Global MBA for Executives

Frequently Asked Questions: GEMBA

  General   |   Admissions   |   Financial Aid   |   Career Services   |   Sponsorship


How is GEMBA different from the other MBA formats?

GEMBA students earn the same degree as students in the full-time MBA and MBA for Executives formats and is designed for experienced managers with a preferred minimum of 7+ years of professional work experience. The format includes distance learning, as well as six two-week international residencies in India, China, Brazil, Europe and the United States.

How long is the GEMBA format?

Classes begin in August of each year and run for the following 21 months.

Who are the Global MBA for Executives faculty?

The same top-ranked professors who teach in our full-time MBA and Executive Education programs teach in the executive MBA formats. These faculty members are thought leaders in their fields. Their expertise, coupled with their experience with a wide variety of executives and industries, bring a real-world dimension to your learning environment.

How much of GEMBA is completed online?

Approximately one-third of the GEMBA course work is delivered via distance learning. To provide a highly engaging learning experience between residencies, you will participate in live online classes each week with your classmates and professors. These online classes are recorded so if you are unable to attend live, you are able to view the material at a time convenient to your schedule. Additionally, you will work on individual assignments, participate in small group projects and learning team meetings and meet one-on-one with faculty.

How many students are in the program?

20 to 40 practicing managers from diverse industries and functions are invited to join the Global MBA for Executives format each August. 

Are there required international trips?

Yes. The program includes six two-week international residencies in India, China, Brazil, Europe and the United States.

How are students evaluated?

Students are graded on a number of criteria, depending on the particular course. Darden uses case-based instruction, so an important component of student evaluation is class contribution — both virtual and face-to-face. Other elements of assessing student performance include completion of papers, exams and other written assignments.

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What are the requirements for admission?

Visit Admissions Requirements.

Do applicants need to take the GMAT or GRE?

GEMBA applicants are required to take either the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) or GRE. We encourage you to prepare in advance for the exam (self-study, online tutorials, etc.). You can self-report your unofficial GMAT scores on your online application.

A small number of GMAT or GRE waivers are granted, typically to applicants who hold an advanced degree in a technical field. If you would like to be considered for a waiver, please send your résumé, academic transcripts and standardized test scores to

Is an interview required?

Interviews play an important role in our assessment of candidates and are required prior to acceptance into the program. An evaluative interview is conducted by invitation only after your application has been submitted and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Candidates living in the United States typically interview on the Darden Grounds with a member of the Admissions staff. Candidates living abroad are welcome to interview on the Darden Grounds, but are not expected to do so. International interviews are conducted by Admissions Committee members traveling overseas or by phone or Skype.

Do students need to be employed full time?

Yes. Our expectation is that students are in managerial-level positions or can demonstrate strong leadership potential. Our curriculum is based on applying classroom knowledge to individual work situations, and is based on the give-and-take among faculty and every person in the class.

What is the range of GMAT scores in the GEMBA format?

Our 20%−80% range is 540−720. We are particularly interested in the balance between your quantitative and verbal score, along with your previous coursework and professional experience.

Is there a minimum requirement for years of work experience in the GEMBA format?

The preferred minimum years of professional experience is seven. The typical GEMBA student has between 6 – 25 years of work experience. In the Class of 2014, the average years of work experience was 15 years.

What are the deadlines for applying? Can I apply before the deadline?

Visit the GEMBA Application Deadlines page. You can submit your completed application at any time before the final deadline, but we encourage you to submit early, when the maximum number of class seats and scholarship awards are available.

Are admissions deposits refundable?

Both deposits are non-refundable, but will be applied to your tuition account as credit when you enroll.

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Financial Aid

What types of financial aid are available to Global Executive MBA students?

Financial aid is available to students in the Global MBA for Executives program in the form of federal and private loan programs. These loans are not "need-based"; therefore, students with an acceptable credit rating will be eligible. For details on the three types of financial aid available, please see the Financial Aid and Fees page.

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Career Services

What career services are available to the Executive MBA students?

Global MBA for Executives have access to relevant and compelling career information and education. Students learn how to effectively manage their careers through a combination of one-on-one career counseling and executive coaching, online career modules and face-to-face workshops. See a full description of Career Services.

Can I interview with companies that come to recruit the full-time MBA students?

Yes. After completing the core curriculum, students may attend career fairs and networking events in Charlottesville and several major U.S. cities. In addition, students may submit résumés for invitations to interview on-Grounds for full-time, entry-level MBA positions. To learn more about on-Grounds recruiting opportunities, view Darden’s Employment Reports

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What kind of support do students need from their employers?

For some companies, sponsorship means providing students with complete tuition assistance and days off to attend classes. For others, it is an endorsement of the student’s future value to the organization. Ideally, sponsoring an employee in the Darden Global MBA for Executives program is part of his or her career development plan.

At a minimum, sponsorship means that an employer endorses the student as a valuable member of its management team who is expected to make even greater contributions in the future, along with a statement that the company recognizes the student must be away from the office to attend classes. Visit the GEMBA sponsorship website for more information.

Are employers required to provide financial support for students to attend the program?

No. While we encourage employers to make a financial contribution, allowing students to participate is the only investment on their part that we require.

Can sponsors talk with someone during the admission process?

Yes. Contact and we will put you in touch with someone who can speak about sponsorship. 

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