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Darden Graduate School of Business Administration
General Information  |  Darden Student Life  |  Academic Regulations  |  Master of Business Administration Program  |  Joint Degree Programs  |  The Doctoral Program  |  Course Descriptions  |  Faculty
Financial Assistance
Grants and Scholarships
Merit Scholarships
Darden Foundation Scholarships and Fellowships
Loan Funds
M.B.A. Academic Program
Academic Regulations

Master of Business Administration Program


Office of M.B.A. Admissions
Darden Graduate School of Business Administration
100 Darden Boulevard
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
(434) 924-7281
(800) UVA-MBA-1

Application Candidates are encouraged to visit the Darden Web site to obtain detailed information on admissions procedures and requirements; to apply online or request mailing of application materials; to schedule interviews or class visits; and to learn of upcoming events and activities.

The Darden School seeks to admit people whose academic ability, leadership potential and experience, and personal qualities indicate that they can contribute to, and benefit from, the program. All applicants are considered without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

The application requires completion of four essays, transcripts of all academic work, and two letters of recommendation. All applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) administered through the Educational Testing Service. Applicants whose native language is not English must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) also administered by the Educational Testing Service.

Interviews, while not required, are strongly recommended and become part of the evaluation process. Candidates are encouraged to visit the school, attend a class with current students, and interview with a member of the admissions staff. Visits are scheduled between September and March when classes are in session.

Financial Assistance


The Darden Graduate School of Business Administration’s financial aid program assists students in meeting the cost of earning an M.B.A. through a combination of school-based scholarships, grants, and third-party loans, in addition to federal loans. No financial assistance will be offered in the form of employment, and students should not plan to work during the school year. Loans, need-based grants, and scholarships are used to complement each other, and, in the administration of the school’s program, consideration is given to differences in need arising because of differences in tuition applicable to Virginians and non-Virginians, and other factors.

The Darden School awards scholarship, need-based grant, and loan assistance to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are offered to international students.

U.S. citizens or permanent residents seeking any type of financial aid through the University must file a statement of financial resources. The Office of Financial Aid requires that applicants use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The applicant must complete all student portions of this form.

The required FAFSA and University financial aid forms can be obtained via the Darden Website at

Financial aid decisions are made, and admitted students notified of awards, beginning in March. In order to receive timely award notification, applicants who wish to be considered for loan assistance should apply by May 1.

Applicants will not be considered for financial assistance until they have been admitted to the Darden School and submitted other required documents. The admissions decision is made without regard to an applicant’s financial situation.

Grants and Scholarships


At some point throughout the two year program nearly 45 percent of all Darden students receive merit scholarship or need-based grant assistance from the school in amounts ranging from $2,500 to full tuition and stipend. The school awards its limited grant funds on a need basis. The sources of scholarship and grant aid are the unrestricted funds of the school, gifts and bequests, and special contributions from business concerns and persons interested in encouraging business education and supporting the Darden School.

A Darden Financial Aid Application is required and should be submitted by May 1.

Merit Scholarships


The following is a current list of fellowships and scholarships offered by the Darden School. The availability, addition, or deletion of individual scholarships may vary.

First-year merit scholarships, contingent upon satisfactory academic performance of a "B" average (3.0), and need-based grants, are automatically carried over to the student’s second year at the Darden School, unless superseded by a higher valued scholarship or grant.

Batten Media Fellowship An endowed fellowship established in 1988 by media entrepreneur Frank Batten, these fellowships are awarded to candidates engaged in careers at newspapers or in other news gathering organizations who show deep commitment to careers in the news media and demonstrate high potential for achievement and leadership. A special application must be obtained from Darden’s Office of Financial Aid and interviews will be conducted by the Director of Financial Aid and the Vice-President of Communications.

Batten Scholarships Full- and half-tuition scholarships are available for U.S. citizens and permanent residents with an entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrated leadership skills, and a drive for innovation as noted in the admissions application material.

Chesapeake M.B.A./Masters of Engineering Scholarship Established by the Chesapeake Corporation Foundation in Richmond, this scholarship supports joint-degree M.B.A./M.E. students. There is no set award amount. To qualify, a student must be admitted to both programs. A special application for the joint degree program is available from the Darden Registrar.

Colgate W. Darden Scholarship Established in 1981.

James W. Davant-Paine Webber Scholarship An endowed scholarship for deserving second year students at the Darden School interested in Financial Services.

Joel Dean Scholarship Annual scholarship awarded to deserving second year student(s).

Franklin Family Fellowship An endowed fellowship established by Dr. Carl Mason Franklin, Dr. Sterling C. Franklin, Dr. Laurence C. Franklin and Wei-ching Kwong Franklin to attract first year M.B.A. students to Darden from the Asia Pacific region, and to help them with financial support while they are studying at Darden.

Frank E. Genovese Fellowship An endowed fellowship for second year students at the Darden School. Those eligible are in the top third of the first-year class after their first semester, and express a desire to seek employment in direct operating management positions in decentralized manufacturing companies or to own their own businesses.

Gould Incorporated Fellowship An endowed fellowship established by the Gould, Inc. Foundation for second year students at the Darden School.

Henry Clay Hofheimer II Fellowship For a second year student at the Darden School who is a resident of Virginia or North Carolina and a graduate of a Virginia or North Carolina college.

Honeywell Scholarship Established in 1987 by the Allied-Signal Foundation and awarded to outstanding second year students who are U.S. or Canadian citizens interested in working in manufacturing. Emphasis is placed on financial need, intellectual capacity, and leadership qualities.

Industrial Relations Counselors Scholarship A full-tuition, scholarship awarded to an incoming international student on the basis of scholarship, leadership, dedication to an international management career in Asia, and financial need, renewable in the second year with satisfactory academic performance.

Lee R. Johnston Scholarship An endowed scholarship established to honor Lee R. Johnston, one of Darden’s great professors, who served students, executives, and fellow faculty members for 33 years before retiring. Awarded to second year M.B.A. or doctoral students concentrating on entrepreneurship.

Robert E. Lamb II Dean’s Scholarship A two-year scholarship awarded every other year to an incoming student who shows the greatest promise of success in business as determined by the Dean of the Darden School. The renewal in the second year is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of satisfactory academic performance.

Robert E. Lamb Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by Robert E. Lamb, II (M.B.A. ‘70), for a second year student with an entrepreneurial spirit at the Darden School.

Landmark Communications Incorporated Scholarship For second year students at the Darden School who have demonstrated academic excellence in their first year.

Henry Wayne and Annie Griffin Lewis Scholarship An endowed scholarship established with a gift from Samuel A. Lewis, a former member of the Darden Foundation’s Board of Trustees, in honor of his parents for students at the Darden.

Macfarlane Fellowship An endowed scholarship established in 1990 by John G. Macfarlane III, for second-year students at the Darden School who show financial need, display academic achievement in finance, and plan to pursue a career in finance.

John Patterson Mast Memorial Scholarship Established in September of 1988 by Mrs. Louise Gilmer Mast, in honor of her late husband to fund scholarships for students who demonstrate financial need and were either born in or are current residents of twenty-two southwestern Virginia Counties- Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Lee, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Roanoke, Russell, Scot, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe.

Edward May Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by Edward May’s family for second year students at the Darden School.

Fred W. McWane Memorial Fund Fellowship An endowed fellowship, established to honor one of the original founders of the School in recognition of the scope and magnitude of his contributions, for second year students at the Darden School with financial need.

Henry E. McWane Scholarship An endowed scholarship established in recognition of Henry E. McWane, the first president of the Darden School Foundation Trustees, for second year students at the Darden School with financial need.

Tayloe Murphy Scholarship Established in 1987 with gifts originally contributed for the Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration. No restrictions are placed on the selection process by which deserving second year students are awarded scholarships.

Edmund S. Muskie Fellowship [Separate Application required via Muskie Foundation] Annual fellowship established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 to encourage economic and democratic growth in the countries of the former Soviet Union by allowing citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan to have the opportunity to study business administration. Fellowship covers tuition and a living stipend. Application information at or via e-mail at

Kenneth Nahigian Memorial Fellowship An endowed fellowship established by Kenneth Nahigian’s family, friends, and Darden alumni as a memorial to be awarded by the faculty to second year Darden students of outstanding caliber and promise, and demonstrated financial need.

Marion M. and Samuel T. Pendleton Fellowship This fellowship of full tuition is awarded to worthy admitted candidates who are citizens of Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The fellowship recipient will demonstrate high leadership and academic qualities and show a seriousness of purpose to serve his/her home country in the public or private sector. In the event that a qualified candidate worthy of receiving a full fellowship is not available from the limited geographic regions listed above, the Darden School First Year Scholarship Committee may broaden the pool of admitted candidates to be considered to include citizens of any country who were or are considered a part of the British Commonwealth.

D. W. and G. B. Richardson Scholarship Originally established in 1956, this scholarship honors Douglas W. and George B. Richardson.

William Richmond Scholarship For second-year students at the Darden School who have demonstrated academic excellence and an interest in entrepreneurship.

Roger H. Sherman Fund An endowed fund established by Lucille H. Sherman as a memorial to her husband, Roger H. Sherman, for students at the Darden School who give promise of becoming outstanding citizens.

William Wooding Sihler Scholarship An endowed scholarship fund established in 2000 by alumni of the Darden School in recognition of Professor Bill Sihler’s dedication to students and learning. The Sihler Scholarship(s) will be made without regard to need; to candidates accepted for admission to the first year M.B.A. Program, whose academic record is above average and who have demonstrated entrepreneurial ability.

Sydney F. Small Memorial Fellowship Fund An endowed scholarship fund established with income from a trust bequeathed by a former and dedicated supporter of the Darden School for students at the Darden School.

Daniel Kerr Stewart Endowed Scholarship Fund Established in honor of Daniel Kerr Stewart by a generous gift of Jonathan Bryan III and C. M. Tribble of Richmond Virginia. For second year students at the Darden School who have demonstrated academic excellence in their first year.

Thomas I. Storrs Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by the NCNB Corporation in honor of Thomas I. Storrs, their former chairman and chief executive officer. For second year students at the Darden School who, like Thomas Storrs, exhibit the qualities of scholarship and leadership that will make them both effective businesspersons and humanitarians.

Julius Tahija East Asian Studies Scholarship Established in honor of Mr. Tahija, an Indonesian industrialist, whose primary interest is in joint American/Asian ventures, for students enrolled in the M.B.A./M.A. at the Darden School.

TEP Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by the TEP classes of 1988 and 1989 for deserving second year students at the Darden School in their pursuit of an M.B.A. degree.

Morton G. Thalhimer Fellowship An endowed fellowship for the encouragement and assistance of students at the Darden School whose attitudes exemplify outstanding qualities of personal character and integrity–qualities so respected and exemplified by the man for whom the fellowship is named.

Ernest and Patricia Wuliger Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by friends and family of Ernest Wuliger, chairman of the board of Ohio Mattress Company and Patricia Wuliger, for students of the Darden School who show promise of significant academic achievement and demonstrated financial need.

Class of 1957 Charles C. Abbott Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by the Class of 1957 in memory of the Darden School’s founding dean. For students at the Darden School who bring a diversity of work experience to the classroom from non-traditional work backgrounds in areas unique to the applicant pool.

Class of 1958 Charles C. Abbott Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by the Class of 1958 in memory of the Darden School’s founding dean for second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1962 Reynolds C. "Bucky" Siersema Memorial Scholarship An endowed scholarship for outstanding second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1965 Scholarship Fund An endowed scholarship for outstanding second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1967 Scholarship For outstanding second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1968 William E. Fisher Memorial Scholarship An endowed scholarship for outstanding second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1970 Scholarship for Creative Management An endowed scholarship established by the Class of 1970 in recognition of Everard Meade, a retired Darden School lecturer, for second-year M.B.A. students at the Darden School who have exemplified qualities of creative leadership and have demonstrated need.

Class of 1972 Scholarship Established in 1987 by the Class of 1972, the Killgallon Family Foundation, and the Ohio Art Company for first year M.B.A. students.

Class of 1972 Twentieth Reunion Scholarship Established in 1992 by the Class of 1972 as their twentieth reunion gift.

Class of 1974 Fred Richardson Scholarship An endowed scholarship established by the Class of 1974 in memory of a true gentleman, Fred Richardson, a retired member of the Darden School faculty. For students at the Darden School, with preference to those with hearing or physical impairments.

Class of 1977 Scholarship An endowed scholarship for outstanding second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1982 Scholarship An endowed scholarship for outstanding second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1986 Peter J. Niehaus Memorial Scholarship An endowed scholarship, established by the Class of 1986 in memory of their classmate for second year students at the Darden School.

Class of 1987 G. Robert Strauss Marketing Award Fellowship An endowed award extended annually by the marketing faculty to a student who exhibits "solid marketing skills, innovative thinking, and compassion for his or her fellow students."

Darden Foundation Scholarships and Fellowships


The following scholarships and fellowships are held by the Darden Foundation and adjudicated by the Darden Foundation Scholarship Board.

Class of 1975 Marianne Quattrocchi Memorial Scholarship Established by the Class of 1975 in memory of their classmate. Award is to entice female candidates to the Darden School who otherwise might not attend. A scholarship equal to tuition and fees is awarded to a new student each year such that there would be two Quattrocchi scholars in school (one in the first year, one in the second year).

Consortium Fellowships [Separate application required through the Consortium] The Consortium is an eleven-member university alliance designed to increase the enrollment of African American, Hispanic, and Native American students in M.B.A. programs and ultimately in managerial positions in business. Each candidate who qualifies for admission to a Consortium-member M.B.A. school competes for a full-tuition fellowship at that school. The Darden Foundation Scholarship Board awards several fellowships each year. For more information and application materials, contact:

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management
200 S. Hanley Road, Suite 1102
St. Louis, MO 63105-3415
(314) 935-6364

El Paso Energy Masters of Business Administration Scholarship Established in 1996 by the Sonat Foundation for the Darden School. A $15,000 renewable scholarship is offered to an incoming First-Year under-represented student with financial need. The scholarship is offered in the spring of odd numbered years. The recipient will be known as the El Paso Energy Scholar. Only one is in effect at any one time.

Virginia Kincaid Scholarship An annual scholarship established to honor Virginia Morris Kincaid. This scholarship is available to female candidates who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States and who demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit, strong leadership skills, and a drive for transformational change.

Charles J. Lewis Scholarship Established in 1985 by Mr. Lemuel E. Lewis, a member of the Board of Managers of the University of Virginia Alumni Association and a Darden alumnus, in memory of his father, Charles J. Lewis. This scholarship is to be given to Virginia students, with preference to minorities.

Merrill Lynch Minority Fellowship Established by Merrill Lynch in 2001, this fellowship is available to minority applicants interested in pursuing a career in investment banking. The Merrill Lynch Fellowship offers potential internship opportunities for the summer between first and second years.

J.P. Morgan Chase Fellowship Established in 1997 by Chase Manhattan Bank to assist minority students interested in careers in the financial services industry. In December 2000, J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated and The Chase Manhattan Corporation merged to form J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. The new company has maintained its legacy commitment to this fellowship program.

John A. Powell Scholarship Established to provide need-based support to under-represented students who have an interest in wealth creation and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Arnold and Katherine Snider Scholarship Established in 1998 to support a first or second year minority student at the Darden School.

John L. Snook, Jr., Minority Scholarship Established in 1989 by family and friends of John L. Snook, Jr. a former faculty member of the Darden School. Awarded to minority students with priority given to someone interested in the non-profit section. Awarded to a second year student.

Loan Funds


More than 85 percent of Darden students obtain loans to finance all or part of the cost of their Darden education. Loans are available to enrolled graduate students and range from short-term emergency loans to long-term loans intended to finance major educational costs. Loan money is available to all students who qualify for it, and prospective students should not be deterred from applying for admission if they are willing to undertake long-term loans. For further information, contact the Darden School Financial Aid Office, (434) 924-7739.

M.B.A. Academic Program


The Darden School’s two-year program leading to a degree of Master of Business Administration prepares men and women of high promise to act as action-oriented graduates who take an enterprise perspective and lead with integrity, vision, judgment, determination, and social responsibility . This objective is achieved through a uniquely integrated program that provides an understanding of the fundamental areas of business while it develops the capacity to analyze managerial problems and present intelligent and resourceful solutions to these problems. Through the study of real business situations, the student is involved in a breadth and depth of analysis impossible to gain in years of on-the-job training. The M.B.A. program compresses experience.

The Darden case-method approach places significant responsibility for self-development on the individual student. The content and methodology of the M.B.A. program are carefully planned and coordinated by the faculty, but the students themselves determine the quality of the learning process in the classroom through their preparation and participation. The program is effective to the extent that both faculty and students share a commitment to make it work. The Darden School accepts, as an essential function, the goal of making clear to students their moral responsibilities as managers and leaders, particularly those obligations to the business community and society at large. The school’s concern with moral values continues the ethical tradition of the University of Virginia as expressed in the Honor System.

The Case Method Darden students learn by doing; they develop their decision-making skills daily through the case method of instruction. Each case presents a real manager with a real decision to make. Included in the case is information on the organization and the environment in which it operates. Each case poses the same question: What would you do? Students are expected to define the issues they identify in the case, use sound analytical techniques in applying their knowledge to the available data, evaluate the alternatives, make a reasonable decision, and recommend measures to implement their plan. The procedure simulates the function of modern managers in a wide variety of different industries, products, processes, and styles of management.

At the Darden School, the learning process depends on the intense, daily preparation of each case by each student. Classroom time is spent largely in discussion, focusing on the definition, analysis, and a wide range of feasible approaches to a problem. To attain academic and personal growth in this environment, the student is required to participate in case discussions. During the first year, classes are limited to about 65 students to facilitate meaningful participation by all the members of the class. Courses in the second year vary in size, but case discussion is still the chief learning experience. The cases themselves are part of a planned sequence, and the growth that each student achieves is a result of the total experience, not of learning isolated techniques.

While the case-method philosophy dominates the program, other methodologies are used (role-playing, simulations, field trips, guest lecturers, and exercises of various sorts) to provide as complete a reflection of reality as possible. This educational experience blends managerial reality with substantive knowledge and techniques of analysis to equip students to act confidently in a complex world.

Curriculum All of the first year courses are required; the second-year program has one required leadership course to be selected from a menu of options. No credit is granted for previous course work, and no courses may be waived. These courses are fully coordinated into a single program that becomes more than the sum of its parts. While the courses are formally distinct as outlined in this catalog, each one contributes more than the basic knowledge of a narrow specialty; it provides an opportunity to use and expand on knowledge gained in each of the other courses. For example, the problem of determining cost information for a particular product would normally arise in the study of accounting, but this information has important significance for marketing, for operations management, and for the interpersonal relations between people in these areas. The significance of the accounting decision for each function would be treated in accounting; but what might well be a satisfactory solution from the accounting standpoint alone will be modified in the light of its effect in other areas, and it is this modified solution that the program strives to reach, since it is the one most likely to work in a real-life situation.

The result of this program is a comprehensive, integrated view of business. M.B.A. students from the Darden School should use their elective courses to provide depth in the general areas that reflect their career interests.

Graduates of the Darden School are also well informed and conversant with current thinking in the traditional functional areas of business; they are able to use the quantitative methods of the modern business environment; they understand business applications of the behavioral sciences; and they have a command of oral and written communication.

With their knowledge and experience of the integrated curriculum, graduates are qualified to assume leadership in the world of practical affairs at a more rapid pace than would be possible otherwise. They are better equipped to think analytically and imaginatively, to solve problems, and to make things happen, because they understand both the modern techniques and broad environment of business nationally and internationally.

The First Year Although the course descriptions that follow suggest a first year of study consisting of a number of independent offerings, the Darden School’s first year curriculum is unique in its blending of these ingredients into a program with a purpose and vitality of its own. The emphasis here is on "program." In a very real sense, Darden M.B.A.s are engaged during their first year in a nine-month course in the elements of managerial problem solving and decision making–a course that encompasses a knowledge of analytical techniques, an understanding of the several functional areas of business and their interrelationships, and an appreciation of the environment in which business functions. The different courses are so integrated that the many skills and attributes of business management are developed simultaneously.

The course of study assumes little background in formal business education; much of the entering student’s initial exposure will acquaint him or her with the vocabulary and concepts of business–accounting, communications, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, quantitative analysis, ethics, operations, macroeconomics, and strategy.

From the very outset, however, the attempt is made to show interrelationships among subject areas, to apply concepts that are dealt with in related courses, and to teach more efficiently by avoiding curricular compartmentalization. Many of the analytical techniques taught by Quantitative Analysis, for example, will be used immediately by students who face managerial decisions in Operations.

Class schedules reflect particular emphases during the academic year. During weeks in which Quantitative Analysis and Operations meet frequently, Marketing may not meet at all. In later weeks all courses may meet. Still later the emphasis may be on Marketing and Organizational Behavior, with no class meetings in Accounting. Such flexibility in scheduling supports and emphasizes the conceptual flow of the first year program.

To ensure that the first year program is integrated in such a way that relevant material from the various course areas is considered in the best possible sequence, the first year curriculum is taught as a complete session rather than in two separate semesters. Under the session system, no semester grades are recorded; a current unofficial "interim grade" is given to each student at the normal semester break. Formal grades are determined at the end of the nine-month session, by which time the faculty has a clear picture, based on the complete first year experience, of the student’s ability to cope with business problems. The one exception is Accounting. Accounting is taught in the fall semester only; therefore, a final grade of record is recorded at the end of the fall semester.

The M.B.A. Schedule According to the traditional academic format, the first year program may be said to contain 45 credits, to be divided among the following courses:


Business and the Political Economy



Management Communications



Organizational Behavior

Quantitative Analysis


Some courses meet more often than others during the academic year, but all have equal weight for grading purposes.

All graduate business schools promise a challenging program and a rigorous work load; the Darden School is no exception. Potential students should be prepared to commit 60 to 80 hours each week to their academic endeavors. While the following first year schedule is intended only as an example, it does indicate the degree of commitment expected of our students.


First Year Program

8:00 - 9:25

First Class

9:25 - 10:00


9:50 - 11:25

Second Class

11:45 - 1:10

Third Class


Prepare cases for next day


Meet with learning teams

At the beginning of the year, students are assigned to learning teams of five or six students per group. Teams are fluid and usually change somewhat during the year because of geographic location of members, friendships, and other factors. The purpose of the teams is to give members a chance to "try out" ideas on a case before presenting them in class, and to give or receive help as needed. Teams meet at the school or in the homes of members.

The Second Year The overarching objective of the second year is to reinforce the mission of the school as captured in its Mission Statement. In addition, the following are specific objectives of the second year:

  • To build on the general management foundation of the first year by providing students with opportunities to pursue their chosen areas of interest in greater depth
  • To stimulate the design and offering of innovative and relevant leading-edge M.B.A. courses
  • To develop leadership capabilities in students
  • To prepare students for lifelong learning and continued professional development
  • To support and facilitate the transition of students into the business community
  • To support and encourage activities outside the classroom that serve to enhance the Darden community, develop individual relationships, and foster a sense of social responsibility

While the second year curriculum is an extension and elaboration of the structurally integrated first year, it allows flexibility in the selection of elective courses. That flexibility can be used to develop depth in functional expertise or breadth in general management perspective.

Academic Regulations


Standards for the M.B.A. Degree The Darden School requires a minimum performance standard for its M.B.A. graduates. In addition, the school has performance standards for the first year program, each semester of the M.B.A. program, and each course.

An M.B.A. candidate must ordinarily take the equivalent of 20 course units, receiving grades below B- in no more than 4.5 course units and no grades of F (certain makeup procedures exist for F grades).

A course meeting 34-40 sessions (each of 85 minutes) in the first year or 30-34 sessions in the second year is defined as one course unit. A course meeting 16-20 sessions in the first year or 15-17 sessions in the second year constitutes one-half course unit. An interim grade given at the end of the first semester of the first year has the course equivalent units of the entire course for purposes of academic standards.

In administering these standards, the school uses six grades, defined by the faculty as follows: A, excellent; B+, very good; B, good or satisfactory graduate work; B-, minimum no-penalty grade; C, not satisfactory as general level of work but passing for a particular course; F, failure. In addition, occasions arise that necessitate assigning a grade that falls outside the standard range. The symbol IN (incomplete), assigned in such cases implies that, for reasons known to the individual faculty member, an enrolled student has not completed the work of the course at the end of a specified academic period.

An important element of student performance at the Darden School is classroom participation. Depending on the appraisal criteria of the instructor and course, classroom participation frequently accounts for up to 50 percent of a student’s grade. This proportion reflects the central role and importance of active engagement by the student in the learning process.

While assessments about classroom participation are incorporated into grades received by students at the end of each term, the first-year program expects each student to be aware of, and responsible for, her or his participation on an ongoing basis. Although individual faculty, course faculty, or section faculty may find it appropriate to provide an assessment of student participation during a term, there is no requirement that they do so on a consistent basis. The responsibility for being informed of the impact one is having on others resides with the student. Consistent with this philosophy, a student who is uncertain about the value added by participation in class is expected to initiate discussions with faculty and students who can provide an independent perspective.

Session and Semester Grade Requirements

First Semester, First Year A student who, at the end of the first semester of work, receives final or interim grades below B- in three or more course units, or a grade of F in courses that have had at least 15 meetings, is required to submit an action plan for grade improvement. This plan must be submitted prior to registering for spring semester classes and must be acceptable to the Academic Standards Committee in order to continue in the program.

End of First Year A student who receives a grade of F or grades below B- in three or more course units will be notified by the Academic Standards Committee, acting on behalf of the faculty, that he or she has failed to meet the standards for continuing the M.B.A. program. The student may petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission.

Second Year At the end of the third semester, a student who has received a grade of F or grades below B- in four or more course units shall be notified by the Academic Standards Committee, acting on behalf of the faculty, that he or she has failed to meet the standards for continuing the M.B.A. program, but may petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission.

At the end of the fourth semester, a student who has received a grade of F or grades below B- in five or more course units will not be recommended for the M.B.A. degree.

In either semester of the second year, a student who receives grades below B- in three or more course units shall be notified by the Academic Standards Committee, acting on behalf of the faculty, that he or she has failed to meet the standards for continuing the M.B.A. program, but may petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission.

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