Darden School of Business Acceptance Rate, Ranking, and More

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business was established in 1955 as UVA’s graduate business school and named after Virginia Governor Colgate Whitehead Darden Jr. 

Along with the main campus, the Darden School of business has locations in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Shanghai, giving the school an international reach.

Darden provides executive education to organizations across the globe, such as in Bahrain, Israel, Singapore, and Russia, among other countries. 

The business school also partners with schools across the globe in exchange and research programs.

Graduate students at the Darden School of Business can pursue Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Business Analytics degrees as well as PhDs.

Along with degree programs, the school offers executive education and lifelong learning options.

The Darden School of Business coordinates and maintains a number of centers and initiatives designed to further research and understanding of significant issues in business and economics while simultaneously providing educational opportunities and direction to students of the school.

Research centers at the school include the Batten Institute and The Institute for Business and Society

The former provides students with opportunities for developing their entrepreneurial understanding, and the latter offers multidisciplinary research opportunities aimed at transforming the role of business in society.

One notable initiative at the school includes The Intelligence Initiative, which studies the potential impact of artificial intelligence on society and the role of the business sector in managing its impact.

Another one is the Global Water Initiative, which pursues research and provides policy advice around the challenges of managing water to balance local and global use.

The major research opportunities afforded to students by the Darden School of Business and the reputation of the University of Virginia as a whole will be sure to draw many aspiring business leaders to apply to the Darden School of Business.

University of Virginia Darden School of Business Acceptance Rate

University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Workman, Darden School, Univ of Virginia, CC BY-SA 4.0

The acceptance rate for the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is 30%

The class of 2024 at the school is made up of 348 students representing 48 countries 

Data from the University of Virginia’s Institutional Research and Analytics website shows that the Darden School of Business received between 2,316 and 3,030 yearly completed applications from the 2010-2011 to the 2019-2020 academic years. 

The 2011-2012 year saw the lowest number of applications at 2,316, and the 2014-2015 year saw the 10-year peak of applications at 3,030.

The same 10-year period saw the 2010-2011 year with the lowest acceptance rate; 662 out of 2,411 applicants were offered admission for an acceptance rate of 27%. 

The 2019-2020 year saw the highest acceptance rate, with the school offering admission to 984 out of 2,398 applicants for an acceptance rate of 41%.

While the acceptance rate at the Darden School of Business has varied from 27% to 41% over these 10 years, the enrollment rate has remained about the same, with the lowest enrollment rate being 45% and the highest being 51%. 

From this, it is clear that once offered admission to the school, aspiring MBA graduates find the opportunity to study at Darden quite compelling.

UVA Darden School of Business Ranking

The Darden School of Business is highly regarded among many ranking institutions, with U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg News, Times Higher Education, and The Economist all viewing the business school favorably.

U.S News and World Report places the Darden School of Business at number 14 in list of the Best Business Schools and ranks its management MBA program at number 5, beating out Yale’s business school for its management MBA program. 

U.S. News and World Report also ranked the school’s full-time MBA class of 2021 in first place for average starting salary among graduate MBA programs in public universities and in first place for students who had guaranteed jobs by graduation.

Bloomberg.com also views the Darden School of Business favorably, giving the school an overall ranking of number 9 for the best business schools in the country and at number 10 for compensation among U.S business schools. 

Furthermore, Bloomberg ranks the school highly for learning, networking, entrepreneurship, and diversity, with the school placing at numbers 10, 23, 19, and 32, respectively.

QS World University Rankings’ Masters In Management list saw the Darden School of Business place at number 9 for 2022 and move up to number 7 for the 2023 ranking. 

Darden has risen in The Economist’s rankings as well, with its MBA program moving up two spots from its 2019 national and global rankings to be ranked at number 12 in the US and at number 14 in the world in 2022.

No matter what method of ranking business schools one prefers, it is clear that the Darden School of Business provides some of the best opportunities and outcomes for its MBA students and graduates.

Darden School of Business Requirements

University of Virginia
UVA Campus Rotunda – Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Darden School of Business reviews all applicants holistically to gain the best picture of an applicant’s potential for success at the school.

Students in the class of 2024 had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.48. The class’ average combined GRE score was 319, and those who took the GMAT had an average score of 720.

Students interested in applying to the University of Virginia’s graduate business school begin the application process by choosing from one of the school’s four application deadlines. 

Applicants can apply through Darden’s Early Action plan, having both a binding and non-binding version, or one of the three Regular Decision windows.

The deadline for applying through the Early Action plan is September 8, and the deadlines applicable to the Regular Decision windows are October 5, January 5, and April 5.

Applicants may be invited to interview with the school as part of the application and admission process.

Along with choosing one’s preferred application window, students also need to select the program for which they are applying: MBA or Executive.

After choosing one’s preferred application window and program, applicants will need to collect and upload transcripts from all degree-granting institutions they have attended, their resumes, and, at least one, but up to two letters of recommendation from someone who can speak to their professional or academic performance.

Applicants will need to respond to Darden’s three short-answer questions, submit standardized test scores, or contact the school regarding a test waiver. Darden accepts GRE, MCAT, LSAT, or Executive Assessment scores.

Upon completion and submission of a student’s application, they will be required to pay a $250 application fee or request a waiver from the school.

Notable Alumni of the Darden School of Business

The Darden School of Business has produced many notable alumni since it was founded in 1955. These graduates have found success in business, politics, finance, and other fields.

Among these notable graduates of the school are the one-time CEO of Dunkin Donuts, John D. Shafer, Jr., Ned Hooper, who served Cisco Systems as its chief strategy officer and senior vice president, and Robert Citrone, the co-founder of Discovery Capital Management.

Additional business leaders who graduated from Darden are George David, who served as the CEO and chairman of United Technologies Corporation, William A. Hawkins, a former CEO and president of Medtronic Inc., and Hal Lawton, the current president and CEO of Tractor Supply Company.

Graduates from the Darden School of Business who have found success in the world of politics include Lewis F. Payne Jr., who served Virginia as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1988 to 1997, and Mark Sanford, who served South Carolina as both a member of the House of Representatives and as its governor.

These are just some of the graduates of the Darden School of Business who have gone on to find success and notoriety in a wide range of careers in business, public service, politics, technology, and healthcare. 

With the quality of education provided by the program combined with the leadership skills and opportunities for networking provided by attending the school and joining its alumni association, any graduate of the school can hope to meet the same success as these notable alumni.

Should You Attend the University of Virginia Darden School of Business?

Attending the Darden School of Business will provide aspiring leaders in the business with many opportunities to form lasting connections with fellow students, professors, and others in the business community. 

These connections will serve graduates well as they navigate the dynamic changes often present in the world of business.

In addition to the classroom education and networking opportunities afforded by attending the Darden School of Business, the institution operates a number of research centers and initiatives that seek to further knowledge and understanding of the pressing issues in society and the business world. 

Students considering applying to Darden will be encouraged by the school’s continual high rankings by institutions such as the U.S. News and World Report, QS World University Rankings, Bloomberg, and The Economist.

The flexibility afforded by its multiple admission windows as well as the choice of full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs provide future or existing business leaders with a wide range of options.

The many successful and notable alumni further attest to the quality of education and wealth of opportunities available to students and graduates from this esteemed school of business.

Whether one wishes to become an entrepreneur, take on an executive role at a major corporation, or enter into sales and marketing, earning an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia is sure to provide one with the necessary knowledge and leadership skills to find success.

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