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MBA in Canada – Best business schools ranking, costs, salaries

Best MBA in Canada

Top business schools in Canada – Ranking, costs, salaries

Besides blessing the world with intellectual eye candies like Ryan Gosling and Justin Trudeau, Canada is becoming a haven for international students. As of 2016, there were 353,000 international students exhibiting a surge of over 90%, since 2008, according to the Canadian Bureau of International Education.

Canada itself is doing pretty fine too, earning an annual income of nearly eight billion Canadian dollars from student expenditures. Seven of the world’s top 150 universities are Canadian, according to the QS World University Rankings of 2018. For MBA graduates, however, the list of employment opportunities dwindles in comparison to the US, with more than 98% of its firms being small, with fewer than 100 employees.

Rest of the nearly 2% consists of medium sized firms,with about 500 employees. These small to medium sized companies, or SMEs, are responsible for creating an annual job requirement of around 100,000 and their contribution to the economy is over 50%.

Even though the country may not have as many MBA rewards, to offer, as its popular neighbour, it does still provide an excellent environment for education with certain advantages. So, let us overview the features of studying in Canada, as an international student, from the perspective of an MBA degree in the country.

Why study MBA in Canada?

Canada is one of the top countries for overall convenience of studying abroad. It features on our list of top countries to study abroad, based on inputs from MBA applicants who have worked with us. It offers affordable education, with world class resources, a multicultural exposure, good living standards, and most significantly, the opportunity to conveniently transition from studying to a legal working status. Let’s address some of its salient features and we will direct you to relevant articles when suitable.

Multicultural Society

Multiculturalism was officially adopted, as a policy, in the early 1970s. The country believes in a Canadian culture which is an amalgamation of various religions, regions, languages, and cultures. Immigration is considered economically, and socially, quite crucial to the nation. They believe in policies that actively engage immigrants in the Canadian society.

Currently, the country has the highest per capita immigration in the world, with a large percentage of its population belonging to a first, or second, generation immigrant family or refugees. Clearly,they take the word “Multiculture” quite seriously with actual legislated policies to back up their welcome mats.

Such an environment creates a favourable lifestyle for international students flocking in from all over the world. The language, still, plays a significant role in the adjustment process, even in the French provinces. Bilingualism is common with nearly 18% of the population capable of carrying on a conversation in either French or English. The rest know at least one of the languages.

As far as other ethnic groups are concerned, you can find a strong presence of Asian cultures, especially a large number of Indian and Chinese people. There are 34 ethnic groups in Canada, as of 2006, with some crossing a million-population mark. So, finding the Indian neighbourhood, for a quick desi food craving, can be quite easily resolved, especially in the bigger cities.

International students can avail of the rather straightforward immigration process to earn their right to work legally in the country. If you, an international student in Canada, graduate from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), which is any institution approved by provincial or territorial government to host foreign students, you may be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

You need to qualify certain eligibility criteria that require you to be enrolled full-time in a DLI program for more than eight months. The validity of the PGWP depends on the duration of study.

For instance, 2 year MBA graduates can stay up to 3 years. For any program less than 2 years, but more than 8 months, the validity lasts up to the length of the study program. Qualified students are also eligible to apply for permanent residency through Express Entry. The details are updated regularly on their immigration website here.

Quality of Life

Canada offers an excellent lifestyle to its residents. Medical treatments are not just state of the art but also free, covered by the same government which also promotes multiculturalism. Talk about a sweet deal!Tuition fees are also much cheaper than the US, however, MBA remains one of its costlier degrees.

But if you were to compare actual numbers, still, an average tuition of $52,000, for EMBA in Canada, is still far cheaper than the often $150,000 – $200,000 price tag that more than a few US universities carry. Though some of the popular MBA programs have inched closer to the pricier side, even in Canada.

Average regular MBA costs are around $30,000. Anyone, with a current student loan for an MBA in the US, can vouch for how reasonable this number is. Average salaries, upon graduating from a well-recognized MBA program, can be around $100,000.

So, clearly lifestyle choices can also hover around upscale and comfortable. Here are a few average costs to keep up the good life, as obtained from Numbeo.

Per month Food Rent for one BHK Household Cost Quality of Life Index*
Toronto $290 $1,000 – $1,400 $840 150.3
Ottawa $260 $700-$940 $780 181.1
Quebec City $300 $440-$540 $760 170.9
Vancouver $300 $1,000-$1,500 $780 160.9
Edmonton $380 $750-$950 $830 150.5
Calgary $290 $700 – $900 $850 164.1
Winnipeg $270 $650-$730 $750 130.1
Montreal $280 $500-$800 $720 154.4

*Overall quality based on safety, pollution, health, purchasing power, commute, climate, income, and cost of living. Higher the index, the better is the quality of life. Prices are in USD.


Top Business Schools for an MBA in Canada

No. B-School Ranking Weighted/Average Post MBA Salary
1 University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management #65 (Global)

Financial Times

2 Western University – Ivey Business School #94 (Global)

Financial Times

3 Queen’s University- Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business #100 (Global)

Financial Times

4 Schulich School of Business, York University #69

The Economist

5 HEC Montréal #54

KUBS Worldwide Business Research Rankings

6 McGill University – DesautelsFaculty of Management #25 International Rank, Bloomberg Businessweek $89,500
7 University of British Columbia – Sauder School of Business #38

QS Rank for Business Degrees

8 University of Alberta #101-#150

QS Rank for Business Degrees


Before we jump into the details of the full, part, and executive, MBA programs in the top business schools in Canada, let us get a fair understanding of what these varieties imply.


Full & Part Time MBA in Top B-Schools in Canada

Program Duration Tuition
Rotman School of Management

Full Time MBA

2 years $84,028


Rotman School of Management

Morning/Evening MBA

32 months $109,970
Ivey Business School MBA

(Option of Advanced Entry – Deferred Admission- Available)

1 year $101,500


Ivey Business School Accelerated MBA 8 months $61,000
Queen’s Smith School of Business Full Time MBA 1 year $71,445


Queen’s Smith School of Business Accelerated MBA (Part-Time) 1 year $81,000
York University – Schulich Full Time MBA

(Part Time & Accelerated available)

2 years $99,400
York University – SchulichInternational MBA

(Part Time available)

20 months $99,400
York University – Schulich MBA India 16-20 months $83,400
HEC Montréal – Full Time MBA 1 year $33,200
McGill Desautel – Full Time MBA 20 months $89,000


McGill Desautel – Professional Part Time MBA 32 months $79,500
UBC Sauder – Full Time MBA 16 months $60,440


UBC Sauder – Professional MBA 2 years $56,000
UBC Sauder – International MBA 20 months $54,000
University of Alberta – Full Time MBA 20 months $53,392
University of Alberta – Part Time MBA Maximum 6 years $51,020


University of Alberta – Fast Track MBA 10 months $1,220/course plus additional charges


Executive MBA in Top B-Schools in Canada

Program Duration Tuition
Rotman School of Management

Executive MBA

13 months $89,325
Queen’s Smith School of Business Executive MBA – The National Program 16 months $101,000
Queen’s Smith School of Business Executive MBA, Cornell-Queen’s 17 months $137,794
Kellogg – Schulich Executive MBA 16 months $94,212
HEC Montréal/McGill – Executive MBA 15 months $69,900
University of Alberta – Executive MBA 20 months $67,000

Besides the above, Concordia University, McMaster University, University of Montréal, University of Waterloo, and University of Western Ontario, are also renowned for their business programs.

Information is dynamic and we encourage you to explore Canada as a viable, and excellent, alternative, to USA, for an MBA in North America. The favourable work permit, and the overall welcoming culture, are compelling reasons to pursue an education in Canada.

Good Luck and hope you find your best fit.

Here are a few links to expand your know-how.


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MBA in Canada