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
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. The original business school used to be nestled in the central grounds of the University of Virginia, before being moved the its current location at the North Grounds. Designed by renowned American architect 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. 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.


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[4] — combines core and elective courses in Charlottesville, Virginia with opportunities 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 2020 has an average GMAT score of 718 and an average GPA of 3.5, and an average age of 27 years old. Of the 335 students enrolled, 31% are international students, 38% are women and 18% are domestic minority students. The School had an acceptance rate of 24.5% as of 2017.


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

Employment statistics[edit]

A total of 94% of MBA graduates from the class of 2018 received full time offers within three months of graduation, the average weighted salary upon graduation was $157,437[5]. Among the graduates, 31% entered consulting positions, 26% obtained investment banking and financial services roles, and 18% entered careers in technologies[6]. 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[7]. The following schools participate in Darden's exchange program:

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.[8]

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
Worldwide MBA
Business Insider[9]11
Financial Times[11]23
Bloomberg Businessweek[12]9
U.S. News & World Report[14]12
U.S. undergraduate
Bloomberg Businessweek[16]NR
U.S. News & World Report[17]6

Darden is regularly ranked as being among the Top 15 business schools in the U.S. and Top 30 in the world.[18] Its current rankings are as follows:

MBA Rankings[edit]

  • #3 (North America) - The Economist 2016[19]
  • #3 (Global) - The Economist 2016[19]
  • #13 U.S. News & World Report 2019[20]
  • #11 - Forbes 2017[21]
  • #9 Bloomberg Business Week 2019[22]
  • #12 Vault Best Business Schools 2017[23]

MBA Specialty Rankings[edit]

  • #1 Education Experience - The Economist 2014[19]
  • #1 Personal development and educational experience - The Economist 2014[19]
  • #1 Student Satisfaction - Bloomberg Businessweek 2010[24]
  • #1 General Management - Financial Times 2016[25]
  • #1 Best Faculty - The Princeton Review 2011[26]
  • #3 Corporate Social Responsibility - Financial Times 2011[25]
  • #3 Entrepreneurship - The Princeton Review for Entrepreneur magazine 2011[27]
  • #5 Placement Success - Financial Times 2011[25]

Executive Education Rankings[edit]

  • #2 Open-Enrollment Programs (USA Schools)/#5 Open-Enrollment Programs (Global) - Financial Times 2011[28]
  • #2 Course Design (Global) - Financial Times 2011[28]
  • #1 Course Design (Global) - Financial Times 2003-2010[29]
  • #1 Faculty (Global) - Financial Times 2004-2011[28]

Notable alumni[edit]

Darden's list of alumni includes:

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. ^ "University of Virginia – Darden School of Business" – via The Economist.
  5. ^ Financial Times, 2018
  6. ^ Darden UVA employment report, 2018
  7. ^ The Batten Foundation gives UVA business students $15 million for world travel, 2018
  8. ^ Financial Times, 2011
  9. ^ "The 50 best business schools in the world". Business Insider. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  10. ^ "Full time MBA ranking". Economist. 2016. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  11. ^ "Global MBA Ranking". Financial Times. 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  12. ^ "Best B-Schools". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2018-12-16.
  13. ^ "The Best Business Schools". Forbes. 2017. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  14. ^ "2019 Best Business Schools Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. March 20, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "Best Business Schools". 2017. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  16. ^ "The Complete Ranking: Best Undergraduate Business Schools". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  17. ^ "2019 Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2018-09-09.
  18. ^ "Facts & Figures - Darden School of Business UVA".
  19. ^ a b c d [1], "Full time MBA ranking", ‘’The Economist’’, October 2016
  20. ^ [2] September 2018
  21. ^ [3], "The Best Business Schools", Forbes, October 2017
  22. ^ [4], 08 Nov 2018
  23. ^ [5], 2017
  24. ^ [6], “Best Business Schools 2010”, ‘’Bloomberg Businessweek’’ 2010
  25. ^ a b c [7], "A league of their own: the top 10 MBA programmes in selected categories", Financial Times, January 2016
  26. ^ [8], “Princeton Review 2011 Ranking Names Darden Professors the Nation’s Best,” Darden School of Business, 14 October 2010
  27. ^ [9], “Top Entrepreneurial Colleges”, ‘’Princeton Review’’, 2011
  28. ^ a b c [10], ‘’Financial Times’’, 2011
  29. ^ Times Rankings.pdf, “Executive Education - Open”, ‘’Financial Times’’, 2010