PythaGurus Logo
Canada Flag

MBA in Canada: Learn What You Need to Crack A Top-Tier B-School in Canada, Cost Requirements, Scholarships, and more!

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

Rank Business School Location
1 Rotman School of Management Toronto, Ontario
2 McGill University  Montréal, Quebec
3 Robert H. Smith School of Business Kingston, Ontario
4 Ivey Business School London, Ontario
5 Schulich School of Business Toronto, Ontario
6 Sauder School of Business Vancouver, British Columbia
7 Alberta School of Business Edmonton, Alberta
8 John Molson School of Business Montréal, Quebec
9 HEC Montréal Montréal, Quebec
10 Dalhousie University Halifax, 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 –

University Average GMAT score required
University of Toronto 665
HEC Montreal 637
University of Alberta 550
Carleton University 600
Concordia University 600
Dalhousie University 550
Lakehead University 500 or higher
McGill University 570
McMaster University 600
Queen’s University 600
Ryerson University 550 or better
University of Calgary 550 or better
University of Lethbridge 550
University of Windsor 550 on the GMAT is required
University of Ottawa A minimum of 50 percentile on GMAT, and a score of 4.5 in the essay section
Wilfrid Laurier University A minimum score of at least 550 on the GMAT is required
York University’s Schulich Business School 550-750

Source: CollegeDunia

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

B-School Average GMAT Score 2018 Average GMAT Score 2017
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business  730 726
Kellogg School of Management  732 728
Harvard Business School 730 729
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School 732 730
Stanford University – Graduate School of Business  737 737
UCLA – UCLA Anderson School of Management 715 715
University of Virginia – Darden School of Business 713 712
Columbia Business School 725 718

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/University Duration Tuition Fee (for 1st year)
Rotman School of Management 2 years CAD 59,450
Queen’s Smith School of Business 1 year CAD 91,000
York University – Schulich 2 years CAD 52,040
McGill Desautel 20 months CAD 44,500
University of Alberta 20 months CAD 16,520
HEC Montréal 1 year CAD 49,000
UBC Sauder 16 months CAD 60,045
Ivey Business School 1 year CAD 1,11,750


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

From IT Background to Post-MBA Investment Banking: Interview with Darden MBA | Director, CFA Institute

For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

Ready to get into your dream MBA program? Contact us today and let us help you craft a winning application.

Looking to grow in life by exploring a top tier MBA?