Business programs are among the most popular in Canada, and Canadian universities offer a dizzying array. At Canadian universities, entrepreneurial individuals may be assured of a comprehensive and forward-thinking education at all levels of study.
Maclean’s Magazine has released its 2017 rankings of Canadian universities across eight popular study areas: Engineering, Biology, Computer Science, Education, Environmental Science, Medicine, Mathematics, Nursing and Psychology. According to the latest data, graduates from Business, management and public administration study programs accounted for 22 percent of all post-secondary graduates in Canada in 2014. This represents the largest share of graduates by subject.
19. University of Regina (tie)
The University of Regina, founded in 1974, is a younger institution — but it has come a long way in under fifty years. In its short time as an institution, it has firmly established itself as an innovator and an outlier: it was the first university in Western Canada to offer co-op studies. With 15 faculties and academic departments, the school’s offerings are certainly comprehensive.
University of Regina’s Faculty of Business has two schools — the Paul J Hill School of Business and the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business — catering to undergraduate and graduate students respectively. This allows resources and teaching to be effectively targeted towards the different needs of students at each of those levels of study. With extensive links in the community and a number of co-op programs, students at U of R are well set-up upon graduation to work in the fastest-growing city in Canada, or anywhere else in the world. The Hill School of Business also has a partnership with the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University (number four on this list).
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19. University of Ottawa (tie)
The University of Ottawa is the world’s largest bilingual University, offering almost 500 specializations, majors, and minors at the undergraduate level. Also on offer are more than 150 Masters, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate programs. Few schools in Canada can claim this kind of diversity and choice, spread through 10 faculties. The school also values providing students with external opportunities: yearly audits of its programs proclaim a 97 percent after-graduation placement rate.
The Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa offers several programs including undergraduate certificates, Bachelor in Commerce, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Health Administration (MHA), and Executive MBA and Master of Science (MSc) programs. The University of Ottawa’s programs are also highly specialized, with a range of interdisciplinary programs including Engineering Management and Electronic Business Technologies.
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18. University of Victoria (tie)
The University of Victoria has a reputation for groundbreaking research that has carried itself around the world. Students remark that a small teacher-student ratio and an emphasis on co-op and practical experience with the outside community make ‘UVic’ a good educational investment.
The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria offers a Bachelor of Commerce degree to almost 800 undergraduates. At the same time, the Sardul S. Gill Graduate School offers MBA, Master of Global Business (MGB), PhD in International Management & Organization, and Executive study programs. At the undergraduate level, co-op work placements, management simulations, and case competitions all contribute to help students expand their learning environment. The graduate school has an impressive network of international partnerships. Each student may experience doing business in another country by participating in an international integrated management exercise (IME), in Asia, Europe or Latin America. While this school is relatively small, with 1,100 students, its rate of growth and its strong links between faculty and students make it an attractive option to many.
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UQAM is one of Montreal’s French universities, serving more than 43,000 students across six faculties and a school of management. It is known for its student activism, and was founded in 1969 after the merger of Montreal’s fine arts school, a classical college, and several smaller institutions. It is the largest institution in the network of universities across the province that form Université du Québec. UQAM is a giant in the Montreal university scene, with more than 40,000 students and 19 faculties, schools, and institutes.
UQAM’s business school, École des Sciences de la Gestion, offers several courses in English at undergraduate and graduate levels, making it a popular option for students seeking a bilingual education. And it certainly is popular: with 15,000 students, ESG claims to be the biggest business school in Canada, and the biggest French-language business school in the world. Professors and instructors from around the world give a valuable international perspective to teaching. And with so many students, it is understandable that there are even more alumni — who have moved on to companies including Rogers, RBC, Transat, and GlaxoSmithKline.
Firmly planted in Canada’s Tech Triangle; Laurier’s Waterloo neighbours include more than 1000 companies, big names like Blackberry and Google among them. It also has campuses in Brantford, Kitchener, and Toronto. Not surprisingly, this new and innovative university — launched in 1999 — takes an interdisciplinary approach to many of its programs. Wilfrid Laurier ranked in first place on Maclean’s list of students’ favourite comprehensive universities, in the 2017 rankings.
The Laziridis School of Business at Wilfrid Laurier University offers 15 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at its campuses in Waterloo, Brantford, and Toronto. Interdisciplinary study is an important part of the Business school here. For example, the school has five programs combining a Bachelor of Business Administration with Computing and/or Mathematics degrees. Students have the opportunity to work in the fertile start-up community of Kitchener-Waterloo, which is gaining a reputation as one of North America’s top neighbourhood for tech companies.
15. Laval University
Université Laval, located in Québec City, has the distinction of being both the oldest centre for higher education in Canada (it was established as a seminary in 1663, and granted royal charter in 1852), and the first institution in North America to offer higher education in French. In terms of its programs, the University offers over 500 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 35,000 students.
The Faculty of Business Administration at Université Laval offers several courses in English, with a focus on helping students achieve fluency in the predominant language of the business world. Undergraduate students can take all the basic courses of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in English or French. The MBA Global Business program is given entirely in English. However, with its rich French-language course offerings and central location in Quebec City, there are plenty of opportunities to get ahead in French as well.
13. Concordia University (tie)
Concordia is a comprehensive university with over 500 programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The school is home to state-of-the-art centers of research in the midst of some of Montreal’s best museums and nightclubs. Concordia is a forward thinking, diverse institution in a bustling urban environment.
The John Molson School of Business at Concordia University is comprised of five departments and more than 300 full- and part-time teaching staff members from around the world. The school offers 14 undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as several career upgrading and professional programs. With several research centres and a range of research-focused graduate programs, the school is known as a leader in this area. However, the practical side is not neglected — students may take advantage of extensive co-op work programs with some of the city’s top employers.
13. University of Calgary (tie)
The University of Calgary is located in Canada’s rapidly booming energy capital. Not surprisingly, engineering and energy-related disciplines and business programs prosper here — helped by significant private sector funding — but it is also a centre for political science and public policy.
The Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary offers study programs to more than 3,500 full- and part-time students. These programs are designed with Alberta’s economy and needs in mind, and include a Bachelor of Commerce, MBA, Executive MBA, Global Energy Executive MBA, PhD in Management, an interdisciplinary Master of Science degree in Sustainable Energy Development, and more. With approximately 3,500 full- and part-time students, more than 2,000 executive education program participants, and more than 23,000 alumni, the school has a fundamental impact on Calgary’s business environment.
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12. University of Waterloo (tie)
The University of Waterloo is traditionally recognized as a science and engineering giant. It’s not just a think tank however; the school incubates and drives innovation in the Technology Triangle, a network of over 1000 tech companies in the area. Meanwhile, Waterloo has the largest co-op program in the world with more than 19,000 participating students in more than 120 co-op programs.
While Waterloo does not have a Business school or faculty, its interdisciplinary Business programs offer an attractive amount of flexibility. For example, the Honours in Arts and Business program allows students to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Business focus. A further example: the Science and Business program, an ‘opportunity for students to blend a scientific outlook with business methodologies’. Business-oriented co-op opportunities are plentiful in the local neighbourhood and abroad. Students may alternate between four-month study terms and four-month paid work terms.
Université de Montréal is highly sought after for both undergraduate and graduate studies, with a population of 35,000 and 12,000 respectively. The school is surrounded by lush greenery, and though somewhat removed from the downtown core of Montréal, students are never too far from the action. The surrounding neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges is made up of countless cafés, bars, and restaurants, and many student apartments and residences.
Université de Montréal’s Business school has a strong identity of its own. HEC Montréal (École des hautes études commerciales de Montréal), a French-language school, has educated more than 78,000 students since its founding in 1907. The BBA is offered in three formats: French-language, bilingual (with core courses in French and English), and trilingual (with core courses in French, English, and Spanish). In each, semesters abroad are strongly encouraged — and even mandatory in the bilingual and trilingual options. A wide range of graduate and executive programs is also available. A particularly popular format at HEC is the graduate microprogram, in which students can pursue a short, intensive program in one focused subject.
Ryerson University has always maintained a polytechnic focus. But fairly recently the University began to reinvent itself in the realm of business incubation and innovation. Ryerson is also a truly urban university, so don’t expect sprawling green grass and colonial buildings: the school is located in the middle of Toronto’s financial district.
The Ted Rogers School of Business Management is a subsection of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. Home to approximately 5,700 full-time and 600 part-time students, the school claims to offer ‘ the largest selection of majors (seven) and minors (14) offered by any Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) program in Ontario’. In terms of graduate studies, the school’s MBA Global program is popular with international students for its focus on the global context of modern business relationships.
McMaster has a look and feel reminiscent of the old world. One of the founding members of the U15 (Canada’s Association of top research universities) McMaster has a well-deserved reputation as a foremost research institution moving billions of dollars through the Canadian economy every year. The school regularly scores in the top 100 globally and is a top 10 Canadian school.
The DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University offers a comprehensive range of study programs: Honours Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Commerce, MBA and Ph.D programs, executive development and international exchanges. The Commerce Internship Program gives students the opportunity to work for 12-16 months with an average salary of $39,804. In addition, undergraduate programs take professional accreditation goals into account. Students in the Honours Bachelor of Commerce Program can pursue the educational requirements for Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) accreditation.
SFU has eight faculties and more than 100 undergraduate programs available, as well as a wide range of graduate and continuing education programs. The school offers nearly 200 work placement programs both nationally and internationally. Because of this, SFU’s graduates are now widely-understood by employers to have the requisite experience, skills, and attitudes that are in high demand.
The Beedie School of Business at SFU is a major player in the business studies scene in Western Canada, particularly at the graduate level. Key offerings of interest include a full-time MBA designed for younger graduates with a non-business undergraduate degree, and the world’s first Executive MBA for the Americas in partnership with graduate business schools at Vanderbilt University (U.S.), Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (Mexico) and Institute of Management Foundation (Brazil).
Queen’s University is a Canadian icon. Located in Kingston Ontario, the school is known for its old-world architecture, a vibrant student life, and outstanding programming and research. Neo-Gothic limestone study halls — most from the 19th century — dot this neighborhood full of students, artists, researchers and academics.
The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University offers a BCom program, four MBA programs, and further graduate and executive education programs. In addition to its renowned faculty, it can boast small class sizes (with a maximum of 80 students in BCom classes), career management resources, and the largest undergraduate business society in Canada. With a range of co-op programs, competition opportunities, and conferences, there are many ways for students to get involved and expand their educational spheres.
McGill has become an epicentre for research and instruction compelling countless bright students from all over the globe. Home to 11 faculties and 12 professional schools, McGill offers its 38,000 students a choice of over 300 programs over two campuses. McGill’s main buildings sit at the heart of the vibrant downtown core of Montreal, and students at this academic and cultural icon are never far from off-campus excitement.
The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University offers a wide range of study programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. These include BCom, MBA, and PhD programs, as well as interdisciplinary programs such as the Doctor of Medicine (MD)/MBA and MBA/Law programs, offered in conjunction with the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Law respectively. In addition to the Montreal campus, the faculty also has a teaching centre in Tokyo, Japan. The BCom program can boast some of the most flexible course offerings of any commerce program in Canada, with 12 different majors, 13 different concentrations, four different honours (including two joint honours with the Economics department), and three different minors. There is also a bilingual MBA offered in partnership with HEC Montréal — graduates obtain a degree from both institutions.
York University is located north of Toronto and is Canada’s third-largest public university with nearly 60,000 students. With over 5000 courses spread across 11 faculties in schools, there’s something for nearly everyone at York U. The school maintains state-of-the-art facilities and some excellent research funding, including the Sherman Health Sciences Research Centre, which specializes in biomechanics and robotics.
The Schulich School of Business at York University offers a popular BBA program at the undergraduate level, which offers opportunities to study abroad in any of 60 partner schools worldwide. At the graduate level, there are six MBA programs on offer — including an MBA in India, and a joint MBA/Master of Fine Arts/Master of Arts program — in addition to five specialized Masters programs, five graduate diploma programs, and a PhD program. The school has also been rated number one in Canada by Forbes, CNN, and The Economist magazine.
Western University is a leading research university in many fields — including health sciences, wind engineering, neuroscience, and biomaterials. The school offers more than 400 specializations, majors, and minors at the undergraduate level. It also offers more than 160 programs at the Masters and Doctorate levels. Western University is made up of 82 buildings over 1,200 acres across London, Ontario.
The Ivey School of Business at Western may have fewer programs on offer than other business schools, but their quality does not fall short. The undergraduate Honours Business Administration is offered in a 2+2 format, so students may pursue subjects that interest them in the first two years of their studies, then focus on business studies in the last two. Alternatively, the first two years may be used to pursue a second degree. HBA students also have the opportunity to fast-track into Ivey’s MSc or MBA programs. Ivey prides itself on diversity at all levels, and works to support students from abroad and students with families (it is claimed that 20 percent of MBA students have partners and families).
Located in Edmonton, University of Alberta is the province’s leading research and education institution. Largely known for engineering, science, and medicine, the university also offers more than 400 programs in 18 faculties. Considered a top five university in Canada, and in the top 100 globally, the school combines excellent instruction, state-of-the-art facilities, well-funded programs, and world-renowned research.
The University of Alberta School of Business offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees, as well as executive education and lifelong learning programs, in four departments and ten centres and institutes. The majority of its students study at the undergraduate level, pursuing a BCom. The school is particularly well-regarded for its research. Research and education are focused in four areas: entrepreneurship, leadership, energy and the environment, and international business. Students can be assured of an education that prepares them for careers in Alberta’s main industries, and worldwide.
UBC has an international reputation for leading research and academic programs at all levels, landing it consistently in one of the world’s top 50 spots. 14 faculties offer more than 200 programs in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education studies. Located on a large peninsula in Vancouver, the campus looks and feels like a small city.
The UBC Sauder School of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs to approximately 4,000 students. In addition, a number of combined dual degrees allow students to pursue a Bachelor and Master degree concurrently. International study opportunities abound her, from semesters abroad to business development workshops in destinations such as China and Kenya, among others. Research is also a specialty here: the school has significant impact in research circles, helped by 15 dedicated research centres.
With a global name for itself, the University of Toronto is a big-league player. It consistently ranks as one of the top 50 public universities in the world and its reputation as a research institution brings countless accolades. It is also a big institution, with more than 8,000 faculty and nearly 60,000 students over three campuses: in downtown Toronto (St. George campus), Mississauga, and Scarborough. The university’s popularity is reflected in an international student body comprised of students from over 150 countries.
The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto has a long history: officially established in 1950, courses in commerce and management have been offered since 1901. Students may pursue undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration, finance, and commerce. The undergraduate BCom curriculum combines business classes with interdisciplinary study in other faculties, so students can pursue their interests and receive a well-rounded education.
Maclean’s ranks institutions in five broad categories (students, faculty, resources, student support, and reputation), according to 14 weighted performance indicators, in order to create this list.
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