How to get into UVA Darden School of Business

UVA Darden School of Business


The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia is a top MBA program in Charlottesville, Virginia located about two hours from Washington, D.C. Established in 1955, Darden has always drawn its core values from UVA, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who believed students should always pursue the “why.” Dean Scott Beardsley says, “At Darden, we look at not just ROI but R-O-WHY. Why are you doing what you are doing? Mission matters.”

Students at Darden can pursue a 2-year full-time MBA, an Executive MBA, or a Global Executive MBA, where students can choose to study in Charlottesville or Washington, D.C. with at least one international residency. Darden also offers the Future Year Scholars Program, a deferred enrollment to exceptional college seniors, giving them the option to start an MBA two, three, or four years after they graduate from college.


A full-time class at Darden has about 335 students. Students are divided into sections of about 70 students, and further broken down into learning teams of 5-6 students, which include students from multiple sections. Darden’s curriculum is heavily focused on the case method, so learning teams help students understand the case from a variety of functional and industry perspectives before discussing it in class. Some of the more technical classes include a mini-lecture on the fundamentals of the case before launching into a case discussion.

Students take 10 core classes in the first year including Management Communication, Operations management and Leading Organizations. In the second year, full-time students can tailor the curriculum to meet their interests by taking elective courses. Darden offers 35 electives in entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as 11 dual-degree programs.

Darden’s global opportunities include a Darden Worldwide Course, a Global Consulting Project and an Exchange Program. All full-time students can now attend a global course at no cost as part of the Darden Worldwide Scholarship. Worldwide courses are one- to two-week courses taught by Darden faculty outside the United States several times a year. Worldwide courses include “Strategic Intuition and Eastern Philosophy,” “The Global Economics of Water,” and “China in the World Economy.”

In addition to almost all classes being taught by case method, Darden’s learn-by-doing opportunities include the Batten Institute’s Venture Internship Program and Technology Ventures Fellows, which places students in impactful internships with early-stage startups.


Darden has more than 50 student-run clubs across all areas – functions, industries, affinity groups and athletics, in addition to a student government. Students take part in a Student Club Fair during their first year to explore all the offerings and meet other students with similar interests. The section environment creates strong connections within the sections and the section versus section competitions always illustrate strong rivalries. Many students live in apartments that are on campus or within walking distance to campus, creating a community feel. No one misses First Coffee, the cherished tradition for students to gather each day over their first (or second or third) cup of coffee in the beautiful rotunda in Saunders Hall.


Class Size: 335

Average Age: 27

Average Work Experience: 5 years

Women: 39%

Underrepresented Minority: 18%

International Citizenship: 31%

Median GMAT: 713

80% GMAT Range: 620-790

Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.5



  • Consulting: 32%
  • Financial Services: 26%
  • Technology 18%
  • Retail: 5%
  • Manufacturing: 4%
  • Consumer Products: 3%
  • Pharma/Bio/Healthcare: 3%
  • Transportation: 3%
  • Real Estate: 2%
  • Energy: 2%


  • Other industry: 1%


Geographical Placement

  • Northeast: 31%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 18%
  • South: 12%
  • Midwest: 8%
  • Southwest: 5%
  • West: 18%
  • International: 8%