The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is excited to announce a new specialization in management science.

At Darden, all Full-Time MBA students take the same core courses during the first three quarters of the First Year. Beginning in the fourth quarter and throughout the Second Year, students choose from a diverse selection of more than 100 electives and may pursue a variety of concentrations, including this new specialization.

Here are some answers to frequent questions about the new management science specialization. Please feel free to email us at if you have any additional questions.

What is this specialization?

The management science specialization will build on the required Darden core curriculum, offering students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of quantitative and analytical skills and capabilities.

What courses will result in the specialization designation?

In order to earn the management science specialization, students must complete 12 credit hours of selected courses with a quantitative and analytical focus. The courses are available in a range of academic areas, including Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Quantitative Analysis, Strategy, and Technology and Operations. Forty elective courses currently taught at the School will satisfy the requirement.

Will the specialization appear on my transcript? 

Yes. The specialization will be reflected the transcript for any student who meets the specialization criteria.

Who might consider this specialization?

This specialization will likely be of particular value to students who wish to work in the tech sector and/or our international students. This specialization will signal a capability in analytical thinking as part of a student’s general management skillset.

I’m an international student. Would this specialization potentially affect my ability to work in the U.S. after graduation?

For international students interested in working in the United States after graduation, the new designation may also bolster chances of receiving an H-1B work visa. The new concentration is STEM designated, meaning for international students who want authorization to work in the U.S., it may allow them to qualify for a STEM OPT extension of an additional 24 months to obtain an employer sponsored visa.

Can you share more about the STEM designation and OPT extension?

The STEM designation allows international students holding F-1 status to apply for a 24-month STEM extension of their prior approved 12 months of Post Completion Optional Practical Training (“OPT”). Please note, it is ultimately the decision of the Department of Homeland Security to approve these benefits. Review the Department of Homeland Security’s webpage about the STEM extension.

In addition, this designation may also allow a clearer and more substantial petition if an H-1B petition is filed by a student’s future employer.