EduReviewerBlogThe Best Online MBA in Canada of the Year
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The Best Online MBA in Canada of the Year

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There are plenty of reasons why an online degree is a good choice for you. For one, it’s a lot cheaper than getting a degree in person. Online universities can cost up to 80% less than traditional ones due to being able to cut out the middleman.

This is especially true if you’re living in Canada. Not only do they save money on classrooms and teachers, but they also have much lower land costs which mean they can offer very affordable programs.

As more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of an MBA, they’re also learning that they don’t necessarily have to attend a brick-and-mortar campus in order to earn one.

The material covered in online MBA programs often mirrors that of their campus counterparts, including classes like finance, marketing, management, and operations.

However, due to their location and scheduling flexibility, online degrees can also be tailored to a student’s needs.

Online MBA programs can be ideal for those who wish to continue working while earning their degree or for international students who want to study at a Canadian institution but don’t want to leave home.

In addition, some graduate students may also find that an online program will fit into their schedule more easily than traditional courses.

Intro

If you’re looking to get a master’s degree without the hassles of an on-campus program, an online MBA could be right for you.

Today, nearly a dozen universities across Canada have stepped up to fill the growing demand for online MBA programs from domestic and international students looking for a more flexible, Canadian business credential.

The return on investment for an online MBA is similar to that of traditional full-time and part-time programs—students can expect to recoup their tuition and fees within three or four years of passing their degree.

With so many options available—from the most established business schools to newer programs that may be more affordable or offer more flexibility—it’s hard to know where to start.

Also, it is hard to be admitted, so you can hire the best MBA consulting firms online to be sure to get approved.

Luckily for you, we’ve done the research for you and have come up with a list of some of the best online MBA courses in Canada!

10 Best Cheap Online MBA Programs in Canada

For many, a good education is often the key to success in any endeavor.

However, the rising costs of tuition at traditional universities have forced many people to look into alternative routes if they want to get an education without breaking the bank.

If you are looking for a school that will provide you with quality instruction and an accredited degree at a reasonable cost, the professionals from the college and MBA counseling services suggest that you should consider one of these ten online colleges in Canada:

  1. University of Alberta
  2. Ivey Business School
  3. Athabasca University
  4. University of Fredericton (UFred)
  5. Smith School of Business at Queen’s University
  6. Dalhousie University
  7. Saint Mary’s University – Sobey School of Business
  8. University of Calgary – Haskayne School of Business
  9. University of Victoria – Gustavson School of Business
  10. DeGroote School of Business

1. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta is a highly-ranked, public research university located in Edmonton and Alberta’s capital city.

We ranked the University of Alberta first because it’s consistently ranked top in Canada for business and medical research. It has an incredible 97% employment rate at graduation for all of its MBA students who are seeking employment—and those were only the people who found jobs within six months of graduation.

Its online MBA program was ranked 33rd by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

With a variety of concentrations available to choose from, students can develop their own focus on certain areas and industries that best suit them.

The program consists of three terms: fall term, winter term and summer term. Students are required to complete eight courses in total throughout the duration of the program.

Students typically complete the Online MBA program within three to four years, however, you have up to six years to complete the degree.

2. Ivey Business School

Ivey Business School is a top-ranked, AACSB-accredited business school located in Canada.

This innovative program is designed for working professionals and is delivered primarily online. The program is 12 months long, with one weekend (Friday to Sunday) required per month on Western’s campus in London, Ontario.

The program offers the same curriculum and rigor as the on-campus version—including the mandatory global immersion trip for every cohort.

Students will also complete an international internship, which can be completed remotely or abroad. Students will have access to some of the same facilities and resources as on-campus students, including dedicated study space, 24/7 tech support, and a career advisor.

«When you choose a school, you should be looking for more than just a degree. You want to make sure that the school and the program match up with your needs. You want to make sure that the school itself is reputable and has built a reputation for excellence in its field. At Ivey Business School, I found everything I wanted at a price I could afford. It offered me the flexibility and access to quality learning resources while addressing all the key elements found in traditional residential MBA programs—in short, it provided everything I need to get ahead in today’s competitive business» — Emilia Greg, EXECUTIVE MBA

The school also offers a variety of specializations:

  • accounting
  • entrepreneurship
  • finance
  • human resource management
  • marketing

3. Athabasca University

Athabasca University is one of the most reputable, government-accredited top online MBA programs in Canada. With its history of 28 years, Athabasca University’s fully accredited program has developed a reputation for being a top program in the globe.

This program was specifically designed with working business leaders in mind and its online format is flexible enough to accommodate people who are always on the go with their travel schedules or those who work long hours.

Athabasca University’s online MBA program has a lot of good things going for it. The program is built around a well-rounded approach to leadership and management, with courses focused on interpersonal skills, communications and leadership, management theory and strategy, change management, operations management and marketing.

There is no law school requirement, so there is no LSAT or GMAT. The admissions requirements are more relaxed than at most other schools, as they only require a completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

«If you’re looking for a flexible, affordable way to get your master’s degree, Athabasca University is a great option. The faculty and staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and prompt with responses. The classes are organized in such a way that they can be completed in a timely manner. There are also many resources available on the school website that students can use to help them with their studies» — Omar locke, EXECUTIVE MBA

4. University of Fredericton (UFred)

The MBA program at the University of Fredericton is designed to provide you with a strong foundation in business fundamentals, including accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior and management.

You’ll also gain an understanding of the global business environment through courses on international business and finance.

Their online MBA allows students to work online with professors and other students, and to access their virtual library, which has relevant information and articles.

The University of Fredericton offers both full-time and part-time MBA programs that can be completed in one year or up to four years respectively.

Full-time students spend two semesters on campus, while part-time students spend three or four years completing their studies online or on campus during evenings or weekends.

Also, read our guide on how to put MBA to the resume here.

The program has four pillars that make it unique, including opportunities to collaborate with peers, an online campus environment that allows for student-professor connections, a virtual library, and a virtual classroom environment.

The program offers 9 specializations for students to choose from, including specializations in real estate, innovation, and social enterprise, as well as more general MBA focuses. Specialization helps students hone in on the areas they most want to learn about, and provides them with a chance to focus their education.

5.  Smith School of Business at Queen’s University

The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University is a leading business school in Canada and around the world.

It offers an MBA degree that is designed for working professionals who want to advance their careers through a variety of learning experiences, including online classes and face-to-face courses with professors who have real-world experience in the business. Students receive personalized attention from faculty members who teach every class in the program.

Smith also offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes general management courses as well as specialized courses in areas such as accounting, marketing, finance and human resources management.

The school has several unique features that set it apart from other MBA programs:

  • The Queen’s Center for Entrepreneurship offers students numerous opportunities to work with successful entrepreneurs by providing mentorships and networking events between students and alumni of the center;
  • The Queen’s Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) provides opportunities for research collaboration between students and faculty members.

The Smith School offers both full-time and part-time programs, as well as executive education. Both the Smith School and Queen’s University are accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

6. Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University’s MASM program is a great option for students looking for an affordable online MBA. Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this two-year program offers both on-campus and online courses, with the opportunity to study abroad in Europe or Asia during the second year.

The school boasts a high employment rate among graduates (over 90%). There is also a wide variety of student services on offer at Dalhousie, including counseling and career services, tutoring and academic support centers, as well as health and wellness services.

In terms of admissions requirements, prospective students need to have completed a four-year degree from an accredited university or college with a GPA of B (or 3.0) or better over their last two years of study.

The MBA degree from Dalhousie University is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This accreditation ensures that students will receive an education that meets industry standards and prepares them for careers in business.

7.  Saint Mary’s University – Sobey School of Business

Accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Saint Mary’s University offers an online MBA that can help you reach your goals.

The Sobey School of Business focuses on teaching students how to apply financial analysis and numerical skills, strategic thinking, and leadership ability in order to find solutions for real-world businesses and organizations.

Students will be able to choose from 6 concentrations including accounting, finance, marketing and international business.

The MBA program at the Sobey School of Business has two tracks: Full-time and part-time. The full-time MBA program is offered over two years, while the part-time option takes three years to complete.

8.  University of Calgary – Haskayne School of Business

The Haskayne School of Business MBA program is a two-year full-time program with classes offered on weekday evenings and Saturdays.

Students can choose from three different concentrations: Financial Management, Marketing Management (also known as Marketing Analytics), and Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management.

The concentration you choose may determine your career path after graduation, but it also gives you an opportunity to deepen your understanding of a particular industry or function within an organization.

Haskayne offers both a Global Executive MBA (EMBA) and an International MBA (IMBA) option for those who already have some work experience under their belts.

Both programs are designed for working professionals who wish to advance their careers while pursuing higher education on a part-time basis.

9.  University of Victoria – Gustavson School of Business

The Gustavson School of Business offers both full-time and part-time programs under its MBA program.

The full-time program lasts up to two years while the part-time program lasts up to three years. Students can choose from three concentrations: finance, marketing or international management.

Full-time students are required to complete at least 31 credits while part-time students must complete at least 63 credits over a period of five years.

The online learning platform allows students to complete their assignments at their own pace while receiving feedback from professors at any time via email or phone calls.

The school has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is an accreditation body that looks at business schools from around the world and determines if they meet certain standards.

Gustavson School of Business also offers an Executive MBA (EMBA) program which is designed for working professionals who want to advance their careers through leadership skills and knowledge gained from business management courses taught by experienced faculty members with real industry experience. This one-year program consists of six core courses.

10. DeGroote School of Business

The DeGroote School of Business offers a two-year MBA program that prepares students to become leaders in business and society.

The program focuses on the development of analytical skills through a curriculum that balances business fundamentals with real-world applications.

Students take part in numerous international exchanges and study tours where they have the opportunity to explore different cultures, gain global perspectives and develop their leadership skills.

The DeGroote School of Business is accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It is recognized as one of the best business schools in North America.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it is ranked 10th among top MBA programs globally for its career services and 20th for its entrepreneurship programs.

The DeGroote School of Business offers full-time and part-time MBA programs. Full-time MBA students can complete their degree in 14 months while part-time students can expect to finish their degrees within three years.

The full-time program requires you to attend classes on campus two days a week while the part-time program allows students to take courses online or on campus as needed.

Comparison

The following table compares the features of Canada’s top MBA programs.

School: University of Alberta Ivey Business School Athabasca University UFred Smith School
Location: Online and Edmonton, Alberta Online and London, Ontario Online and Athabasca, Alberta Online Online, Toronto and Kingston, Ontario
Tuition Fee: $60,000 $83,300 $23,153 – $48,180 $29,500/year $83,000
Program Length: Full time: 12 months (no part-time) Full time: 13 months (no part-time) Accelerated: 18 months, Regular: 30 to 36 months Full time: 42 months Full time: 12 months (no part-time)
Accreditation: AACSB AACSB AACSB AACSB AACSB
Acceptance Rate: 51% 8% 75% 75% 47.9%
School: Dalhousie University Sobey School of Business Haskayne School of Business Gustavson School of Business DeGroote School of Business
Location: Online and Halifax, Nova Scotia Online and Halifax, Nova Scotia Online and Calgary, Alberta Online and Oak Bay, British Columbia Online and Hamilton, Ontario
Tuition Fee: $54,575 $41,635 $47,070 $27,034 $38,500
Program Length: Full time: 22 months Full time: 16 months or 20 months with an internship or international exchange Full time: 20 months Full time: 17-21 months Full time: 16-28 months. Part time: 36 months
Accreditation: AACSB AACSB AACSB AACSB and EQUIS AACSB
Acceptance Rate: 65% 51% 56% 72% 14.63%

Key Takeaways

Please keep in mind that these rankings are based on some subjective factors, such as the type of program and other incentives that could convince students to choose one university over another.

All of them offer a variety of programs in business administration, but they may also offer other options like engineering or computer science.

The programs themselves will vary wildly by institution—some might be more suitable for international students than others, some might allow you to focus on areas like human resource management, while others might focus more on marketing and advertising.

Some students may also prefer a school where they can take classes from home, rather than having to travel to attend classes on campus every day.

FAQ

Is online MBA valid in Canada?

Yes, an online MBA is valid in Canada. Every year thousands of students enroll in a distance MBA course as it helps them save money and time.

In addition, there are also several accreditation bodies that have approved some of online programs.

Therefore, students can feel confident that their degrees will be recognized and accepted by employers and other institutions in Canada.

How much does an online MBA cost in Canada?

Canada is a great place to study, and the cost of studying in Canada is much more affordable than it is in the United States. The average MBA tuition fee in Canada costs around $30,000 – $40,000, with a range of $16,000 – $100,000. This is much less than what you would pay for an MBA at US colleges.

Is online MBA recognized?

The online MBA degree is considered as an equivalent to the traditional MBA. However, it is important for the candidate to check if their employer accepts the online MBA degree.

If a college or university has been accredited by a credible accrediting agency for its course offerings than it is considered to be a reputable institution.

Is online MBA recognized for Canada PR?

Yes, online MBA degrees are recognized by the Canadian Government. If you are an aspiring candidate who wishes to move to Canada for higher studies, you can apply for Canadian Study Visa, even if you have a distant education degree.

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