MBA for Executives

Case Method

Darden ClassAt 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?

Over the course of the 21-month program, you’ll explore hundreds of business cases — both with your learning team and through lively discussions in class. Guided by expert faculty, you will take your leadership and communication skills to new levels. And in Darden’s EMBA program, your classmates are experienced managers, who will all bring unique perspectives to the high-engagement case discussion.

If you are able to travel to Darden, 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 learning approach 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. Small Groups: 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 in an 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." 

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