MBA Apps Down 4% For Virginia Darden’s MBA Class Of 2025

Declines In Women, Minorities & Internationals For Virginia Darden's MBA Class Of 2025

Virginia Darden’s MBA, EMBA, and other students arrived on campus in August. Darden photo

In August, welcoming 352 new MBA students to the campus of the University of Virginia for the first time, Darden School of Business Interim Dean Jeanne Liedtka welcomed them to what she called an “extraordinary place,” where faculty and staff are “somewhat obsessed” with ensuring they have a great experience.

Most importantly, Liedtka said, Darden students are obsessed with that, too. It’s a place, she said, where students go out of their way to take care of each other.

“We care deeply,” she said. “Hopefully, you feel that this week; you will definitely see it in the days and weeks ahead.”

VIRGINIA DARDEN MBA CLASSES 2021-2023

Data 2023 2022 2021
Applications 2,834 2,952 3,058
Class Size 352 349 351
Average GMAT 716 720 715
Average GRE 321 319 321
Average Undergrad GPA 3.51 3.51 3.52
US Minorities 14% 20% 21%
Women 37% 37% 40%
International 41% 43% 40%
Countries Represented 33 48 40
First-Gen Students 21% 16% 15%
LGBTQ+ Students 7% 8% NA
Veterans 14% 9% 7%
Advanced Degrees 17% 18.9% 16.8%
Prior Industries Financial Services 22%, Government 13%, Consulting 13%, Tech 12% Financial Services 20%, Consulting 16%, Tech 11% NA
Work Experience 5.9 years 5.8 years 5 years

WOMEN, MINORITIES & INTERNATIONALS DECLINE IN NEW CLASS

Declines In Women, Minorities & Internationals For Virginia Darden's MBA Class Of 2025

Darden Interim Dean Jeanne Liedtka to new Darden MBA students: “Each of you will play an integral part in shaping the experience of your fellow students”

Darden’s MBA Class of 2025 is around the same size as past years, up three seats from the previous class, which is notable in a time of wide fluctuation in class sizes at other top MBA programs. Women comprise 37% of the class, same as last year, but down from the 40% of the Class of 2023 that graduated in the spring.

While women were stable, the proportion of international students in the new class slipped to 41% from 43%, and the number of countries represented in the class tumbled to 33 from 48. Among them are several Latin American countries: Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Mexico; and a handful of countries in Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Sixty-seven languages are spoken in the class.

Fourteen percent of the class are U.S. minorities, down from 20% last year; 27 members of the class, or about 7.7%, are members of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management; 7% identify as LGBTQ+; and 14% are military service members or veterans. Twenty-one percent — a Darden School record — are the first in their families to attend college.

Darden, like many of its U.S. B-school peers (see stories linked below), saw a decline in applications for this MBA class. Apps were down year-to-year about 4% in the 2022-2023 cycle, and are down more than 7% in two years.

CLASS GMAT AVERAGE SLIPS 4 POINTS

Domestic U.S. students’ undergraduate GPA ranged from 3.08 to 3.88 (middle 80%), with the average landing at 3.51 — same as last year. Median GPA of the class is 3.55. The class hails from 238 undergraduate schools.

Graduate Record Exam average inched upward to 321 from 319, with an 80% middle range of 309-333, while Graduate Management Admission Test averaged 716, down from a school record 720 last year, with a middle range of 680-750.

Darden’s new MBA class boasts 285 unique employers in their background, and represents 33 industries. The top industry again this year is financial services at 22% of the class, up from 20% last year, followed by consulting (13%), government/military (13%), and tech 12%. The class work experience range (middle 80%) is 3.4 to 9.2 years, with an average of 5.9 years — on the high side compared to Darden’s peer schools (see links below) — and a median of 5.3 years.

Seventeen percent of the new class has already earned an advanced degree, while 27% has studied abroad. Six percent are dual-degree students at the University of Virginia.

‘EACH OF YOU WILL PLAY AN INTEGRAL PART’

Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke also spoke to Darden’s new MBA students in August and noted the virtues evident in each student’s application: years of hard work, personal accomplishment, and strong character. She congratulated them on joining the community.

“Darden is so well known for its community and its concerted efforts to optimize that, so that everyone feels a sense of belonging,” Clarke said. “Imagine the opportunity that you all have to form friendships with people across the country and around the world. I encourage you to make a pledge today to contribute to that sense of belonging by fully embracing each other over the next two years.”

Dean Jeanne Liedtka encouraged students to forge meaningful connections and help strengthen a community of kindness and respect.

“Each of you will play an integral part in shaping the experience of your fellow students,” Liedtka said.

DON’T MISS THE TOP MASTER IN MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES and ANOTHER BIG CLASS, ANOTHER BIG WELCOME

AND SEE POETS&QUANTS’ COVERAGE OF OTHER LEADING B-SCHOOLS’ MBA CLASSES OF 2025: 

HARVARD

WHARTON

KELLOGG

DARTMOUTH TUCK

YALE SOM

DUKE FUQUA

CORNELL JOHNSON

UCLA ANDERSON

USC MARSHALL

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