Darden School of Business

Darden is among the few top MBA programs apart from Harvard, INSEAD, Ivey, and IESE to persist with the Case study method as the primary mode of teaching. The MBA Admission team tried using indirect methods of evaluating the candidate’s fit for such a learning environment where active classroom discussion is valued. But the team has taken a step in the right direction this year by directly asking a question that will give hints on how the applicant will cope with a case study method.

Q) "When preparing for class at Darden, students formulate an opinion on each case before meeting with their learning teams and class sections. When encountering different views and perspectives from their own, opinions frequently shift. Tell us about a time when your opinion evolved through discussions with others." (500 words maximum)

The question does not require you to quote Darden MBA curriculum or demonstrate the future that is possible with the program. Instead, the question is measuring your learning capability, extroversion, and ability to change opinion when challenged with new information.

Case Study Method

Case study method follows a four-step process:

1) Individual Learning

Before you...

Traditionally, the mean signing bonus is around the $25,000 to $30,000 range, but for Darden Full-time MBA, the bonus crossed $31,000, although the total mean base salary was below the $125,000 range seen in top 10 MBA programs. However, Consulting – the most preferred job function attracted offers with $134,770 base salary and total mean salary of $161,700. Finance, the second favorite attracted much lower base salary ($119,585) but attracted the best signing bonus ($41,863) for the class.

Among the Finance function, Investment Banking pulled in close to $50,000 in signing bonus a $126,960 mean base salary, taking the total compensation to $175,898. General Management and Marketing were the 3rd and 4th popular function.

Darden MBA Salary by Function
Darden MBA didn’t break the trend of following the Consulting and Financial Services industries, the former attracting 38% of the class while Investment Banking (18%) job offers was a sizable portion from the Financial Services (27%) sector.

Darden MBA Salary by Industry

On total mean salary,...

MBA and Joint Degree ProgramsJoint degrees are a convenient way for professionals to obtain  expertise in two disciplines in a short period of time. MBA Joint degrees work best for those seeking to work in a niche field as a manager or as an executive.

The biggest advantage of a joint degree program is that students can effectively complete two programs in less time than it would take to do both separately. The class sizes are also smaller, and the program normally covers unique subjects, with projects that involve both disciplines.

The selection process usually involves clearing the admission process of both schools, and showcasing a track record or qualification that indicates a strong affinity to the field chosen. Here are the top five Joint degree programs with an MBA.

1) Stanford


Stanford's JD/MBA is among the oldest joint-degree programs in the US. Beyond the learning from both management and law, students also get to experience two very different cultures - the problem-analyzing culture of law, and the problem-solving culture of business. It is ideal for a career in law or public service.

Duration: 48 Months...

Round     Application    Interviews            Decisions         Deposit

1             Oct. 10, 2014      Mid November      17 Dec. 2014     19 Feb 2015
2             Jan. 07, 2015       February             25 Mar  2015     30 Apr 2015
3             Apr. 01, 2015      Late April             6 May   2015      03 Jun 2015

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (Include Darden MBA Essay Tips)

For more information visit ...

Darden MBA Essay TipsDarden MBA Essay question for 2014-15 has been released. There is only one question for this year’s application.

Q) Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience? (500 words maximum)

Unlike other schools, the focus is on courage more than leadership or teamwork, and it is about professional courage. To dissect the question and find relevant experiences from your professional life that might fit this essay, let’s look at what courage is in this context.

Although you might feel that the AdCom is not evaluating your application on leadership, teamwork or communication, instances of courage will intersect these three skills.

Courage in Communication

Instances of crisis where you had communicated and conveyed crucial message to the team and to the management should find a place in the essay. Cite examples where you had to escalate the issue due to incompetence or lack of focus of the supervisor. This requires courage since the protocol demands communicating with immediate supervisor. The group dynamics resulting from the escalation should also be mentioned. You...

Darden School of Business has taken a cue from Harvard Business School and changed the number of essay for the 2013-14 MBA Application cycle to one. Here is the essay question:

Q) Share your thought process as you encountered a challenging work situation or complex problem. What did you learn about yourself?
(500 words maximum)

Learn more about how to apply for Darden MBA program

Darden MBA CurriculumDarden First Year MBA Program covers core courses in Management Communication, Global Economies and Markets, Financial Management and Policies, Accounting for Managers, Marketing, Operations Management, Leading Organizations, Decision Analysis, Business Ethics, and strategic thinking and Action. The core courses are mandatory and required by all MBA students. This builds the Foundation for the electives and internships. Interestingly, the courses are developed from real cases that allow students to form Business and decision making skills.

Darden has made Case Study Method an integral part of teaching MBA students. During the two-year course duration, more than 500 real-life Business Problems are discussed and solutions developed. The purpose behind case study method is to provide limited information about a problem, and let students make decisions under the guidance of faculty members. This exercise develops and strengthens leadership and communication skills. Making decisions with limited information and uncertainty is a skill that most C-Level executives develop over time. Students will get a sneak peek into making such decisions. Like in any team, students cannot dictate their decisions. They have to...

Dec 24th 2012: Darden Admissions Office will be closed from Monday, 24 December to Tuesday, 1 January

Dec 19th 2012:
Round 1 MBA Decisions Released. Check your Online Application Status page

Students who are rejected for the 2012-13 Admission cycle can request feedback on June 2013. You can fix an appointment with the Admission team by mid-May 2013.

Round 2 Deadline:
9 January 2013.

Oct 29 2012: Round 1 MBA Interview Updates for Darden MBA Admission
Cycle 2012-13 were released on Oct 29, 2012. The AdCom will begin the Round 1 interviews for the Full-time MBA program from Nov 15th. The first round decisions will be sent on 19th Dec.


Darden MBA Round 2 Decisions will be released on Mar 28th 2012. Sara Neher, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at Darden School of Business has the following advice:

Waitlisted Candidates: Your files are being considered before announcing the Round 2...

Darden Post MBA
Darden is located in Virginia and offers a highly renowned MBA. The Full-time MBA class of 2011 had a median salary of $100,000 and a median sign-on bonus of $25,000. Below are the details of 2011’s employment report and the career services available at Darden.

Employment by Sector

Finance (Investment Banking, Other Financial Services, Investment/Portfolio Management & Venture Cap/Private Equity)

At Darden, the Finance Sector is by far the largest employer taking up as much as 36% of the class. In this sector, Investment Banking comes out on top, hiring 18% of the class. The median salary was $100,000 and the median sign-on bonus was $40,000 – the highest bonus for any sector. Other Financial Services was next with 11%, offering median salaries of $100,000 and sign-on bonuses of $20,000. Investment/Portfolio Management had a 5% share, with median salaries and sign-on bonuses of $105,000 and $13,500 respectively. Venture Cap/Private Equity hired just 2% of the class with a median salary of $95,000.


Consulting hired 20% of the class - second to Finance as a whole, but higher than any of...

Join Darden’s Admissions team and Alumni for information sessions in India


  • Everette Fortner, Darden MBA ’87 and executive director for corporate relations
  • Katherine Alford, Assistant director of admissions

Key Features

1) Learn more about Darden

2) Ask Questions about the case method, the faculty, the alumni network or any other question related to MBA in Darden

To register, please click on the event websites for each information session.

Monday, 27 August 2012
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
The Oberoi, Gurgaon

Tuesday, 28 August 2012
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru

Thursday, 30 August 2012
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
The Trident, Bandra Kurla

Darden Dual DegreeThe University of Virginia Darden School of Business in partnership with the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy announced the launch of a dual master’s degree program in public policy and business administration (MPP/MBA).

Objective: Help future leaders manage public and private sector partnerships seamlessly

Key Features

Duration of Dual-Degree Program: Three Years(36 months)
Provide a combination of managerial and analytic skills

Students have to apply and be accepted at both schools through the normal admissions process.

First and Second Year: Must complete the first-year program at both the Darden and Batten Schools and can decide which school they’ll enter their first or second year.

Third Year: During third year, students complete the required courses for both...

Darden MBAUnlike other Business Schools, Darden has focused on just two questions - one pertaining to leadership and the other on Darden  community. No specific questions on your career goals and the standard 'Why MBA' is asked in this application. You will get 1000 words to answer your questions. You have to be strategic with your approach for Darden Essay questions.

To start with, you have to focus on your management and leadership experience both in work and community service. You will also have to convince the AdCom on your fit with the Darden culture. Focus on specific examples and demonstrate who you are and how your participation would benefit any community. Describe your leadership style in both work and community services.

1. The Darden MBA program expects students to actively participate in learning teams, the classroom, and the broader community. Please share one or two examples from your past experience that best illustrate(s) how you will contribute to this highly engaging and hands-on learning environment. (500 words)

This question is an opportunity to both describe your fit with Darden and sell yourself...


1) Merit-based scholarships awarded early in the admissions process based on application and interview.
2) Apply at the earliest
3) Merit-based scholarship decisions are made by the First Year Scholarship Committee
4) Announcements of merit scholarships are mailed to recipients on the last day for admissions notifications, (i.e. Round 1, January 28, 2010).

Advantages of Applying by Round 1

1) Round 1 allows applicants to secure their offer of admission to Darden by January 28, 2010. 
2) Applicants will automatically compete for over 70 two-year scholarships ranging from one-third to full tuition per year.

Darden Jefferson Fellowships

No of Awards: 2
Amount:cost-of-attendance including full-...

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