The application to join Darden’s Full-Time MBA Class of 2026 is now available!

We are excited to share a few highlights of the application and resources available to prospective students for the 2023-24 admissions cycle:

  • More opportunities than ever to connect with Admissions and the Darden community in-person, including coffee chats, multi-school events, networking events, class visits and on-Grounds programming
  • Wider range of standardized test flexibility (including the new GMAT Focus Edition and revised GRE) and test waivers for qualified applicants

We recently shared our application deadlines and short answer essay questions – view the blog post here for more information, or visit our step-by-step application guidelines web page.

Early Action Application Round

Once again for the 2023-24 admissions cycle, Darden will offer an Early Action round with a binding and non-binding option.

All Early Action applicants have the option to schedule their own admissions interview (availability to be announced the first week of August) and receive early consideration for the full suite of Darden scholarships.

Managing Director of Admissions Whitney Kestner

During the introductory application launch webinar, Managing Director of Admissions Whitney Kestner noted, “Early Action has a self-initiated interview, while every other interview is by invitation only. The admissions interview is a great way for applicants to add on to what has already been shared with us through the submitted application – it’s a way to really highlight why you’re excited about Darden in particular, and what you’re looking to accomplish with an MBA.”

Standardized Tests and Test Waivers

A range of standardized test options will be accepted again this year, including GMAT, GMAT Focus Edition, revised GRE, MCAT, LSAT and the Executive Assessment. These tests are all viewed equivalently by the admissions team. For applicants who would like demonstrate their academic readiness without a standardized test, Darden Admissions will again offer a standardized test waiver request process. More details regarding the test waiver request coming soon!

Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke

Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke shared, “Our philosophy is that not all stellar applicants are equally stellar test takers. There are applicants who shine for different reasons. Some people are perfectly academically qualified, but perhaps they struggle with regard to the standardized test. Perhaps there’s one standardized test that’s a little bit better suited for your test-taking style. Interestingly, in the Class of 2025, there are equal number of people who submitted and were admitted with a GMAT score, as there were a GRE score. That data underlines that we truly don’t favor one test over another.


For insights on the new application cycle, view the webinar recording featuring Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke and Senior Managing Director of Admissions Whitney Kestner as they shared application updates and admissions insights for the 2023-24 application cycle.

Clarke also noted, “In the admissions process, we’re ultimately looking for people who are going to be impactful leaders and make a difference. Some of those leadership skills rely on interpersonal and communication competence, which is why 100 percent of the students who are admitted are interviewed before they’re part of a Darden cohort. That should be reassuring to applicants, because you’re going to be in class with people who have been considered for their interpersonal and communication skills.”

“We also like to see evidence of leadership, teamwork and collaboration because these are themes that contribute to a person’s leadership style. Darden is a general management program and a case method program, and I can’t overemphasize how much I hear from students, that one of their biggest takeaways is the extent to which they learned from each other during their time here.”


We sincerely value and appreciate reapplicants! If applicants are a little short on experience or certain skills, and then work to improve those elements of their application, that shows dedication and perseverance. Reapplicants typically comprise about 15 percent of each entering class.

Darden offers the ability to replicate or “clone” your application from the 2022-23 application cycle. If you are planning to reapply, please visit our Reapplicant web page to fill out the request form to have your data transferred to the 2023-24 application.