MBA - Industry Focus Electives - Health Care

Health Care

Darden students who plan to pursue a career in health care take advantage of the strong general management curriculum at Darden, as well as health-care-related courses, programming and extracurricular opportunities. Darden’s case method teaching style and general management curriculum equip students to think creatively and strategically about current and emerging issues in the health care industry. In the First Year, Darden teaches students core managerial concepts in operations, strategy, finance, leadership and ethics. In the Second Year, students are encouraged to explore their own interests, pursuing opportunities that enable them to apply their understanding of business to the changing landscape of the health care industry.

Darden currently offers 2 health care specific courses in the residential MBA program. However, there are also over 150 health care cases that exist within Darden Publishing alone. These cases are taught in non-health-care specific courses across subject areas including Operations, Ethics, Finance, and Marketing. As a result, Darden students are prepared to lead in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and health services sectors as well as in health-care related pursuits in consulting, banking, venture capital, entrepreneurship, and beyond.



  • Challenges in Health Care: This course is designed to give a broad overview of health care from a business perspective. The elective examines the structure and component parts of the health care system and will study basic economic issues, public policies, and market developments as they impact the industry and the delivery of care and services. The course also examines the impact of culture, ethnicity and gender on each case and topical area.
  • Solutions and Innovations in Health Care: This course focuses on the innovative approaches and cutting-edge technology being leveraged within the health care industry to solve its most pressing problems. The emphasis of the class’s cases and discussions centers around evaluating the current approaches and considering what other solutions may help address the relevant business and social need.


  • Storytelling with Data (COM)
  • Leading in Uncertainty and Crisis (STRAT)
  • Markets, Government, and Society (GEM)
  • Applied Security Analysis (FIN)
  • Diligence in Seed Funds (DIR) 

Please note: courses are subject to change each year. Consult the course directory for the most up-to-date course offerings.

  • For-Credit Opportunities

    Independent Studies: A course of study for students with special interests, an Independent Study (IS) is conducted by students under the supervision of a Darden faculty member. These are intended to allow students to study topics not covered in existing Darden courses.

    Examples of past projects:

    • Strategic Considerations for UVA Health Neuro PT, OT, and SLP Programs
    • The Future of Health Care Education at Darden
    • Clinical Optimization in Pediatric Care

    Darden Business Projects: During the Second Year of the MBA program students can design a project (known as a Darden Business Project) and earn course credit.

    Two examples of projects completed by students with an interest in health care:

    • Quality Management and Process Improvement in a Health Care Setting: Emergency Department and Overcrowding
    • Helping the Elderly: Establishing a Private Medical Practice 


  • Dual Degrees

    The University of Virginia is home to one of the top medical schools and health care systems in the country. As an integrated part of this larger ecosystem, Darden supports three health-care-centric dual-degree programs:

    • MBA / MD
    • MBA / MPH
    • MBA / MSN

    For more information on each dual-degree program and contact information on program POC, please visit the Darden’s Dual Degree website. 

  • The University Ecosystem

    Darden is immersed in a rich health care environment, primed to support best-in-class health care education to MBA students. Darden students have access to vast the vast resources of the larger UVA community. 

  • Extracurricular Opportunities

    Health Care Club

    The Darden Health Care Club (HCC) was established in the Fall of 2015 with a mission of bringing together all members of the Darden community who are passionate about health care. The HCC believes in creating space where current and future leaders can discuss critical issues, collaborate to solve pressing problems, and find career opportunities that enable them to drive positive change in the world’s health care system.

    The HCC’s supports Darden students in 3 key ways:

    1. Career Support
    2. Educational Programming
    3. Relationship Building

    Check out more information on the Health Care Club page or email the club directly.

    Community Consultants of Darden

    CCoD is an incorporate not-for-profit organization founded in 1956. CCoD provides marketing, operational, and strategic evaluation and planning services to visionary non-profit organizations and small businesses in the Charlottesville community. Each year, 1-2 CCoD projects are typically embedded in the health care industry and provide students with hands-on experience consulting in the health care space.

    Past health care clients include the UVA Physicians Group, the Well Room, Ampel Bio Solutions, Pears Health, and K2 Dental.

    CAV Angels

    CAV Angels is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational, networking, and investment club composed of alumni, faculty, parents, students, and friends of the University of Virginia. While not a health-care-specific organization, health care companies comprise a notable portion of CAV Angels existing portfolio. Students have full access to the educational resources of CAV Angels and gain valuable experience assisting with due diligence on potential investments.

    Examples of health care portfolio companies: BrightSpec, VeraMorph, Liquet, Karios, Carevature Medical, and TearSolutions.

  • Past Events

    Each year, the Darden Health Care Club hosts numerous events spanning various topics across the industry. Below are just a few highlighted past events:

    • Entrepreneurship in Medical Device, co-hosted by the Health Care Club and the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club
    • The State of the Health Care Private Equity and Venture Capital Market, co-hosted by the Health Care Club and Darden Private Equity Club
    • A Conversation on Health Equity with Rhonda Smith (Darden ’88), Executive Director of the California Black Health Network, co-hosted by the Health Care Club and the Black Business Student Association
    • Leading in Health Care: Conversations with Client & Consultant, featuring Joseph Swedish, former President & CEO of Anthem and Darden Professor Vivian Riefberg, Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, co-hosted by the Health Care Club and the Consultant Club 


G. Paul Matherne

G. Paul Matherne

Professor of Practice, Darden School of Business, Professor Emeritus, UVA School of Medicine


Vivian Riefberg

Professor of Practice, Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship Chair

Dennie Kim

Dennie Kim

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Joe Andrasko

Joe Andrasko

Professor of Practice

Sasa Zorc

Sasa Zorc

Assistant Professor of Business Administration


Elizabeth A. Powell

Julie Logan Sands Associate Professor of Business Administration, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Director, Compassionate Care Initiative