Studying an MBA in Canada – Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my MBA last?

An MBA in Canada can vary in length from ten months to two years and will fall in one of three categories: generalised, specialised or combined. Generalised degrees are typically two years in length, specialised degrees one year or less and combined degrees up to four years. 

What do I need to be accepted onto an MBA programme in Canada?

To be accepted onto an MBA course you need to have a four-year undergraduate degree as well as your Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score, work experience in the business sector, and if English is not your first language a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. Most students achieve a GMAT score of around 600.

How much work experience will I need?

The average student has more than six years of work experience. It is normal that people get experience in the real business world before they apply for their MBA as it helps them know where they want to specialise and apply what they are learning in the classroom to their jobs. It is believed that the more work experience you have the better grade you will get in your MBA studies. The average length of work experience Canadian MBA program ask for is four years – although as is pointed out above, candidates often have more.

What are the demographics of MBA courses in Canada?

The average size of an MBA class in Canada is 40-50, but this ranges from a low of five to a high of over 200 students per class. About 35% of most MBA classes in Canada are made up of women with 65% being men; however this varies from school to school. The more work experience an MBA program requires the older the average age of the students are – the national average age for an MBA student in Canada is 29.

How do I apply to an MBA course in Canada?

When you are applying to an MBA program in Canada make sure you look at the schools’ application deadlines. Some schools have set deadlines but others process applications on a rolling basis.

Firstly download the application forms from the university website. Then compile everything the university requires: probably transcripts from your post-secondary education, proof of graduation, work experience, a personal letter and letters of reference.

Will I need references?

Most universities require two or three letters of reference, one of which will say how the applicant is a good candidate for the MBA program and the other which will address the applicant’s career - including duties held, accomplishments, work ethic and skills.

What should go in my personal letter? 

Your personal letter is really important because it’s your chance to tell the school why you are such a strong candidate for their MBA program. You should discuss your education, career and work experience, your decision to further your education and how the MBA will help you reach your career goals. You should talk about what the programme at that particular business school can do for you, but also what you can do for it and what you will contribute to the class.

What about my visa?

You must apply for your visa straight after you’ve been accepted into an MBA graduate program. Apply to the Canadian embassy in your home country for a student visa to study abroad. An international student may also need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), and if you are going to study in Quebec you need a certificate of acceptance from the Quebec government.

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