All About Toronto MBA Programs

If you’re considering applying to Toronto MBA programs, you’re in a unique position. Unlike most cities, Toronto has not one, not two, but three internationally recognized business schools at which you could pursue your MBA: Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and Schulich School of Business at York University.


But which one is right for you? Well, that depends on which aspects of a business career are important to you, your development and your success. To help make your decision a little easier, we’re going to give you a brief profile of each school’s MBA program including details such as their average class sizes and what their curriculum looks like. 

Okay, let’s get started. 


Ryerson MBA Program 

The Ted Rogers MBA program admits 120 students annually. To be eligible to apply, you’ll need…

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.00/4.33 GPA in your final two years

  • At least two years of full-time professional work 

  • To have taken the GMAT or the GRE (Ted Rogers undergraduate alumni are exempt from this requirement) 


While you only need at least two years of work experience to apply,  most applicants have about  5 years of full-time work experience. And, while they don’t have any GMAT or GRE cut-off scores, they’re still seeking candidates who achieve competitive scores. How do they define competitive? It’s difficult to say, but to give you an idea, the GMAT scores of those  admitted in 2021 ranged from 500 to 700 out of the possible 800 points. 


It’s important to know that you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in business in order to be eligible to apply to Ryerson’s MBA program. However, if you don’t have an undergraduate business degree, you have to take an extra semester of “foundation courses” on business basics before the MBA program starts. These courses are designed to ensure that the entire incoming class is working off of the same knowledge-base.  If you’ve previously successfully completed equivalent courses, you might be exempt from taking these courses, but exemptions are  treated on a case-by-case basis. 


Let’s take a look at this program’s MBA curriculum. 


Ted Rogers MBA Curriculum

Depending on whether or not you have to take the foundation courses, the program takes twelve or sixteen months to complete.


The eight months after the term of foundation courses are split into two semesters in which you take a combination of core credits and electives. There are seven semester-long, full-credit core courses that you have to take during this MBA program. They are all designed using case-based lessons and use a collaborative approach so that students can gain a practical understanding of the material. 


There are also six half-credit electives that you have to take. These  courses give you insight into a variety of subjects such as consulting, finance, human resources and sports business. The specific electives offered from year to year can change, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on their website while planning out your course load!


While you have to take five credits in each semester, the breakdown for each semester is a little different:

  • During your fall semester, you’ll have to take four core credits and two half-credit electives

  • In your winter semester, you’ll have to take three core credits and four half-credit electives


This is really just based on when specific core credits are offered. Some are only offered in the winter and some are only offered in the fall.


The spring/summer semester of this MBA program is spent completing the capstone project in which you have to complete one of three courses 

  • Management Consulting

  • Entrepreneurial Experience

  • International or Canadian experience 


The idea behind these courses is to give you practical experience that complements all of the course content. They each do this through a specific approach unique to that class. For example, where the management course offers you the opportunity to consult for an existing business, the entrepreneurial course allows you to develop your own business plan and the international course allows you to apply your skills on a national or international scale. 


Application Process 

As we mentioned, you need to have completed an undergraduate degree, at least two years of work experience, and either the GMAT or the GRE. You’ll also need to provide the following documents when you apply: 

  • A 500 word statement of interest that states why you want to complete an MBA, what your career goals are and how your previous experiences have prepared you for this particular MBA program

  • Your resume detailing your previous work experience 

  • Your GMAT or GRE scores 

  • Two references (one professional, one academic)


You’ll also have to complete a Kira Talent interview, an online interview format that more and more MBA programs have started to use in their application processes. 


You still have time to apply if you’re interested in starting this year! For May entry, the application deadline is March 22nd 2022, and for September entry, the deadline is June 15th 2022. 


Let’s move on to the Rotman MBA program. 


University of Toronto MBA Program 

The Rotman School of Management has a significantly larger MBA program than Ryerson’s. The class of 2023 has 278 students, which is relatively small given that Rotman has had up to 350 spaces available in their MBA program in previous years. 


It’s important not to assume that just because their class size is relatively large for an MBA program that their application process is any less competitive! To be eligible to apply for this MBA program, you need…

  • A bachelor’s degree with a final year average of at least a mid-B (3.0/4.0 GPA)

  • A minimum of two years of full-time work experience 

  • To take the GMAT or the GRE (this requirement is waived for applicants who have passed all 3 levels of the CFA designation)


Just like Ryerson’s MBA applicants, most who apply have more than the minimum acceptable amount of work experience. The class of 2023 had an average of five years of work experience although some had as many as thirteen years. GMAT scores of the class of 2023 ranged from 510 to 750 with an average score of 678. 


Not only does Rotman have a larger class size than most MBA programs, the program itself also takes longer. Where most programs take between a year and eighteen months to complete, Rotman’s program takes two years. 


Let’s break these two years down into more detail. 


Rotman’s MBA Curriculum 

This MBA program is split into three major components: courses, two labs, and a paid internship. 


Your first year in the program is primarily spent taking core courses. It isn’t until the final term in March that you have room for electives, although at this point you only have room for three. However, during your second year, you can choose to specialize in one of the program’s fifteen possible MBA majors. Therefore, most of this year is spent taking electives and exploring your interests 


Alongside your regular courses,  you have to participate in two different labs, one in each year. These labs are run as workshops in which groups of four students work with an instructor on a variety of activities and receive individualized feedback. Each lab is designed to teach different skill sets. 


The lab in your first year is called the Self-Development Lab and is designed to teach you skills such as delivering presentations, how to give and receive feedback, and how to deliver bad news. The one in your second year is named the Joe Weider Foundation Leadership Lab and it also requires you to work in small groups to target particular skill sets, though this lab is specifically designed to improve your leadership skills. 


To give you practical experience where you can apply what you learn through your labs and course work, you have to pursue a paid internship at some point after your first year. There are three periods during which you can complete this requirement: 

  1. Summer term (May to August)

  2. Fall term (September to December)

  3. Winter/spring term (January to April)


Most people choose to complete their internship during the summer term so that they can return to a full, uninterrupted course load in the fall. 


The responsibility of finding an internship opportunity rests entirely on the students. If you can’t find one, you have to complete an independent research study course that will help you achieve the same learning outcome goals as the internship. 


Interested in applying to Rotman’s MBA program? Let’s talk about their application process 


Application Process

Along with your transcripts, resume, and GMAT or GRE scores, you’ll have to submit the following documents: 

  • Two professional references 

  • A written personal essay 

  • A Kira Talent Interview 


Once you’ve submitted your application, keep an eye on your email! The next round of the application process is an interview in which you have the opportunity to wow the admissions committee with your confidence and communication skills. 

Most MBA programs have multiple rounds of admission per year and Rotman’s MBA program is no different. If you’re interested in a September 2022 start date, you still have plenty of time to apply! The deadlines of their last two rounds this year fall on March 7th 2022 and April 25th 2022. You’ll usually hear back within a month and a half. 


Okay, ready to tackle the final MBA program? Let’s explore York University’s Schulich School of Business. 


York University MBA Program 

Though it varies from year to year, the  Schulich MBA program generally has a relatively large number of seats available. For example, the class of 2020 had 366 students and the class of 2019 had 420. 


To apply for the program, you’ll need…

  • An undergraduate degree with a minimum of a B average in your last two years

  • At least two years of full-time work experience

  • To take the GMAT (with a minimum score of 550) or the GRE


Although the minimum eligible GMAT score is a 550, Schulich considers a score of 660 or higher to be competitive. They also note that applicants whose undergraduate degree was a three year degree may be considered for admission so long as they have at least three years of full-time work experience.  


Like the University of Toronto’s MBA program, York’s program is a little longer than average, taking between sixteen and twenty months to complete. 


Schulich MBA Curriculum

Their curriculum is split into two phases in which you have to complete 30 credits each. In the first phase, these thirty credits are split into twenty-seven core credits and three elective credits. The second phase is mostly electives, with six core credits that you have to take and twenty-four elective credits. 


You also have to complete the Strategy Field Study, which is an eight month project where you work with six or seven students to assess a real organization, examining how it functions and the way it’s impacted by the current business landscape. Once you’ve completed the project, you  get to present your findings to the senior management of the organization. 


Application Process 

Along with transcripts, GMAT scores, and your resume, you’ll also have to fill out an online application which includes…

  • Two written essays

  • One timed written essay

  • Two video essays 

  • Two professional references 


If you’re interested in applying for a September 2022 start date, you still have a few opportunities to apply! The upcoming deadlines fall on February 10th and March 31st. If they still have space available after March 31st, they’ll still be accepting applications by May 19th. We advise that you apply sooner rather than later to give yourself the best chance at gaining admission!


And that’s all that we have today!


If you’re interested in applying to any of these schools, remember that it’s always best to start your application sooner rather than later to ensure you have plenty of time to carefully consider every aspect and to reach out to your referees well in advance of the deadline. 

If you need any application or interview support, consider booking a free consultation with one of our experts today to prepare you for any and all scenarios that might come your way during this application process.

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