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MBA in Canada – Top MBA colleges for International Students

With the current uncertainty surrounding the H1-B visa program in the U.S., an MBA in Canada has quickly become a promising destination for international students. In 2018, International students holding Canadian study permits numbered 572,425 an increase of almost 16.25% over 2017, and, an overall increase of 73% in the last 5 years. In this article, we explore the top MBA colleges in Canada.


Here is a brief outline of the topics we will cover:

MBA in Canada: Top MBA colleges in Canada

Following are the top colleges for an MBA in Canada:

  1. University of Toronto’s – Rotman School of Management
  2. McGill University’s – Desautels Faculty of Management
  3. York University’s – Schulich Schools of Business
  4. Western University’s – Ivey Business School
  5. HEC Montréal


Following is the Class Profile and Employment data of the above business schools:

MBA in Canada: Employment Statistics & Salaries for top MBA colleges in Canada

Name Mean/Median Salary Mean/Median Bonus Employment Rate
Rotman School of Management 92,133/85,000 15,588/15,000 85%
McGill Desautels Faculty of Management 87,306/85,000 12,867/10,000 90%
York University’s Schulich Business School 91,940 11,950 90%
Ivey Business School 103,024 N/A 90%
HEC Montréal 85,740/80,000 N/A 91%

MBA in Canada: Class Profile Data for Top MBA colleges in Canada

Name Tuition Cost Class Size Average Age Average Work-Experience GMAT Range/Average %age of Women %age of International Students
Rotman School of Management 129,190 351 27 4.1 662 34% 35%
McGill Desautels Faculty of Management 89,000 70-90 28 5 N/A 30% 76%
York University’s Schulich Business School 104,080 360 29 5 550-750 35% 47%
Ivey Business School 111,750 166 28 4.8 620-720 27% 25%
HEC Montréal 62,600 102 31 7 625 30% 64%

Learn more about the top business schools in US and India.

Top 5 Reasons to Pursue an MBA in Canada

Following are the top 5 reasons to pursue an MBA in Canada:

    1. Canadian Post Graduation Work Permit Program
    2. Affordable Tuition Cost (as compared to U.S. MBA Programs)
    3. Several Internationally Ranked MBA Programs
    4. High Average Salaries Post-MBA
    5. Multicultural and Diverse Society

Canadian Post Graduation Work Permit Program

Once you graduate from an eligible program from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada you become eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). The validity of the work permit depends on the length of your study program.

If your program is less than 2 years your PGWP validity will be the same as the length of your study program. If your MBA program 2 years or more than you may receive a PGWP that’s valid for 3 years.

Besides the PGWP, Canada has one of the most straight forward and transparent points-based permanent residency programs (PR), which gives Canadian MBA graduates the opportunity to permanently settle in Canada after graduation.

Learn more about Post-MBA Work visa and Immigration.

Affordable Tuition Costs & High Quality of Life

While an MBA is an expensive proposition as compared to other master’s degree programs considering the tuition costs, an MBA in Canada continues to offer a solid RoI over the course of a professional career.

Even more so the tuition cost of top MBA colleges in Canada is significantly lower than its U.S. counterparts. While the tuition cost of a top 10 ranked U.S. MBA program is US $ 140,000, the tuition cost of a top-ranked Canadian MBA program is around CAD $ 110,000.

The following table contains the tuition costs of some of the top MBA colleges in Canada:

Name Tuition Cost (CAD $)
Rotman School of Management 129,190
McGill Desautels Faculty of Management 89,000
York University’s Schulich Business School 104,080
Ivey Business School 111,750
HEC Montréal 62,600

Here are few Tips to make your MBA pocket friendly in 2020. 

Internationally Ranked MBA Programs

While it may not have as many top-ranked business schools, Canada boasts of several MBA programs that rank highly in international MBA program rankings. Several of the programs featured in this article rank in the top 100 Global MBA program rankings and place well into industries such as Finance, Consulting, and Technology, etc.

However, your post-MBA career goals and program fit are much more important factors in evaluating an MBA program than just going by MBA rankings.

Check out the top 50 business schools for an MBA Global Ranking. 

High Average Post-MBA Salaries

An MBA in Canada provides solid RoI with average starting salaries of $85,000+ post-MBA. This combined with an employment rate of 85% and greater for the top MBA programs bodes well for aspirants who want to stay and work in Canada post their MBA.

Learn more about factors affecting your Post MBA Salary in 2020. 

Multicultural and Diverse Society

Canada officially adopted a policy of multiculturalism in the early 1970s. And immigration is considered as both economically and socially crucial to the nation. Thus, Canada provides a safe and welcoming environment for immigrants and actively works on policies that actively engage immigrants in Canadian society.

Next, let us look in detail at the Top MBA colleges in Canada.

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MBA in Canada: Top MBA colleges in Canada #1 University of Toronto’s – Rotman School of Management


The Rotman full-time 2-year MBA Program is one of the largest and most diverse programs offered in Canada. Its campus located in downtown Toronto which is a large commercial and financial hub.

Curriculum, Electives, and Majors

The Rotman MBA curriculum is divided into core courses (that are spread out over the first year) and elective courses. Students can choose from up to 90 elective courses and 15 majors in the second year to tailor their MBA program.

Some of the areas of Interests available are:

    • Consulting
    • Global Management
    • Health Sector Management
    • Brand Management
    • Business Design
    • Investment Banking
    • Risk Management and Financial Engineering

Rotman has pioneered the teaching of integrative thinking and business design which teaches students to go beyond the functional areas of business and consider the big picture. Integrative thinking according to Rotman, teaches how to use models to define and structure business challenges, thus improving your ability to solve complex problems.

Flexible Internship Program

Rotman’s flexible internship program offers students the opportunity to pursue an internship during any of the three different 4-month internship periods after the first year. The 3 different internship periods are:

    • May-August
    • September – December
    • January – April

Creative Destruction Lab

Those interested in evaluating and building early-stage tech businesses can participate in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). Founded by Professor Ajay Agrawal at Rotman in 2012, CDL has expanded to Vancouver (Sauder School of Business), Calgary (Haskayne School of Business), Montréal (HEC Montréal), Halifax (Rowe School of Business) and New York City (Stern School of Business).

Rotman Students work alongside CDL partners to help develop financial models, evaluate potential markets, and fine-tune strategies for scaling. There is a competitive selection process for the CDL course.

Ventures accepted into the CDL program have backgrounds in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cleantech, and health. CDL incubated companies have created over $3 Billion in equity value. Following are some CDL alumni organizations:

    • Thalmic Labs (Waterloo)
    • Atomwise (San Francisco)
    • Deep Genomics (Toronto)
    • Automat (Montréal)
    • Kyndi (Palo Alto)

MBA in Canada: Top MBA colleges in Canada #2 McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management


Located in downtown Montréal McGill Desautels Faculty of Management’s MBA program is ranked #1 in Canada by Wall Street Journal. The McGill MBA program offers students the ultimate flexibility in program length with 12, 16, 20 and 28-month options.

Redesigned MBA Curriculum with a Student Centric Approach

The McGill MBA program has been redesigned to provide students a global perspective to help shape tomorrow’s world leaders. Experiential learning, case studies, real business projects, and international study trips are a very important part of the McGill MBA experience.

The McGill MBA curriculum can be divided into 4 distinct phases:

    1. Laying Foundations
    2. Integrating Disciplines
    3. Specializing
    4. Experiential Learning

The 1st phase consists of a Base Camp program that ensures all candidates have the required quantitative skills in Business Math and Financial Accounting. The 2nd phase consists of core courses structured around different disciplines. Integration modules (in the 2nd phase) help in combining all the learnings from the core courses and enhance the learning experience.

The 3rd phase is where you can start tailoring the MBA program to your own professional and personal learning objectives. Students can choose courses from 5-key subject areas and can choose to graduate with up to 2 specializations from the following key subject areas:

    1. Global Strategy & Leadership
    2. Entrepreneurship
    3. Business Analytics
    4. Marketing
    5. Finance

The 4th and final phase is where students can choose from different experiential learning opportunities such as:

    • 10-day international study trip
    • Internships
    • International Exchange
    • Practicum

Personalized Career and Employment Resources

The McGill MBA program hosts more than 100 firms on their campus every year for both students and firms to explore various career opportunities. Additionally, the Desautels MBA program has full-time career coaches, specific stream advisors and dedicated professional development programming to help students become successful in the job market post-MBA.

Some of the resources provided include:

    • Self-awareness and strengths-based psychometric assessments
    • Industry and Functional overviews
    • Skills-based workshops for resume and interview preparation as well as structured thinking and communication.

The Desautels MBA program boasts of a 90% employment rate within 3-months of graduation and average median starting salaries of CAD $ 85,000.

MBA in Canada: Top MBA colleges in Canada #3 York University’s Schulich School of Business


The Schulich MBA program flexibility allows students to switch between full-time or part-time status. Students can choose to study at any of the two campus options located in downtown and uptown Toronto.

Schulich School of Business: MBA Curriculum

The MBA curriculum includes 33 credits of course courses. The core equips students with a common background and capabilities for effective management of public, private and non-profit sectors. In addition to core courses, students are required to complete 27 credits of electives which allows for a deeper exploration of an area of focus.

Strategy Field Study and Specializations

Students also participate in the strategy field study as the capstone of the program. The strategy field study is a 2-term consulting project where student team conducts a strategic assessment of an organization and its environment. The student teams then present their recommendations to senior management.

Students can choose from over 15+ areas of specialization Following are some of the more popular specializations offered:

    • Finance
    • Business Consulting
    • International Business
    • Strategic Management
    • Health industry Management
    • Marketing

89% of Schulich MBA students were hired within 3-months of graduation. 140 companies hired students from the Schulich MBA program. CAD $ 91,500 was the average starting salary and bonus offered to students.

MBA in Canada: Top MBA Colleges in Canada #4 Western University’s Ivey School of Business

MBA-in-Canada-Ivey-Business-School -Top-colleges

The Ivey MBA is a one-year, full-time program that starts in March. The Ivey MBA program, like HBS, is delivered using the case study method. Students go through over 300 cases in a year which helps mirror the challenges and complexities of real-world business in the classroom.

Learning by Doing and the Case Method

The Ivey MBA program focuses on learning by doing. The case method which forms the mainstay of the Ivey MBA program encourages students to think of business challenges outside of the traditional function-based approach. This enables students to take a big-picture view and become comfortable with making decisions when faced with uncertainty.

Team-Based Learning Approach

Students work in teams to refine their individual assessments of a case, ideas, and plan of action and then participate in a class discussion where they debate and learn from diverse perspectives of other individuals and teams. The Ivey MBA classroom is the ultimate training ground to practice your business leadership skills and apply your theoretical business knowledge.

Strong Employment Statistics and Career Management Team

The Ivey MBA program boasts of 90% employment rate with an average starting salary of CAD $ 103,000. The career management team at Ivey is ranked #1 by its recruiting partners and career coaching is built into the curriculum of the MBA program.

The career management team provides students with help in building a solid resume, preparing for interviews and networking effectively. This helps students find hidden career opportunities and plan their career strategy.

MBA in Canada: Top MBA Colleges in Canada #5 HEC Montréal


HEC Montréal offers a 1-year full-time MBA program with a fully integrated learning approach. According to HEC Montreal, “The MBA program’s teaching approach is founded on the exchange of expertise, actively enhancing your skills, building your experience and expanding your network.”

Business Consulting Project

The program includes a hands-on business consulting project that helps students gain practical experience. The MBA program’s small class-size is said to enhance faculty and student interaction. The average age of the MBA program class is 31 years with an average work experience of 7 years which is greater than the other MBA programs in this article.

The HEC Montréal program boasts of a 91% placement rate and average starting salaries of CAD $ 96,444. Graduates of the HEC Montréal report an average wage increase of 28%. The MBA program consists of 3 phases:

    • Acquire Business Fundamentals
    • Develop Individual Competencies
    • Apply Knowledge and Skills

Some Employers of HEC Montréal MBA graduates include:

    • Accenture
    • Deloitte
    • Google
    • Pratt & Whitney
    • Proctor & Gamble
    • Ubisoft
    • Telus

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