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
Application Candidates are encouraged to visit the Darden Admissions Web site to obtain detailed information on admissions procedures and requirements, apply online or request our viewbook. You can also schedule interviews and/or class visits and learn of upcoming events and activities on our Web site.
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). Applicants whose native language is not English must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Interviews, are strongly recommended and become part of the evaluation process. Candidates are encouraged to visit the school, attend a class, meet with current students, and interview with a member of the admissions staff. Visits are scheduled between September and March when classes are in session.
The Darden Graduate School of Business Administrations
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 schools 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 http://darden.edu/financialaid/index.htm.
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
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 applicants
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.
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 students 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
Dardens 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.
Kevin Bewley Memorial Scholarship Established by members of the Class of 1999, together with the Bewley family, in honor of Kevin Bewley, a classmate who died during his second year at Darden. Recognizes a student who, like Kevin, has exhibited a strong commitment to the Darden and Charlottesville communities through a demonstrated record of leadership, service, and social action during his or her First Year at Darden.
Chesapeake M.B.A./Masters of Engineering
Scholarship Established by the Chesapeake Corporation Foundation in Richmond, Virginia, this scholarship gives first preference to joint M.B.A./M.E. students and second preference to students who have a graduate engineering degree and the desire to put their engineering skills to work after receiving their M.B.A.
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.
Dean's International Region Scholarships
Dean's International Scholarships support Dean's Scholars throughout a specific region without respect to country of citizenship. The most talented candidates based upon their admissions application and home residence in specific world regions qualify for these merit-based, half-tuition scholarships.
- The African Fund
- The Asian Fund
- The European Fund
- The Latin American Fund
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.
Scott Gonge Virginia Fellowship provides opportunities for Danish and/or Thai students and scholars to participate in the graduate or doctoral programs of the University of Virginia's School of Law, Darden Graduate School of Business, Architecture School, or Graduate Arts and Sciences program in English Language and Literature.
Gould Incorporated Fellowship An endowed fellowship
established by the Gould, Inc. Foundation for second year students at the Darden
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.
International Business Society Scholarship a scholarship developed and supported by members of the International Business Society to reward International Students for their academic success.
Lee R. Johnston Scholarship An endowed scholarship established
to honor Lee R. Johnston, one of Dardens 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.
Thomas G. Labrecque Ethics Scholarship Established in 2004 by the Labrecque Family to honor the career of Thomas G. Labrecque, who, throughout his career and life, emphasized the importance of ethics and leadership. Awarded to a rising second-year student who has demonstrated an interest in ethics while at the Darden School.
Robert E. Lamb II Deans 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 Foundations 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 Mays 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
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.
Murphy Fund for International Study established by James Byrne Murphy and P. Clarke Murphy to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students at the College of Arts and Sciences and to graduate business students at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration who wish to study abroad either during the summer or during the academic year.
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 www.actr.org or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenneth Nahigian Memorial Fellowship An endowed fellowship
established by Kenneth Nahigians 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
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 Sihlers 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 International An endowed scholarship established by the TEP classes of 1988 and 1989 for deserving students at the Darden School in their pursuit of an M.B.A. degree.
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 integrityqualities
so respected and exemplified by the man for whom the fellowship is named.
Virginia High Technology Scholarship These full- and half-tuition scholarships are designated for students who have demonstrated exemplary experience in research, product development, or innovation deployment within the high-tech industry. Qualifying candidates must be residents of, or employed in Virginia.
Worrell International Fellowship is intended to help improve the social and economic conditions in developing countries. Fellows admitted to the Darden MBA Program and chosen for the Fellowship must demonstrate a commitment to bettering the domestic economy in their countries. To meet the Program goals, entrepreneurial or other for profit employment must be within companies indigenous to the country of citizenship. While such service might also include governmental, humanitarian or educational, preference will be given to those candidates who enter the Darden MBA program already having secured appropriate (Program approved) post-graduate employment. Fellows fulfill the objective of this fellowship through a period of service - typically four years - after completing the Darden MBA program. Depending upon the length of service, the Worrell International Fellowship Program will forgive the loans for all (or some portion) of the expenses for the MBA program. The Worrell International Fellowship Program has been designed for students who might otherwise be unable to attend a world class MBA program because of inadequate funding.
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
Class of 1957 Charles C. Abbott Scholarship An endowed
scholarship established by the Class of 1957 in memory of the Darden Schools
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 Schools
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
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
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
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.
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)
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 be leaders in the world of practical affairs. Darden MBAs are taught to be action-oriented, take an enterprise perspective and lead with integrity, vision, judgment, determination, and social responsibility. The Darden School curriculum is an 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. The MBA program compresses years of experience through the study of several hundred real business situations or cases involving a breadth and depth of analysis impossible to gain in years of on-the-job training..
The educational approach employed by the Darden School places significant responsibility for self-development on the individual student. Students are admitted not only for what they can learn, but also what they can teach their classmates in a discussion oriented setting. The curriculum is carefully planned and coordinated by the faculty, but the daily discussion revolves around student preparation and participation. This shared faculty and student responsibility for the classroom learning makes the Darden School classroom experience highly dynamic and stimulating.
The Darden School curriculum also emphasizes the ethical nature of leadership through required course work and broad integrated discussions of the role of the corporation and its leaders in business and society in general. The school's concern with ethical values continues the tradition of the University of Virginia evident in the Honor System.
The Studentbody. The Darden School admits approximately 310 highly qualified individuals yearly. New students come from around the world and virtually every profession. These students are then organized into learning teams of five to six students and sections of 65 students. Each learning team and each section is designed to have a diversity of functional skills, demographics, and international background. Darden School students quickly learn that one of the most important assets of the Darden School education is the network of relationships built among classmates from all over the world. The First Year sections are shuffled at the beginning of the second semester in January to provide maximum opportunity to meet, learn from, and form long-term relationships with a wide range of classmates.
The Case Method. The Darden School uses business problem oriented cases in the vast majority of classes. In case method, students learn in four steps: individual case reading, preparation and analysis, learning team discussion, section discussion, and post-class reflection and integration. Each case presents students with a real business situation and related decisions to make. Most cases require the student to decide and present extemporaneously what they would do in that situation. 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. This process simulates the function of modern managers in a wide variety of different industries, products, processes, and styles of management.
Case method is demanding. Potential students should be prepared to commit 60 to 80 hours each week to their academic endeavors. Darden School students will spend 3-5 hours a day on individual preparation, 2-3 hours in learning team meetings, 4.5 hours a day in class meetings with their section of 65 classmates, and 1-2 hours a day integrating the day's learning into their business judgment base. 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. Students' grades are based in large part on the quality of their in class contributions. Classes in the Second Year vary in size, but case discussion is still the chief learning experience.
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
9:25 - 10:00
10:00 - 11:25
11:45 - 1:10
Prepare cases for next day
Meet with learning teams
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 augment students' understanding of modern business practice. The Darden School educational experience is a careful blending of theory and current practice designed to equip students to act confidently in a complex world.
Curriculum The first three quarters of the First Year of the MBA program consist of a set of core courses required of all students. In addition, students must take three core electives during the fourth quarter (March and April). The Second Year program consists of 30 credit hours and has one required leadership course to be selected from a menu of options. The remainder of the Second Year program is comprised of electives. MBA students may not opt out of courses they have previously taken. No courses may be waived. First Year courses are fully coordinated into a single program that is 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, quantitative analysis concepts are used in marketing, accounting, finance, operations and country analysis. Leadership concepts introduced in Organizational Behavior are employed in all of the courses. First Year faculty course heads plan the introduction of overlapping concepts so that all courses may benefit. The result is a comprehensive, integrated view of business.
As a result of this curriculum design, Darden graduates are 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; they understand the ethical nature of all their decisions, and they have a command of oral and written communication skills essential to being an effective leader. Darden graduates repeatedly report that they are qualified to assume leadership in the world of practical affairs at a more rapid pace than many of their counterparts. Because they understand both the modern techniques and broad environment of business nationally and internationally, Darden graduates are equipped to think analytically and imaginatively, to solve problems, and to make things happen.
The First Year The emphasis during the First Year Program is on the fundamentals of managing a global business. The pedagogical focus during the First Year is on integrated program. First Year students learn about the essential business management issues in accounting, finance, marketing, operations, ethics, management communications, leadership and organizational behavior, strategy and business in a global political environment. This integrated program design gives students an experience that encompasses a knowledge of analytical techniques, an understanding of the functional demands of a global 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 but does require baseline competency in foundational skills.
Class schedules at Darden do not follow the traditional university model. 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.
Grading at Darden is based on classroom contributions and written work, primarily course end exams. Most courses consist of two 15 session halves, so a final grade for each is not issued until both halves have been completed.
M.B.A. Requirements The First Year program consists of 30 credit hours apportioned as shown below:
Business and the Political Economy (3.0)
Management Communications (1.5)
Organizational Behavior (3.0)
Quantitative Analysis (3.0)
Plus three electives of 1.5 credits each.
Second Year students must take one course on leadership from among six approved courses. The rest of the Second Year is elective, adding up to a total of 45 credits.
The Second Year The overarching objective of the Second Year is to strengthen students' skills in their chosen career paths, specifically:
- 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 MBA. 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.
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 students 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.