UVA’s Darden MBA, Master of Education Dual-Degree Program Celebrates 10 Years

09 June 2021

By Jay Hodgkins

When the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2021 walked the Lawn during Final Exercises on 23 May, 30 of the Full-Time MBA program’s graduates were receiving not just one, but two degrees from the University.

Dual-degree programs are a popular option for Darden students looking to make the most of their graduate school experience, and the MBA/M.Ed. dual-degree program offered with the UVA School of Education and Human Development is one of the most successful. To date, more than 35 MBA/M.Ed graduates have completed the dual degree.

The program, launched in 2011, celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary this year, and the Discover Darden admissions blog celebrated the occasion with a series of posts discussing the history and impact of the program with its students and alumni.

In the first post, Jack McDermott and Samantha Firstenberg of the MBA/M.Ed. Class of 2021 wrote about the program’s impact.

The aim of UVA’s MBA/M.Ed dual degree program is to prepare leaders who create impactful innovations in education.

Ten years later, the program is showing clear signs of success. More than forty leaders have been trained in the Darden MBA/M.Ed. program, many of whom are actively working at the intersection of business and education. Program graduates have entered a variety of impactful careers after Darden, including public school systems and charter management organizations, technology companies like Microsoft, Thinkful, and MURAL, public consulting at Bellwether Education and Alvarez & Marsal, management consulting at Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, and the Boston Consulting Group, and those pursuing higher education management and academia.

The challenges facing education systems remain vast, making the MBA/M.Ed. program even more important in training leaders in the next decade.

In the second post of the three-part series, EY-Parthenon Consultant Vita Wu (MBA/M.Ed. ’20) shared why she chose the program.

Coming from teaching high school science, I knew that I wanted an MBA to break into business. But I also knew that the M.Ed. degree would offer a historical and theoretical perspective for my continued work in education over the long term. I didn’t want to take classes on how to lesson plan or behavior monitor a class, but rather to learn more of the theory and historical background for education, innovation, and educational leadership. I really wanted a deeper understanding of the evolution of education and attempts at innovation in the space. A highlight for me was forming our dual degree cohort and community. I will never forget the debates we had in one course on designing a national curriculum.

In the final post, Julieta Garcia-Vicente (MBA/M.Ed. ’16) shared how the program has helped her lead as an assistant principal of operations at her school, Rocky Mountain Prep.

My degree from Darden gave me the financial, strategic and operational skill sets I needed to turn schools around operationally, and to operate efficient schools that maximize the student experience. The leadership skills I developed at Darden allowed me to successfully manage over 100 team members, and [the School of Education and Human Development] pushed me to think innovatively about education and schools, which was certainly helpful when leading a school through the pandemic.

Darden released its application to the Full-Time MBA Class of 2024 in May. The School will host a webinar on dual-degree programs on 15 June.

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