future year scholars application

MBA - Admissions - Apply - Future Year

Future Year Scholars Program

Exceptional college students have the opportunity to gain acceptance into one of the world’s top MBA programs before beginning their professional journey.

Apply Now. Start Later.

Darden’s Future Year Scholars Program invites outstanding college students to join the ranks of a Top 10 business school, before ever gaining work experience. Admitted scholars may choose to begin their MBA after gaining two to five years of work experience.

Tell us more about yourself.


2022 Application Deadlines

  Future Year Scholars Program Round 1 Future Year Scholars Program Round 2
Application Deadline 12 April 2022 2 August 2022
Decision Release 7 June 2022 6 September 2022
Deposit Deadline 2 August 2022 30 September 2022


Connect With Us

Virtual Coffee Chats and 1:1 Conversations

Sign up for a 1:1 Admissions Conversation or attend a virtual coffee chat with fellow prospective students  


Meet the Class of 2023 Future Year Scholars: Student Panel

19 January at 2 p.m. ET | Register

Take a Turn as AdCom: An Interactive Application Review Workshop

25 January at 2 p.m. ET | Register

Future Year Scholars Program Application FAQs

8 February at 2 p.m. ET | Register


Crafting Your Narrative: Admissions Workshop

16 February at 4 p.m. ET | Register

Get to Know the Future Year Scholars Program


Is an MBA in Your Future? Why an MBA Makes Sense for Any Major.

Join the Future Year Scholars Admissions team as they share insights about the program and provide examples of the many unique paths that both business and non-business candidates take after they earn a MBA.

Watch the webinar
(recorded February 2021)

One of the biggest differentiators of the Darden experience is the support of the Learning Team. Not only are my learning teammates some of the best people I have met at Darden so far, but are the reason I feel so grounded and secure. Whether it be an academic challenge, a recruiting question, or a friendly face of a hectic day, I know I can count on this group.

Lindsay Bralower (Future Year Scholar)
Class of 2022

It's all in the Details

  • Timeline

    Secure Your Spot for the Future

    Secure Your Spot for the Future

    Apply during the final year of your undergraduate program. Any full-time masters student who has not held a full-time work position is also eligible to apply.


    Tap into the network

    Tap into the Network Today

    As admitted scholars, you will have many opportunities to grow your network through engagement with our community, as well as a Darden mentor and individualized career support.


    Gain professional experience

    Gain Professional Experience

    Choose to work for two to five years, gaining insight into the workplace and forming a foundation for your MBA experience.


    Begin at Darden

    Begin at Darden

    Start the MBA program with newfound expertise and perspective. All scholars will be considered for scholarships at the time of admission and may receive additional awards at the time of matriculation.

  • Why Apply?

    Why Apply?

    In addition to receiving an offer of admission to Darden before beginning their professional career, Future Year Scholars receive:

    • Consideration for merit-based awards at the time of admission with additional opportunities for scholarship consideration at the time of matriculation. 
    • Individualized career support.
    • Access to Darden’s student and alumni network, comprised of 17,000+ people spanning 90 countries around the world.
    • Networking opportunities with Future Year Scholars, current students, faculty and alumni at Darden events.
  • FAQs

    Who is eligible to apply?

    • Any bachelor's degree student in their final year of study
    • Any full-time masters student that has not held a full-time work position

    Students who graduate between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022 are eligible to apply in spring 2022, even if they begin full-time employment after their graduation.


    Do I need to have studied business as an undergraduate student to apply?

    No. We are looking for students that come from a variety of different academic disciplines. While some admitted scholars have studied business, others have studied biology, engineering, public policy and economics.


    When should I apply?

    We encourage you to apply once your application is complete and you have fulfilled the test requirements.


    Is there a difference between the April and August deadlines?

    Yes and no. There is no difference when it comes to competitiveness of the round. Our team has the same evaluation criteria in April as in August. The difference is that in April the Admissions Committee has the option to defer its decision to the August round leaving the applicant more time to develop a stronger application. Consistent with this approach, in the April round, there are three possible decision outcomes for an applicant – Admit, Deny and Hold Decision until the August deadline. In the August round, all decisions will be either Admit or Deny.


    What is the Admissions Committee looking for in prospective students?

    We are looking for exceptional students who aspire to be future ethical leaders and managers in a global world. The Admissions Committee will review and evaluate applications based on three broad areas: academics, extracurricular involvement and personal characteristics.


    What is the application fee?

    There is no application fee to apply!


    What does the application require?

    The application requires a standardized test score, resume, transcript, essay and two letters of recommendation.


    Which standardized test may I submit with my FYSP application? 

    Applicants are encouraged to submit the test score(s) they believe best illustrate(s) their ability.

    All applicants have the option to take the GMAT, GRE, EA (Executive Assessment), MCAT or LSAT. Starting with the year 2021 all applicants for Darden's Future Year Scholars Program may submit the SAT or ACT in lieu of the tests listed above. Our ETS code is 5820, our GMAC code is KC7-0X-86 and our ACT code is 4412.

    Self-reported score(s) are sufficient for the purposes of our application review. All incoming students are required to submit an official test score report prior to matriculation. You must arrange for GMAC, ETS, College Board, ACT or Pearson VUE to send us your official score(s) and an offer of admission is not binding until we verify official test results.


    How does Darden think about these tests and does Darden have a test preference?

    Standardized tests are just one piece of information in a broad, holistic application review process, and one way for a candidate to demonstrate their readiness for an MBA curriculum. The Admissions Committee accepts the following tests – GMAT, GRE, EA, MCAT, LSAT, SAT and ACT – and applicants are encouraged to choose the test that best aligns with their strengths, background and application plans.


    Should I apply with my existing SAT or ACT score? 

    It depends. When approaching the application process, we encourage candidates to first take a step back and think about their candidacy as our Admissions Committee will – holistically and objectively. This is particularly important when it comes to demonstrating your academic readiness for an MBA curriculum. As you may know, at Darden, there is a required core curriculum that includes both quantitative and qualitative courses, and, as an Admissions Committee, we want to make sure we are putting each student in a position for success during their time at Darden.

    There are a number of ways for a candidate to demonstrate their academic readiness for an MBA curriculum through their application materials, including degree-related coursework, non-degree-related coursework (MOOCs, Coursera, MBA Math, etc.) and professional certifications.

    Standardized test scores are another important consideration and when it comes to submitting an existing SAT or ACT score or choosing to take a new test, you will want to think about your current scores and whether you would benefit from having a more recent academic-related data point.

    Furthermore, for candidates looking to differentiate themselves amongst a competitive pool for merit based scholarship, you may want to consider taking a graduate standardized test. Test scores can offer the Scholarship Committee another factor to weigh when making these awards, and, for candidates seeking to maximize their opportunity for a scholarship, having a GMAT or GRE score can provide an additional data point for the Scholarship Committee when conducting this evaluation.

    Lastly, when deciding which test to submit, you will also want to consider whether your post-MBA career goals include working in an industry that requests a GMAT/GRE score as part of the recruiting process.


    Anything else I should know about the GMAT and the GRE?

    Applicants will also want to consider career goals as they make their test plans. The GMAT and GRE can play an important role in the MBA job search process. Some top employers will request a GMAT or GRE score as part of their application processes – for both internships and full-time positions. For this reason, we recommend you take one of these tests prior to matriculating to Darden.

    Furthermore, a GMAT or GRE score can be an additional data point for our Scholarship Committee to consider when evaluating an admitted student for a scholarship award.


    How will UVA Darden’s Admissions Committee evaluate classes taken for credit/no credit?

    Undergraduate (and graduate) transcripts are just one piece of information in a broad, holistic application review process.

    When reviewing your application, our Admissions Committee will be assessing your readiness for a rigorous MBA program, and your transcript is one place to showcase your academic preparation. If there is there is any aspect of your coursework or academic record you feel would benefit from additional explanation – including the decision to take courses on a pass/fail basis, we encourage you to use the Additional Comments section of your application to share more.


    Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

    Recommenders are asked to comment on the applicant’s work ethic, strategic orientation, leadership skills, ability to work well on teams and communication skills among other things. Strong recommendation letters are written by people who know the applicant well, both inside and outside of the classroom or work environment.

    Good options for recommenders might include a former supervisor from a summer internship, a faculty member or an academic advisor.


    What else should I know about my letters of recommendation?

    In addition, while our recommendation process is entirely electronic and your recommendations will associate with your application as they are received, we encourage you to stay in touch with your recommenders as you assemble your application materials. The #1 reason an application is incomplete at the application deadline is a missing recommendation, so reach out to your recommenders early and give them plenty of time to submit their letters. We generally recommend at least two weeks.


    I'm an international applicant. Do I need to submit an English proficiency test score? 

    Please see our International Applicant process webpage for additional guidance regarding our English proficiency requirements for international applicants. For candidates for whom an English proficiency test score is required or recommended, our Admissions Committee will consider this test score an additional indicator of qualitative ability.


    What role do test scores play in the scholarship process? 

    All Future Year Scholars will automatically be considered for scholarship awards at the time of admission.

    Scholars are also eligible for additional scholarship opportunities at the time of matriculation. While our admissions process is holistic in nature, our scholarship process typically focuses on indicators of academic merit. These include but are not limited to standardized test score(s), Undergraduate GPA, Graduate GPA, additional coursework, professional certifications, etc. Additional considerations could include type and quality of work experience, and leadership among others. 

    A strong GMAT or GRE score can make a candidate more competitive for certain merit-based scholarships. 


    Is an interview required?

    Interviews play a critical role in our assessment of candidates and are required prior to acceptance into the Future Year Scholars Program.

    An invitation-only interview is conducted after your application has been submitted and reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
    Invitations to interview are sent on a rolling basis up to and including the decision release date for each round. There is no significance as to when an interview invitation is sent; an invitation to interview should be seen as positive indicator no matter when it is received.

    Candidates for the Future Year Scholars Program may interview with a member of the admissions staff. Due to COVID-19, all interviews will be conducted virtually for the foreseeable future.


    What is the interview format?

    Our interviews are 30–45 minutes in length and your interviewer will not have read your application nor resume. It is our policy to conduct blind interviews, so there is no need to send or bring in your resume to the interview.


    Is there a deposit?

    Yes. Admitted Future Year Scholars are required to pay a non-refundable, $500 tuition deposit each year prior to matriculation to hold their place in a future class. They will be asked to pay the remainder of the tuition deposit for the incoming class the year in which they matriculate.


    What type of job should I pursue after college before coming back to Darden?

    We encourage students to explore industries, functions and geographies that will begin shaping them into the leaders they aspire to be. Current Future Year Scholars are working in fields such as consulting, local government, defense, investment banking, or starting their own company.

    While admitted scholars are expected to work for 2-5 years prior to coming to Darden, having a job offer at the time of application is not required. However, it should be shared within the application if secured. 


    Would I need to decide whether I will work for 2-5 years immediately upon admittance?

    No. Admitted scholars will be asked each year, starting one year after their graduation, whether or not they plan on matriculating to Darden the following fall. Students need to gain a minimum of two years of professional experience before beginning at Darden.




  • Connect with Us

    Schedule a Conversation

    Schedule a phone conversation with a member of Darden's Admissions Committee or attend a virtual coffee chat with fellow prospective students to discuss how Darden could help launch your career.


    Join Us For An Event

    We host a variety online events. An event is a great way to make a personal connection while learning more about the Future Year Scholars Program. 


    Email Us

    If you have any questions about the Future Year Scholars Program or the admissions process, contact us at [email protected].

FYSP Admissions Roadmap

Future Year Scholars Program
Admissions Roadmap

Download the 2021 Future Year Scholars Roadmap to stay on track with your application and deferral period.


With a few years to gain experience between undergrad and business school, I was able to take a career risk by accepting a position at a smaller company and in a niche industry.  The knowledge that I could return to Darden and potentially make a career change after graduation encouraged me to take a job I may not have otherwise.

Zak DePasquale (Future Year Scholar)
Class of 2022

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