Managing Director of Admissions Brett Twitty recently hosted a webinar fielding frequently asked application-related questions from Executive MBA and Part-Time MBA applicants.
If you missed the session, check out the recording and read on for answers to a few of the most popular inquiries from applicants!
And now, time for a few FAQs!
When is it a good time to apply?
We still have a number of upcoming deadlines for both programs, so you’re still in great shape if you’re interested in joining the students enrolling at Darden this August! While the classes have begun to develop, we still have seats available and scholarship money to award. We will continue to accept applications for the programs until the classes fill. Our Part-Time and Executive MBA (working professional formats) admissions cycles typically extend until the late spring/summer.
We encourage applicants to apply as soon as they can put together a strong application, and we offer multiple deadlines to give busy working professional applicants flexibility!
In terms of timing, it’s about three weeks from application deadline to decision release, and admitted students have around three weeks to finalize their decision.
Can I be simultaneously evaluated for multiple Darden MBA formats (i.e. Full-Time MBA, Part-Time MBA, Executive MBA)?
Applicants may only be evaluated for one format of the Darden MBA at a time. We encourage applicants to target the format that best aligns with their desired schedule, experience and interests.
But what if your format interest changes after you’ve pressed submit? Not a problem. Simply contact our admissions team, and we will share a form in which you may request your application be moved to another format evaluation process. Learn more about being evaluated for an additional formats on our web page under the “Admissions” tab.
How do I decide between taking a standardized test and submitting a test waiver request?
There are two pathways for Executive MBA and Part-Time MBA applicants when it comes to standardized tests: either submit a test score OR submit a test waiver request along with application materials. Before we talk about an approach for thinking about these paths, let’s start with a little more detail about these options.
In these application processes, we accept a number of standardized tests — Executive Assessment (EA), GMAT, GRE, MCAT and LSAT — and we view all of these tests equivalently for both admissions and scholarship evaluation purposes. Applicants are required to report all valid test scores (i.e. not canceled or expired) for the above tests, and applicants can even apply with an older or expired test score, provided they still have documentation reflecting their score breakdown (as the testing service will no longer be able to produce a report reflecting your performance).
The Executive Assessment has historically been the most popular standardized test with Executive MBA applicants, largely because of the comparative preparation time (the EA requires on average 20-30 hours of study vs. 60-65+ for the average U.S.-based GMAT or GRE taker).
We also offer a test waiver request option for Executive MBA and Part-Time MBA applicants, and the test waiver request form is actually located in the application. View these additional blog posts that discuss our test waiver processes here: Executive MBA and Part-Time MBA. The Admissions Committee will evaluate the test waiver request along with the full application and provide an update regarding the test waiver request at the time of decision.
Now, let’s talk strategy. Let’s begin by discussing what a standardized test does in the application process. At a high-level, a test score provides a data point regarding an applicant’s readiness for the academic experience at Darden.
When approaching the test waiver request process, we encourage you to think about your application as if you were a member of the Darden Admissions Committee. With this this perspective in mind, could you make an objectively convincing case regarding your academic readiness? If the answer is “yes”, then a test waiver may make sense. If the answer is “not sure” or “no”, that is where a test score can be helpful.