Darden School of Business, University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

February 22nd, 2013 by

Improving the world by developing responsible leaders.

Darden School of Business, University of Virginia - Charlottesville, Virginia

Key Differentiators

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world’s leading business schools and provides a unique educational experience that combines case study method with the highest-ranked faculty and a tight-knit learning environment to develop principled and well-rounded leaders who make an impact on society and the world economy.  The business school has a mission to improve the world by developing and inspiring responsible leaders and by advancing knowledge in the field of business.

Darden believes that creating a sustaining value for the firm and it’s investors, as well as for their customers, suppliers, employees and the society, is the key to success.  They state that business is a human enterprise and that great leaders reshape their world and themselves to create value for the rest of society.  They have an educational approach of providing a strong grounding of functional expertise, addressing practical, real-world business issues and problems and developing decision-making skills, sound business judgement and a learning mindset of curiosity and a commitment to growth.

Darden’s programmes are designed to be complex so successful leaders can plan and act in the broader context of the society they operate in.  The goal of the programmes are to help participants gain the ability to address issues that cross the functional boundaries of business.  The programmes emphasize functional skills, a global perspective, an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset, ethical grounding, diversity, respect for sustainability and technological sophistication.

The business school follows a three-pronged approach to education: Student-centered learning, thought leadership and active engagement with the business community.  They have created a learning environment that is highly engaged and requires active student participation to build traditional functional skills and determine inter-connections across organisations.  They have several research centres of excellence that focus on key issues driving today’s economy in order to foster thought leadership. And they maintain strong links with businesses and organisations to give students opportunities to create new connections and experience real-world business situations.



The Darden MBA is centred around a general management curriculum delivered through case method study and topics are covered in the areas of accounting, operations, communications, ethics, politics and finance.  The goal of the programme is to give students the ability to see strategically across all business functions and excel.

The first year provides students with an integrated perspective on general management and is split into four terms.  The core courses covered are:

  • Management Communication
  • Global Economies and Markets
  • Financial Management and Policies
  • Accounting for Managers
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Leading Organizations
  • Decision Analysis
  • Business Ethics
  • Strategic Thinking and Action

During the second year, students take a number of electives and experiential projects and is also divided into four terms.  Students also have the option of taking courses from other schools at the University of Virginia and participate in global opportunities and consulting work for real companies.  Students are also required to take a leadership elective during the second year.  Elective courses are offered in the areas of:

  • Accounting
  • Consulting
  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategy
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Global Economies and Markets
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • Management Communications
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Sustainability

The entire programme is based around case method and students spend time discussing cases about actual business problems and defining potential solutions in order to strengthen communication and leadership skills.  The method is based on a four-step learning process; this process is:

  1. Read and consider each case, identify problems, define alternatives, analyse data and make decisions.
  2. Share ideas with the team and resolve uncertainty.
  3. Discuss the case with the class and listen to everyones view.
  4. Reflect on how the initial ideas changes as a result of input from others.

The Darden MBA for Executives is designed for professionals with demanding schedules who can’t spend too much time away from their careers.  Students attend sessions once a month on Thursday through Saturday.  The courses are action-oriented and include case discussions, simulations and individual and group presentations.  These residencies are designed to strengthen executives’ learning community and network.

The programme is 21 months long and four one-week leadership residencies are integrated.  Three take place at Darden and one is in an international location.  They are intensive and experiential and provide executives with new perspectives through leadership workshops, coaching and reflection.  The curriculum of the programme is designed exactly like the MBA programme and utilizes the methods of learning teams and case method.  Below is a diagram of the curriculum, provided by Darden.

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 11.51.30 AM

The Executive Programme is designed for senior leaders and delivers core content needed to become a strategic leader in their organisation and develop skills that will make them more productive, creative and perform better.  The programme makes executives solve real-world challenges, build concepts through enrichment experiences, frame their business for others and take part in a wellness programme to improve cognitive fitness.

The curriculum is designed to help participants develop an enterprise perspective and the ability to see the big perspective from the C-level point of view.  The goal of the programme is to help executives develop a deep understanding of how the different business disciplines interact and compliment each other.  Below is a diagram of the curriculum, provided by Darden.

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 11.56.36 AM



Global MBA Rankings
Although Forbes and US News do not rank MBAs globally, they were included for their impact in the US


Job Integration Rate
According to Bloomberg Businessweek’s International Business School Ranking

  • High:  94% job offer three months post-graduation


Social Media Presence

  • https://www.facebook.com/DardenMBA
  • https://twitter.com/DardenMBA
  • http://www.linkedin.com/company/darden-school-of-business
  • https://plus.google.com/115612245103702430863/
  • http://www.youtube.com/user/DardenMBA
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/darden-uva/


General Information

Darden School of Business
Darden Blvd
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

t: +1 434-924-3900
w: www.darden.virginia.edu