Apr 17, 2024  
Graduate Record 2015-2016 
Graduate Record 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

MBA for Executives

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Return to: Darden Graduate School of Business Administration: Programs/Courses  

Darden’s MBA for Executives is designed for experienced professionals who want to continue working full time while earning their MBA degree. The 21-month program prepares practicing managers for high-performance leadership. Through a curriculum that includes core courses, electives and intensive leadership residencies, students develop an enterprise perspective on business. 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.

Student Body

Each class consists of 60-65 practicing managers with a track record of leadership with both the potential and the drive to reach even greater heights. They have on average 13 years of work experience (seven years preferred 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:

  • Four Leadership Residencies: week-long, multi-disciplinary immersion experiences, concentrating on a current business issue and the leadership challenges it presents: one of the leadership experiences is delivered outside the United States;
  • Core Curriculum: consists of the same ten courses as our full-time MBA program;
  • Action Learning course: students apply academic material to their professional context;
  • Professional Advancement course: an integral part of the curriculum, the professional advancement course spans the elective terms. Students work one-on-one with an executive performance coach to apply their learning to a personal leadership challenge. The course also encompasses career development components that all business leaders need to manage their own career and the careers of others;
  • Electives build on and extend the knowledge gained in the core curriculum. Elective offerings reflect the interests of the cohort as well as faculty resources.

Program Design and Delivery

The MBA for Executives delivers a concentrated educational experience while preserving the ability to be fully employed and support family and community service. The schedule blends face-to-face sessions and distance learning, allowing students to earn the Darden MBA in just 21 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 lifelong professional and personal network.

  • Leadership Residencies. Over the course of the program, students participate in four week-long, experiential residencies which focus on personal and professional leadership challenges.  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 three day residencies — (Thursday/Friday/Saturday).  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. Through scheduled online sessions with faculty, and virtual learning team meetings students stay connected to Darden.  (Online sessions are recorded for students unable to attend due to scheduling confilicts.)   This component of the program allows for fewer trips away from home and office to attend classes in Charlottesville. Students study online anywhere, anytime.

IN Grade Policy Statement

From time to time, occasions arise that necessitate assigning a student a grade that falls outside the standard range. An Incomplete (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 MBA with an IN grade.

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