realisticaly looking further down the road.

  • James

    According to the satisfaction chart of the 4 personality types, I would assume that Darden is now less interested in the social enterprise types. Those students tend to be less satisfied than most, and therefore will rate the school lower.

  • Darden applicant


    I appreciate your candor, but to be quite honest with you, I’m having doubts that you are a real student. I find it hard to believe that you were admitted into Darden with a 660 GMAT, 3.2 GPA, and at the age of 21. What did you do before b-school?

  • Bob

    Oh, God, PLEASE, no more MBA programs and MBA’s!!! America doesn’t need any more MBA’s who screwed up its economy through Wall Street shenanigans or through Main Street, with their short-sighted mismanagements motivated purely by greed and even more greed. When too many of their subordinates still complain of their unfairness, unreasonableness, and dbias, it’s clear that they graduated from the MBA programs without adequately learning perhaps the most critical skill in management, which is PEOPLE skill. Or, perhaps the MBA programs graduate too many MBA’s who were not cut out to be decent, practicing managers. Apparently the MBA’s who were involved the Wall Street scams forgot or ignored what they learned from their requisite courses in business ethics at their MBA schools. Enron, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide, AIG, GM, Chrysler, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mae were all MISmanaged by the managers who graduated from some of the top MBA programs in America. They decided to offshore many manufacturing and service jobs overseas, mostly to fatten their already grossly inflated salaries or compensations, all the while claiming that it was necessary for the competitiveness or survival of their companies. Lastly, America already has a HUGE glut of MBA’s, of whom some, if not many, are probably currently unemployed or under-employed, in this horrendous recession brought on by themselves or their peer MBA’s.

  • Plan MBA,

    Thanks for weighing on. Really enjoy your blog posts. Good luck to you!