The Darden School MBA application begins with a request for demographic information, address, education, professional history and so on. The instructions are straightforward and self-explanatory.
GMAT or GRE Score
Applicants are required to take either the GMAT or GRE.
The GMAT is offered only as a computer adaptive test in the United States. Pearson VUE administers the GMAT, and Darden's program code is KC7-0X-86. We evaluate only test score results from tests taken prior to submission of the application. The highest score is used, but we do not combine scores from multiple tests. Scores are valid for five years.
Darden will also accept a GRE score in place of the GMAT. No approval is necessary — just apply with the GRE score. Please note that there is no advantage or disadvantage to taking one test over the other.
We do not require official test scores in order to process your application and get it to the committee for review. You may self-report the scores directly into your online application. If offered admission, you will need to send official documents. However, offers of admission are not binding until official scores are received. If discrepancies are found between self-reported and official scores, the offer of admission will be withdrawn.
English Language Test Score
As much as 50% of a student's grade at Darden depends upon active oral participation in the classroom. The University of Virginia requires demonstrated English proficiency. The recommended way to demonstrate English proficiency is to submit a TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score. For additional details and guidelines regarding which applicants need to take an English language exam, visit International Applicants.
Please prepare a business résumé (as opposed to an academic CV) that includes your employment history in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates and whether you worked part-time or full-time. As part of this résumé, also include a similar education history that includes dates and degrees, listed in reverse chronological order. The résumé should not be more than one page long.
Use the essay to display your writing skills and tell us more about yourself. You will be asked to organize a persuasive argument to show us how you think about and approach business challenges. Emphasize those experiences, values and goals that are most important and meaningful to you. Be sincere and be specific. Tell us what particular experiences and expertise you will bring to the mix. The essay question field is large enough for you to answer the question thoroughly. View this year's application essay.
We require two recommendations that address the questions asked on our recommendation form. Additional recommendations may be submitted, but they should offer additional and valuable insight. Generally, work-related recommendations are more valuable than academic-related recommendations.
All recommendations must be submitted electronically. After you have contacted the recommenders about providing the recommendation, complete the form on the recommender's page of the online application. They will be sent an e-mail message with instructions and a web address to visit in order to complete your recommendation.
An evaluative interview is conducted by invitation only after your application has been submitted and reviewed by the admissions committee. Interviews play a critical role in our assessment of candidates and are required prior to acceptance into the program. An invitation to interview is a positive indicator no matter when you receive it.
Candidates living in the United States must interview on the Darden Grounds with a member of the Admissions staff or Student Admissions Committee. Candidates living abroad are welcome to interview on the Darden Grounds, but are not expected to do so. International interviews are conducted by alumni or admissions committee members during recruiting trips or through Skype.
It is expected that all applicants to Darden will have either completed their bachelor's degree at a college or university in the U.S. or hold a college or university degree equivalent to a four-year American baccalaureate degree. Darden will also recognize undergraduate degrees that were earned in only three years of study.
We do not require official transcripts in order to process your application and get it to the committee for review. You have two options for submitting a transcript. The first option is to scan the official or unofficial transcript as a PDF and upload it in the educational history section of the application. The second option is to mail us the transcript. If you decide to mail the transcript instead of self-reporting the uploaded transcript on the application, we must receive it before the deadline. Our online system will not allow you to submit an application without a transcript (either an uploaded scanned copy or the transcript received through the mail).
If you completed your education in a non-English-speaking institution, you will need to make arrangements to have your academic records translated and sent with the official transcript. All translations must be complete and literal versions of the original records. If offered admission, you will need to send official documents. If there are discrepancies between self-reported academic information and official transcripts, the offer of admission will be withdrawn. Offers of admission are not binding until academic records are verified.
The residency section of the application requests information related to verification of residency to establish in-state status for Virginia residents. Residency status is assigned by the Virginia Status Office at the University. Visit the Virginia Status Office at the University or call +1-434-982-3391 if you need more information.
While not a required part of the application, admitted international applicants are required to submit a supplemental Darden Request for Form I-20 outlining the financial resources available for their study in the United States. The Form I-20 must show that a student has the financial resources necessary for both years of study. Timely submission of the Darden Request for Form I-20 expedites issuance of the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for the F-1 Student Visa. An I-20 cannot be issued until the Darden Request for Form I-20, which can be downloaded from the Admitted Student Portal, has been submitted. All I-20 documentation must be original; no photocopies or faxes are accepted.
The completed Darden Request for Form I-20 and supporting documents should be mailed to:
Darden School of Business
100 Darden Blvd.
Charlottesville, VA 22903
A non-refundable application fee of $250 must accompany the application. Online application fees can be paid by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) through Darden's secure server or by check, money order or cashier's check. Credit card payments are preferred.
The following are eligible for application fee waivers: Teach for America corps members and alumni, Peace Corps volunteers, Education Pioneers fellows and military members who have active duty experience within the last three years. Waivers are given to other applicants only under extreme circumstances. To request an application fee waiver, please submit an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org detailing your reasons.
Founded in 1842, the Honor System is one of the University’s most cherished institutions. Based on the principle that University students want to be trusted, the UVA Honor Code helps create and strengthen a school-wide community of trust. Students who enroll at the University benefit from the freedom and security provided by the Honor System; every student must agree to live by and support the spirit of honor. Applicants who are not prepared to embrace this freedom and accept this responsibility should not apply for admission. If you have further questions, please call the committee at +1-434-924-7602 or visit the Honor Committee website. Details of the background and operation of the Honor System are fully explained during Darden Orientation.
Validity of Application Information
We expect that the information provided in, and for, an application will be valid and will accurately represent your qualifications for admission to the Darden School. If articles contained within the application are ascertained to contain invalid information or misrepresent your qualifications, sanctions will be taken, up to and including the revocation of the MBA degree.