Canada hosts some of the finest business schools in the world. And alongside the USA, it’s one of the top study destinations for international candidates interested in earning an MBA degree. Canadian business schools stand out through the high employability rate of their graduates and the fact that 18 of them feature in the QS ranking of the top MBA schools globally.
Of course, we won’t pass by the fact that it is costly and that the admission is very competitive, but with the potential and opportunities students acquire from these top-notch schools, this is an investment that’s worth every penny. So if your ambition is to land an executive position and be an effective leader facing today’s modern business challenges, take a look at what the business schools in Canada have to offer.
Read also our list of the best universities in Canada for international students.
What is Canada’s number 1 business school? – Rotman School of Management
The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto got its name from its principal benefactor Joseph L. Rotman. The school is located in downtown Toronto, Canada’s business hub and largest city. This gives students a full immersion experience with the opportunity to learn by doing, whether they specialize in accounting, entrepreneurship, financial risk analysis or other.
This business school offers more than 90 study programs, and students can even personalize their MBA in order to suit their career goals. More than 90% of MBA graduates from Rotman land a job in their field within the 6 months from graduation. They get much recognition from businesses in the country and therefore earn some of the best salaries.
Rotman offers business-related degrees including an MBA, EMBA, Master of Finance, Master of Financial Risk Management, Master of Management Analytics, Professional Development programs, undergraduate program and of course a PhD. As a matter of fact, the institution offers the leading PhD program of any business schools in Canada, and ranks 4th in the world by the Financial Times.
Application at Rotman School of Management requires the applicant’s GMAT or GRE scores. The institution encourages students to earn a GMAT score of 550 or higher or the equivalent GRE. However, the school makes the extra effort to review all parts of students’ application. Moreover, MBA candidates are required to submit a one-way video interview as part of the admission process. Those who are selected to proceed after that will have to attend an additional in-person or online interview.
Visit the school’s website to get more details.
Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University
Another highly reputable business school in Canada, the Desautels Faculty of Management was founded in 1906. The faculty is part of McGill University, an “Ivy League” type of institution in Canada and is located in the heart of Montreal. It ranks among the top business schools in Canada but also in the world for the quality of its business programs.
The school also boasts many awards and an international recognition. One of them is its membership in the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which includes several leading graduate business schools worldwide. MBA graduates from Desautels have an employment rate of more than 85% within 6 months after graduation.
Desautels Faculty of Management offer its students MBA programs, master of management programs, EMBA and other executive degrees, PhD and undergraduate programs among others. Moreover, you can choose between several program lengths for the MBA programs. Besides, the EMBA program targets specifically candidates who have already acquired solid managerial skills. Last but not least, Desautels takes pride in its undergraduate program which turns out to be one of the most internationally open undergraduate management programs in the world, with 50% of its students coming from outside Canada.
Admission at Desautels Faculty of Management
Being a very selective school, Desautels has the highest GMAT score required for admission in Canada. The average exam marks are 670 points.
Learn more at the school’s website.
Ivey Business School
Next in our list is Ivey Business School, another of the top business schools in Ontario. Ivey was also the very first business school in Canada to offer an MBA degree. And the first in North America to open a campus in Hong Kong.
Moreover, this institution has built its reputation upon its “Ivey Methodology”. It’s a case-method of learning unique to the school where students get a real world experience simulation to sharpen their reaction skills and decision-making capacity.
Ivey Business School offers an Honors Business Administration program at the undergraduate level. Moreover, they offer an MBA, accelerated MBA, EMBA, MBA direct for bachelor of arts students as well as a PhD.
To get admission at Ivey, students need an average GMAT score of 660 for an MBA. For an Executive MBA, on the other hand, the necessary score is 640.
Get more details about Ivey Business School.
Smith School of Business at Queen’s University
Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario has been the first school in Canada to offer a business degree, in 1912. It’s also the first Canadian institution to award a woman a business degree, ten years later. And this habit of implementing groundbreaking change carries on today, since Smith offers programs in areas such as analytics, artificial intelligence, fintech, cultural diversity, social impact of team dynamics. Their purpose is to prepare their students to face the constantly evolving business marketplace.
Learning at Smith School of Business takes place in small size classes, personal attention, team and individual coaching, opportunities for specialization. Along this student-centered approach, the school also provides a Dare to Dream program showcasing student’s business and entrepreneurship ideas. Lastly, graduates from at the school prides a 98% placement rate for bachelor’s holders and 95% for MBA graduates.
Smith School of Business offers programs at the undergraduate level, along with MBA programs, masters in management, master of finance, master of international business, and a doctoral program in management.
Entry requirements into the MBA programs include an average GMAT score of 654. However, students can choose to sit the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) instead. Admission to the Executive MBA doesn’t require a GMAT score, but it’s still recommended to boost your application.
Learn more about Smith School of Business.
Schulich School of Business
Schulich School of Business at York University is the most international institution of its kind in Canada. As a matter of fact, Schulich has a campus in India as well as offices in China, Russia and South Korea. This not only distinguish the business school to other institutions in Canada, but it also sets the stage for international students to understand the global nature of commerce.
This business school offers a local and an international version of its degree. You can then earn either a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) or an international BBA. The same goes for the MBA programs, a standard one in Canada, and an international one in India. Schulich also offers specialized master’s degrees, an Executive MBA, some post-MBA degrees as well as a PhD.
Getting admission at Schulich is very competitive. You have to earn your spot against thousands of applications. And the school encourages applicants who didn’t have high GPA (high 80 or low 90s) to have had a significant number of extracurricular activities in their application.
Find out more on the website of the school.
Alberta School of Business
Alberta has been the go-to for students in bachelor of commerce in Canada for more than 100 years. They were the ones providing the best education in business in the country for a long time. Today, the business school hosts more than 2,000 undergraduate students and 750 postgraduate ones. The School of Business at the University of Alberta stands out for its focus on entrepreneurship and not only business across its programs.
The institution offers 5 MBA programs, among which one is a full-time program, another a part-time pace and a third one being a fast-track MBA. Students then can choose the one that fits their needs. The business school also offers a bachelor of commerce, a master of accounting, an EMBA as well as a PhD.
The MBA at Alberta is an intensive program. Entry requirements for the course include a GMAT average score of 630.
Find out more on the website of University of Alberta.
Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (UBC Sauder)
UBC Sauder has more than 60 years of history behind it, being one of the best but also the most multicultural business schools in Canada. The school has its headquarters in Vancouver, the country’s doorway to the Pacific Rim, which inevitably offers students a view on the international business market. UBC also aims to produce business leaders who thrive towards sustainability, innovation and responsible leadership. This is evidenced by the fact that UBC Sauder is number one in the world for climate actions and life below water.
Along with their undergraduate, master and MBA, and PhD degree programs, UBC Sauder also offers its students to earn dual degrees. You can choose between a bachelor + master; a master + MBA; an MBA + a Law degree. The last one is the possibility to earn a degree in Vancouver combined with another one at Hong Kong University. The university also offers more specific programs aiming to address the needs of a specific group.
To earn your right to admission to an MBA program at UBC Sauder, you need an average GMAT score of 650.
Learn more on UBC Sauder’s website.
Next in our list of the best business schools in Canada, is HEC Montreal, which also is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. The institution opened its door in 1907, making it the very first recognized school of management in Canada. And since, HEC Montreal has grown to be among the top 30 business schools in the world.
HEC offers a bachelor’s of business administration that you can study either in French, or in 2 languages (English + French), or in 3 languages (French + English + Spanish). The school also offers a full time MBA as well as a joint EMBA with McGill University.
Admission process at HEC Montreal
To apply to an MBA program at HEC, you need an average GMAT score of 625. Moreover, they require a word written essay along with 4 video essays as part of the application. Candidates, in order to be admitted need to provide good quality videos (lighting, audio, properly dressed…)
Find out more about HEC Montreal.
DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University
DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton, is the third in our list to be located in the Ontario province. It’s also one of the business schools that has the highest employability rate in Canada, with 94% of its graduates who have found a job within 3 months of graduation. Besides, DeGroote is a leader in its field when it comes to teaching and research in healthcare management and digital systems. The same goes for their training facilities, with the Allen H. Gould Trading Floor where business students have access to Reuters stations, Bloomberg terminals and 7 screens showing real-time stock market data. This financial market simulator is one of three of its kind in Canada.
DeGroote School of Business offers 5 MBA formats: full-time MBA, full-time MBA with co-op, accelerated MBA, Executive MBA and blended learning part-time. The school emphasizes on a learning through experience methodology. It’s done through co-ops and internships at local businesses where students can earn credit for their degree.
The McMaster’s Degroote School of Business requires a GMAT for application to their full-time MBA. But they also accept substitutes such as GRE, MCAT or CFA Level 2. The average GMAT for DeGroote is 600 points.
Find out more on the school’s website.
Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business
Beedie School of Business has been the very first institution to offer an Executive MBA in Canada in 1968. And in 2011, it’s also the one who has launched the first ever EMBA partnership for the Americas. Located in Vancouver, one of Canada’s international trade hubs, the school has 3 campuses throughout the city. Moreover, the school is a leader in research on globalization and emerging markets and offer an education that prioritizes innovation technologies and the environment. Graduates from the school enjoy an employment rate of 90% with two thirds of them working in administration, business and finance.
Beedie offers a bachelor of business administration program which equips students with everything they need to face the constantly changing global market. Courses aim to sharpen students’ skills related to case-learning, problem-solving and offer them access to workshops, company tours, networking opportunities, etc. MBA programs include a full-time and part-time one, as well as a master of technology MBA. And of course, the school offers a EMBA and an Indigenous Business Leadership EMBA, as well as a PhD program.
For its MBA programs, Beedie requires a minimum GMAT score of 550 points. They also accept the GRE exam with a minimum score of 155 for each section. Moreover, candidates might be exempt of the GMAT/GRE score if they have successfully passed the CFA at any level.
Learn more about Beedie School of Business.