Most agree the Darden difference for the past 50 years has primarily been the school's commitment to the case study method. Rather than a format of business courses that include mostly faculty lectures, Darden's hands on approach centers on "how" students learn. In a dynamic classroom environment, students think, decide, and act within a team setting while analyzing cases that chronicle real-life business situations. Students study the theory and techniques' underpinning functional business skills but the case approach takes the learning experience a step further by ensuring that students can identify the most important business issues, provide analytically sound responses to those issues, and work effectively to reach real solutions. The student centered experience brings results and Darden graduates enter the workplace equipped to be effective leaders in any field they choose. After Darden, students are prepared to create, transform and lead great organizations. Several hundred U.S. and international firms representing every major industry maintain active recruiting relationships with Darden. The school's Career Development Center (CDC) provides career counseling and job search training that begins the first week of First-Year classes with the Personal Career Assessment Program (PCAP) and continues with a series of Professional Development classes. CDC is the liaison between students and organizations seeking MBAs for internships or full-time positions.
The Darden School consistently ranks among the world's best MBA programs, with top marks awarded to its faculty who consider classroom teaching their top priority. The Darden faculty consists of more than 80 scholars distinguished by a wide range of business and academic experience. Most have taught or worked outside the United States and faculty exchange programs ensure that Darden's professors remain in tune with current global business issues and practices. Faculty members are consistently honored at the university, state, and national levels for their teaching abilities.
Darden is on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville ranked as the city with the greatest quality of life in the United States. Charlottesville is just two hours south of Washington, DC.