MBA-focused publication Poets & Quants recently spoke with several students in the inaugural Part-Time MBA program and highlighted the new MBA format’s flexibility for working professional students.

In August, Darden welcomed the newest cohorts of both the Executive MBA and Part-Time MBA programs. All MBA formats benefit from Darden’s top-ranked faculty, No. 1 ranked education experience, and outstanding career support.

The new Part-Time MBA, which can be completed in 28 to 48 months, includes 68 students with five-and-a-half years of work experience, on average, and represent 54 unique employers across 16 industries. Thirty-two percent of the members in the matriculated cohort have advanced degrees, and the Class includes 40 percent female students and 32 percent minority students. Learn more about the inaugural cohort.

Applications are now open for the Part-Time MBA, Executive MBA and Full-Time MBA programs. Register here for the Part-Time MBA Application Launch Webinar on Thursday, 8 September at 6 p.m. Eastern.

From Poets & Quants:

Parker Lapeyre, a student in the Part-Time MBA cohort, decided the program was the right fit for him because leaving his established career to pursue a two year residential MBA didn’t make sense. An investment banking associate at an M&A boutique in Washington, D.C., he already had the job that many MBA graduates would want, having spent nearly five years in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, moving up from analyst to associate.

Lapeyre shared, “When Darden came out with this program, I had a double take. I could go to a top school, keep my job, and do an MBA with the case method. It was a no-brainer for me.”

The University of Virginia mascot, Cav Man, celebrates the first day of school with MBA students.

“It’s important to us that students who graduate from the part-time program have an MBA that feels like a Darden MBA experience,” says Yael Grushka-Cockayne, senior associate dean for professional degree programs. “So we kept our cohort model where folks march through the core curriculum of the program, learn from each other and are inspired by their classmates. They are taught by a Socratic case-study method by the same faculty who teach in our full-time and Executive MBA programs.”

Yael Grushka-Cockayne on the first day of the 2022-23 school year.

Grushka-Cockayne notes that the “contact hours” with faculty are exactly the same for the part-time program as they are with the full-time program. “We have a core that lasts about a year and one-half with the same core classes in the same sequence as the residential program, just slower paced,” she adds. “And the last year and one half is more flexible. Students can take more or fewer electives at any time. They can take an extra year if they need to or they can speed it up. You get the cohort experience in the core, and in the electives, they can have a more customizable path, catering it to their needs.”