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THE USA: Subject Guides

What are the advantages of studying an MBA in the US for Canadians?

We compare MBAs in the US and Canada to help you decide where you want to study


An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a valuable and internationally-recognised qualification, which furnishes students with the skills and knowledge required to excel in business, and even apply these skills to other fields. However, the MBA itself can differ from country-to-country. We compare those available in the US to those in Canada, to help you decide on where you want to study.


Entry requirements

While the entry requirements for the US and Canada feature some commonalities, there are some key differences which may be worth considering.


For either country, you must have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree. If, however, you have only studied a 3-year program such as a BA, one resolution is to study a 1-year supplementary MA. Some institutions, though, will accept you without the extra year, so do check with your desired university before entering into a possibly unnecessary additional year of study.


Equally, most business schools in either country request that applicants have 2-3 years of work experience. Again, though, some may accept you without any so be sure to check with each institution. This said, those who do have work experience are more likely to stand out than those who don’t.


All MBA programmes in Canada and the US require applicants to sit a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), which they expect you to score highly on. Further information on this test can be found here. http://www.infozee.com/tests/gmat/about-gmat.htm


Both countries also ask for a personal statement (but some US schools ask for a business essay on a set question) and the usual letters of recommendation.


The only real difference, then, is that US business schools conduct interviews of their applicants, whereas Canadian schools don’t tend to.


Additionally, most institutions in Canada require a minimum GPA of 3.0-3.5, while this differs tremendously in the US.



In the US, the MBA takes 2 years. In Canada, it can vary between 18 months and 2 years. While some complain that the US’ MBA programmes are unnecessarily long, traditionalists argue that, since the MBA originated in America, in order to get the true MBA experience, the two years of study are more than worth it.


Top institutions

With the US containing 7 of the top-ranking MBA schools in the world (and equally dominating the top 100), students can without a doubt benefit from access to these prestigious programmes and the accolade of having attended such an internationally well-respected institution. Such schools include Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford and Columbia, to name just a few. On the other hand, Canada fails to enter the ranking table until 53 with the University of Toronto, with only 5 MBA schools in the top 100 being Canadian.



In Canada, MBA tuition fees range from $8-20,000 per year. In the US, the yearly cost of MBA study can range from $10-35,000, making it, generally, much more expensive. This however, is presumably based on the higher quality of education available in the US, and if affordable, seems to be very much worth the investment.


Graduate salary

MBA graduates who studied in Canada, on average, have potential earnings of $90,000, while US graduates have a potential salary of $98,000. However, those who attend top-ranking US business schools can sometimes see a starting salary in the range of $275-300,000, for those who go into sectors such as investment banking and private equity.


Although studying for your MBA in the US may seem more expensive right now, gaining access to the best business schools in the world will likely pay off almost immediately after achieving the qualification. With this in mind, why don’t you have a look at a few of the institutions offering the programme and start planning the beginning of your future in business?

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