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Best Universities in Canada for MBA | Canadian Business schools (2021)

By June 7, 2021July 19th, 2021No Comments
A Complete Guide To

Business Schools in Canada

Chapter 1

MBA in Canada Overview

The Great North has shaped itself to be one of the most diverse, international student-friendly and immigrant-welcoming countries on the planet. With consistent top rankings in the Quality-of-Life Surveys, this large, geographically diverse country has proven to be a safe haven for many refugees and international students looking for better education, quality of life and work opportunities. They’re also friendly, and band together in the snows, reflective of a welcoming civilization. 

Canada’s stable economy and GDP is powered by various high-tech firms, agriculture, biotechnology, a stupendously large service sector, manufacturing sector, and of course, a highly-established business environment. Their education and healthcare system are excellent, the immigration process is far simpler than the US, UK and most European countries. 

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, why should you pursue an MBA in Canada? 

Why MBA in Canada?

Assuming you have read the section above, what are the other reasons that make the Great North an excellent choice for an MBA? 

Firstly, plenty of top Canadian Programs are renowned and recognised worldwide, with more than 10 of its universities featuring in the top 150 universities in the World. Some of these universities include McGill University, Ivey Business School, Rotman School of Management, Schulich School of Business, Queen’s, and the University of British Columbia. They offer world-class MBA Programs in various streams such as Finance, Marketing, HR, Tech, Strategy etc., which will boost your professional career.    

A business degree from Canada is one of the programs with the highest salaries after graduation, with top placements from KPMG, McKinsey, Deloitte, Bain, Accenture, IBM, J&J, General Mills, etc. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and plenty of opportunities to grow your own business, Canada offers several PNPs devoted to the same, to provide a path to Canadian Permanent Residence. Canada has plenty of successful large-cap companies in the financial services sector such as Sun Life Financial, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank; in the oil and gas sector, we have companies such as EnCana and PetroCanada.

In today’s complex and fast-paced business world, business programs need to be strongly case-study oriented, with well-defined leadership programs, a holistic curriculum and social work. Such is the nature of Canadian Business programs, with world-class faculty and global recognition. 

As mentioned before, Canada is extremely student friendly. If you are pursuing a 1-year MBA, you will be eligible for a 1-year work permit. If you’re graduating from a 2-year MBA Program, you will be eligible for a full 3-year work permit, irrespective of employee sponsorship. Those looking to settle in Canada will be glad to know that you can apply for Permanent Residence after 1 year of full-time work in Canada. The work permits allow you to settle into the country, repay any educational loans you may have taken, and of course, work in the companies in which you have been placed. 

If you want to live and settle in this highly developed country, then an MBA is certainly one of the best ways towards achieving that goal. 

What are the types of MBA within Canada?

Canadian MBAs are diversified into many streams such as Finance, Marketing, HR, Operations, and Tech. We also have special entrepreneurial programs to consider, as well as International MBAs. These are the MBAs in terms of specialization. What about the type of MBA? 

Different students have different requirements and goals. This is why most MBAs are offered in the following manner: 

Full-time MBA:

Applicants most commonly take the GMAT to pursue this full-time, 2-year course. With luck and hard work, you can still manage a part-time job with an extremely decent Canadian Minimum Wage. 

Part-time MBA :

The duration for this program can vary widely between 3-4 years, and these are more suitable for those looking to study alongside their professional lives, or those who are short on time. 

Executive MBA:

This 1-year program is usually for executives with at least 8 years of experience, who are looking to further develop their managerial knowledge and advance up to better positions. 

Joint-MBA degrees :

You can pursue your MBA alongside another subject such as Law, Engineering, Economics, etc. This one is purely dependant on your career goals. 

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How does an MBA from Canada fare against an MBA from the USA?

There used to be a time when an MBA from the US could lead to one of the best career paths that an MBA could provide but global affairs have changed and so has the job market. An MBA from the USA from schools such as Wharton, Harvard and Stanford are definitely the premier B-Schools to opt for but the chances of finding a stable job in an already saturated market are very low. Combined with the polarized political world of the US, an MBA from the USA is shrouded in ambiguity and volatility. 

This is where Canada is changing the game. An MBA from Rotman, Ivey, McGill, York or Queen’s is extremely valuable, with the aforementioned schools appearing in the QS World Ranking of some of the best universities to receive an MBA from. It is far easier to obtain Canadian Permanent Residence and a work permit post your MBA. 

The avg. fees for the MBA are far lesser in comparison to the USA, where the avg. fees in Canada is 60,000 USD and the avg. fees in the USA is a whopping 90,000 USD. On face value, the USA may seem more appealing, but if we account for the cost of living, healthcare, attitude towards international students and environment, Canada beats the USA stupendously. The average salary earned post your MBA in Canada is 95,000 USD while the average salary earned post your MBA in the USA is 110,000 USD. Your ROI post-graduation is more secure in the hands of the Great North. 

We recognize the brand value that comes with an MBA from the US, not to mention the fact that the theory and teaching is far superior than any country, but we also recognize that acceptance rates are freakishly low and competition is fiercely high. The same is true for Canada as it is also amongst the top study destinations for an MBA but you have better prospects in terms of job opportunities while still learning from world-class faculty.  

How does an MBA from Canada fare against one from the UK?

We recommend you read the above section before pursuing this one for certain salient features about an MBA from Canada. 

Once again, an MBA from say Oxford, or LBS is considered to fetch more brand-value than one from Canada. Similar to the USA, an MBA from the UK is costly, with the avg. fees being 85,000 USD. However, the avg. salary is around 120,000 USD. The UK has less difficult procedures for immigration in comparison to the USA. 

Despite Brexit, an MBA from top universities in the UK can guarantee high-profile jobs and an excellent ROI. On the other hand, due to the liberal immigration policies of Canada, it is all set to become a hotspot for corporations, and will boost the economy even further. It depends on your goals. 

In Conclusion: Canada or USA or UK? 

This depends entirely on where you want to settle, the climate, the culture, whether work experience is required (mostly yes) and whether the country is immigration friendly. There are a multitude of factors to take into place, and extensive research required to take a call. In this article, we will be covering business schools in Canada exclusively. All three countries have their pros and cons, so choose wisely, talk to people and do your research. : ) 

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Basic Eligibility Criteria for MBA in Canada

We will cover the individual Eligibility Criteria for Top Universities in Canada in the upcoming sections, but first, let us look at the general criteria for an MBA in Canada: 

  • Work Experience – A minimum of 2 years’ worth of relevant work experience is usually required for Canadian Business Schools. The average work experience of students within Canadian MBA Programs is usually 4 years, with diverse profiles.
  • IELTS/TOEFL – In order to prove your proficiency in the English Language, you must achieve a band 7 in IELTS or a general score of 100 in the TOEFL. 
  • A relevant UG – A UG degree with a minimum GPA of 3.3 – 3.5 / 4.
  • GMAT – Most Canadian MBA Programs require you to have a minimum GMAT Score of around 575, but in reality, you will need a score of 675 to stand an excellent chance. 

Documents required for an MBA in Canada

These documents are fairly common for all programs abroad. We will make a short list of the same – 

  • Detailed Resume – This should contain your academic and professional qualifications in a concise, organised manner. 
  • Official Transcripts – Scanned. 
  • Letters of Recommendation – You will need at least 2 LORs from your previous employer and university. 
  • Statement of Purpose – This one can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your selection. You need to express your goals and explain why you should be considered for this program. 
  • GMAT/GRE Scores – This one is fairly obvious. 
  • IELTS/TOEFL Scores – Again, fairly obvious. 😛 
  • Proof of Work Experience – 2 years minimum.
  • As you progress, you will need your VISA and other relevant permits for the same. 
Chapter 2

Best Business Schools in Canada

While pursuing an education abroad, it is quite common to peruse the rankings and specializations specific to a particular university, for a particular major. For an MBA in Canada, we will be relying on the QS Global MBA Rankings 2021, which account for various factors such as faculty & class diversity (gender, culture etc.), ROI, employability, research output and impact, alumni outcomes, academic reputation, and more. Let’s explore the top universities in Canada further. We at Galvanize have put together this useful table that will help you compare different universities for your MBA in Canada

Rank (in Canada)

Global Rank (QS Global MBA 2021)

B-School

University

GMAT Score (Range)

Tuition Fees (INR)

Location

1

45

Rotman School of Management

University of Toronto

550 - 780

~36 lakhs

Toronto, Ontario

2

59

Desautels Faculty of Management

McGill University

600 - 780

~26 lakhs

Montreal, Quebec

3

66

Smith School of Business

Queen's University

550 - 760

~62 lakhs

Kingston, Ontario

4

69

Ivey Business School

University of Western Ontario

600 - 780

~65 lakhs

London, Ontario

5

88

Schulich School of Business

York University

550 - 760

~32 lakhs

Toronto, Ontario

6

94

Sauder School of Business

University of British Columbia

550 - 760

~37 lakhs

Vancouver, British Columbia

7

101

Alberta School of Business

University of Alberta

550 - 760

~15 lakhs

Edmonton, Alberta

8

121

John Molson School of Business

Concordia University

550 - 780

~26 lakhs

Montreal, Quebec

9

141

HEC Montreal

University of Montreal

550 - 760

~20 lakhs

Montreal, Quebec

10

151

Rowe School of Business

Dalhousie University

550 - 760

~23 lakhs

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Let us dive further into the key requirements to keep in mind for every university, some facts about the universities, the programmes offered, the work experience needed, the scores needed and so forth. Do refer to the table for the rest of the information. 

Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto

Rotman School of Management is one of the pioneers in the business world, and ranks first in the QS Rankings for Canadian MBAs. Established in 1901, the school is known for its diversity, thought leadership and finance programs, although they do offer a lot of excellent specializations. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 673
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

Rotman boasts an employability rate of 90%, with top companies such as Deloitte, Apple, Amazon, KPMG, IBM, and McKinsey coming to the campus for placement rounds. The mean salary for a full-time MBA graduate from Rotman is ~61 lakhs. The school has 3 campuses, with all the facilities needed by a modern student, ranging from Wi-Fi to study rooms. Campus housing is also available. 48% of the students in the MBA program are International Students. 

Important Dates: 

Early Round – ~August 7, 2021

Round 1 – ~October 5, 2021

Round 2 – ~ January 11, 2022

Round 3 – ~ March 8, 2022

Round 4 – ~April 26, 2022

Some Best programs that Rotman is known for: 

MBA – Full-time 

Master of Management – Analytics 

Master of Finance 

Desautels School of Management – McGill University

Desautels is known for its academic reputation and research output. Founded in 1906, it has around 145 Rhodes Scholars to its name. It is ranked 2nd in Canada for an MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 670
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

McGill has a placement rate of 85%, where their Career Services program liaisons with top companies. The mean salary after an MBA at McGill is ~ 54 lakhs. Around 50% of its students are from different countries. The campus is located in Montreal. 

Important Dates: 

Round 1 – ~January 15, 2022

Round 2 – ~March 12, 2022

Round 3 – ~ April 1, 2022

McGill offers these programs as part of their MBA: 

Accounting 

Finance 

Marketing 

Business Analytics 

Smith School of Business – Queen’s University

Established in 1919, Smith Schools of Business ranks 3rd in Canada for an MBA, and it is known to be a very prestigious institution. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 651
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

It has a placement rate of 97%, with companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco etc. coming for recruitments. The mean salary after an MBA in Queen’s is ~80 lakhs. Around 43% of its students are international students. 

Here are some of the important dates to keep in mind: 

Application Deadline for International Students – September 1, 2021

Queen’s Programs: 

1-year Executive MBA 

Full-time MBA 

Ivey Business School – University of Western Ontario

Established in 1922, they are known for their outstanding curriculum and cross-enterprise learning methods. It is ranked 4th in Canada for an MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 670
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

It has a placement rate of 91%, with an average salary of around ~67 lakhs. There are around 35% international students in Ivey. 

Here are some of the important dates to keep in mind: 

Round 1 – January 18, 2022

Round 2 – April 12, 2022

Round 3 – July 12, 2022

Round 4 – September 20, 2022

Some of its best programs are: 

MBA Full-time 

Accelerated MBA 

Executive MBA 

Schulich School of Business – York University

Established in 1966, it is known for its global outreach, innovative programs and an integrated approach to management. It is ranked 5th in Canada for an MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 664
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

It has a placement rate of 93%, with an average salary of around ~52 lakhs. Companies such as Deloitte, Mondelez, YouTube, Amazon, CIBC, and KPMG come recruitments. There are around 50% of international students in the program.  

Here are some of the important dates to keep in mind: 

January Intake – 

Round 1 – June 5

Round 2 – July 29

Round 3 – September 10

Round 4 – November 6

September Intake – 

Round 1 – October 29

Round 2 – January 29

Round 3 – March 10

Round 4 – April 30 

Some of its best programs are: 

MBA Full-time – Marketing, Supply chain management 

Executive MBA

Sauder School of Business – University of British Columbia

Sauder School of Business was established in 1956, and is one of the world’s leading institutes for an MBA, with academic repute and excellent programs. It is ranked 6th in Canada for an MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 650
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

International students occupy around 55% of the total student count at Sauder, where there are strong placement opportunities with an average salary of around 90 lakhs. 

Here are some of the important dates to keep in mind: 

Most international applicants need to fill and submit their application by April 7, 2022. 

Sauder offers: 

MBA Full-time 

Master of Business Analytics 

Professional MBA

Alberta School of Business – University of Alberta

Founded in 1916, this b-school offers high quality teaching and features in the top 50 publicly funded institutions in the world. It ranks 7th in Canada for an MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 630
  • Minimum GPA of 3.4/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

Around 50% of the class come from other countries. The avg. salary is around 32 lakhs, with a placement rate of about 89%. 

Fall term Deadline – April 1, 2022

Winter term Deadline – September 1, 2022

Alberta offers a full-time MBA and a Master of Accounting. 

John Molson School of Business – Concordia University

Established in 1974, John Molson is known for its high ROI. It is ranked 8th in Canada for an MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 600
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

It has an 87% placement rate with an average salary of around 51 lakhs. 

Fall term Deadline – March 1, 2022

Winter Term Deadline – June 1, 2022

John Molson is known for its full-time MBA, MSc in Marketing and MSc in Finance. 

HEC Montreal – University of Montreal

It is known for its diversity and international atmosphere. Founded in 1907, it currently ranks 9th in Canada for an MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 625
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

Companies such as L’oreal, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey, EY, and KPMG come to HEC for placements, with an average salary of 60 lakhs and a placement rate of 91%. 

Here are some of the important dates for admissions: 

Round 1 – November 15, 2021

Round 2 – January 15, 2022

Round 3 – March 15, 2022

Round 4 – May 15, 2022

It is known for its MBA HEC, PhD in Administration – Management Science and MSc. 

Rowe School of Business – Dalhousie University

Rowe was founded back in 1818, making it one of the oldest universities in the Great North. They’re known to be one of the best b-schools in Canada, particularly for their co-op programs and corporate residency MBA. 

Key Requirements: 

  • Average GMAT Score: 600
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0/4
  • IELTS 7.0 / TOEFL iBT – 100
  • 2 years of relevant, full-time work experience 

There are around 25% international students. Top companies come for recruitments drives, with an average salary of around 45 lakhs. 

For the January intake, we have a deadline around October 31, 2021

For the May intake, we have a deadline around February, 2022

They are known for their corporate residency MBA. 

So, there we have it. The top universities and best business schools in Canada for an MBA! Let us now look at some of the top jobs after an MBA in Canada and their specializations. 

Chapter 3

Top Jobs and Salaries after MBA in Canada

It is imperative to understand the prospects of getting a stable job after your MBA, and it is also vital to understand your options in terms of a particular specialization. Canada’s ever growing job marketing, along with its lucrative job opportunities after an MBA have made it a very popular study destination for an MBA. The fact that the Great North offers a 3-year work permit after your full-time, 2-year MBA is certainly a boon, as it will help you repay your education loans and gain experience in your field. The salary prospects are huge and that doesn’t hurt either! : P 

Canada’s job market is dominated by SMEs, so in all likelihood, you will have landed an excellent job in medium and small-sized organizations. Some of the MNCs mentioned along with the placements of the universities are also exciting options to go for. As a general state of things, consulting roles and roles related to finance are among the highest-paying jobs after an MBA. 

Finance

Finance is widely regarded as one of the most rewarding specializations after an MBA. Job roles related to Finance as always in demand in Canada. 

  • Financial Manager – This is one of the most in-demand job roles with an avg. salary range of about 45 – 65 lakhs INR (per annum). You’ll have to be familiar with Canadian Tax, manage payrolls and be well-versed with Financial Reporting. 
  • Senior Manager – You will be working collaboratively with clients, fintech and your team for accounting, strategy and financial processes. Avg. salary range of about 52 lakhs to 75 lakhs INR.   
  • Financial Analyst – You’ll track and understand the financial operations of the organisation, their expense and their budget, while also identifying risk points and track the capital of the company. Avg. salary range of about 43 lakhs to 52 lakhs INR. 

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Consulting

Consulting roles are in high demand in Canada. Coupled with finance, they occupy most of the job prospects after an MBA in Canada, apart from general management and other MBA roles like Marketing and HR. 

Business Management Consultants identify business troubles and problems, and come up with solutions in order to resolve said problem, improve the organizational output, aid in growth, and overall serve as consultants to streamline any process they are required to provide solutions to. This can range from Marketing and Sales Strategies, to managing the internal management process for better efficiency. The avg. salary definitely varies, with a range of about 70 lakhs – 90 lakhs INR.

Marketing

There is a good supply-demand ratio for marketing roles in Canada, and they have good prospects after their MBA in Marketing. 

Marketing and Sales Manager :

This is one of the ‘big jobs’ in any organization, for it involves managing and coordinating the entire Marketing sphere of the organization – ranging from Business Development, Promotions and Advertising, Market Research and Competitor Analysis, and product growth and sustenance. They work with the Marketing Executives, the Sales Team, Marketing Analysts, and pretty much every department that has anything to do with the product including customer care, messaging and brand perception. Campaigns, Strategies and Consumer Experience is their bread and butter. Avg. salary varies depending on the company, ranging from about 50 lakhs to 85 lakhs INR on one side to 1.5 – 2 Cr. INR jobs for MNCs. 

Marketing Analysts :

Marketing Analysts use Market Research and Business Analytics to study the market and consumer data, to identify opportunities, find out what people want, track trends, assess their competition. Marketing managers use this information to formulate sales tactics, marketing campaigns and promotional endeavors. Avg. Salary range of about 30 lakhs INR to 50 lakhs INR. 

HR

This is a specialization that is crucial to the functioning of every organisation, and it is no different for Canada. 

HR Manager:

HR Managers coordinate and direct the administrative functions of the company, executive recruitment processes, and ensure the smooth conduct and flow of information and work between the management and the employees. They work to promote the morale and spirit of the organisation with the entire HR team, and work closely with the heads of the organisation to ensure an efficient, optimised and happy team. Avg. Salary ranged from 45 lakhs to 65 lakhs INR. 

  • Other roles include HR Co-ordinators and Executives.

Operations

Just like Finance, this is one of the most competitive steams to pursue after an MBA in Canada. Operations involve supervision of workers and facilities, frequently related to the manufacturing and labour sector. 

Operations Manager :

They’re typically responsible for ensuring and managing the production of goods and services in a company. This involves designing, optimizing, and execution of the operations process keeping in mind resources, labour and costs. They seek to do the best they can with the available capital and resources. Avg. salary of about 80 lakhs INR (Note – it may higher or lower than this depending on the scale of the company).

ROI

 These are the top jobs in Canada after an MBA. Most of them have an excellent ROI considering the fees of the top universities mentioned in the previous section. The basic ROI you can expect is an 80% hike in your salary pre-MBA. Canadian Universities offer an avg. salary package of about 50 lakhs per annum. 

Let us now look at the cost of living in Canada during your MBA. 

Chapter 4

Cost of living in Canada during your MBA

Obviously, the cost of living will vary according to the city you are studying in, and the university in which you are studying, but there are some basic living expenses that can be generalized, in order to get an idea of what the cost of living will be like. Let us look at that now. 

  • Internet – 3k to 5k INR per month. 
  • Utilities – 12k to 24k INR per month. 
  • Accommodation’s – 25k to 60k per month. (These will vary depending on whether you choose a university homestay or a private, shared apartment.)
  • Clothing – Around 2k per month (Varies widely). 
  • Basic Entertainment – Around 10k per month. 
  • Food and Drinks – Around 25 – 30k per month. 

Right off the bat, it becomes quite obvious that you need to get a part-time job, so definitely go for one. The minimum wage in Canada is around 1k per hour. If you work part-time, you can definitely cover your cost of living. If you’re worried about your Cost of Living, go for shared spaces and don’t worry, for you will be able to pay everything back after your degree. 

Quality of living and life is high in Canada, and there’s lot to explore and do. 

Enjoy the Great North!

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Chapter 5

MBA Scholarships in Canada

Scholarships in Canada are generally very limited compared to the USA or UK. Very few B-schools offer scholarships, and these are usually given out to meritorious students of excellent calibre. Let us quickly look at the most popular scholarships awarded in association with an MBA in a Canadian University.

Scholarship

Amount (INR)

Offered by

Women in Business Excellence Award

Up to 7.3 lakhs

Rotman School of Management

MBA Excellence Award

Up to 14.6 lakhs 

Rotman School of Management

Global Business Leader of Tomorrow

From 7.3 – 11 lakhs

Sauder School of Business

Ivey MBA Scholarship

Up to 7.3 lakhs

Ivey Business School

MBA Entrance Scholarship

From 5.5 – 8.3 lakhs

Haskayne School of Business

Scotiabank Scholarships

Up to 14.6 lakhs

Schulin School of Business

The rest of the scholarships offered are very few in number, and vary greatly according to every university. While applying to a particular b-school or university for an MBA in Canada, make sure you go through their website thoroughly and check out any potential scholarships they offer. This applies for any program you apply for abroad.  

So, there we have it. We hope we provided you with a lot of insights and information regarding pursuing an MBA in Canada. For an Express Entry Guide to Canada, click here

Hope this blog helped you! Written by Saahil R Bhatt.

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