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
|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
GMAT and GPA
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|
|University of Alberta||550|
|Lakehead University||500 or higher|
|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|
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!
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 –