Mar 26, 2019  
Graduate Record 2009-2010 
Graduate Record 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

M.B.A. for Executives Academic Program

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M.B.A. for Executives Academic Program


Darden’s MBA for Executives Program is designed for practicing managers who do not want to interrupt their careers to get an advanced business degree. The Darden MBA for Executives program translates the traditional Darden experience into a highly rigorous, highly relevant executive MBA. At the end of 23 months, students receive the same MBA degree our full-time students receive. The goal of the MBAExec program is to prepare men and women who have demonstrated leadership and who are practicing managers to lead complex organizations through a dynamic business environment. To succeed, requires an enterprise-wide perspective. Students study business the way business gets done – by making connections across functions within the firm, across companies in the value chain, and around the globe. Using our decision-oriented approach, students gain an understanding of how critical decisions in any area resonate throughout the enterprise.  

Student Body

Student Body

The Darden MBA for Executives program is designed to develop students as leaders and people. Students are challenged: by the rigor of the curriculum, by the quality of the faculty, and most of all, by the knowledge, experience, and commitment of their colleagues. Each class consists of 50 to 60 seasoned individuals with a track record of leadership and both the potential and the drive to reach even greater heights. They have on average 10 to 13 years of work experience (seven years minimum). Together, they represent a cross section of industries, functions, backgrounds and most importantly, perspectives. 




The MBA for Executive curriculum consists of five elements that work together to deliver an enterprise perspective:


  • Leadership Residencies: week-long, multi-disciplinary immersion experiences, concentrating on a current business issue and the leadership challenges it presents
  • Core Curriculum: consists of the same ten courses as our full-time MBA program, delivered in five themed, integrated terms
  • Action Learning course: students apply academic material to their professional context
  • Professional Advancement course: spans most of the program and is an integral part of the curriculum; Students work one-on-one with a professional executive performance coach to apply their learning to a personal leadership challenge. This course also encompasses several career development components that all business leaders need to manage their own career and the careers of others.
  • Next-Level Seminars: some of which are electives, these courses build on and extend the knowledge gained in the core curriculum. These seminars vary from cohort to cohort and are developed to meet the needs and priorities of the students.

Program Design and Delivery

Program Design and Delivery

The MBA for Executives program delivers a concentrated educational experience while preserving the ability to perform work and support family and community. The flexible schedule blends face-to-face sessions and distance learning, allowing students to earn an accredited Darden MBA in just 23 months. Our blended model allows students to study on their own between on-Grounds sessions, yet have sufficient time at Darden to establish a strong learning community and develop a network of colleagues and relationships.


  • Leadership Residencies. Over the course of the program, students enroll in week-long, experiential residencies which focus on a leadership challenge from a business and personal perspective. Students enhance their leadership skills through workshops, coaching and reflection. One of the four leadership residencies takes place outside the United States. 
  • On-Grounds Residencies. Approximately once a month, students come to the Darden Grounds, on the University of Virginia North Grounds, for 2-3 day residencies. Half of these sessions are Friday/Saturday; the other half are Thursday/Friday/Saturday. Classes include traditional cases, simulations, role-play, and individual and group presentations. These face-to-face meetings strengthen our learning community and cement the relationships among students, faculty and staff that are so important to the Darden experience. 
  • Distance Learning. A range of distance learning technologies is utilized to maintain the intense pace of interaction and stay in touch with the Darden community. Students interact with professors, hold virtual team meetings, and work on team deliverables with classmates virtually. This component of the program allows for fewer trips away from home and office to attend classes in Charlottesville. Students can study online anywhere, anytime.

Statement of Standards for the Executive Format Program

Statement of Standards for the MBA Degree for the Executive Format Program

The Darden School requires its MBA students to meet a minimum performance standard for graduation. In addition, the School has performance standards for each term of the Executive Format Program and for each course. The MBA for Executives Program recognizes the grade category of Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U). A U grade includes Unsatisfactory Performance (UP) and Fail (F) and is treated for ASC purposes as a UP grade. A grade of S is inclusive of all the grade categories above UP.



A student will be dismissed from the MBA for Executives Program when the student receives an F grade. In addition, academic standards are enforced on the basis of ASC points as described below:




Dismissal Condition #1 (cumulative grades)

Dismissal Condition #2
(individual semesters)

End of each term and/or Leadership Residency



1 or more F grades


End of term #6


12.0 or more ASC points

1 or more F grades or

4.5 or more ASC points


End of program


15.0 or more ASC points

1 or more F grades or

4.5 or more ASC points




F Course Grade and Makeup Requirements


Students who earn an F interim or final grade in a core course, Learning Residency course, Action Learning course, or Professional Development course must successfully complete, with a minimum grade of LP, an examination or paper covering the entire course. This makeup requirement will be administered by the course head of the relevant course and must be completed within a 90-day period from issuance of the course grade. The course head must inform the Academic Standards Committee of the outcome. Receiving a grade below LP on the examination or paper results in dismissal from the program with no appeal to the Academic Standards Committee.


No makeup activity is required for a student earning an F grade in an elective course. An F grade remains on a student’s transcript and continues to be counted in the student’s performance record.


At the End of Each Term and/or Leadership Residency Course


A student who, at the end of any term and/or Leadership Residency course, has accumulated one or more course-equivalent units of F shall be notified by the Academic Standards Committee, acting on behalf of the faculty, that he or she is dismissed from the MBA for Executives Program. The student may petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission.


End of Core Course Curriculum: Term #6


At the end of Term #6, students normally will have completed core courses (27.0 credit hours). In addition, students normally will have completed 6.0 of the 12 credit hours of Leadership Residency courses: the Action Learning courses (9.0 credit hours), and the Professional Development course (3.0 credit hours).


A student who has received a grade of F in one or more courses or has accumulated 12.0 or more ASC points shall be notified by the Academic Standards Committee, acting on behalf of the faculty, that he or she is dismissed from the MBA for Executives Program but may petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission.


End of Program


At the end of the program, a student who has accumulated 15.0 or more ASC points is dismissed from the MBA for Executives Program and will not be recommended for the MBA degree.




A student who is dismissed from the MBA for Executives Program may petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission, except under the fourth semester of the Full-Time Format Program or the final term of the Executive Format Program condition where the grade record is as stated in Section II-E-3-b of the Darden Policies and Procedures Manual. Readmission will depend on the presence of extenuating circumstances and the ability of the student to complete the remainder of the program satisfactorily.


Grade of Incomplete

The Grade of Incomplete (IN)

The IN grade should be assigned and administered consistently with the following IN grade policy statement:

IN Grade Policy Statement

From time to time, occasions arise that necessitate assigning a student a grade that falls outside the standard range. An IN implies that, for reasons known to the individual faculty member, the student enrolled has not completed his or her work at the end of the specified academic period.

The IN grade can only be assigned by the instructor teaching the course, only after the student has informed the instructor of the problem area, and only after the instructor has specifically reviewed with the student the provisions under which the IN grade is granted.

In assigning an IN grade, a faculty member assumes the responsibility of determining the requirements to be met to replace the IN with a standard grade. In accepting an IN grade, the student must assume the responsibility for clearing the IN grade, normally, on or before the end of the semester immediately following the semester in which the IN assignment was made or, in unusual circumstances, by a time approved by the Academic Standards Committee. (Example: An IN grade assigned in June would normally have to be cleared by the end of the summer term in order for the student to begin classes in the fall. An IN grade assigned in the fall term would normally have to be cleared before the end of the spring term.)

An IN grade can only be cleared by a standard letter grade or a W (withdrawn), not by a second IN. An IN grade that is not cleared by the student within the prescribed period will automatically become an F grade.

Students who receive one or more IN grades will come under Academic Standards Committee jurisdiction and will remain under the Academic Standards Committee until the IN grade becomes a letter grade. At that point, normal rules regarding Academic Standards Committee jurisdiction will apply.

The Academic Standards Committee will take no direct (formal notification) action on an IN grade unless the student’s grades apart from the IN grade(s) warrant Academic Standards Committee action. In essence, the student who receives one or more IN grades will be monitored by the Academic Standards Committee until the IN grade(s) is/are removed.

No student can enter the second year or receive an M.B.A. with an IN grade.

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