UVA Darden Rises to No. 11 in 2017 Forbes MBA Ranking

25 September 2017

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business rose to No. 11 from No. 16 in Forbes’ 2017 Best Business Schools ranking of the top MBA programs in the United States. Darden notched the second largest jump in the rankings among the Top 25 programs.

Forbes compiled data for its ranking from a survey of more than 4,000 business school graduates from the class of 2012 and data submitted by each school. The MBA program ranking is based on Forbes’ “5-year MBA gain” return on investment metric — a measure of graduates’ increased salary after graduation weighed against the actual cost of attending a B-school and the opportunity cost of leaving the workforce to attend school.

The Darden Class of 2012’s 5-year MBA gain was $69,900. The class entered the MBA program with an average pre-MBA salary of $73,000, which grew to $180,000 in 2016.

Darden offered increased affordability to its Class of 2012 as well as increased salary potential, according to Forbes’ data. Tuition increased from the Class of 2010, which was the previous class surveyed for Forbes’ 2015 MBA rankings, but increases in scholarship support more than offset tuition growth.

In the years since 2012, Darden has continued to rapidly grow scholarship support for students, with Dean Scott Beardsley launching the Darden Scholarship Challenge in 2015. Annual philanthropic support for scholarships grew to $13.7 million in the School’s 2017 fiscal year, a 700 percent increase over the 2015 fiscal year.

“Being the most affordable and accessible top business school in the United States is a key priority for Darden, and we have made significant new investments to achieve it,” said Beardsley. “We are pleased to see that Darden’s Class of 2012 made a significant gain in the return on their MBA investment. Increasing in the Forbes ranking is an indicator that we have made positive moves in affordability, but we will not see the impact of recent scholarship investments until five-plus years from now.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

David Hendrick
Associate Director, Editorial & Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia