UVA Darden Innovates Executive MBA, Deepens Program’s Ties to the DC Area

12 October 2018

By Julie Daum

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announced several innovations to its Executive MBA (EMBA) and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) formats.

Starting with the Class of 2021, for which the School is now recruiting, Darden’s EMBA and its more globally intensive option, GEMBA, will operate primarily from the School’s new state-of-the-art facility in the Rosslyn district of downtown Arlington, Virginia, with key touchpoints throughout the program at the Darden Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Darden will introduce several curricular innovations to the Executive MBA, including a new series of “Explorations in Enterprise Leadership” courses on topics such as health care, leading in a volatile world, and challenges and opportunities in emerging markets. The new courses will be presented in partnership with senior leaders from McKinsey & Co., the U.S. Army and the World Bank, among others.

A new, expanded professional advancement module will offer personalized career assessment and development tracks to help students establish and reach their career goals ― whether they want to advance in their current organizations, explore new opportunities, or start or grow a venture. Graduates of the program will receive free career management services for life through Darden’s Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services.

To make the program easily accessible to students commuting from most U.S. metropolitan areas or international gateway cities, the once-a-month Rosslyn residencies will now take place at the UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds from Friday at noon to Sunday afternoon. The Sands Family Grounds are conveniently located near Union Station, and Reagan National and Dulles International airports. The program of approximately 140 students will run two simultaneous sections out of Rosslyn that will offer an expanded network.

“Since the integrated program first offered a learning location in the Washington, D.C. area in 2016, demand for the D.C.-based offering has exceeded our expectations,” said Darden Dean Scott Beardsley. “We are committed to relentless innovation and student satisfaction, and these latest enhancements are designed to optimize the learning experience and ROI for our executive students.”

The Best of Both (and All) Worlds

Darden’s Executive MBA prepares responsible leaders for high performance through distance learning, monthly weekend residencies and global residencies.

Approximately one-third of the program is taught by distance learning, including online classes and virtual team meetings designed for the working professional.

The Rosslyn residencies at the UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds will take place at the School’s new, modern learning space comprised of 40,000 square feet on the top two floors of an office building at 1100 Wilson Boulevard, with 360-degree views of the capital region and access to a 5,000-square foot rooftop terrace. Just outside of the LEED-EB Gold Certified building, which offers multiple amenities, is the two-block-long Freedom Park, a walkway lined with gardens that offers a quiet and green refuge in the bustling urban environment.

The entrance to the UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds welcomes visitors to a state-of-the-art learning facility.
Views from the Sands Family Grounds include the National Mall and the Georgetown district of Washington, D.C.
The Sands Family Grounds include several state-of-the-art tiered and flat classroom spaces.
Freedom Park provides a dynamic green space adjacent to 1100 Wilson Boulevard, home of the Sands Family Grounds.
The UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds are located on the top two floors of a high-rise building in the Rosslyn district of downtown Arlington, Virginia.
The Sands Family Grounds' iconic spiral staircase connects classroom and learning facilities to event and meeting space.
The executive board room at the UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds
Darden's new state-of-the-art facility in the Washington, D.C., area offers abundant event space for Darden and outside events.

While the 21-month program will be based primarily in Rosslyn, students will continue to spend time in Charlottesville for professional enrichment and networking at UVA — one of the world’s great research universities and the only university in the United States designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“Students will get the best of both worlds,” said Darden Associate Dean for Executive Degree Programs and Leadership Initiatives Jim Detert. “They will have access to all that Washington, D.C. ― a global gateway where business, non-profits, and government intersect ― has to offer. They will also spend time at one of the nation’s top public universities and benefit from the wide array of student opportunities there, from athletics to career development to distinguished speakers to the University’s great facilities. On top of that, they will have multiple opportunities to see different parts of the world.”

Business leaders accepted into the Executive MBA program will be given the choice to experience one or more global residencies in either Brazil, China, Europe or India. Students who choose the GEMBA format will experience all four global residencies. In addition, all students can further increase their global exposure by participating in other elective courses that Darden offers in 20 countries or by shaping their own global consulting project.

“Like all of Darden’s programs, the Executive MBA is designed and delivered every step of the way by Darden’s top-ranked teaching faculty,” said Detert. “We are one of the only Executive MBA programs that uses the case method across the curriculum. This allows students to immediately see the practical implications of everything they learn.”

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.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia