Canada has a long history of teaching business, with the first Canadian business degree granted by Queen’s University just over 100 years ago. From 1921 until the mid-60s, the curriculum at business schools focused on training chartered accountants and other careers in finance. However, the nature of business has changed since those days, and so has the nature of business education.
Today, there are business degrees ranging from BComs and BBAs to MBAs and EMBAs. The range of courses available covers core disciplines, such as accounting, finance, human resources, and marketing. More and more courses also include fields such as digital technology, entrepreneurship, product management, and corporate social sustainability.
With so many courses available from a range of higher education facilities in Canada, how do you choose? In this article, we have compiled a list of the best places to study business in Canada to help you decide.
McGill Desautels Faculty of Management
Desautels at McGill consistently ranks among the best business schools in the world. Every year around 2,300 undergraduate and 300 postgraduate study at Desautels. MBA students from Desautels have an 85% job placement rate and can expect to earn over $87,000.
The school has the highest GMAT score required for admission and students average 670 points in the exam. There are students from over 75 countries around the world at Desautels.
Undergraduate students at McGill can choose from twelve majors and fourteen concentrations depending on the aspect of business they want to pursue. More information on their courses can be found here.
The HEC Montreal opened in 1907 and is recognised as the first school of management in Canada. It is a French-language higher education facility that focuses on management education and research. It is one of the largest business schools in Canada, with almost 10,000 undergraduate students and around 3,200 postgraduate students registered at the HEC.
The bachelor of business administration program at HEC comes in three language options: French, bilingual with French and English, and a trilingual course with the third option in Spanish.
HEC Montreal also has a joint EMBA program with McGill University, which gives students a network of contacts that will help them thrive in the business world. You can find out more about the courses offered at HEC here.
UBC Sauder School of Business
The Sauder School of Business is part of the University of British Columbia and is located in Vancouver. The school offers over 100 programs and certificates for students looking to further their education or their career. It is a popular choice for business students and has over 4,000 registered students.
Sauder is one of the most multicultural business schools in Canada. 70% of their MBA students come from outside Canada and there is a specific Ch’nook indigenous business education program that addresses the needs for sustainable development among indigenous communities.
Students at Sauder benefit from international exchange opportunities that help them develop an understanding of international trade markets. At the postgraduate level, there are several MBA options as well as a PhD program. Access more information about the Sauder School of Business here.
Rotman School of Management
The school is named after its principal benefactor, Joseph L. Rotman, and teaches over 3,000 students every year. It is in downtown Toronto and has around 2,300 undergraduates and 1,000 postgraduate students.
92.5% of the students who attend Rotman School of Management find work in their field and MBA graduates can expect to earn $115,000 on average. The business school offers over 90 elective courses and students can personalise their learning based on their career aspirations.
Students at Rotman have excellent opportunities to learn through practical experience. The school offers co-op programs with some large global companies, including Amazon, Mercedes Benz, and J.P. Morgan. You can find out more about the school and the courses they offer here.
Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business
The Beedie School of Business is in Vancouver, which is a hub for international trade, entrepreneurship, and technology in Canada. The school prides itself on emerging markets research, developing environment and innovation technologies, and it has three campuses in the city.
In 1968, the Beedie School of Business became the first school in Canada to offer an executive MBA program. In 2011, it launched the first EMBA partnership program for the Americas together with Vanderbilt University, Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology, and the Institute of Management Foundation in Brazil.
Students at Beedie benefit from SFU’s career management centre as well as access to company tours, workshops, and opportunities to network. The school has a good employment rate with 90% of students finding work in their field. For more information on the programs the Beedie School of Business offers, click here.
Schulich School of Business
Schulich is a great option for anyone looking to study at a business school with established international links. As well as having offices in China, South Korea, and Russia, the school has a satellite campus in Hyderabad, India.
The student numbers at Schulich are smaller compared to many other Canadian business schools with around 500 undergraduate and 400 postgraduate students at the Toronto and Hyderabad campuses.
The school, based at York University in Toronto, is one of the most popular choices for prospective students and receives thousands of applications every year. Applicants who have grades that are below the high 80s are required to show considerable extracurricular achievements.
More information on the Schulich School of Business can be found here.
Ivey Business School
The Ivey Business School is based in London, Ontario, and is one of the best real-world business education providers in Canada. The job placement rate for students from Ivey is 91% and students earn an average salary of €115,000. There are approximately 1,300 undergraduate and 300 postgraduate students registered at Ivey Business School.
The school offers an honours business administration program that lasts four years and centers on Ivey Leadership Essentials. They also offer a master of science in management that builds on previous undergraduate business experience.
The Ivey Business School was the first North American business school to offer programs in Hong Kong at the Cheng Yu Tung Management Institute. You can explore the Ivey Business School courses here.
Smith School of Business at Queen’s University
The Smith School of Business has over 3,000 students and offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s, graduate diplomas, and PhD courses. The school in Kingston, Ontario has six areas of focus, which are sustainable finance, customer analytics, social impact, business venturing, corporate reporting and professionalism, and business research.
The BComm at the Smith School is one of the hardest to get into and has an average annual cutoff of around 87% for incoming students and the job placement rate for graduates is 98%. The school has corporate partnerships with companies such as IBM and Scotiabank that help with funding and technological improvements. Many students do internships or are offered high-paying roles with partner companies after graduation.
The Smith School runs the Dare to Dream program, which encourages students to launch businesses by investing in their business ideas. You can find out more about the Smith School business curriculum here.
Alberta School of Business
The Alberta School of Business is part of the University of Alberta and is located in Edmonton. It is home to over 2,000 undergraduates, around 750 postgraduates, and 50 PhD students. In 1968, it became the first school in Canada to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
There is a lot of focus on entrepreneurship and promoting innovation. The school is also one of the few business schools in Canada that has a heavy focus on real estate business ventures. Their real estate programs give students a lot of real-life practice and rival some of the world’s leading post-secondary institutions.
The university’s business school has been a popular choice for undergraduates for over 100 years and their bachelor of commerce program includes eleven majors students can choose from in their third year of study. For postgraduate students, there are five different MBA programs, including an Energy MBA that develops leaders for the energy and natural resource industries. Learn more about the courses offered at Alberta School of Business here.
DeGroote School of Business
The DeGroote School of Business is part of McMaster University and is based in Hamilton, Ontario. The school is known for producing some of the most employable business leaders and 97% of its graduates find work in their chosen field within six months of graduation.
The school also has a reputation as a leader in research in healthcare management, digital technologies, and teaching. It has one of the only three trading floor simulators in Canada equipped with Bloomberg terminals, Reuters Stations, and seven screens that display real stock market data.
Students attending DeGroote School of Business have an opportunity to intern with large companies, including Microsoft, RBC, and Procter & Gamble. You can explore the undergraduate and postgraduate programs the school offers here.
Prospective and postgraduate business students have plenty of choice in Canada with many of the Canadian business schools offering great opportunities for networking, work experiences, and international connections.
Prospective students should find out the exact entry requirements for each business school and the details of how to apply to ensure a successful application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the reasons for choosing a Canadian business school include learning in-demand skills, having a network of support, and a great return of investment.
Canadian business schools have a diverse portfolio of programs, so it can be challenging to choose the best one for you. That is why it is important to read the course descriptions and the entry requirements carefully before making your decision. You might find this guide helpful when making your decision.
Canada is a great option for international students and welcomes them to study in the country. Students choosing Canada can expect to receive a high-quality education at a lower cost compared to some other major destinations for international students.