Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

  • Darden MBA Profile Image 1
  • UVA Darden's campus in Rosslyn, Virginia, for Executive MBA students

Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: November 29, 2023.

Contact Information

100 Darden Boulevard
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Admissions Office:
School Social Media:

School Data

Annual Tuition: $72,060

Acceptance Rate: 24.4%

Full-Time Enrollment: 352

International: 41%

Minority: 14%

Average Age: 28

Female: 37%

Male: 63%

Application Deadlines: Round 1: October 4, 2023 - Round 2: January 4, 2024 - Round 3: April 3, 2024

The Darden MBA: What You Need To Know

At the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, you’ll find world-class master teachers — arguably the best collection of teaching talent of any business school. The University of Virginia was founded in Charlottesville by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, and Darden was later established in 1955. The school’s mission is to improve the world by inspiring responsible leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences.

Darden’s MBA is one of the most premium MBA experiences in the market, offering a program that largely revolves only around full-time MBA students — not undergrads or part-time evening students. Most of the school’s resources are lavished on its relatively small MBA population. The school offers two EMBA programs and a complete menu of executive education courses that the faculty attend to, but Darden keeps the focus on its flagship MBA program.

Darden had a total of 348 prospective MBAs this year. The Darden educational experience, named the best education experience in the U.S. by The Economist for nine years in a row, is best described as high engagement learning with deliberate, rigorous, and collaborative experiences.

Every class, students analyze ambiguous situations, devising strategies and confronting alternative perspectives, learning about new industries and functions, and absorbing the best practices, from transforming cultures to entering markets to building technology infrastructures.

Make no mistake about it, not only is the program highly engaging but it’s also intensive, sometimes called “high touch, high tone, high octane.” Darden’s first year is comparable to boot camp — they throw more work at MBA students than most other schools by far. In contrast to a lecture-based approach to education, Darden class time is spent discussing an array of case studies regarding actual business problems and potential solutions.

In the first three quarters of their first year, all Darden students take the same core curriculum, earning a solid foundation in global business and leadership. Beginning the fourth quarter of the first year and throughout the second year, students can customize their experience by choosing from a wide range of elective courses as they explore new ideas and focus on potential specializations. All full-time MBA students take an internship between the first and second year.

The program is ideal for students who don’t wish to limit themselves to a specific concentration. Unlike finance schools like Columbia or Wharton, Darden’s curriculum is general management, meaning students can explore different facets of business without being pegged to just one discipline. The integrated curriculum — wherein the same or similar cases are used in several different courses and more than one discipline — illustrates how all areas work together and influence one another.

Darden’s application features a series of short essays related to the school’s core values, including questions related to diversity and inclusion, leadership and collaboration. Uniquely, applicants can choose their preferred essays.

Outside of the Darden classroom, students have ample opportunities for engagement. Highlights include Global Consulting Projects where small teams of students provide consulting services to an international company while working closely with Darden faculty, Global Immersion Courses described as faculty-led customized courses abroad which immerse students in a particular global market, and Darden Business Projects which are for-credit projects that provide students with the opportunity to gain real-world business experiences with a variety of enterprises.

“Darden did a fantastic job not only preparing us academically but also in pushing us to realize the full value of our most important and most limited resource — time. The nature of the program is such that you must prioritize where to balance schoolwork, networking, and recruiting to do all of them successfully. As any leader can attest, learning where and when to say no — where and when to confirm your priorities — is a crucial skill. Darden facilitates learning that skill in a way that has prepared me to successfully set priorities in my own life now beyond school. Additionally, Darden’s focus on conscientious leadership is, in my opinion, such a critical feature of the curriculum, as the world’s problems have become increasingly complex with implications for human lives at the end of every decision,” says past MBA Tre Tennyson.

Darden MBA Rankings Data

Darden MBA Employment Stats


Student Perspectives:

My Story: From an NFL Quarterback to Darden


MBA Program Consideration Set:

Stretch Schools:  ColumbiaDartmouthNorthwestern’s Kellogg School

Match Schools: MIT SloanBerkeley, DukeNew York University, MichiganYaleCornell

Safe Schools: Carnegie MellonUCLANorth Carolina

Note: MBA Program Consideration Set: If you believe you’re a close match to this school–based on your GMAT and GPA scores,  your age and work experience, you should look at these other competitive full-time MBA programs as well. We list them by stretch, match, and safety. These options are presented on the basis of brand image and ranking status as a general guideline.


Relevant Features:

How Darden Became No. 1 in Student Satisfaction

Darden Dean Bob Bruner on Globalization

The Best B-School Alumni Networks in the U.S.

B-School Deans Worth Following on Twitter

Darden Dean Reappointed To a New Four-Year Term

Darden Hits New Donor Record of $3.5 Million