Last week, Darden’s Executive MBA program announced several exciting updates, including expanded global offerings, increased electives and a simplified schedule.

Over the 21 months of the program, students will now choose from a global residency line-up, featuring as many as 12 locations including Israel, Japan, Ghana, Chile, China and more.

EMBA format students participate in one required, weeklong global residency with the option of adding additional global residencies. GEMBA format students participate in four required, weeklong global residencies. Students in either format seeking an additional global experience may participate in a Global Consulting Project.

Students will now travel between quarters, allowing them to fully immerse in locations. The first travel period will occur after Quarter 3, once students have been in the program for roughly six months. We know from conversations with current students and alumni that it typically takes five to six months for executive-format students to become comfortable and confident with balancing work, life and school, so the adjusted timing for travel will allow students to feel more settled before the first global residencies.

For the Class of 2022, the timing of the global residencies will be:

  • February 2021 (after Quarter 3)
  • June 2021 (after Quarter 5)
  • October 2021 (after Quarter 7)
  • February 2022 (after Quarter 9)

During global residencies, students previously divided their time between class and company visits, speaker events and cultural activities. Now, students will fully focus on exploring the location.

Students in the Class of 2022 will be able to take 12 electives, an increase from the current total of seven. Students choose from electives offered specifically for executive-format students, and courses touch upon a broad range of disciplines and topic areas, including entrepreneurship, leadership, negotiations, design thinking, finance, operations strategy, analytics and more. In terms of structure, the First Year of the program is primarily core curriculum, while the Second Year of the program is primarily electives.

Lastly, the program schedule has been greatly simplified. Because the global residencies will now occur between quarters, all students regardless of format will participate in all weekend residencies, and our executive format schedules are more similar than ever. Consider the following format breakdowns:


  • Two leadership residencies
  • 20 weekend residencies
  • One global residency (with option to participate in additional residencies)
  • distance learning


  • Two leadership residencies
  • 20 weekend residencies
  • Four global residencies
  • distance learning

Our executive formats are very integrated, so regardless of which format students choose, they will learn and travel together. This intentional mixing of classes allows students maximum opportunity to grow and develop their networks. In addition, all executive format students graduate with the exact same degree — a Darden MBA.

We are often asked by prospective students about why students choose one format over another. For many of our EMBA format students, the decision came down to time and schedule. With just 35 class days out of the office over the 21 months of the program, our EMBA format requires the fewest days away from work and home. For GEMBA format students, the decision often involves wanting to do as much as possible during their time in the program, given that this is likely their last major educational experience.

Director of Admissions Brett Twitty recently hosted an Executive MBA overview webinar. In this session, Brett covered the general structure of our executive formats (EMBA and GEMBA) as well as the various program components (leadership residencies, weekend residencies, global residencies and distance learning).

Watch the Executive MBA Program Overview Webinar