The Darden MBA – University of Virginia

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia was founded in 1954. The MBA program’s key strengths are general management, biotechnology and corporate social responsibility.

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Average Age

Class size

Acceptance Rate

Average GMAT

Average GPA

FT Ranking

Percent of Hires in Each Industry:

  • Consulting 32.1%
  • Financial 25.7%
  • Technology 18.9%

Median Starting Salary per industry:

  • Consulting – $165K
  • Financial – $150K
  • Technology – $130K
  • Consumer – $108K
  • Health Care – $120K
  • Manufacturing – $125K
  • Energy – $113K
  • Retail – $120K
  • Nonprofits – $95K
  • Transportation – $104K
  • Need to show that you will fit well with the case study method – have strong interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills.
  • Because of case method, school pays attention to writing and language skills as demonstrated in application/interview.
  • School looks favorably on military experience (which school sees as teaching integrity and honor as well as leadership and work ethic).
  • Show how army leadership experience will make you a better business leader.
  • Show that you are person of integrity and interested in business ethics.
  • Want people who will be involved in school activities so look for involvement in extracurricular or community service.
  • Recommended to do coursework in accounting and statistics before entering.
  • Good to show that you have been involved alum of institutions in past and that know how to work with alumni.
  • Strong emphasis on teamwork – teams are expected to prepare cases together every night.
  • Show that you have ability to thrive in intense academic program.
  • School providing scholarships in order to increase number of women.
  • Accept the Executive Assessment (EA), MCAT or LSAT instead of GMAT/GRE. In 2021-2022 application season Darden offers Standardized Test Waiver Requests, evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
These traits make you more likely to get accepted into the University of Virginia’s MBA program:


(4 is highest, 1 is lowest)

Leader/Manager 4
Team Player/Relationship Builder 3
Smart 3
Initiates 3
International/Cultural 1
Creative 2
Presentation Skills 2.5
Persuasion Skills 2
Community/Society 3
Risk Taker 1
Business Skills 2
Source of career plan/prog choice 2
Promotions 3
Credible Names 2
Story is unique 1
Learn more about the meaning of these traits and how they are reflected in your application.

ARINGO has developed this information through ARINGO employees who worked with the Darden MBA admissions committee, thousands of hours of research, and by helping hundreds of applicants apply to the University of Virginia. ARINGO knows Darden, and we can help your strengths shine through your application. Contact us today.

General Management, (Corporate ethics)

The school’s location and atmosphere create a close-knit community of students, who also enjoy relatively low costs of living.

The main teaching method in the program is the case study method, and classes are often held as dynamic discussions, with discussion participation playing a significant role in determining students’ grades. Therefore, the school seeks candidates with strong interpersonal skills, who enjoy teamwork and seek to be involved in school life.

Other characteristics of the program include an emphasis on business ethics and on the school’s ethical code, and a relatively low percentage of women (a reality the school is seeking to change by offering scholarships to women). Alumni include the following individuals, with current or past positions in parentheses: John Bryan (CEO and Chairman of Sara Lee), George David (CEO and Chairman of United Technologies Corporation), John Shafer Jr. (CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts), Bill Hawkins (President & CEO, Medtronic Inc.).

MBA Programs Application Deadlines
  • Relatively low percentage of women.
  • School emphasizes business ethics and school’s honor code.
  • School location and culture create close-knit community
  • Strong alumni network dedicated to school and students.
  • Small college town location ranked the best place to live in the United States. Low-cost of living.
  • Top notch teaching faculty.
  • Class sessions in Darden’s version of case studies are dynamic, unique.
  • Main method of teaching is the Case Study.
  • Heavy work-load and intense academic program, especially in first-year.
  • Darden will provide “seed financing” and financial assistance to students who do their internships in start-ups/venture capital- goal is to increase entrepreneurship.
  • 30%-70% of the grades is based on participation in class discussion.
  • Someone with strong interpersonal skills who wants to be actively engaged in the classroom.
  • Individuals who flourish in warm, tight-knit environments.
  • Location may make it difficult for partners seeking employment
  • $80,000
  • $140,000
  • $63,000
  • $3000
  • $126,000
  • $3000
  • $10,000
  • $120,000
  • $63,000
  • $50,000
  • $34,000

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