Prospective Students

We understand that the business school application process is an exciting, but potentially overwhelming, time for new applicants. To help you through the process, PAD is happy to help serve as a resource and answer any questions that you might have about life on grounds and what it’s like to be gay at Darden. Below are answers to some of the more common questions we receive, but please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the PAD board with additional questions that you have. 


Q. Should I be out in my application?

It's a personal decision, although we certainly encourage everyone to be authentic in their application.  Being out in your application does not confer any specific advantage or disadvantage in the admissions process.  However, if your LGBTQ identity is an important part of your story, being out provides us with a richer understanding about you as an applicant. Also, if your have any leadership stories related to the fact that you're an LGBTQ, feel more than welcome to share.  

Darden is committed to a diverse student body.  Having a diverse cross-section of personal and professional backgrounds is the foundation of our case study model.      

Q. Why should LGBTQ students come to Darden?

We believe that the Darden experience is second to none.  Darden has a strong community that creates a friendly and welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff.  Our case study method brings this collegial dynamic into the classroom.    

Darden's LGBTQ community is close-knit, providing plenty of opportunities for involvement and leadership. 

Recruiters actively reach out to Darden LGBTQ students.  Employers value the talent and diversity of the Darden student body, and many have specific outreach programs for LGBTQ candidates. Please visit our "Recruiting" page for a list of companies that have partnered with us to recruit LGBTQ students at Darden.    

Q. What's it like to be an LGBTQ student in Charlottesville?

Charlottesville has a vibrant LGBTQ population, encompassing both the University of Virginia and the broader local community.  The social scene includes LGBTQ-focused clubs and restaurants such as Sundown at IX and Escafe, and LGBTQ-friendly businesses such as X Lounge and da Luca Cafe & Wine Bar that host monthly LGBTQ happy hours.

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