University of Virginia Darden School of Business

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The University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Darden Business School.jpg
Darden Business School
Type Public
Established 1955
Dean Scott C. Beardsley
Location Charlottesville, Virginia, US
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
Website [11]

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. The Darden School is well known for its commitment to the case method and its high workload in the early stages of the full-time MBA. It fosters a close community spirit, with supportive faculty and close links with local and international business. Darden is on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, named the happiest city in America[1]


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 Economic Times [2] — combines core and elective courses in Charlottesville, Virginia with opportunities to study abroad.


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

Global Opportunities[edit]

Darden offers Global Business Experiences (GBEs) electives — one- to two-week courses that enable students to explore international business issues firsthand in a country other than their own — in ten countries. In the Second Year, students can also spend time abroad in one of 18 exchange programs around the world.

Career Development[edit]

Darden is one of the few top MBA programs to integrate career strategy and planning into its curriculum. All students are also assigned both a functionally aligned career consultant and a Second Year student career coach whom they meet with regularly throughout the recruiting process. As alumni, Darden provides lifelong career assistance, free of charge.

MBA for Executives[edit]

The MBA for Executives program allows experienced professionals to earn the same degree as the Full-Time MBA students, without interrupting their careers. Each MBA for Executives class is composed of experienced managers from a broad spectrum of industries and functions. The 21-month program combines:

  1. Once-a-month, on-Grounds residencies. Students will typically come to Darden once a month for sessions that take place Thursday through Saturday. Action-oriented classes include case discussions, simulations and individual and group presentations.
  2. Leadership residencies. Throughout the course of 21 months, students will participate in four one-week leadership residencies. These intensive, experiential residencies provide new perspectives on management challenges. One of the four leadership residencies takes place in a global business center outside of the United States (most recently this has been China).
  3. Distance learning. To maintain the intense pace of interaction and to stay in touch with the Darden community between residencies, students will use distance learning technology to interact with professors, hold virtual team meetings, work on team deliverables and submit exams. All online sessions are recorded.

Global MBA for Executives[edit]

Similar to the MBA for Executives program, the Global MBA for Executives program is designed for experienced managers who seek to advance their careers by earning an MBA while working full-time. The program focuses on preparing students to thrive in globally distributed firms, across markets, across cultures and in emerging regions. The 21-month program combines:

  1. U.S. residencies: During the two two-week residencies in the U.S., students will divide their time between Darden and Washington, D.C. In the nation’s capital, students will visit political and financial organizations and cultural sites.
  2. Residencies in China, India, Brazil and Europe: The four two-week international residencies are spread evenly across the 21-month program. Each time students meet in person, they will attend classes, engage with local Darden alumni, visit influential firms, gain cultural knowledge and contacts, and learn to work across international borders.
  3. Distance learning: To maintain the intense pace of interaction and to stay in touch with the Darden community between residencies, students will use distance learning technology to interact with professors, hold virtual team meetings, work on team deliverables and submit exams. All online sessions are recorded.

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. Year-after-year these programs are ranked in the top five of the Financial Times annual survey.[3]

Darden Ph.D. Program[edit]

Darden’s doctoral program allows students to obtain a Ph.D. degree in management, specializing in either ethics, entrepreneurship, or leadership and organizational behavior. The program prepares individuals for careers in research and teaching at major universities and corporations.


Business school rankings
U.S. undergraduate business
Bloomberg Businessweek[4] NR
U.S. News & World Report[5] 6
Bloomberg Businessweek[6] 12
Forbes[7] 16
U.S. News & World Report[8] 10[9] 13
Worldwide MBA
Business Insider[10] 11
Economist[11] 2
Financial Times[12] 27

Darden is regularly ranked as being among the Top 15 business schools in the U.S. and Top 30 in the world.[13] Its current rankings (updated March 2015) are as follows:

MBA Rankings[edit]

  • #2 (North America) - The Economist 2015[14]
  • #2 (Global) - The Economist 2015[14]
  • #10 U.S. News & World Report 2016[15]
  • #15 - Forbes 2013[16]
  • #20 Bloomberg Business Week 2015[17]
  • #11 Vault Best Business Schools 2014[18]

MBA Specialty Rankings[edit]

  • #1 Education Experience - The Economist 2014[14]
  • #1 Personal development and educational experience - The Economist 2014[14]
  • #1 Student Satisfaction - Bloomberg Businessweek 2010[19]
  • #1 General Management - Financial Times 2016[20]
  • #1 Best Faculty - The Princeton Review 2011[21]
  • #3 Corporate Social Responsibility - Financial Times 2011[20]
  • #3 Entrepreneurship - The Princeton Review for Entrepreneur magazine 2011[22]
  • #5 Placement Success - Financial Times 2011[20]

Executive Education Rankings[edit]

  • #2 Open-Enrollment Programs (USA Schools)/#5 Open-Enrollment Programs (Global) - Financial Times 2011[23]
  • #2 Course Design (Global) - Financial Times 2011[23]
  • #1 Course Design (Global) - Financial Times 2003-2010[24]
  • #1 Faculty (Global) - Financial Times 2004-2011[23]

Research Centers[edit]

Darden's research centers and initiatives build a community of experts to advance knowledge, offer student experiences and convene forums with academics and executives to advance business practice.

Notable alumni[edit]

Darden's list of alumni includes:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Good Housekeeping "Happiest Cities in America"
  2. ^ Economic Times "University of Virginia Darden School of Business"
  3. ^ Financial Times, 2011
  4. ^ "The Complete Ranking: Best Undergraduate Business Schools". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  5. ^ "Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  6. ^ "Best Business Schools 2015". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  7. ^ "The Best Business Schools". Forbes. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  8. ^ "Best Business Schools". U.S. News & World Report. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  9. ^ "Best Business Schools". 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  10. ^ "The 50 best business schools in the world". Business Insider. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  11. ^ "Full time MBA ranking". Economist. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  12. ^ "Global MBA Ranking". Financial Times. 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  13. ^ "About Darden: Facts & Figures"
  14. ^ a b c d [1], "Full time MBA ranking", ‘’The Economist’’, 11 October 2014
  15. ^ [2] 14 March 2015
  16. ^ [3], "The Best Business Schools", Forbes, 11 October 2013
  17. ^ [4], 5 July 2014
  18. ^ [5], 14 March 2015
  19. ^ [6], “Best Business Schools 2010”, ‘’Bloomberg Businessweek’’ 2010
  20. ^ a b c [7], "A league of their own: the top 10 MBA programmes in selected categories", Financial Times, January 2016
  21. ^ [8], “Princeton Review 2011 Ranking Names Darden Professors the Nation’s Best,” Darden School of Business, 14 October 2010
  22. ^ [9], “Top Entrepreneurial Colleges”, ‘’Princeton Review’’, 2011
  23. ^ a b c [10], ‘’Financial Times’’, 2011
  24. ^ Times Rankings.pdf, “Executive Education - Open”, ‘’Financial Times’’, 2010