Executive MBA Learning Team

Program & Faculty

EMBA - Electives


Consistent with Darden’s general management orientation, Executive MBA electives cover a broad range of topics including strategy, leadership, finance, entrepreneurship, ethics and more. In the Executive MBA program, students take a total of 12 electives. Electives are delivered primarily in the second year of the program, and students choose from a slate of electives offered specifically for executive format students.

Students can specialize or concentrate while at Darden, but it is not required.

During the elective period, there are seven focus areas:

  • Data Analytics and Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • ESG and Social Impact
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Strategy

During the elective period, students typically choose from 10 electives per quarter and usually take 3 electives during each quarter. 

Students who complete three electives in any of these areas will automatically receive a letter from the Registrar indicating they earned that focus area. However, students have broad flexibility to pursue their interests when choosing electives, and are not required to specialize at any point during the program.

Executive MBA students enjoy additional scheduling flexibility during the elective period with in-person sessions for some electives meeting only on Fridays, while others convene on Saturday and Sunday. 

Elective opportunities are also offered during January term (J-term) of the second year. J-term is a short, 10-day term between the fall and spring semesters. Courses offered during this period are held in a variety of locations – Charlottesville, Rosslyn and online. Taking a J-term elective can lighten a student's schedule during a subsequent elective quarter. 

Additional global residencies can also count as electives. EMBA students who travel on more than one global residency and GEMBA format students participating in four global residencies can enjoy lighter quarters during the elective period because of their additional global coursework.  

Electives vary from class to class, and, each year, the Executive MBA program team works with students and faculty to develop the course offerings. 

For additional details about each course, please the Course Directory on the Darden Registrar website. Pro Tip: In the Course Directory, sort by “Program Offering.” Executive MBA electives are identified as “Exec-Elec” and each course includes a course abstract that offers a helpful summary of the course. Past elective courses are listed below:

Behavioral Decision Making
Business Ethics Through Literature
Corporate Strategic Leadership: Major Concepts from Strategy Consulting
Creativity and Design Thinking
Customer Centricity: A Strategic Approach
Cybersecurity & Privacy
Darden Worldwide Course: Finland/Estonia (Virtual)
Darden Worldwide Course: India (Virtual)
Darden Worldwide Course: Israel (Virtual)
Darden Worldwide Course: Japan (Virtual)
Data Analytics and Leadership Judgment in Sports Contexts
Data Science in Business
Data Visualization & Analytics
Digital Marketing
Effectual Entrepreneurship
Emerging and Frontier Markets
Entrepreneurial Finance
Entrepreneurial Thinking
Financial Institutes & Markets
Getting in the Room Where It Happens: How to Successfully Navigate the Workplace and Get Things Done
Global Financial Markets
Global Supply Chain
Innovation Excellence
Leadership Communication During Times of Disruption & Transformation

Leadership, Diversity and Leveraging Difference
Leading in Uncertainty and Crisis
Leading Strategic Change
Leading Teams
Leading with Influence
Marketing Technology Products
Mergers & Acquisitions
Real Estate Finance & Development
Responsible Management: Ultimate Questions and Creating Value in Business
Security Analysis & Valuation
Solution and Innovations in Healthcare
Speaking About Business
Starting New Ventures
Strategic Costing
Strategy Execution
Sustainable Global Value Chains
The Consulting Process
Thinking of a Master Plan - Non-Profit Management
Transforming Societies
Valuation in Financial Markets
What Would I Have Done Differently?
Whose Streets: ESG and Other Strategies to Create Shared Value from Wall Street to Main Street