With 39 MBA programs in Canada, research is key in finding the right one for you

Getting your MBA is the first step to securing your future, so picking the right MBA school is crucial to your success. It pays to get educated about MBA schools before you sign up to get educated by them.

Once you’ve decided an MBA is important to achieving your career objectives, you’ll want to find out what kind of program, tuition costs, curriculum and professional reputation each MBA program entails. There are 39 MBA programs offered in Canada alone and hundreds more around the world, so make sure to take time to get acquainted with your options.

Program lengths can vary, as a 2007 survey conducted by Canadian Business shows — for example, MBAs at Schulich (York) and Joseph L. Rotman (Toronto) run for 16 months, while programs at Queen’s and Telfer (Ottawa) take only 12 months. Tuition costs vary as well: $63,078 for a Rotman MBA, $42,450 for Schulich and $24,000 for DeGroote (McMaster). Tuition for other well-regarded MBAs from Desautels (McGill) and John Molson (Concordia), by comparison, cost only $9,827 and $8,858 respectively, so you can see how further research is crucial to find out exactly what each school offers to fit your needs. In terms of students’ GMAT scores, Schulich is tops with an average score of 660 while Queen’s (656), Desautels (652), Western’s Richard Ivey School of Business (648) and Rotman (642) round out the top five. Complete results showing things like pre- and post-MBA earnings comparisons and employment rates can be downloaded directly from the Canadian Business site (www.canadianbusiness.com).


For opinions and reviews of programs, you’ll want to do a little sleuthing — in fact, you might want to pull out your best Sherlock Holmes costume while you do it, just to get in character. Current students and former grads can tell you about the quality of teaching they experienced at a particular school, as well as how they’re being treated in the business world and what their recruitment possibilities have been like as a result of their MBA. Check message boards and alumni organizations, and even contact employers in your target industry to find out what they think about the performance of graduates from different programs.

MBA program rankings, like those put out by Canadian Business, are definitely a helpful tool in figuring out which program is right for you, but they shouldn’t be the only guide you use to make up your mind. Different ranking systems tend to yield different results and all rankings do entail some amount of subjective judgment. So use the rankings as a starting point for your investigation, not the end of the road.

For info on Canadian schools, www.canadian-universities.net/MBA is a great place to find a comprehensive listing of every MBA school in Canada complete with contact information as well as a brief synopsis of each program. The site also offers great advice on what criteria to use when picking a school.

For American schools, a bare-bones (but accurate) contact list can be found at www.univsource.com/bus.htm, which lists every MBA institution in the U.S. with hyperlinks leading directly to their business school’s site.

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