Best Business Schools in Canada

Are you in high school and want to get into the very best business schools in Canada possible? Or are you already in university and looking to get an MBA to solidify the chances of you landing a good, relevant job?

The CampusRankings team has created the most comprehensive analysis on the web of the best business schools in Canada. To see our unfiltered, student-generated ratings on Canadian universities, visit the latest University Rankings on our rankings page.

Don’t forget, complete our MatchU quiz, which gives you a personalized university ranking based on what’s important to you — it takes 10 mins and is 100% free. Do the quiz here.


We evaluate each school based on four criteria; (1) level of undergraduate education, (2) level of graduate education, (3) reputation, and (4) university life. This will ultimately result in a final score based on equal weightings. The top 10 best business schools in Canada are as follows (in no particular order). Please either read through or click on each school to jump there.

– Queen’s School of Business
– Schulich School of Business – York University
– Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto
– Richard Ivey School of Business – University of Western Ontario
– HEC Montreal
– Haskayne School of Business – University of Calgary
– Desautels Faculty of Management – McGill University
– Telfer School of Management – University of Ottawa
– Sauder School of Business – University of British Columbia
– Laurier School of Business & Economics
– Honourable Mentions

Smith School of Business – Queen’s University



Queen’s Commerce is one of the most highly regarded undergraduate business programs in Canada, as well as internationally. The acceptance rate is a merely 9%, therefore making it on the hardest programs to get into in Canada.

In addition, Queen’s Commerce exchange program is the most developed in Canada with approximately 85% of its third year students studying abroad.

For more information on Queen’s Commerce, please refer to this article of ours.


The joint Executive MBA program offered by the Queen’s University School of Business and the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University in New York placed in 45th place in the Financial Times best executive MBA programs in the world.

Furthermore, another MBA program at Queen’s finished 92nd in the world. The fact that this school has two programs, both ranking in the top 100 worldwide is a accurate reflection of quality of graduate education at Queen’s.

Furthermore, BusinessWeek (2010) ranked Queen’s full time MBA as best in Canada and 2nd in the world but Queen’s has since slipped to 4th in the world. Moreover, class sizes are very small in theses programs with there being a faculty to student ratio of 3:1. It is important to note that Queen’s did appear in the 2012 Economist MBA rankings top 100.


In terms of general reputation, Queen’s university has one of the best in Canada. With regards to business and commerce, Queen’s is one of the most highly regarded in the world. This is demonstrated by ranking 16th in North America (3rd in Canada) according to the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report.

This survey is based on the demand from international firms hiring MBA graduates. It comes of no surprise that Queen’s therefore has one of the best reputations in Canada and around the world.


What separates Queen’s from other universities on this list is the fact that it is a tremendously fun university. Sure U of T and McGill are in large, fun cities, the general university life at Queen’s is widely regarded as one of the best in Canada, especially for such a good school. Queen’s Frosh week and Homecomings are famous, and despite being in a smaller city like Kingston, the town is very well suited as a university city.

Back to Top

Schulich School of Business – York University



The Schulich School of Business created the first international business degree in Canada. As a result, undergraduate students are able to learn material that generally isn’t even taught until one gets an MBA. The BBA program itself is highly regarded as well, but its iBBA was one of the most innovative programs and continues to be a highly praised program.

Although entrance requirements cannot be considered an accurate representation of quality, the general grade requirement is quite high, typically in the high 80’s. That being said, it is common for people with 90+ to not get in as they did not have good extra curricular activities or didn’t have impressive essays.


For the sixth straight year, the Schulich School of Business’s Executive MBA finished first in Canada and 27th in the world according to the Financial Times Executive MBA rankings. This program is a partnership with the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois. Furthermore, the Kellogg-Schulich EMBA placed 10th in the world in the programs by consortia.

As well, it was ranked 9th in the world in 2011 according to the Economist. Even more,  Forbes has ranked it as the 6th best business school outside of the United States (and 1st in Canada) in 2009 and 10th in 2011. Aside from the EMBA, the full time MBA program was ranked second in Canada according to the Financial Times and 59th in the world as well as 16th in the world and 1st in Canada (far ahead of the 75th place Desautels) according to the 2012 Economist.

These are very impressive claims and clearly indicates that the graduate degree quality at this business school is one of the best if not the best business schools in Canada. With 18 areas to specialize in, this is a very comprehensive and adaptable degree for a variety of people.

On the other hand though, Schulich finished 14th in the world in 2012 for its MBA program behind Queen’s and Ivey. Clearly, Schulich School of Business is one of the best business schools in Canada for business graduate studies, if not the best.


The Schulich School of Business has an exceptional reputation in Canada and in the world. It came 20th in North America (6th in Canada) in the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report that shows the schools favoured by international employers hiring MBA graduates. This is shown by the fact that the entering salary for its MBA program was$49,000 and this was increased to $89,000 upon graduation.

However, there is also a sizable tuition fee of $55,000. The school also has a campus in Hyderabad, India, as well as offices in India, China, South Korea, and Russia. Seeing as how it launched the first international MBA (iMBA) and iBBA in Canada, this has given a boost to its continually good reputation. Consequently, this school does have a pretty good reputation for it’s business related courses and would be a great addition to your resume due to its name alone.


One area where York University is not particularly well regarded for is the university life. Due to the immense size of the university, as well as it’s relatively undesirable location (being somewhat north of Toronto), York U’s university life is widely considered to be the worst in Canada.

As well, the crime rate at York U is also quite high compared to other Canadian universities. That being said, there are  a lot of school communities and activities to get involved in. Additionally, due to its very diverse student population, this is a particularly easy university to adapt to for foreign students. Finally, a large chunk of the graduate education is actually done in Toronto financial district, away from York’s Keele campus.

Back to Top

Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto

rotman best business schools in canada


Rotman Commerce, despite the name, is actually administered through the Faculty of Arts and Science. However, for the sake of this article, I’ll lump it in here. This program has a similar reputation to Queen’s Commerce or Ivey undergrad and therefore is a highly regarded program.

That being said, Rotman Commerce does have one key benefit compared to Queen’s and Western; the fact that you can choose from 60 courses in management and over 2000 courses in the arts and sciences to build a fairly custom degree. It is also a difficult school to get into it.

Despite this aforementioned bonus, Rotman Commerce is known to be an underwhelming degree that has a very difficult course load. University grads tend to have a difficult time finding positions on Bay St (despite the geographical location) For assistance on how to apply to Rotman Commerce, please refer to this article.


According to the Financial Times 2012, Rotman School of Management finished 2nd in Canada and 29th in the world for Executive MBA’s. Furthermore, the Financial Times also put Rotnam’s full time MBA as the best in Canada and 44th int he world. BusinessWeek in their 2012 rankings marked Rotman’s MBA as the 4th best in Canada and 11th in the world.

This clearly demonstrates the quality of graduate studies at this school. In addition, as mentioned below, 98% of the faculty have doctorates. Although this clearly does not mean that the educational quality is high (as some doctors are worse professors than MBA holders, for example), it is certainly one of the indicators.


Generally speaking, the University of Toronto has a great reputation as a whole when it comes to academics. With regards to the Rotman School of Management, this is no different, as seen by ranking 13th in North America (2nd in Canada) according to the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report.

This survey is based on the demand from international firms hiring MBA graduates. Rotman also came 2nd in Canada and 49th in the world in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World University for business schools.

In addition to its academics, the Rotman School of Management is also well known for its top notch facilities and distinguished faculty. It is ranked 16th in the world by the Financial Times for its research output which is no surprise seeing as how 98% of its faculty has doctorates.


The University of Toronto can be what you make it. Given its large campus situated in the core of the largest city in Canada, the university life is largely based on the city itself as opposed to many smaller universities that have more a community feel. If you like crowds, big cities, and lots of options outside of the university campus, this university is great for you.

However, the feel is largely similar to living downtown after graduation so it doesn’t really offer a unique university experience.  As a result, the ranking here is comparatively low.

Back to Top

Richard Ivey School of Business – University of Western Ontario



The Richard Ivey HBA (Honours in Business Administration course) is considered by many to be the best undergraduate business degree in Canada. Of course, the Queen’s elite will argue that, but even they agree it’s a good program. When it comes to finance, Ivey HBA is likely the school for you as many investment banks and other financial institutions recruit from Western.

The main issue with Ivey HBA is the tuition of an average of $15k a year when you factor in the 2 years of arts/science courses plus 2 years of the HBA (back loaded). This is of course in addition to the additional ancillary fees of approximately $1,175 per year and all the other expenses. This is paid back fairly quickly with the average starting salary of $64,104. This is made even more impressive due to the fact that 93% of students get a job within 3 months of graduation.

However, the program accommodates a total of 525 undergraduates (up from 450 but going up to 600), the second fewest number of students that any business school and is therefore very difficult to get into. If you can afford it, Ivey HBA is a terrific program. For more information on the program itself, please refer to this article of ours. For information on how to get into the Ivey HBA, please refer to this article.


It is interesting to note that Ivey offered the first full time MBA in Canada, and first outside of the USA. Since then, Ivey’s full time MBA has become very impressive and well known, as described below.

Furthermore, Ivey’s Executive MBA program ranked 43rd in the world in 2012 according to the Financial times, ranking it ahead of Queen’s, but behind York and U of T. Additionally, the Financial Times 2012 ranked Ivey’s full time MBA as the 4th best in Canada and 68th in the world. BusinessWeek in its 2012 rankings marked Ivey’s MBA as second best in Canada and 7th in the world, dropping from 6th the previous ranking.

It is important to note that Ivey did appear in the 2012 Economist MBA rankings top 100. As a result, the ranking here needs to be comparatively lower than York or U of T, although still very impressive and still one of the best business schools in Canada for graduate studies.


Ivey grads are also the most favoured in Canada (and 12th in the world) according to QS Global 200 Business Schools Report. This is demonstrated by the fact that graduates from Ivey enjoy a higher salary than other business university grads at around $100K according the Financial Times.

This clearly shows that Ivey grads are of high demand due to the school’s reputation. It’s tough to argue that any other school in Canada has a better reputation. This all illustrates that Ivey’s reputation is absolutely top notch.


Similar to Kingston, London is mainly a university city that is not that big, but also not as small as many other ‘fun’ university towns. That being said, Western is generally considered to be less of a university experience as Queen’s. Please refer to this article of ours for further details.

Back to Top

HEC Montreal – Université de Montréal

Hec best business schools in canada


If you are French-speaking, interested in languages, or Spanish-speaking, then this is the perfect program for you. Unlike all the other schools in this list, HEC Montreal (part of Université de Montréal) offers bilingual and even trilingual degrees. The first year students can choose to take it entirely in French or Bilingual.

After that, three options are available. Firstly, students can opt to take all their core courses in french, but the possibility of taking some English or Spanish courses. Secondly, students can take their core courses in French or English, as well as possibility of taking some in all three languages. Finally, students can choose to take any courses in all three languages. This however requires a semester abroad.

As such, this degree is the most unique of its kind in Canada, and if you’re interested in international business, specifically in Europe and Northern Africa, this could be a major advantage for you. The level of education is always quite revered so it’s not just the language flexibility that makes this a great program.


HEC offers three master level graduate degrees. The first is the common MBA that Forbes ranked as the best 1 year business school in Canada, and 10th best in the world outside of the United States in 2009 and then 12th in 2011. This can be done in either French or English.

As well, HEC Montreal, in partnership with  University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Belgium, created the 22 month MBA – Financial Services and Insurance. This is one of the most international programs out there as it is run in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Zurish, Brussels, Beijing and Mexico City. Finally, HEC Montreal offers a double degree EMBA in partnership with McGill university.

Another tremendous benefit of this is that the tuition is far lower than other universities, and the resulting salary increase after completing the degree is substantial at 65%. It is obvious that HEC Montreal’s graduate studies opportunities are vast and among the best in the world, let alone among the best business schools in Canada.


In a New York Times publication in 2011, chairmen and executives from 10 countries were asked which universities they would prefer to recruit from. HEC Montréal was ranked 46th in the  world (2nd in Canada, ahead of all schools on this list). Similarly, according to an EdUniversal ranking from 2011, the school ranked as the 24th most influential business school worldwide, also ahead of all the other schools on this list.

It also ranked 8th in Canada (40 in the world) according to QS Global 200 Business Schools Report. HEC Montreal is also one of the 2 schools in Canada (58 in the world) that has triple accredidation. Moreover, HEC Montreal came in the top 70 business schools in the world according to the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World University for business schools.

Furthermore, HEC Montreal graduates see their salary go from $58,000 to $96,000, and when combined this with its low tuition rates, this is the best back for the buck in Canada. As a result of these accolades, HEC Montreal has an outstanding reputation around the world.


The campus is located in in Montreal, with is known as a very exciting and fun city. However, as was the case with the University of Toronto, this doesn’t allow students to have a unique university experience. Nonetheless, the university is very diverse country wise, as well as linguistically as 33% of the students come from abroad.

Back to Top

Haskayne School of Business – University of Calgary

haskayne best business schools in canada


Its Bachelor of Commerce offers 18 different concentrations ranging from accounting to risk management to tourism management. Therefore, there is bound to be some concentration that will intrigue you. Furthermore, Haskayne offers a Bachelor of Hotel and Resort Management which is unique. Thus, if you are interested in the accommodation industry, this school is the right choice for you.

In the annual Corporate Knights sustainability rankings, the Haskayne School of Business undergraduate program placed a close third nationally with a 73.4% score in 2010. As a result, it is obvious that the program is top-notch.


In the 2011 Aspen Institute “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” rankings, its MBA program was ranked 35th in the world (up from 51st in 2010), and 3rd in Canada. Additionally, in 2010, The Economist ranked it 3rd within Canada, 43rd in North America (82nd in the world). In 2012 however, the program has fallen to 6th in Canada and 95th in the world.

Despite these good rankings, according to the Financial Times, the MBA program is slipping. It was ranked 36th in the world (4th in Canada) in 2009, before falling in 73rd in 2011, and then 99th in 2012. This all shows a downward trend that should not be overlooked.


According to the 2012 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report, Haskayne grads are the 9th most in demand in Canada, and 51st in North America. this shows a pretty outstanding reputation, but lags behind others in this list. That being said, given the relatively low MBA tuition rates, and the fact that the average graduates salary increased 79% from $50,000 to $90,000, this school has very good bank for its buck, far more so than Schulich, Sauder, and Desautels.

In addition, the school consistently does very well in the Inter-Collegiate Business Competitions (ICBC). Haskayne has won 73 national ICBC championships, more than twice as many as any other university. This enhances Haskayne’s reputation as a premier business school in Canada.


The University of Calgary is generally a commuting university and when combined with the fact that there around roughly 30,000 current students, the university doesn’t offer a very thrilling experience.

Of the 30,000 students, there are only 2200 that live in residence. Nonetheless, Calgary is a nice city and can be quite fun. Moreover, if you are one of the few that are in residence, the experience is deemed to be quite good.

In addition, University of Calgary is also quite well known for its fraternities which generally make university life more interesting.

Back to Top

Desautels Faculty of Management – McGill University

mcgill best business schools in canada


McGill offers a variety of Bachelor of Commerce degrees. Firstly, they offer 13 major options ranging from Accounting to Economics to Information Systems. Secondly, they offer four honours programs; Honours in Economics, Honours in Investment Management, Joint Honours Economics &Accounting, and Joint Honours Economics & Finance.

Finally, they offer a Bcom International Management Program in either Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia, Western Europe (France, Germany, Italy, or Spain), Canada and the United States. One issue though is the immense size of the faculty and the subsequent class sizes (even more so than Rotman). Furthermore, the programs don’t really have anything unique about them.


Forbes ranked it as the 11th best 2 year business school in the world outside of the United States in 2009 and 2011. Subsequently, the graduate degree quality must match the reputation (as described below). In 2010, the Desautels School of Management was ranked 1st in Canada (8th in the world) by the Eduniversal Business Schools Ranking.

This is in addition to ranked 31 among the top 100 business schools according to the most recent The Aspen Institute’s biannual ranking of MBA programs, above distinguished institutions such as London Business SchoolDartmouth CollegeNorthwestern University and HEC Paris.

Additionally, the Financial Times 2012 ranked Desautels as the 3rd best full time MBA in Canada and 61st in the world, up 10 spots from 2011 as well as being ranked 2nd in Canada (75 in world) according to the Economist 2012. BusinessWeek in its 2012 rankings put Desautels 3rd in Canada and 10th in the world for its MBA program. One of the school’s main initiative is travel and as a result, students can travel to exchange programs in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.


Given that it is McGill university, its reputation is already stellar. McGill is consistently ranked the top if not top three universities in Canada and top 20 in the world. That being said, Desautel also has a good reputation. So much so, that grads see the biggest pay increase from their MBA program than any other business degree in Canada.

The starting salary going in was $49,000, but after more than doubled to $112,000. Furthermore, its graduates are the 5th most wanted in Canada (19th in North America) according to 2012 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report. This is all clear evidence of the strength of the McGill reputation.


The campus is located in Montreal, which is known as a very exciting and fun city. However, as was the case with the University of Toronto, this doesn’t allow students to have a unique university experience. It is however known to be a fairly boring university when not considering the surrounding nightlife.

Back to Top

Telfer School of Management – University of Ottawa

uottawa best business schools in canada


Telfer offers a Bachelor of Commerce with 10 specializations.  One bonus of the accounting program is that if you do co-op, your work placements count toward your CA accredidation. If you are interested in pursuing accounting, then this is a terrific opportunity.

Ottawa U’s Bachelor of Commerce also has an incredibly high placement rate after graduation of 97% with a starting salary of $48,000. This is compared to a 96% placement rate from Queen’s Commerce and a $54,000 starting salary. Also important to note that Queen’s Commerce program is far more expensive so the $6000 less you get from Telfer still gives an advantage to Queen’s.


Again, the tuition at Telfer for its MBA program is quite low at $23,293 for the upcoming year, thus making this an affordable program. One very interesting feature of the program is the MBA Consulting Project in partnership with Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CMC-Canada).

Thus, if you are interested in pursuing a career in management consultancy, then this is a great opportunity to learn the skills and network. The percentage change in salary after graduating though is not that flattering compared to many other universities in this list.


The Telfer School of Management is one of only three schools in North America with triple accreditation thus automatically making them a very reputable school. It is fully accredited by the AACSB (USA), the Association of MBAs (UK), and the EFMD (EQUIS) (Europe). It is also consistently ranked in the The Best 300 Business Schools Worldwide by Princeton Review since 2005.
Despite its accredidations, the school’s reputation is not as good as others on this list. This can likely be at least partly attributed to that fact that the Telfer is the newest school of business on this list, being established in 1969, vs 1919 (Queen’s) and 1922 (Ivey).


Ottawa isn’t a ‘fun’ city like Toronto or Montreal, but it’s good for students because the downtown region is fairly small compared to those cities and thus the whole city is accessible to students.

Furthermore, the city if safer than Toronto and Montreal making it more comfortable for students to walk home at night. Fraternities are also allowed at Ottawa U thus making it a bit more interesting. The school itself doesn’t offer a unique university experience however as it is large and scattered around downtown Ottawa.

Back to Top

Sauder School of Business – University of British Columbia

File:Rosegarden ubc.jpg


Sauder’s Bachelor of Commerce offers 11 specializations plus the opportunity to get a double major in business and computer science. If you are interested in pursuing a career in technology consulting, then this is one of the best opportunities for you in Canada.

In 2011, around 8,000 students applied to the 530 spots available in the BCom program for first year making this an even more competitive undergraduate program than Queen’s Commerce or Ivey HBA. Despite the immense competition, the starting salaries after graduation are not that impressive at just  $44,300 within Vancouver and $49,700 outside Vancouver.


Sauder’s graduate degree is even more highly regarded than it’s undergraduate degrees. Forbes ranked it as the 10th best 2 year business school in the world outside of the United States in 2009 and 11th best in 2011. In addition, the Financial Times 2012 ranked Sauder as the 5th best full time MBA in Canada and 82nd in the world. Similarly, Sauder also came 4th in Canada (91 in the world) according to the 2012 Economist rankings. The employment within 3 months of graduation was relatively adequate at 90%.


According to QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012, Sauder graduates are the 4th most favoured in Canada (18th in North America) ahead of schools like Schulich and Desautels. Despite this though, the average salary upon graduation was just $78,000 which was quite low compared to almost every other university of this list.

Sauder also came 1st in Canada and 27th in the world in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World University for business schools which speaks volumes to its reputation abroad. Having made it fairly high up in every major university ranking, Sauder is consistently considered one of the best in Canada and in the world.


UBC is an incredibly fun school. The campus is stunning (making our most beautiful campuses in Canada list) and alumni consistently rave about how much fun they have. The school has all the clubs and societies needed as well as having ten international fraternities making it one the most highly “fraternized” in Canada. There’s not much more we can say here other than this university offers one terrific lifestyle.

Back to Top

Laurier School of Business & Economics – Wilfred Laurier University

laurier best business schools in canada


Laurier’s undergraduate program simply does not get enough recognition. The school offers 13 concentrations in its BBA program in addition to offering co-op and a joint degree in Economics. One tremendous advantage with the accounting and finance concentrations are that the courses can count towards accreditations such as CA, CMA, CGA, CFA, and CHRP for human resources. This is something that truly separates Laurier apart.

One stunning statistic is that after just three months of graduation, 96% rate of employment for all students (the highest in Canada). Although Laurier doesn’t have the reputation of other universities, its programs are top notch and offer some great opportunities.


Similar to its undergraduate degree, the MBA can be couple with a CMA or CFA. This is essentially two birds with one stand and can really differentiate you from other graduates. As well, the MBA program has a great co-op program that has had 100% placement rate since the program started.

Thus, not only does the program possibly give you your MBA as well as potentially a CFA or CMA designation, but also relevant work experience. The tuition is also quite competitive compared to other MBA programs, even if you factor in the co-op fees.

Graduates also benefit from a whopping 94% increase in salary upon graduation. Nonetheless, Laurier is not ranked in any major international rankings.


Laurier’s reputation is not as high as many other universities on this list. It simply just doesn’t have the reputation that Queen’s and Ivey have despite their full time MBA programs being very comparable. However, employers do know of the quality of education at Laurier and consequently the placement rate is very high for both undergraduate and graduate studies, as mentioned previously. This doesn’t have the elite school reputation, but it still certainly is one of the best business schools in Canada.


Laurier is located in Waterloo, the same city as the University of Waterloo. As such, there are many students in the city and an inter-school rivalry exists. However, compared to Waterloo, Laurier generally is said to have a better, more community like feel to it, most likely due to the fact that it has about half the number of students. Laurier also has quite a lot of residences that allow for a more inclusive campus feel. As a result, university life at Laurier is quite good.

Back to Top


Being that this is a top ten list, I had to exclude some schools that were comparatively still some of the best business school’s in Canada. Below is a list and a quick description:

Faculty of Business Administration – University of New Brunswick: This university is basically known as the best place to pursue graduate studies in the Maritimes (even more so than Dalhousie).

Asper School of Business – University of Manitoba: This school has received many accolades and is known for its community based research and teachings.

Alberta School of Business – University of Alberta: Employers actually prefer this school to Haskayne and HEC Montreal according to 2012 QS Global Report.

Degroote School of Business – McMaster University: A pretty popular school that is affordable and offers good employment opportunities.

Edwards School of Business – University of Saskatchewan: This is the best bang for your buck (behind HEC Montreal) and is very well respected.

If you’re still unsure where to go to university, make sure to take our MatchU quiz. It’s free and takes just 3 minutes!

Sources: TopMBA, Financial Times, Globe and Mail, Macleans, Forbes, Economist, Business Week, Shanghai 

Alex Dorward

Alex Dorward

Alex is the co-founder of UniversityHub (now CampusRankings) and current Technical Director for CampusRankings. Alex grew up in Ottawa before attending St FX in Antigonish, NS. After graduating, he joined Accenture and is currently a Manager in Accenture Digital.