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Applying to Darden

MBA - Admissions - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Darden is committed to maintaining a thorough and fair admissions process for all applicants. In this section, you will find answers to our most frequently asked questions. Don't see your question here? Email us. We also encourage you to schedule a conversation and connect with a member of our Admissions Committee.


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FAQ about the Darden MBA format and application process are sorted into the following categories:

  • General

    What MBA formats does Darden offer?

    How can I learn more about the Darden MBA?

    Does Darden have research centers?

    Yes, Darden is home to the following research centers, each concerned with a unique aspect of the business world:

    What dual degree programs does Darden offer?

    • MBA/MSDS
    • MBA/JD
    • MBA/MD
    • MBA/MPH
    • MBA/MEd
    • MBA/ME
    • MBA/MSN
    • MBA/MA in Government or Foreign Affairs
    • MBA/MA in East Asian Studies
    • MBA/Ph.D.
    • MBA/MPP

    Visit Dual Degrees for more information.

    What if I already have an MBA? Can I still apply?

    No, if you have already received an MBA from an AACSB-accredited school, you are not eligible to apply to Darden. 

    What global opportunities does Darden offer?

    The Darden School connects with approximately 80 countries each year through academic programs, consulting programs and visits, and students are expected to have at least one global experience during their time here. For more information, please visit our Global Opportunities page.

    Can I begin the MBA in the spring?

    Darden offers only fall admission.

    Does Darden accept transfer credits?


    Is it possible to work part time while enrolled in the full-time MBA?

    The MBA is in fact a full-time format. During the First Year, students begin their days with 8 a.m. classes and end their days in the evening with learning team meetings. Hours that are not scheduled are typically used for club meetings, recruiting and case preparation. The schedule does not leave enough time to work a part-time job. If you are interested in a more flexible format that allows you to work while attending classes, please check out Darden's Executive MBA Formats.

    If I am offered admission, can I defer my enrollment?

    Please apply to Darden in the year before you wish to enter the program. Deferral requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but have only recently been granted for reasons related to military service or health issues. College seniors who have also been accepted into Teach for America’s program may defer admission until after their two years of service. In addition, some college seniors and recent college graduates may be offered deferred admission to attend in a subsequent year.

    What organizations and resources are available for women and/or underrepresented minorities?


    Are there special resources for the military?

    Yes, please visit the Darden Military and Darden Military Association websites.

  • Application

    What are the application requirements?

    Visit Application Requirements.

    When should I apply, and what are the application deadlines?

    Offers of admission are based on merit. There is no evaluative advantage to applying in an earlier deadline. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, however, it is best to apply by the earliest deadline possible. Visit Financial Aid and Application Deadlines to learn more.

    If I have already taken the GMAT, should I take the GRE?

    No. You only need to take one of these exams. If you have taken the GMAT, we will have access to that score. Taking both tests will not give you an evaluative advantage.

    My test score is about to expire. Will you still accept it?

    Standardized test scores must be valid as of the deadline date of the round in which you apply. GMAT and GRE scores are reportable for five (5) years following the test date, and standardized test scores are considered valid for the Darden admissions process if they fall within that five-year period. For example, scores for a test taken on September 2, 2019 are valid through September 1, 2024. 

    What are the minimum requirements for the GMAT, GRE and GPA?

    Darden has no minimum requirements for the GMAT, GRE or GPA. If you take the GMAT or GRE multiple times, Darden will consider your highest total score when evaluating your application — we do not combine scores. For more information, view the Class Profile.

    My undergraduate college does not grade students with the GPA system, but with the percentage system. Should I leave the min and max GPA range on the application blank?

    If your undergraduate institution does not use a GPA, then please leave that field on the application blank. We can see from your transcript more about the grading system used.

    If I am applying for a dual degree program, will you accept my LSAT or MCAT score?

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    You will need to apply and gain admission to both Darden and the participating joint program. Visit Dual Degrees for more information.

    What if there isn't enough space for me to enter my information in some of the data fields? How strict are the length limitations for essay questions?

    Some fields are deliberately restricted. With regard to the essay, applicants should respond to the essay question within the stated limit.

    Can I fax, mail or e-mail in my recommendations and/or transcripts?

    Yes, but they must arrive in our office by the deadline:

    Mailing Address: 
    Darden School Admissions 
    100 Darden Blvd 
    Charlottesville, VA 22903

    Fax: +1-434-243-5033

    Email: [email protected]


    Can I get supplemental recommendations?

    Yes, but use discretion. Please limit supplemental recommendations to those individuals who can supply additional insight into your experience.

    How will I know if Darden has received my recommendations?

    Our online application is designed to allow your recommenders to submit their recommendations electronically. Once the recommendation has been submitted, you will receive a notification email.


    My official test scores and transcripts will not reach Darden in time for the deadline. Will my application still be considered for that deadline?

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    May I request an application fee waiver?

    The following are eligible for application fee waivers: Teach for America corps members and alumni (Code: 10029), Peace Corps volunteers (Code: 10039), Education Pioneers fellows (Code: 10049), Forté MBALaunch members (Code: 10059), current undergraduate students (Code: 10069) and U.S. military members (Code: 10019). Citizens of countries on the UN's list of least developed countries also qualify for an application fee waiver (Code: 10089). If you qualify for a waiver, please use the appropriate code when prompted in the application. If you have further questions, please email us at [email protected]

    If I applied before and was denied, offered or waitlisted, can I reapply next year?

    Yes, all re-applicants need to submit a new application and check the box in the application that indicates you have previously applied. The committee will review your previous application along with your current one. If you applied one year ago, you are required to submit only one recommendation from an individual who can speak to your professional and personal development since your last application. If you applied two or more years ago, you will need to submit two recommendations.


    How does Darden maintain a fair admissions process?

    At Darden we do not tolerate conflicts of interest, and all UVA Darden personnel are prohibited from engaging in any outside employment or consulting which presents a conflict of interest with their duties (// Individuals with any ethical or other concerns in the admissions process are able to report such concerns by email so that they can be independently reviewed and investigated.


    How do you assess candidates for the Darden MBA?

    A minimum of three members of the Admissions Committee will review and evaluate your application based on three broad areas: academics, professional experience and personal qualities and characteristics. A balance in the three areas is valued, but there is no formula that ensures admission. Darden does not have any specific prerequisites, but accounting and statistics are recommended before matriculation. Visit Admissions Criteria for further details.

    How much work experience do I need?

    Although we have no minimum requirements, the average is four years and the range is usually one to ten years.


    I do not have an undergraduate business degree nor do I work in a "business" functional area. Am I eligible for admission?

    Yes, typically fewer than 50% of our students were undergraduate business or economics majors. Darden students come from a variety of settings, including non-profit, government, entrepreneurial/start-ups as well as traditional business settings. To find out more about our entering class, visit the MBA Class Profile.


    Can I apply to Darden if I already have an MBA?

    The Darden School of Business does not admit students who have already completed an MBA from an AACSB accredited institution. To find out if a school is accredited by AACSB, please refer to the AACSB website.


    Do internships and cooperative education count as work experience?

    They may be considered valuable experiences, but should not be counted as full-time work experience.

  • Visits & Interviews

    What can I do during my visit to Darden?

    The Visiting Darden website contains information on class visits and other recommended activities.


    What should I do if the website says that no class visit slots are available?

    Verify that you have filled out the class visit registration form. Please note that slots may be full for the day that you are looking at, and class visits are not available during exams, reading days, holidays or on days with planned programming at Darden.


    What are the best days to attend a class?

    Class visits are available Monday through Thursday while school is in session.

    How do I schedule a class visit?

    To schedule a class visit, you will first need to fill out a short registration form, and then schedule a visit from the available slots.

    May I bring a guest/partner to a class visit?

    Your partner (significant other) is welcome to join you on your visit to Darden. However, due to limited space, we kindly ask partners to refrain from attending the class visit.

    Visit the Darden Partners Association (DPA) website for information about the club and its activities, as well as contact information for current members. The DPA helps new members make a smooth transition to Charlottesville and business school life through hospitality, job networking, family resources, community service and social events. Parents should not join you for a class visit or interview.

    How do I cancel or reschedule my class visit?

    Please go back to the website and reschedule your appointment. If you are within 48 hours of your scheduled visit, please contact Jenna Wines at 800-UVA-MBA1 or +1-434-924-7281 or by email.

    Is an interview required?

    Interviews play a critical role in our assessment of candidates and are required prior to acceptance into the program. An invitation-only interview is conducted after your application has been submitted and reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

    Candidates living in the United States must interview on the Darden Grounds with a member of the Admissions staff or Student Admissions Committee. Candidates living abroad are welcome to interview on the Darden Grounds, but are not expected to do so. International interviews are conducted by alumni or Admissions Committee members traveling overseas or by phone or Skype.

    Interview notification can take place at any time up until the decision release date for the deadline in which you have applied and may not necessarily fall during the designated interview periods. For important Admissions deadlines, visit Application Deadlines.

    What do I need to do to schedule a consortium interview?

    The Consortium changed the interview policy starting with the 2011-2012 application season. A Consortium interview is no longer a component of the Consortium application. Darden Admissions will invite applicants to interview at Darden. Visit the Consortium Application Process page for more information.

  • Financial Aid

    What is the cost of the full-time MBA program?

    For the full cost of attendance, visit our Tuition & Expenses page.

    Who is considered for the merit scholarship?

    If admitted, students will be evaluated for this scholarship, which is competitively awarded based on a variety of metrics and considerations. Visit Scholarships for more information.

    What loan programs are available?

    • Federal Loans — The Federal Stafford Loan Program makes available $20,500 per year to each graduate student who is a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
    • Supplementary Loans — Federal Graduate PLUS loan (for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents only).
    • International Student Loans

    Visit Financial Aid for more information.

    When will my loan funds be available?

    Semester rebate checks will arrive 10 business days following your completion of Final Registration, in mid-September and mid-January.

    Where can I find more information about financial aid?

    The Financial Aid website.

  • International

    How can I learn about application information specific to international applicants?

    Visit International Applicant Information.

    Why is English proficiency required for applicants?

    Darden’s MBA format is built upon an immersive learning experience that requires public speaking, group discussion and active class participation. To succeed, students must possess a highly developed proficiency in written and oral English.

    How are English abilities assessed?

    Written and oral communication, as well as one of the following tests:

    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test)
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    • PTE (Pearson Test of English)

    Are international applicants required to take one of the approved English assessment tests listed above (even if I attended a school where the medium of instruction was English)?

    • Not Required: Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a university where the medium of instruction was English are not required to take an English language assessment test (i.e., they are exempt).
    • Required: Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a university where the medium of instruction was not English are required to take an English language assessment test.
    • Strongly Recommended: Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a university where the medium of instruction was not English, but received a master's or PhD degree from a university where the medium of instruction was English are strongly encouraged to take an English language assessment test.

    What is the minimum acceptable TOEFL score? Do you keep scores submitted in prior years?

    We do not have a minimum requirement, but the average TOEFL is 106. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date.

    I earned an undergraduate degree that required only three years of study. Am I eligible to apply to Darden?


    If I am an international candidate, when should I apply?

    All applicants to Darden should apply in one of our 3 rounds. You can review the application deadlines here.

    How can I contact students for my country/region of the world, and how can I learn more about the international community at Darden?

    Does Darden offer financial aid to international students?

    Yes. Scholarships are available to international students, some of which are specific to a region. Darden also has an international student loan program.

  • Student Life

    What is a typical day like for a first year student?

    • 8:00 a.m.–9:25 a.m. First Class
    • 9:25 a.m.–10:00 a.m. First Coffee
    • 10:00 a.m.–11:25 a.m. Second Class
    • 11:25 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Break
    • 11:45 a.m.–1:10 p.m. Third Class
    • 1:10 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Lunch, school events/activities, meetings, company briefings, etc.
    • 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Learning Team (this is the typical meeting period; times vary by team)

    Where can I learn more about your employment statistics and companies that recruit at Darden?

    What resources are available for my partner to find employment and to learn more about Charlottesville?

    Visit the Darden Partners Association website.

    Where can I find out more information about housing?

    View Student Housing Options.