MBA

Frequently Asked Questions: MBA

FAQs about the Darden MBA format and application process are sorted into the following categories:

General

What MBA formats does Darden offer?

How can I learn more about the Darden MBA?

Does Darden have research centers?

Yes, Darden is home to the following research centers, each concerned with a unique aspect of the business world:

What dual degree programs does Darden offer?

  • MBA/JD
  • MBA/MD
  • MBA/MPH
  • MBA/MEd
  • MBA/ME
  • MBA/MSN
  • MBA/MA in Government or Foreign Affairs
  • MBA/MA in East Asian Studies
  • MBA/PhD

Visit Dual Degrees for more information.

Can I begin the MBA in the spring?

Darden offers only fall admission.

Does Darden accept transfer credits?

No.

Is it possible to work part time while enrolled in the Full-Time MBA?

The MBA is in fact a full-time format. During the First Year, students begin their days with 8 a.m. classes and end their days in the evening with learning team meetings. Hours that are not scheduled are typically used for club meetings, recruiting and case preparation. The schedule does not leave enough time to work a part-time job. If you are interested in a more flexible format that allows you to work while attending classes, please check out Darden's MBA for Executives and Global MBA for Executives formats.

If I am offered admission, can I defer my enrollment?

Please apply to the Darden School of Business in the year before you wish to enter the program. Deferral requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but have only recently been granted for reasons related to military service or health issues. College seniors who have also been accepted into Teach for America’s program may defer admission until after their two years of service. In addition, some college seniors and recent college graduates may be offered deferred admission to attend in a subsequent year.

What organizations and resources are available for women and/or underrepresented minorities?

Are there special resources for the military?

Yes, please visit the Darden Military and Darden Military Association websites.

Application

What are the application requirements?

Visit Application Requirements.

When should I apply, and what are the application deadlines?

Offers of admission are based on merit. There is no evaluative advantage to applying in an earlier deadline. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, however, it is best to apply by the earliest deadline possible. Visit Financial Aid and Application Deadlines to learn more.

If I have already taken the GMAT, should I take the GRE?

No. You only need to take one of these exams. If you have taken the GMAT, we will have access to that score. Taking both tests will not give you an evaluative advantage.

What are the minimum requirements for the GMAT, GRE and GPA?

Darden has no minimum requirements for the GMAT, GRE or GPA. In 2012, the average GMAT was 703, with approximately 80% of our enrolled students scoring between 650 and 740. In the last admissions cycle, the number of applicants who submitted a GRE score was less than 5%, and therefore we do not publish the average score or range. If you take the GMAT or GRE multiple times, Darden will consider your highest total score when evaluating your application — we do not combine scores. For more information, view the Class Profile.

My undergraduate college does not grade students with the GPA system, but with the percentage system. Should I leave the min and max GPA range on the application blank?

If your undergraduate institution does not use a GPA, then please leave that field on the application blank. We can see from your transcript more about the grading system used.

If I am applying for a dual degree program, will you accept my LSAT or MCAT score?

Yes, if you are applying for the JD/MBA or MD/MBA, we will accept your LSAT or MCAT score, respectively. Please visit Dual Degrees to learn more about applying to joint programs. If you are applying to EMBA or GEMBA, you may be able to use an LSAT or MCAT score to receive a GMAT waiver.

What are the application procedures for Darden's dual degree programs?

You will need to apply and gain admission to both Darden and the participating joint program. Visit Dual Degrees for more information.

What if there isn't enough space for me to enter my information in some of the data fields? How strict are the length limitations for essay questions?

Some fields are deliberately restricted. With regard to the essay, applicants should respond to the essay question within the stated limit.

Can I fax, mail or e-mail in my recommendations and/or transcripts?

Yes, but they must arrive in our office by the deadline:

  • Mailing Address:
    Darden School Admissions
    100 Darden Blvd
    Charlottesville, VA 22903
  • Fax: +1-434-243-5033
  • E-mail: darden@virginia.edu

Can I get supplemental recommendations?

Yes, but use discretion. Please limit supplemental recommendations to those individuals who can supply additional insight into your experience.

How will I know if Darden has received my recommendations?

Our online application is designed to allow your recommenders to submit their recommendations electronically. Once the recommendation has been submitted, you will receive a notification e-mail.

My official test scores and transcripts will not reach Darden in time for the deadline. Will my application still be considered for that deadline?

We do not require official test scores and transcripts in order to process your application and get it to the committee for review. In the education section of the application, please enter the data requested and upload unofficial copies of all transcripts. If offered admission, you will need to send official documents. If you choose to send official documents in lieu of self-reporting on the online application, they must arrive in our office by the application deadline. For international students, attested transcript copies are considered official.

May I request an application fee waiver?

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 darden@virginia.edu detailing your reasons.

If I applied before and was denied, offered or waitlisted admission, can I reapply next year?

Yes. If you applied during last year’s application cycle, you will need to submit a new application, but make sure to check the box that indicates you are a re-applicant. The committee can use your previously submitted GMAT and TOEFL, if appropriate, and your academic transcripts. Though the committee will review your previously submitted recommendations, you will be required to submit one new recommendation. You also have the option of supplying additional recommendations if you think they will provide a better picture of your recent accomplishments.

Applicants who applied before last year’s application cycle must submit all new application materials.

Do you give feedback on denied applications?

If you are planning to reapply to Darden, you can schedule one 15-minute feedback call with a member of the Admissions Committee during the month of June to find out how you can improve your candidacy. If you are not planning to reapply to Darden, please do not sign up for a session. The sign-ups should be available in May.

How do you assess candidates for the Darden MBA?

A minimum of three members of the Admissions Committee will review and evaluate your application based on three broad areas: academics, professional experience and personal qualities and characteristics. A balance in the three areas is valued, but there is no formula that ensures admission. Darden does not have any specific prerequisites, but accounting and statistics are recommended before matriculation. Visit Admissions Criteria for further details.

How much work experience do you need?

Although we have no minimum requirements, the average is four years and the range is usually one to ten years.

I do not have an undergraduate business degree nor do I work in a "business" functional area. Am I eligible for admission?

Yes, typically fewer than 50% of our students were undergraduate business or economics majors. Darden students come from a variety of settings, including non-profit, government, entrepreneurial/start-ups as well as traditional business settings. To find out more about our entering class, visit the MBA Class Profile.

Can I apply to Darden if I already have an MBA?

The Darden School of Business does not admit students who have already completed an MBA from an AACSB accredited institution. To find out if a school is accredited by AACSB, please refer to the AACSB website.  

Do internships and cooperative education count as work experience?

They may be considered valuable experiences, but should not be counted as full-time work experience.

Visits & Interviews

What can I do during my visit to Darden?

The Visiting Darden website contains information on class visits and other recommended activities.

What should I do if the website says that no class visit slots are available?

Verify that you have filled out the class visit registration form. Please note that slots may be full for the day that you are looking at, and class visits are not available during exams, reading days, holidays or on days with planned programming at Darden.

What are the best days to attend a class?

Class visits are available Monday through Thursday while class is in session.

How do I schedule a class visit?

To schedule a class visit, you will first need to fill out a short registration form, and then schedule a visit from the available slots.

May I bring a guest/partner to a class visit?

Your partner (significant other) is welcome to join you on your visit to Darden. However, due to limited space, we kindly ask partners to refrain from attending the class visit. Visit the Darden Partners Association (DPA) website for information about the club and its activities, as well as contact information for current members. The DPA helps new members make a smooth transition to Charlottesville and business school life through hospitality, job networking, family resources, community service and social events. Parents should not join you for a class visit or interview.

How do I cancel or reschedule my class visit?

Please go back to the website and reschedule your appointment. If you are within 48 hours of your scheduled visit, please contact Jenna Wines at 800-UVA-MBA1 or +1-434-924-7281 or by e-mail.

Is an interview required?

Interviews play a critical role in our assessment of candidates and are required prior to acceptance into the program. An invitation-only interview is conducted after your application has been submitted and reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

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 traveling overseas or by phone or Skype.

Interview notification can take place at any time up until the decision release date for the deadline in which you have applied and may not necessarily fall during the designated interview periods. For important Admissions deadlines, visit Application Deadlines.

What do I need to do to schedule a Consortium interview?

The Consortium changed the interview policy starting with the 2011-2012 application season. A Consortium interview is no longer a component of the Consortium application. Darden Admissions will invite applicants to interview at Darden. Visit the Consortium Application Process page for more information.

Financial Aid

What is the cost of the full-time MBA program?

The estimated 20122013 tuition and required fees are $48,900 for Virginians and $53,900 for residents of other states and countries. For the full cost of attendance, visit the Financial Aid website.

Who is considered for merit scholarships?

All students offered admission are considered. Merit scholarships are offered at the end of each round of admissions decisions. Visit Scholarships for more information.

What loan programs are available?

  • Federal Loans  The Federal Stafford Loan Program makes available $20,500 per year to each graduate student who is a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
  • Supplementary Loans  Federal Graduate PLUS loan (for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents only).
  • International Student Loans

Visit Financial Aid for more information.

When will my loan funds be available?

Semester rebate checks will arrive 10 business days following your completion of Final Registration, in mid-September and mid-January.

Where can I find more information about financial aid?

The Financial Aid website. 

International

How can I learn about application information specific to international applicants?

Visit International Applicant Information.

Why is English proficiency required for applicants?

Darden’s MBA format 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.

How are English abilities assessed?

Written and oral communication, as well as one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English)

Are international applicants required to take one of the approved English assessment tests listed above (even if I attended a school where the medium of instruction was English)?

  • 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 (i.e., they are exempt).
  • 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 PhD degree from a university where the medium of instruction was English are strongly encouraged to take an English language assessment test.

What is the minimum acceptable TOEFL score? Do you keep scores submitted in prior years?

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

I earned an undergraduate degree that required only three years of study. Am I eligible to apply to Darden?

Yes.

How can I contact students from my country/region of the world, and how can I learn more about the international community at Darden?

Does Darden offer financial aid to international students?

Yes. Scholarships are available to international students, some of which are specific to a region. Darden also has an international student loan program.

Student Life

What is a typical day like for a First Year student?

  • 8:00 a.m.–9:25 a.m. First Class
  • 9:25 a.m.–10:00 a.m. First Coffee
  • 10:00 a.m.–11:25 a.m. Second Class
  • 11:25 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Break
  • 11:45 a.m.–1:10 p.m. Third Class
  • 1:10 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Lunch, school events/activities, meetings, company briefings, etc.
  • 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Learning Team (this is the typical meeting period; times vary by team)

Where can I learn more about your employment statistics and companies that recruit at Darden?

What resources are available for my partner to find employment and to learn more about Charlottesville?

Visit the Darden Partners Association website.

Where can I find out more information about housing?

View Student Housing Options.

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