Darden to add D.C. area location to executive MBA programs
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is adding a Washington, D.C.-area location to its executive MBA programs starting in August.
The new location will give students in Darden’s MBA for Executives (EMBA) and Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA) the choice to attend classes at the U.Va. campus in Charlottesville or the Washington location.
“There’s a huge market in the D.C. area,” says Sankaran Venkataraman, Darden’s senior associate dean for faculty and research. Many executives “because of their workload pressures and family pressures were not inclined to come to Charlottesville but very much wanted to enroll in the [program], so we decided to go the market.”
The 21-month program features once-a-month classes on the weekend. Venkataraman said Washington’s train and airport connectivity also could make the program accessible to executives outside the D.C. area. Darden is leasing space in Rosslyn on the Potomac River, featuring panoramic views of the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.
The addition of the Washington location is just one of the changes being made to Darden’s executive MBA programs. The graduate business school underwent a review of its programs.
Venkataraman said Darden found that its EMBA students wanted more international experiences, while many GEMBA students wanted the opportunity to take electives.
“We concluded there’s an opportunity to synergize these two programs and go to a single format executive program,” he said.
Now students will take the same coursework but choose their base location as well as whether they want to pursue the EMBA or GEMBA. EMBA students are required to do at least one international residency in Brazil, China, India or Europe. GEMBA students will do one-week global residencies in all four locations and can choose to participate in global consulting projects in places like Cuba, Uganda, France, South Africa, Japan or Mexico.
Venkataraman said Darden hopes to grow its program from about 90 to 100 students to 120 to 130 students.
“We will have the same faculty and the same method that that’s made Darden famous around the world — our case method using intensive classroom experiences,” Venkataraman said.