As first-years complete term 4, we’re finishing up the last core curriculum classes with our section: in short order our schedules will be filled with electives. It’s going to be different adjusting to courses without the comfort of Section A. However, I’ll spend most of this post writing about the rationale and process of selecting electives.
On process, Darden students are able to choose electives through a bidding system, which I’m frankly a huge fan of. Each student is given 450 bid points and armed with statistics on last year’s required number of points to successfully bid into three classes (while three classes doesn’t sound like a lot, consider that you meet every day in the school week). From there, it’s up to you to figure out how you’re going to allocate your bid points, to hopefully come up with a schedule that works. Probably the funniest part of the process is hearing people whine about the bidding system after missing out a on a class or two: this is either due to (a) the student developing a poor bid strategy, or (b) the student wants to get into all of the most popular classes. Either way, the process works, and yes, I may be a bit biased as I got all three classes I bid into. For those students with unsuccessful bids, there is a second round of bidding, followed by drop / add period. In reality, there are only a few courses that are really tough to get into: with most, a bid of 1 of 450 points will get you into the class.
On rationale, selecting classes at business school doesn’t differ that much from my experience in college. That said, differences do exist. Please see below some main drivers of class selection, highlighted in no particular order: