In this ongoing blog series, we take a closer look at the innovations detailed in our recent Executive MBA Program press release. Today, we discuss the schedule for students in our Class of 2021. Pro Tip: Be sure to also check out our podcast interview with Jim Detert all about the program innovations, as well as our previous posts about career curriculum enhancements, enterprise leadership course design, our new base location in Rosslyn, and the important role Charlottesville will continue to play in the program.
For executive format students, time and convenience are important considerations. And, in many ways, Darden’s executive formats – Executive MBA (EMBA) and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) – have never been more convenient.
Here’s how the schedule works. We recommend having the below text at hand when you review the Program Calendar for our Class of 2021. You can also find additional schedule-related insights in our FAQs.
Program Length. Our program is a 21-month program consisting of 10, two-month quarters.
Leadership Residencies. All students begin and end the program with a week-long Leadership Residency. LR 1 is in August, prior to the start of Quarter 1. LR 2 is in April, right before graduation.
Weekend Residencies. All weekend residencies take place in Rosslyn in our new, state-of-the-art facility, Sands Family Grounds and occur, on average, once a month. Weekend residencies follow a Friday through Sunday schedule with classes beginning Friday at Noon and concluding Sunday around 3:00 pm.
For those less familiar with the Washington, D.C. area, Rosslyn is located in Arlington, directly across the Potomac River from the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. It is less than five miles from Reagan National Airport and Union Station.
Distance Learning. Our program is hybrid in design, consisting of in-person and online components. Two-thirds of the program is delivered in-person. One third is delivered online, and the online portion consists of distance classes that typically occur twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. ET.
Global Residencies. In addition, all executive format students participate in at least one global residency during their course of study. EMBA format students participate in one of four, week-long global residencies (up to two – space permitting). GEMBA format students participate in all four global residencies. EMBA format student rank preference the four global residencies prior to the start of the program (Editor’s Note: This typically occurs during June/July), and residencies are slotted on a first-come, first-served basis.
For our Class of 2021, the global residency locations will be Brazil (Q2), China (Q4), Western Europe (Q6) and India (Q8). Students have no weekend residencies in a quarter in which they participate in a global residency.
So, how does it all fit together?
The ten, two-month quarters are divided into a core curriculum and an elective period. The core curriculum is the first eight quarters (or sixteen months) of the program. The elective period is the last two quarters (or four months) of the program. Each quarter consists of two in-person weekend residencies (or a global residency) and distance learning. Students typically take 3-4 courses per quarter. It is worth noting that students take one elective in Quarter 7. Otherwise, all electives are delivered in Quarters 9 and 10.
Domestic Quarters vs. Global Quarters. In the core curriculum, there are two kinds of quarters – Domestic Quarters and Global Quarters. In Domestic Quarters, there is no global residency offered. In Global Quarters, a global residency is offered. Students have distance learning in every quarter.
Quarters 1, 3, 5 and 7 are Domestic Quarters. Quarters 2, 4, 6 and 8 are Global Quarters. As noted above, Quarters 9 and 10 are the elective period.
During Domestic Quarters, the full class is in Rosslyn. Our program consists of roughly 135 students divided into two sections of approximately 65 students each. At Sands Family Grounds, we have two large classrooms, as well as a number of flat classrooms, and all students will be in residency at the same time. As previously noted, the full class will be together 14 times over the 21 months of the program.
During Global Quarters, all GEMBA format students and some EMBA format students are away on the corresponding global residency (We typically travel with 60-65 students on these trips). Those EMBA format students who are not traveling on the global residency are in Rosslyn for the two corresponding weekend residencies.
For our Class of 2021, the global residency locations by quarter will be as follows:
Quarter 2: Brazil
Quarter 4: China
Quarter 6: Western Europe
Quarter 8: India
We also offer global electives – Darden Worldwide Courses – for students who wish to further enhance their global exposure.
Electives. Students take a total of seven electives over the course of the program – one elective in Quarter 7 and six electives across Quarters 9 and 10. While we do not offer tracks or specializations, we have a range of electives across a diverse set of topics, including entrepreneurship, finance, design thinking, marketing and more. See our Electives webpage for examples of past offerings.