UVA Darden Named Among Best in US for Entrepreneurship

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine has ranked the University of Virginia Darden School of Business the No. 7 graduate business school in the U.S. for entrepreneurship.

This Top 10 recognition marks the third straight year Darden has improved in the entrepreneurship ranking, moving up from No. 11 in 2016. Among all the schools ranked, Darden showed one of the largest ranking gains.

“This ranking is an example of one lens to evaluate our success at preparing students for entrepreneurship and their success starting ventures,” said Darden Dean Scott Beardsley. “Recent innovations through Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, including the expansion of the i.Lab at UVA; increase in alumni mentorship; and our continued investments with our alumni and network in Silicon Valley will continue to ensure Darden is a leading business school in the teaching and study of entrepreneurship.”

The ranking, published in the December issue of Entrepreneur, takes into account more than 40 data points in five key areas: academic activities, student and faculty engagement, alumni entrepreneurial activity, offerings outside the classroom and scholarships awarded for entrepreneurship. Darden showed robust performance along each of these dimensions, with key improvements in the following:

  • The number of companies started by graduates over the past 10 years climbed from 199 to 281.
  • Total funding raised by these businesses grew from $397 million to $642 million.
  • The number of these ventures still in business climbed from 62 percent to 86 percent.
  • The number of mentors working with students in sponsored entrepreneurship programs climbed from 48 to 95.

The ranking also cites 28 entrepreneurial courses at Darden and well over 100 startups launched by graduates in the previous five years, among other metrics.

Over the past several years, Darden has become a recognized leader in entrepreneurship, attracting an ever-increasing number of applicants who look to the Darden MBA as a way to advance their entrepreneurial ambitions. Darden’s strengths in entrepreneurship have been accelerated by the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a Center of Excellence for education, thought leadership and venture creation backed by a $130 million endowment.

Through the support of the Batten Institute, one of the largest centers dedicated to entrepreneurship among business schools, Darden offers:

  • Merit-based scholarships for entrepreneurship-oriented students from around the world
  • Leading-edge faculty, whose work in entrepreneurship and innovation includes breakthrough ideas on effectuation and design thinking
  • Diverse and extensive entrepreneurship-related MBA courses and ongoing curricular innovations
  • Venture incubation and acceleration, hosted at Darden through the W.L.  Lyons Brown III i.Lab at UVA
  • Multiple fellowships and internships supporting MBA students interested in joining startups or VC firms
  • Support for University-wide competitions, research partnerships and conferences
  • Online courses, including specializations in design thinking and agile development
  • Tight linkages with entrepreneurial hubs in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.

“Darden’s MBA program, which has always been committed to providing our graduates with an integrated and comprehensive understanding of business, has become preeminent for anyone choosing to follow an entrepreneurial career path,” said Sean Carr, executive director of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “With the resources and opportunities of the Batten Institute, the time has never been better to follow that path at UVA Darden.”

Separately, The Princeton Review also released its annual ranking of U.S. business schools In early November, naming Darden among the Top 10 in 10 categories, including No. 1 for best campus environment and best professors.

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