Study MBA in Canada for International Students - Fees, Requirements, Scholarships, Eligibility, Visa & Admission Process

by Nidhi Mittal

As per the latest statistics, the employment rate of MBA graduates in Canada has moved up considerably. For instance, at the Schulich School of Business Class 2017, 89% of students were hired within 3 months of graduation with an average salary range of $48,000-$190,000. Major sectors recruiting include Financial Services, Technology, Retail, Consulting and Real Estate sectors.

Similarly, in Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, 90% of MBA students were placed within 3 months of graduation in functional areas such as Finance, General Management, Marketing and Business Development. In this article, we will discuss about studying MBA in Canada from an international student’s perspective in terms of its career benefits, admission process, visa requirements, fees and costs, exams required and post-degree job opportunities.

Types of MBA in Canada

There are several kinds of MBA degrees offered in Canada to suit diverse interests and requirements of international students.

  • Full-Time MBA:- With an understanding of the diversity of the Canadian workforce, MBA program prepares a student to enter the job market as a leader. The duration of the program is usually two years and students can choose to study in full-time or part-time mode as per their convenience. Students can also decide to opt for joint degree options such as MBA/JD or MBA/MFA/MA.
  • International MBA:- IMBA provide business insights from some of the world’s best professors and the opportunity to work with the world’s most renowned industry leaders. Apart from individual development, international students are exposed to global experience such as international field study, global courses, integrated curriculum, etc. The duration of the program is usually 20-28 months.
  • Executive MBA:- Usually the duration of the program is 13 months, where the return on investment is both personal and professional. It is suitable for students who want to work while studying and aspire to gain practical corporate knowledge along with classroom learning.

Benefits of Studying MBA in Canada

  • Great Career Opportunities:- Canada falls into the category of top countries for studying MBA abroad. As per the QS World University Ranking 2018, seven of the world’s top 150 universities are in Canada.

With such top-notch educational institutions, Canada also provides excellent job opportunities for immense career growth. To know more, check out the Job Prospects after MBA from Canada at the end of this article.

  • Simpler Visa & Immigration Process:- Every student who has ever thought of studying abroad can not deny that the complex process of Visa and Immigration process can be a huge discouragement.

But, here’s the good news! After Donald Trump administration’s negative immigration speeches, Canada has become an even more tempting option for international MBA candidates over the past two years. Top-level education at such affordable costs without any hassle for the admission process, Canada has become the ‘dream place’ for all international students.

  • Better standard of living:- As a multicultural nation, Canada welcomes all international students with open arms. With high cultural diversity, it has become a place where people of different religions, cultures, languages and backgrounds live together in harmony. Coming from an outside country, an international student can mingle with different kinds of people and gain memorable experiences.

Top Universities in Canada for MBA

Canada is home to some world renowned B-schools and universities in the world.

*CWUR World University Rankings 2018-2019

*RankingsUniversity NameCollege NamePercentage of International Students
17University of TorontoRotman School of Management51%
37McGill UniversityDesautels Faculty of Management60%
38University of British ColumbiaSauder School of Business-
96University of AlbertaAlberta School of Business16.70%
261Queen’s UniversitySmith School of Business11.30%
311Simon Fraser University (SFU)Beedie School of Business-
388York UniversitySchulich School of Business-
411University of SaskatchewanEdwards School of Business7.30%
-University of Western OntarioIvey Business School30%

Top Universities with Tuition Fees

Given below is a table with all the top-ranking Canadian Universities along with their tuition fees for international students. Note that these tuition costs are only for the Full-Time MBA program. There are various other programs offered by universities. For more information, students are encouraged to visit the universities’ official websites.

UniversitiesFees (Full-Time MBA)
Rotman School of Management$120,680
Schulich School of Business$103,800

Ivey Business School

Desautels Faculty of Management$ 91,437
Sauder School of Business$60,000
Queen's School of Business $95,000
Alberta School of Business $57,909
Beedie School of Business$51,700

Master in Business Administration (MBA)- Admission Requirements

As an international MBA aspirant, there are certain admission requirements that you should be familiar with:-

Online Application:- Every university has its own application portal where candidates need to register and complete the application form.

Application Fee:- Along with the completion of the online application, candidates must pay an application fee (in Canadian funds). This fee can be paid by credit card and is non-refundable when submitting the online application form.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Transcripts:- To secure admission in Canada, international students need to submit the scanned copies of all official transcripts through an online application portal. A copy of the bachelor’s degree from a recognized university/ institution must be included. Students should translate all transcripts into English at the time of the submission.
  • GMAT/ GRE Scores:- Candidates planning to pursue MBA program in Canada must provide the scoresheet of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Every institution has different minimum score requirements, therefore, students are advised to check the official website of their choice of university.
  • Letters of Recommendation/ Letters of Reference:- As a mandatory part of the admission process, students must submit at least two professional letters of recommendation. These letters must be directly from individuals who have been responsible for evaluating the candidate’s work performance and potential. While submitting the online application form, candidates need to provide the names and email addresses of two workplace supervisors from current and previous employment.
  • Essays:- Writing a strong application essay can be the qualifying factor during the admission process. The idea behind it is to provide students with an opportunity to express themselves in formal prose. Students are asked to describe why should they be considered for the program. These essays are judged on the basis of their content, style and tone.
  • English/ French Language Proficiency Tests:- Both English and French languages are the medium of instruction in Canadian universities. Depending on the course and the language in which it is taught, international applicants need to fulfill the specific language proficiency requirements.

The main English Language Proficiency Tests accepted by the top universities in Canada are:-

  • TOEFL:- Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • IELTS:- International English Language Testing System
  • PTE:- Pearson Test of English

The main French Language Proficiency Tests accepted by the universities in Canada:-

  • DAFL:- Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française
  • DEFL:- Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française
  • TEF:- Test d'Evaluation de Français
  • Resume:- Applicants must submit a one-page resume containing the details of their employment history. It is crucial to mention the period specifying the company name, job profile, skill sets and responsibilities. A well-made resume should have a record of the candidate’s academic qualifications presented in reverse chronological order.
  • Work Experience:- Most of the top universities admit candidates who have at least two years of full-time experience. For instance, Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto expects its students to have 4.6 average years of work experience to get admission in Full-Time MBA program.
  • Interview:- After a preliminary review of a candidate’s application, admitted students will be shortlisted for the interview process. Usually, for international students, the interview is conducted over Skype. This step of the admission process is crucial for both, the admission committee as well as the students. While the committee members get an opportunity to gain further insights into the students’ background and experiences, students are also allowed to ask key questions which are essential to make the right choice.

Study MBA in Canada without GMAT?

Most of the business schools in Canada ask for the submission of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scoresheet, based on which admission is granted.

However, if you are an MBA aspirant who does not perform very well in tests, there is no need to worry. You are not completely out of luck. During admission decisions, students are evaluated on their analytical, decision-making, communication and leadership skills through education and work experience.

There are several top-notch Canadian universities accepting candidates without their GMAT scores as long as they meet certain other requirements. Some of these universities are Schulich School of Business, York University, Queen’s University Smith School of Business, New York Institute of Technology, Vancouver, BC and many others.

Instead of GMAT scores, these universities rely on other requirements such as completion of an undergraduate degree in business or related field with an average of B+ or higher. Another requirement is that students must have at least two years of full time work experience.


In Canada, the difference between MBA Full-Time and PGDM is pretty clear. Given below is a table showcasing a clear-cut distinction between the two programs.

CategoriesMBA PGDM
Full FormMaster of Business AdministrationPost Graduate Diploma in Management
TypeFull-fledged DegreeDiploma
CoverageA comprehensive program covering the entire curriculum Focuses on a specific area of Management.
DurationTwo-year12 weeks (Varies)
Entry RequirementsUndergraduate degree with all the other necessary requirements mentioned above.Undergraduate Degree with a cumulative score of at least 60%.
Job OpportunitiesHigh ProbabilityDoes not guarantee; requires work experience 

Visa and Immigration Process

To study MBA in Canada, it is compulsory for all international students to obtain a Canadian visa and study permit for the duration of their study. Unlike other countries such as US or UK, Canada’s visa policies are less complicated, transparent and accessible for students.

Applicants must receive a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) which is applicable at the post-secondary level.

Job Opportunities After Completing MBA from Canada

In Canada, international students who have completed a two-year master’s program from a Canadian University can automatically receive a three-year work permit.

As the second-largest country on Earth, Canada opens a large number of doors for MBA students in terms of job opportunities. Some of these career opportunities are discussed below:-

  • Finance and Consulting:- The traditional employers of MBA, financial services firms and consulting companies remain the major recruiters of MBA students in Canada.
  • SMEs:- Small and medium-sized enterprises are becoming one of the biggest hiring sectors of business school talent. MBA students who are specifically trained in the sector of management find this option as a great opportunity of learning and exposure.
  • Technology:- Living in the 21st century, technology has surpassed all the other sectors of the economy. Technology-based firms have always been the most enticing career choice for MBA students.

Study MBA in Canada through Scholarships

There are various types of scholarships provided by Canadian governments, governments of respective countries, individual Canadian universities, and other private organisations. The good news is these scholarships and financial aid are available for both Canadian students as well as international students.

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