For working professionals, earning your MBA by physically going back to school might not be an option. But registering online could be.

At Victoria’s Royal Roads University, students begin with an intense three-week residence on campus. They “pretty much interact with their colleagues 24 hours a day,” says Dr. Pedro Marquez, dean of Royal Roads’ faculty of management. “By the time they leave, they know each other on a first-name basis.” Students return to the school for another three weeks at the end of the 17-month program.

At Alberta’s Athabasca University, most courses are offered three times a year. Each course is divided into groups of 24 students, with each group taught by its own academic coach. “Each coach is a professor with a PhD as well as industry experience, so that they’re able to bring that theory and practice together in a meaningful way,” says Dr. Deborah Hurst, the program’s director.

Like their counterparts at Royal Roads, Athabasca students must take at least one course — a five-day elective — on-site. Some of these are held in overseas financial centres such as Sao Paolo, London, and Singapore, in addition to New York, Ontario and Alberta.

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