Confused about where to opt for an MBA degree from?

An array of globally recognised MBA programs in Canada lets you stay ahead of your competitors and strengthens your career prospects.

From program details, eligibility criteria, types of MBA, best B-schools to scholarship facilities- this comprehensive guide caters to all your MBA related queries!

Read further to know more about MBA programs from Canada

Why should you opt for an MBA in Canada?

An array of MBA programs starting from specialised ones to combined programs makes it easy for MBA aspirants to go for the program of their choice. The programs are globally recognised giving you a competitive edge over other MBA students in the same domain. Strong research facilities let you explore different intriguing concepts of the MBA program you are pursuing. Also, the curriculum involves practical real life concepts that make it easy for students to grasp a concept more quickly. Universities such as Queen, McGill, Rotman, and University of Canada West offer programs that give the students an opportunity to develop their skills to tackle real-world business challenges very well.

According to Business Week, five of the top 10 MBA programs outside the US are from Canada, and this includes Richard Ivey Business School. The latest Financial Times ranking has six Canadian MBA programs in the top 100. Historically speaking, Canada has been a pioneer in business education. The first MBA program outside the USA. was founded in the year 1948 at Western University’s Ivey Business School. Other schools like Ivey and other Canadian B-schools, like the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Management, are recognised internationally by the Financial Times, Bloomberg Business week and the Economist. Comprising of a range of globally acclaimed schools, Canada possesses diverse options for prospective MBA candidates. The quality of Canadian business schools is pretty much comparable to programs in the US.

Data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), schools in Canada report that MBA applications are surging at a very fast rate. Canada’s immigration system, which has long embraced highly-skilled workers, is one factor behind the application growth of 7.7% last year cited by GMAC.

How can you apply for an MBA in Canada?

Steps to apply for an MBA in Canada are as follows-

Research for universities

As an MBA student, you need to first research for the universities that offer MBA courses in Canada. You need to ensure to keep your specialisation in priority while searching for a course as at the end of the day the department will matter the most. You need to send inquiries at least 15 to 18 months before the tentative date of admission. There are two methods to collect application forms.

Request Application Forms via email: You can request application forms from the university website. Most of the universities have a form on their website that can be completed online to ask for application material.
Download from the university website: Many universities offer you a downloadable and ready to print version of their application forms. These forms can also be used to apply for a particular program.

Check deadlines

Once you have shortlisted the universities, you need to check the individual deadlines of the universities so that you can prepare an application package accordingly.

Application Requirements

Your academic background and relevant records are considered to be one of the most important decisions making factors in securing admission for an MBA program in Canada. Most of the business schools require you to have a fairly good academic record.

Most schools here in Canada require a GPA of at least 3.0 – 3.5 (Approximately 70% +) in the undergraduate degree. Each of the business school has its minimum requirement for its programs, that are flexible enough based on your profile. Almost all Canadian Business Schools require 16 years of undergraduate education. That is four years of education after high school. o

A relevant bachelor’s degree from a recognised school that is equivalent to a Canadian bachelor’s degree. Most of the business schools in Canada need a minimum GPA of 3.0 – 3.5 (More than 70%) for admission to a particular MBA program.

Many of the universities in Canada have their marking and evaluation systems, which are regarded as different from many other international systems. It is advised to not to convert your marks in your country’s system of grading to the Canadian Grade Point Average system as the conversion may not be very much accurate.

You can also provide any other relevant information or documents which you feel may help you in the admission process. If you are applying for entrance to a particular MBA program, you need to submit an official transcript (mark-sheets) from the universities you have attended after secondary school. You also need to provide complete details of the credits involved in each year along with other relevant details like correspondence courses, diplomas, etc.

Some MBA schools may also ask for more than one copy of the transcript. If the transcripts are in any other language apart from English, then it must be translated into English only by the university; otherwise, it may not be accepted.

Standardised admission tests: 

GMAT: This record is required by most of the universities in Canada. The minimum score required usually ranges from 500 in some to 600 in the top universities.
TOEFL: This test is compulsory for International MBA aspirants who are applying to a Graduate course from a University in Canada. The minimum score needed by most of the universities for admission varies from 550 to 600 in Paper-based test and 213 to 250 in Computer-based test.
Many of the universities in Canada have their English proficiency tests. Some business schools in Canada also accept IELTS score instead of the TOEFL exam. The score obtained in the exams should meet the requirements of the university that you are applying to.

Work history: Most of the MBA programs in Canada require at least two to three years’ work experience. Even though some of the business schools may accept your profile without any prior work experience, preference might be given to candidates having work experience.

A detailed resume is an essential part of your application. It should comprise of all information of professional work experience along with details like position(s) held, achievements and scope of work.

LOR (Letter of Recommendation): A recommendation letter is a signed statement from an individual who knows you professionally or has taught you a subject relevant to the course you are applying. You should opt for letters of recommendation from employers or colleagues who know you at a professional as well as personal level. You need to tell the person to cite concrete examples which show your qualities, strengths, etc. to help you get admission in the particular program.

SOP (Statement of Purpose): The personal essays, play a very significant role in the process of evaluating your application for admission because it gives the faculty evaluating your application their most important impression of you as an individual.
A personal statement of purpose should cover the reasons for choosing a particular MBA program, your educational eligibility, experience, your interests along with your career goals. Most of the business schools usually have their essay questions and format for their SOP.

How much does it cost to do an MBA in Canada?

The average tuition fees for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program for international students is approximately between $30,435-$31,856 (Canadian Dollars). Lansbridge University, Simon Fraser University, and Queen’s University, usually have the same tuition fees for both Canadian and International students. All the other universities have a higher tuition fee for international students.

What are the types of MBAs available in Canada?

Many of the Canadian universities offer Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in various specialisations. The duration of MBA programs in Canada usually vary from just about ten months to 2 years and so it is very difficult to describe the curriculum. The programs provided by the best MBA colleges in Canada can be categorised into three sections.

1. Generalised MBA Program – This program is of a duration of 2 years. During the first year, the students focus on the core of business fundamentals such as Financial and Managerial Accounting, Management Statistics, Business Strategy Analysis, and Data Analysis. The second year comprises of stressing importance into the chosen area of concentration, from the specialisation options available.

2. Specialised MBA – The duration of the specialised MBA programs vary from 1 year or may be less than a year. These programs usually provide an opportunity for students who wish to hone their skills in a specific field. A few of the reputed business schools, such as the Simon Fraser University, also provide customised MBA programs which are developed based on the needs of corporate and organisations. These types of customised MBA programs can also be called as Corporate MBAs that are only available to the employees of the organisation for which the course is tailor-made.

3. Combined MBA – Combined MBA programs can be considered as a good option for students looking to acquire masters while pursuing another discipline such as Agriculture, Arts, Engineering, Law or Medicine. This program usually lasts for four years.

Where can I earn an MBA in Canada?

Some of the renowned MBA schools are as follows-

  • The Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, QS ranking 28 Program duration- 2 years tuition fees- $120,680
  • The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, Montreal, QS ranking 33 Program duration- 2 years tuition fees- $89,000.00
  • Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, QS ranking 214 Program duration- 1-year tuition fees- $92,500
  • Schulich School of Business at York University, Toronto, QS ranking 481 Program duration- 1-year tuition fees- $99,400
  • The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, Ontario, QS ranking 239 Program duration- 1-year tuition fees- $93,000
  • HEC Montreal Program duration- 1 year tuition fees- $34,000
  • The UBC Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, QS ranking 47 Program duration- 1-year tuition fees- $80,060
  • John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, Montreal, QS ranking 464 Program duration- 16 months tuition fees- $37,100
  • Alberta School of Business, Edmonton, QS ranking 109 Program duration- 2 years tuition fees- $37,100
  • The Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, QS ranking 264 program duration- 16 months tuition fees- $51,700

How long does an MBA take in Canada?

Majority of the MBA programs in Canada are of 2 years. However, some MBA programs get over in 18 months. Such courses are known as Accelerated MBA programs. You also have the option of completing your MBA program in a single year from schools like Thompson Rivers University, Edwards School of Business MBA, Faculty of the Business University of Manitoba, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ivey MBA Program at the McMaster University at Canada.

This one year MBA programs are ideal options for students who are working and are not able to spend two whole years completing their MBA degree. It is also perfect for students who already have a Master’s degree or post graduate studies at any level.

What is the scope of an MBA in Canada in terms of career prospects?

Some of the popular organisations recruiting MBA graduates from Canada are as follows-

  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Deloitte
  • RBC Bank
  • KPMG, LLP
  • EY
  • Siemens
  • Canada Goose
  • Change Healthcare

The average salary of an MBA graduate in Canada is C$81K

One unique element to the Canadian jobs market is SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). These are the huge recruiters of business school talent. According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, SMEs comprise of 99.8 percent of all businesses in the country, and they also employ 69.7 percent of private sector workers. SMEs in this country create around 100,000 jobs each year. The organisations are responsible for more than three-quarters of all jobs created in the private sector.

Apart from the tech industry and SMEs, traditional employers of MBAs include financial services firms and consulting companies which are considered to be big recruiters of Canada. For instance, of the most recent MBA class at York University’s Schulich School of Business, the two largest groups of graduates went into finance or consulting, 21 and 20 percent of the total group, respectively.

Some of the popular job roles of MBA graduates from Canada are

  • Investment analyst
  • Operations Leader
  • Senior Product Manager
  • Forecasting Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Sourcing Specialist
  • Business Development Strategist
  • Marketing Strategist and Innovation Director
  • Project Manager
  • Investment analyst

What benefits does a Canadian MBA provide in comparison to an MBA from another country?

Canada gives you an array of reasons to select it as the country for your MBA study abroad destination. Some of the most important factors are-

Globally Valued Qualification: Similar to a degree, diploma or certificate from the country of the United States or the U.K., a degree from Canada is recognised across boundaries.

Diverse Cultures: The Canadian society comprises of several ethnic groups. This multi-cultural society allows you to feel the different cultures of the world making you better capable of working alongside and even leading an organisation with different culture groups.

Ease of Immigration: It is easy to get a Canadian Student Visa, and you can even apply for permanent residency post completion of your program. The process is pretty much simple and easy to follow.

Opportunities and Possibilities: Canadian business schools give a lot of importance to academics and several avenues where students can showcase their creativity and other skill sets.

Health care service: The provincial health care system in Canada comprises of basic and preventive medical services, as well as emergency care. As an international student with a valid study visa, you should be eligible for a provincial health care card so that you may make use of these services. As an international student studying in Canada, it is always advised to purchase private health insurance before your trip, to make sure you are covered in all cases.

Work while study; On the Canadian student visa, you have the permission of working for 20 hours/week of a paid job. However this is the maximum number of hours, and you are free to work for a lesser number of hours. You can work in cafes, restaurants and coffee shops; retail stores like clothing or sports goods stores; lifeguard or swimming instructor at a college swimming pool or beach; bookstores, library, etc. If you are multilingual, you can work as a translator. As Canada is a multicultural society, the services of a translator are widely required.

Scholarship facilities: An array of scholarship facilitates are available for MBA aspirants in Canada. Some of the important scholarship programs include:

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Program
  • Rotman School of Management Scholarships
  • Sauder School of Business Entrance Scholarship
  • Alberta MBA Scholarships
  • Ivey MBA Scholarships
  • Haskayne School of Business MBA Entrance Scholarships
  • Schulich School of Business Scholarships

Steps to ensure you have the best possible career after MBA

A Masters in Business Administration opens the door of opportunities for you. The program requires a perfect blend of theoretical and practical skills that can be applied to industrial sectors. Some of the most common ways to maximize your MBA are as follows-

Build your profile: In order to have a competitive edge over other candidates pursuing the same MBA program, you need to figure out new skill sets and also go for new learning experiences. A professionally done resume highlighting those skills is very important to build your brand. It has always been seen that a well prepared profile always draws potential employers.

Network well: You need to develop social and professional networks much before the time you graduate. Also, build your profile on professional platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Alumni Network, apart from joining professional groups in social media platforms. Also, try to attend networking and career events to develop a network by building rapport with your peers. Do not forget to ask for referrals and recommendations from them.

Polish your soft skills: Brush up your soft skills to maximise the value of your MBA. An MBA graduate working in a senior position is required to communicate effectively with their team members along with the higher management. Effective communication skills are very important to effectively manage a team and perform day to day business operations.

Brush up your tech skills: MBA students having IT skills is always a plus point for a successful career in management. Apart from Fortune 500 companies and large MNCs, small businesses also benefit tremendously from employees having a combination of business and technology skills.

The research project must be a relevant one: Choose a final year project that is relevant to your domain and also has practical, real-life applications at the same time. Often recruiters assess your candidature for a job role depending on your final year project. Choose the project topic carefully and see that it has a practical approach that can make your profile more strong.

Internships help to strengthen your profile: Interning with renowned companies will give you the required skills along with industrial experience required to work in an organisation. It boosts your MBA profile, and you get a real life experience of how an industry functions. Try to intern with companies relevant to your MBA program to have better chances of employment once you complete your MBA program.

Market yourself the right way: The availability of innovative, cost-efficient, and technological advanced marketing tools makes it easy to market your skills. Design business cards and develop a professional web page profile. Look for creative topics to discuss with your professional network which is relatable to your career goals.

Can we get PR in Canada after MBA?

With a course duration of MBA program being two years, you can expect a Canada work permit of up to 3 years. With a work permit of 3 years, aspirants are allowed to work and live in Canada legally. During these working years, you can apply for Canadian permanent residency as you have the number of years of experience.

The major pathways of obtaining a PR status in Canada are for the Indian MBA graduates are:

  • Express Entry Program,
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers Program (QSWP)

Express Entry Program –The easiest way to move to Canada out of three is the Express Entry Program in which the eligibility of the applicant is defined by the point measurement basis. It is a comprehensive ranking system which includes the applicant’s age, language, education and work experience. The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) falls under the express entry program. The applicant requires a total of 67 points or above the CRS point system.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)– The Provincial Nominee Program eligibility for each province in Canada is separate. You are eligible for the PR status only if you meet the eligibility for that particular province.

Quebec Skilled Workers Program (QSWP) – The permanent residency status under the Quebec region can be acquired only after approval from the Quebec province and also after the approval by the federal government. The Quebec immigration selection system recognises applicants who can become economically established in the province.