Today, 25 June, is the last application deadline for our Executive MBA class starting this August.

We know many of our readers may be targeting next year’s admissions cycle for admission to the Class of 2022, and we wanted to share a few updates of potential interest.

New Deadlines Coming in July

We will post the deadlines for our 2020 cycle to our deadlines webpage in July. We anticipate that the deadlines will generally follow this year’s structure.

In the interim, we encourage you to review our current deadlines page to get a feel for the general cadence and pacing of our rounds. As you will notice, things move quickly in the Executive MBA application process. Each round has a deadline, a target interview period, a decision release date and a deposit deadline, and, for most rounds, there are three weeks from deadline to decision release.

If you are admitted, you will typically have three weeks to consider our offer, and we will require a single deposit payment to secure your seat in the class (for reference, this year’s deposit amount was $4,000).

When should you apply?

We encourage you to apply as soon as you feel you can put together a strong application. As a general rule, we have the most space in our class and scholarship money to award earlier in our cycle. Most candidates will apply between September and April, but we offer multiple rounds to accommodate the wide variety of schedules and timelines we see in our Executive MBA applicant pool.

New Application Available in Late August

Our 2020 application will launch in late August. In other words, if you are targeting our Executive MBA class starting next August (i.e. our Class of 2022), don’t worry about starting your application now. We will let you know once our new application is available, but here are a few things you can do between now and the app launch:

  • Learn about our application requirements. Our Executive MBA application process is pretty straightforward. To apply you will need a number of items you can begin gathering now — your resume, unofficial transcripts, for example. We also encourage you to read about our recommendations process and begin thinking about potential recommenders.
  • Make plans to take a standardized test. We accept a number of standardized tests in our Executive MBA application process — the Executive Assessment (EA), GMAT, GRE, MCAT and LSAT — and we also offer test waivers in select circumstances. We will even accept an older or expired test scores. We encourage you take some time to explore the Executive Assessment. We’re guessing that of the tests listed above, the EA is the test that is least familiar to you. But don’t let that deter you. At Darden, we are big fans of this test. Why are we such fans? The EA is a 40-question, 90-minute test and requires, on average, 15 to 20 hours of preparation (by comparison to 65-plus for the GMAT or GRE). So, it will fit into your busy schedule more easily than any other standardized test. In addition, the EA is a test of readiness, not aptitude, and this test was created expressly with candidates like you in mind. The Graduate Management Admission Council worked closely with several top Executive MBA Programs to design the test. Their goal? Measuring the skills and knowledge of experienced professionals. Check out our webinar all about the EA as well as our ExecMBA Podcast episode with GMAC’s Manish Dharia and learn more.
  • Explore our program. We have a number of resources to help you continue to explore our Executive MBA (EMBA) and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) formats. You’ve already found the Discover Darden blog (great job!). We also recommend The ExecMBA Podcast as well as the Exec Video Blog. The podcast features regular conversations with current students, faculty, staff and alumni, and it is a great way to learn about the people who shape and define our Executive MBA Program. The video blog contains a number of insights about our application process and program design. Remember that the Darden Executive MBA is based at Darden’s Grounds in the Washington, D.C., metro area, with key touch points in Charlottesville and global residencies around the world.
  • Connect with us. We enjoy getting to know our prospective students, and we hope you will join us for a phone conversation, Office Hour, class visit, event and/or webinar in the coming months. All of these events will give you an opportunity to learn more about Darden, but they will also give us an opportunity to learn more about you. In our application process, some of the biggest questions are why MBA, why Darden and what are your goals post-MBA? Taking advantage of these offerings can help you refine your story and deepen your responses to these questions.

Good luck and stay tuned for additional updates!