• At Darden, we believe that the best training for a business leader is to put you in the shoes of current and past executives at real companies. In contrast to a lecture-based approach to education, Darden’s case method will challenge you to discuss and debate real business problems and possible solutions. Given a specific business challenge — what would you do, why would you do it and how would you persuade your classmates to understand your point of view?

    The case method will immerse you in difficult, real-life business situations and ask you to make the decisions. Your ideas will be tested through open dialogue with the faculty, your learning team and your classmates. And in Darden’s EMBA program, your classmates are experienced managers, who will all bring unique perspectives to the high-engagement case discussion.

    In this video, Maksim Saitgazen (EMBA '15) discusses the challenges and benefits of the case method.

    Darden’s MBA curriculum also uses:

    • Business simulations
    • Feedback sessions
    • Carefully selected readings
    • Videos
    • Peer-mentoring
    • Role playing
    • Coaching sessions

    These approaches will help you develop into an agile decision-maker with an enterprise-wide perspective.

    If you are able to travel to Darden or to the Washington, D.C., area, we highly recommend that you visit us at Darden during a Class Visit Day or Open House, where you can experience the case method firsthand.

    Four-Step Learning Process

    Darden’s case method is based on a four-step learning process, which allows for complete understanding, integration and application of the materials:

    1. Individual Work: read and consider each case on your own.
    2. Team-Based Collaboration: Share your ideas with your learning team — the group of five or six peer managers with whom you’ll study.
    3. Class: Discuss the case during an online class meeting or on-Grounds class.
    4. Reflection/Application: Reflect on how your initial ideas changed as a result of the input from your learning team, class and professors. And after each class, you have the opportunity to apply these concepts on the job, creating real-time ROI for you and your employer.

    Case Method Videos

    The Value of the Case Method

    Leo Basola, EMBA Class of 2014, shares his perspective on learning in the Darden case method classroom:

    Why Cases?

    Professor Ken Eades talks about why the Darden School sees the case method as the best way to learn:

    How Darden Teaches Quantitative Skills Through the Case Method

    Professor Robert Harris discusses how Darden's executive-format MBA programs teach quantitative skills through the case method:

    Student Perspective

    What is it like to participate in a case method discussion? Peter Vanderloo — a lawyer, former Marine Corps officer and Executive MBA alumnus — gives his views on the case method in his blog post, " When You’re CEO for the Day — or Class."