The University of Virginia Darden School of Business will expand to the Washington, D.C. area from its campus in Charlottesville, Va., this August, offering its Executive MBA and Global Executive MBA programs at its new campus in Rosslyn, Va. The UVA MBA program expects about 50 students at its new campus in August and plans to collaborate with the other business schools in Washington such as Howard University School of Business, The George Washington University School of Business and Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
According to Sankaran Venkataraman, senior associate dean for faculty and research at the Darden School of Business, the decision to implement the program in Rosslyn stemmed from the intersection of government, the military and business in UVA’s MBA program in recent years. The expansion of the MBA program was also largely supported by UVA’s growing alumni network in the District.
“For 60 years, Darden has been developing business and government and military leaders — many from the D.C. area — in our MBA and executive education programs. Darden and UVA have dynamic alumni networks in the area and so we are building on our natural ties to the capital region,” Venkataraman said.
Venkataraman said Darden’s MBA faculty has been preparing for the program’s move for the past couple of months.
“Over the past year, the faculty has been intensively studying what Darden’s relationship with the greater Washington, D.C. area should be. The faculty’s decision to bring our programs to the banks of the Potomac in Rosslyn will bring Darden’s executive MBA to a market with which we are already closely aligned,” he said.
While many schools in the D.C. area already offer Executive MBA programs, Venkarataman said Darden will offer a unique experience to its students as it does at its Charlottesville campus. The Darden School of Business was ranked second by The Economist in the 10th annual ranking of top international business programs and first in student satisfaction among business school graduates by Forbes Magazine in 2015.
Darden students will divide their studies between the new Rosslyn campus, Darden’s Charlottesville campus and one other global location. While all students will study at the Charlottesville and Rosslyn campuses, students also have the opportunity to study in all four global locations offered by the program.
“Our students in the D.C. area location will also spend time on the Darden Grounds at UVA in Charlottesville, and in at least one global location: Brazil, China, India or Europe. And those whose choose the more intensive global option will spend time in all four.” Venkarataman said.
According to Venkarataman, the school’s new campus will make it more accessible for commuting students and visiting executives from Washington.
“Over 21 months, our students will experience an unparalleled depth of learning and preparation,” he said. “The once-a-month residencies from Friday to Sunday make the program convenient for executives who live in the D.C. area and the new location’s proximity to Union Station and the D.C. area airports make it easily accessible to those who wish to commute in from most U.S. metropolitan areas or international gateway cities.”
Kathryn Shortsleeve (MSB ’18), an entrepreneurship student at Georgetown, said programs like these are incredibly enticing because of the opportunities they can offer.
“I think that Darden’s decision to open in Rosslyn is a great one because big cities like D.C. have such a wide network of businesses and business students, so integrating schools from other areas is a great idea,” Shortseelve said.
Venkarataman also said opening a campus near the District will give students more flexibility and a better MBA experience.
“More choice. More flexibility. A D.C. area location plus the beautiful Darden Grounds. And more global options than ever before. That’s what we’re offering through the executive MBA format,” he said.
Kris Muzzi (COL’18), a biology of global health major interested in the intersection of science and business, praised the program for giving its students access to Fortune 500 companies in Rosslyn and Arlington.
“Being around larger companies can do nothing but good for the business school. As a student I would love the opportunity to work with students at other schools, and I think the potential for professors within the D.C. network of schools to share ideas is a great one,” Muzzi said.
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