Requirements

  • The University of Virginia Darden School of Business executive MBA admissions application is considered complete when all of the following items have been submitted.

  • The online admissions  application includes core data about yourself, as well as an essay response and your résumé. The 2015-2016 executive MBA application essay is: 

    Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to this feedback. (500 words maximum)

    Application Fee

    There is a $250 application fee that is required to submit your online application.

    May I request an application fee waiver?

    The following are eligible for application fee waivers: Teach for America corps members and alumni (Code: 10029), Peace Corps volunteers (Code: 10039), Education Pioneers fellows (Code: 10049), Forté MBALaunch members (Code: 10059) and U.S. military members (Code: 10019). Citizens of countries on the UN's list of least developed countries also qualify for an application fee waiver (Code: 10089). If you qualify for a waiver, please use the appropriate code when prompted in the application. If you have further questions, please email us at darden@virginia.edu.

    You must submit the following supplemental materials with your application in order for it to be considered complete:

    Recommendations

    We require two recommendations that address the questions asked on our online recommendation form. After you have contacted the recommenders about providing the recommendation, complete the form on the recommender's page of the online application. We will send them an email message with instructions and a web address to visit in order to complete your recommendation. We strongly advise that one letter come from your direct manager or supervisor.

    Transcripts

    We require transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work completed. You may upload an unofficial copy of your transcripts into your application. If you choose to accept an offer of admission from Darden, you will need to mail us an official transcript.

    Company Support Letter

    At a minimum, this letter from your employer should acknowledge:

    • Your interest in participating in the program
    • Its applicability to your career advancement
    • Your company's support of the time commitment required to participate

    The letter can include information on financial support being provided, although this is not required. This letter must be signed and submitted on company letterhead. You can view a sample company support letter to help you get started.

    Standardized Test Score

    Executive MBA applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), GRE or Executive Assessment (EA). The EA is a graduate admissions test developed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) expressly for executive MBA applicants with the demands of executive MBA programs in mind. The EA requires less preparation time than the GMAT and can be taken in 90 minutes. Darden is pleased to be one of seven global business schools currently accepting the EA. Click the link here to learn more about the EA.

    You can self-report your unofficial GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test), GRE or EA score(s) on your online application. The Darden code for the Executive MBA program is KC7-OX-30. You may also email a copy of your unofficial score to ExecMBA@darden.virginia.edu.

    If you have previously taken the GMAT or GRE but your score has expired, please contact us at  ExecMBA@darden.virginia.edu to discuss further.

    Waiver Process

    In certain cases, a waiver of our standardized test requirement may be granted. Such cases include but are not limited to:

    • Completion of another standardized graduate admissions test. Examples of such tests include but are not limited to the LSAT, MCAT and PCAT;
    • Advanced degree in an analytic discipline; and
    • Quantitatively-oriented professional certification (for example, CFA, CPA, Series 7, Series 63, PMP). 

    To request a waiver, candidates should submit a waiver request form and include the requested materials listed below. All waiver requests are considered on a case-by-case basis:

    • A copy of their resume
    • Unofficial transcripts from all degree-granting institutions
    • A short statement outlining any aspects of their current work or background they feel are particularly relevant to the Admissions Committee’s consideration of their waiver request.

    Additional guidance:

    • If you have an expired GRE or GMAT score and have access to your test score results, you may simply apply with your existing score(s).
    • If you have an expired GRE or GMAT score but no longer have access to your test score results due to expiration/age and wish to request a waiver of our standardized test requirement, please use the form linked above.

    If you have any questions regarding our standardized test requirement, please feel free to contact us at ExecMBA@darden.virginia.edu


    English Language Proficiency

    Darden’s MBA program is built upon an immersive learning experience that requires public speaking, group discussion and active class participation. To succeed, students must possess a highly developed proficiency in written and oral English. Darden will accept English testing scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE). Use the following guidelines to determine whether or not you need to take one of these exams:

    • Not Required: Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a university where the medium of instruction was English are not required to take an English language assessment test
    • Required: Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a university where the medium of instruction was not English are required to take an English language assessment test.
    • Strongly Recommended: Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a university where the medium of instruction was not English, but received a master's or Ph.D. from a university where the medium of instruction was English, are strongly encouraged to take an English language assessment test.

    Darden does not have a minimum score requirement, but the average TOEFL is 106. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date.

    Candidates who are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE must have received at least their unofficial scores prior to submitting their application. Both overall and component test scores must be reported on the application form. All applicants must request that ETS (for the TOEFL), IELTS and/or Pearson send official copies of their scores to Darden.

    Darden's code for TOEFL is 5820 Dept. 02 and the code for IELTS is 5099.

    Qualified applicants will be invited to interview after their application has been reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Interviews play a critical role in our assessment of candidates and are required prior to acceptance into the program. All interviews are conducted by a members of the Admissions Committee. Candidates living in the U.S. are required to interview on the Darden Grounds or in the Washington, D.C., area. Applicants living abroad are welcome to interview on the Darden Grounds, but are not expected to do so. International interviews are conducted via Skype.