Darden has an Early Action application round in addition to its three traditional rounds. This round is designed for full-time MBA candidates who know Darden is their school of choice.
Applications for Early Action are due Tuesday, 3 September 2019 and decisions will be released on Wednesday, 9 October 2019.
Early Action applicants have the opportunity to schedule an interview during the open interview period and do not need to wait for an invitation. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce yourself to us and experience the Darden Grounds in person. However, if you have not scheduled an interview by the time your application is initially reviewed, you may still receive an invitation to interview.
Early Action applicants can interview from July through the end of September on a first come, first served basis. We will continue to release new interview times throughout the open interview period, so check back frequently if you do not find a date or time that suits your schedule. Prepare to be flexible based on interview availability.
Interview times are limited, so we kindly ask that you schedule your interview only if you intend to submit a completed application by Tuesday, 3 September 2019. In order to be considered for admission, your application must be submitted and the application fee paid by the deadline.
- On Darden Grounds Interview - Domestic U.S. Applicants
- Remote Interview - Non-domestic U.S. Applicants
Applicants who live in the domestic U.S. must interview in person at Darden. If you live outside the domestic U.S., you are welcome to interview on the Darden Grounds but are not expected to do so. We offer interviews via Skype for those living outside the U.S.
If you visit Darden for an Early Action open interview, we hope you will schedule a class visit as well. Class visit days offer a great opportunity to observe the case method in action and get to know our community through First Coffee, lunch with Second Year students and a tour of the Darden Grounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Early Action?
Early Action is the newest application round option at Darden. Applicants should submit their application by 3 September 2019 and will receive their admission decision by 9 October 2019. Applicants most interested in the Darden School of Business can demonstrate their interest and make plans for the future sooner by applying in EA. Admissions conducts open interviews for EA applicants.
When will I interview if I apply Early Action?
Applicants who plan to submit their application by the 3 September 2019 Early Action deadline may schedule an interview from late July to late September.
Please note that interview times are limited and scheduled on a first come, first served basis. If you are not able to secure a spot at first, please continue to check availability as more times will be added as needed.
Those who live in the domestic U.S. must interview in person at Darden, and remote interviews are available for those residing outside the U.S. The majority of on-Grounds interview times will be available during the month of September.
We kindly ask that you schedule your interview only if you intend to submit a completed application by 3 September 2019.
Select applicants may be invited to interview following the Early Action deadline if they have not already scheduled an interview.
Do I need to complete any other portions of the application to conduct my open interview?
Yes. To schedule an open interview, applicants must start an Early Action application, complete the "Who are you?" page, upload their resume and provide an answer to the short-answer learning team question:
- Tell us what you would want your learning team to know about you — personal, professional or both." (100 words)
Do I have to pay an application fee?
Yes, an application is not considered complete until the application fee has been paid. Applicants who wish to be considered in the Early Action round are required to pay the application fee by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 3 September 2019. Applicants can interview in advance or following the round deadline; however, the application and fee are due by 3 September.
How is Early Action different from Rounds 1, 2 and 3?
Applying in the Early Action round allows applicants to schedule their interview without waiting to be invited. Darden will host interviews for applicants who intend to apply in the Early Action round during the open interview period (late August through the end of September).
Admitted applicants will pay a larger deposit fee to secure their spot in the class.
Why is the deposit fee different?
Given the earlier notification and the flexibility around the interview process, we require applicants offered admission in the Early Action round to pay a higher first deposit to reserve their place in the class.
What if I wish to apply to Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) and Darden's early action round?
Applicants who apply to Darden through Early Action are eligible for Consortium membership. To be considered for Consortium membership, candidates will need to state their intention in the additional comments section of the application as well as in the interview. Those who wish to apply to additional schools through the traditional Consortium application rounds may do so as usual, but should not include Darden as one of those 6 schools.
Darden will refer all admitted students from the Early Action round who have expressed interest in Consortium membership to the Consortium through the school-referral process. The school-referral process may include additional steps to confirm alignment with the mission and criteria for Consortium membership.
Those who are admitted to Darden through Early Action and are granted Consortium membership will receive the same benefits as those who apply and are admitted to Darden through the traditional Consortium application including access to member-only events, recruiting opportunities, and exposure to partner companies and others in the Consortium network.
Note that applying Early Action vs. the traditional Consortium process will not affect the candidate's prospect for consideration of full-tuition scholarships. Scholarship decisions will be released in October.
Click here for more information about Consortium eligibility and the application process.
Do I have to interview to be admitted?
Yes, interviews play a critical role in our assessment of applicants and are required prior to admittance in to the program. The interview offers the opportunity for applicants to share their story while also learning more about Darden.
Do I have to travel to Darden Grounds for my interview?
Applicants who live in the U.S. must interview on the Darden Grounds. If an applicant lives outside of the U.S., the applicant is welcome to interview on the Darden Grounds but is not expected to do so. We offer interviews via Skype for those living outside the U.S.
What is the interview process if I do not apply Early Action?
Darden may choose to invite applicants to interview who have applied in the Early Action deadline but have not scheduled their interview during the open interview period.
For all other rounds, applicants will interview by invitation-only. Interview notifications can take place at any time until the decision release date for the round in which the candidate has applied. Applicants living in the U.S. are required to interview on the Darden Grounds. Those living outside of the U.S. will interview via Skype or with Darden alumni in their home region.
Is the Early Action round binding?
The Early Action round is not binding. We are offering this round for applicants who believe Darden is their top choice and are ready to move forward with their application at the earliest point possible.
What if I am not offered admission in the Early Action round?
Applicants denied admission in the Early Action round will not be considered in subsequent rounds. If an applicant remains interested in attending Darden, he/she/they must reapply in the following year.
However, applicants placed on the Waitlist during the Early Action round will be considered in subsequent rounds. Waitlisted applicants have the opportunity to receive feedback on their application to improve their candidacy.