If you are looking at the list of top B-schools in the world then it will be filled with entries from USA, UK, and other European countries. But, in recent times, one of the countries that have become a major destination for international MBA is Canada!
So, how is an MBA in Canada different from that of a top-tier school in USA or Europe? And how do you crack the top Canadian B-schools?
Let’s start by looking at some of the stats!

Top B-schools for MBA in Canada

RankBusiness SchoolLocation
1Rotman School of ManagementToronto, Ontario
2McGill University Montréal, Quebec
3Robert H. Smith School of BusinessKingston, Ontario
4Ivey Business SchoolLondon, Ontario
5Schulich School of BusinessToronto, Ontario
6Sauder School of BusinessVancouver, British Columbia
7Alberta School of BusinessEdmonton, Alberta
8John Molson School of BusinessMontréal, Quebec
9HEC MontréalMontréal, Quebec
10Dalhousie UniversityHalifax, Nova Scotia

Source: QS Global MBA Ranking (2021)

If you are thinking of MBA in Canada to be an easy affair, it is not always so! But at the same time the pay-off is great. Many of these programs are 1 year in length, and provide career opportunities after completion. Canadian MBA program also have a less strict application requirement than an American or European B-school.

There are other aspects at play here as well. The general quality of life in Canada for an international student is quite great. The cost of living is lower than USA and many European countries. And almost as soon as you finish your MBA course you will be provided with a PGWPP (Post-graduation Work Permit Program) which will allow you to seek employment opportunities.

So, for those seeking MBA as a means of claiming an international career opportunity, Canada might be one of the best places to study MBA! As per recent reports, in the last 5 years more than 75% of Canadian MBA programs have received an increment in international applications.

Requirements for MBA in Canada


Like any other international MBA course, you will be required to take the GMAT in order to qualify. Here are the average GMAT scores of some of the top Canadian B-schools from previous years –

UniversityAverage GMAT score required
University of Toronto665
HEC Montreal637
University of Alberta550
Carleton University600
Concordia University600
Dalhousie University550
Lakehead University500 or higher
McGill University570
McMaster University600
Queen’s University600
Ryerson University550 or better
University of Calgary550 or better
University of Lethbridge550
University of Windsor550 on the GMAT is required
University of OttawaA minimum of 50 percentile on GMAT, and a score of 4.5 in the essay section
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityA minimum score of at least 550 on the GMAT is required
York University’s Schulich Business School550-750

Source: CollegeDunia

Now compare this list to the average GMAT requirements of the top B-schools in USA –

B-SchoolAverage GMAT Score 2018Average GMAT Score 2017
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business 730726
Kellogg School of Management 732728
Harvard Business School730729
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School732730
Stanford University – Graduate School of Business 737737
UCLA – UCLA Anderson School of Management715715
University of Virginia – Darden School of Business713712
Columbia Business School725718

What you notice immediately is that the GMAT requirement for the MBA courses in Canada is much lesser! So, if you are someone who is unable to get a 700+ on their GMAT despite best efforts, MBA in Canada maybe one of the best opportunities you have to land a respectable career option!

The same can be said for the GPA requirements as well. It is really tough to crack Harvard or LBS with a GMAT score of 550 and a GPA of 3. But, if you keep you target on the University of Toronto or HEC Montreal, your chances are definitely high with the same scores!

Work experience

Full time work experience is a must have if you are applying to the top B-schools in Canada. Some schools will ask you to have at least 3 years of experience, but candidates with lesser work experience have also been able to crack many of these programs.

The admissions committee of a B-school will analyze the qualitative aspect of your work experience as well. Whether you have worked in a Fortune 500 firm, or achieved major professional milestones, etc. will play an important role. So, make sure that you are presenting your work experience in a manner that will be appreciated by the admissions committee.

If you are applying for an international MBA with low work experience, here are some great tips for you –

Letters of Recommendation

You will need to present a set of LORs as part of your application. While most B-schools do not have any strict specifications regarding these, they do play an important role in your selection process. So, make sure that you are presenting a strong set of LORs.


Like any other international MBA program, you will have to take the TOEFL or IELTS test. Most of the top-tier MBA courses in Canada do not have a strong requirement for either.

Costs & Scholarships for MBA in Canada

College/UniversityDurationTuition Fee (for 1st year)
Rotman School of Management2 yearsCAD 59,450
Queen’s Smith School of Business1 yearCAD 91,000
York University – Schulich2 yearsCAD 52,040
McGill Desautel20 monthsCAD 44,500
University of Alberta20 monthsCAD 16,520
HEC Montréal1 yearCAD 49,000
UBC Sauder16 monthsCAD 60,045
Ivey Business School1 yearCAD 1,11,750

Source: Shikshastudyabroad.com

MBA in Canada is not costly affair, especially if compared to the top B-schools of USA and Europe. And since the pay-off is much higher as well, many students are considering these programs as their primary targets!

Furthermore, most of these schools have great scholarships programs set up for international students. Most of these B-schools are known for partially financing the tuition cost of at least 50% of the class every year, and many students also secure a 100% scholarship!

There are also a number of independent scholarships that you can apply for if you are looking for MBA opportunities in Canada. The Ontario Graduate Scholarship or the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarships are some of the popular ones that students apply for each year.
If you are wondering how to secure a scholarship for a top-tier MBA program, here are some pro-tips to get you started –

See Also:

International MBA Scholarship Tips for Indian Applicants

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