Batten Institute

Batten Institute - MBA/MSDS Dual Degree

MBA/MSDS Dual Degree

The Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Data Science (MBA/MSDS) aims to provide the robust training and cutting-edge tools ideal for students who plan to pursue a variety of career fields, from technology to entrepreneurship to consulting. The MBA/MSDS dual-degree program at the University of Virginia provides a Master of Science in Data Science degree from UVA’s Data Science Institute (DSI) and an MBA from the Darden School of Business. In just 24 months, students are immersed in the DSI’s rigorous academic and applied research program and Darden’s top-ranked general management program, graduating with two advanced degrees from one of the top universities in the world.

If you have Darden admissions-related questions, please refer to the admissions website or contact Catie Yeilding.

If you have questions about admissions for the MSDS program please visit the Data Science Institute’s website or contact Patti Edson


  • Program Timeline
    • The MBA program is run by quarter (7 weeks) and the MSDS program is run by semester (14 weeks). MBA quarter 1 and 2 is equivalent to the MSDS fall semester and the MBA quarter 3 and 4 is equivalent to the MSDS spring semester. 
    • Darden Dual Degree students are required to complete ONE Darden Worldwide Course over two years. However, some of the MSDS classes overlap with the Darden Worldwide Course, so that has to be planned appropriately. 
    • There are two online MSDS courses and two on Grounds classes that will be taken in the first summer before the first fall semester at Darden. 

      View Full Timeline (PDF)
  • Proposals & Capstone Projects

    Through the MSDS program, MBA/MSDS dual degree students begin by acquiring a foundation in languages, computation and linear modeling and then build on those skills to begin the practice and application of data science. Dual degree students address important data science challenges with their capstone projects. Before presenting their projects, students will create a proposal outlining their objectives and will be mentored and evaluated by faculty members from the Darden School of Business and the Data Science Institute.

    Capstone Project Examples

    Predict Customer Growth

    Build a model to identify high growth customers or brands.

    The project would build a tool for COMPANY to predict which of its current small customers or brands are likely to grow rapidly in the future. Such a tool can be used to prioritize sales efforts to potential high growth customers.

    Financial Inclusion

    This project will identify factors that affect an individual's decision to pursue and obtain traditional banking, including barriers to entry.

    SKU Optimization

    Build a model to optimize the number of designs (i.e. different widths) of paper rolls shipped to conversion facilities.

    The project would need to consider demand trends to identify the optimal number of widths to produce in order to obtain the right balance between production costs and wastage at conversion facility. Having a large number of SKUs reduce waste at the conversion facility, but increases the cost of production.

  • Corporate Support

    MBA/MSDS capstone projects would not be possible without corporate support. Through Darden’s corporate partners program, companies have the opportunity to present a business problem and work with faculty and students toward a solution. We are grateful for the generous support of our corporate partners who make this offering meaningful and memorable. Capstones receive sponsorship from a variety of clients from different industries; some past examples of corporate sponsors are as follows:  

    • In 2017, WestRock served as the lone corporate partner, working directly with students and providing data for two capstone projects.
    • In 2018, the cohort doubled and 4 companies* committed to capstone projects.
    • Companies work in partnership with Darden faculty to craft the project question(s) and with students
      throughout the lifetime of the capstone (18 months).

    * All participating companies are represented on the Corporate Advisory Board.

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Frequently Asked Questions