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Canada’s Executive MBA programs

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University (School) Minimum years work experience Minimum years management experience Cohort average age % of cohort with job title VP or higher % of cohort who are entrepreneurs or self-employed % of cohort who are female Program length in months Total program cost
Alberta-Calgary (Haskayne) 12 7 36 20 20 22 $58,000
Athabasca 3 41 11 3 35 30 $49,408
British Columbia (Sauder) 8 3 18 $66,425
Concordia (Molson) 5 37 5 5 40 23 $68,000
Fredericton (Sandermoen) 5 2 41 13 2 39 29 $24,500
McGill-HEC Montréal 10 5 42 51 31 35 16 $78,000
Ottawa (Telfer) 5 22 $67,500
Prince Edward Island 3 38 10 20 50 20 $35,184
Québec à Montréal 4 24 $7,700
Queen’s 8 38 23 16 $90,000
Regina (Levene) 5 40 24 20 $43,298
Royal Roads 7 3 40 44 18 $38,283
Saint Mary’s (Sobey) 5 38 20 20 60 21 $45,000
Sherbrooke 14 5 37 22 15 28 16 $23,390
Simon Fraser (Beedie) 10 4 41 35 25 23 20 $49,500
Toronto (Rotman) 8 3 38 13 9 30 13 $106,000
Western (Ivey) 8 39 20 11 32 17 $95,000
York (Kellogg-Schulich) 8 5 37 26 10 31 18 $115,000

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University of Alberta-University of Calgary

(Alberta School of Business & Haskayne School of Business)
Edmonton and Calgary

Part time: 22 months (starts August)
Required years work experience: 12 (including 7 management)
Total cost: $58,000

Alberta’s two biggest post-secondary institutions jointly offer an EMBA program, in Calgary and Edmonton. Both cohorts meet at their respective campuses for all-day classes on Fridays and Saturdays, every other week, with an intensive one-week course kicking off each of the program’s three semesters. The curriculum features a 10-day study trip to an international destination selected by students, a major project requiring participants to write and present a business case, small class sizes (the Edmonton cohort averages 17 people) and close ties to Western Canada’s resource-based industries. Business executives join students for private discussions about leadership four to five times a term through the program’s Executive Speaker Series.


Athabasca University

Centre for Innovative Management

Part time: 30 months (starts January, May, October)
Required years management experience: 3
Total cost: $49,408

Athabasca University is home to Canada’s first and most popular online EMBA program, with 770 students currently enrolled. Its strength is its flexibility: students may choose online-only courses or opt for electives that include in-person residencies in one of several Canadian or international locations (a recent course included a residency in Singapore; in 2014, it’s Tampa, Fla.). The degree can be entirely course-based or include a major research project (students pay by course, so costs vary). Lectures, assignments and discussions are carried out with the Lotus Notes software suite.


University of British Columbia

(Sauder School of Business)

Part time (EMBA in Health Care): 18 months (starts January)
Required years work experience: 6
Total cost: $66,425

UBC’s part-time EMBA is tailor-made for executives and senior managers working in the health-care sector. The program starts with an intensive, core-business fundamentals course delivered in seven once-a-month sessions that run from Thursday to Monday. This is followed by a series of classes geared toward issues specific to health-care services, including health-care strategy and managing patient flow. Candidates must also prepare and present an industry-based project. An optional summer study trip takes the class to a European city for an up-close look at the host country’s health-care system. In the past, cohorts have travelled to the U.K. and Denmark.


Concordia University

(John Molson School of Business)

Part time: 21 months (starts August)
Required years work experience: 5
Total cost: $68,000

Concordia’s EMBA program offers standard management classes, a few specialized courses (such as Entrepreneurship and Small Family Business) and extra-curriculars that emphasize “soft” skills such as interpersonal communication and every manager’s secret weapon: delegation. The program’s pilot mentorship program, which connects current students with EMBA alumni, aims to further encourage these skills and make friendly, career-advancing connections. Over the course of four semesters, students attend four two-hour classes from 7:15 a.m. (breakfast and lunch is provided in the EMBA dining room) to 5:30 p.m. every week, alternating Friday or Saturday at the program’s new digs. The first year of study ends with a 10-day international trip where students meet with local managers, government officials and academics and work on a team project. In the last few years, classes have travelled to Latin America, China, India and eastern Europe.


University of Fredericton

(Sandermoen School of Business)

Part-time online: 27 months (starts September, October)
Required years work experience: 5
Total cost: $24,500

University of Fredericton’s EMBA in innovation leadership is the private university’s flagship program. It’s relatively new–its precursor launched in 2007–but popular enough that the online-only institution has added a pair of specialized program streams, in both global and socia-enterprise leadership. The global path is for managers working in international markets, while the social enterprise stream, new this year, is aimed at those in the not-for-profit sector. Each stream begins with business-fundamentals courses before moving on to special-topics classes and a major project. Though the degrees are delivered entirely online, students “attend” online lectures and seminars in real-time through the Cisco WebEx platform.


McGill University-HEC Montréal

(Desautels Faculty of Management/HEC Montréal)

Part time: 16 months (starts September)
Required years work experience: 10 (5 management)
Total cost: $78,000

The McGill-HEC EMBA is notable for its bilingualism: class presentations and discussions take place in both English and French and students may submit work in either language. Its pedagogical approach is based on a singular overarching question: What does it mean to think like a manager? Participants explore this query over the course of eight modules and monthly, all-day meetings from Thursday to Sunday at both McGill and HEC in downtown Montreal. Additionally, the program requires two weeks of residential sessions—a rural retreat in Eastern Quebec and a trip to either Latin America or Asia—plus a student workplace exchange, where classmates shadow each other at work. Other features: partnerships with local startups, a live pitch to venture capitalists, a student-facilitated colloquium, iPads pre-loaded with program resources and a degree jointly granted by both institutions.


University of Ottawa

(Telfer School of Management)

Part time: 22 months (starts August)
Required years work experience: 5
Total cost: $67,500

Telfer’s EMBA program places a premium on international experience and teamwork. The curriculum is built around six business-consulting projects, two of which involve international travel—to visit tech behemoths in Silicon Valley in the first year of the program, and a student-determined destination in the second—and all but one are completed in small teams. Degree candidates also participate in a lecture series featuring live business cases presented by local community leaders at the program’s headquarters, in the World Exchange Plaza, in downtown Ottawa.


University of Prince Edward Island

(School of Business)

Part time: 20 months (starts September)
Required years work experience: 3
Total cost: $35,184

UPEI’s EMBA offers two specializations. The innovative management stream integrates creative and entrepreneurial thinking with traditional leadership approaches, and the biotechnology management stream tackles the business of science, its unique ethical and regulatory frameworks and their challenges. Classes are delivered bi-weekly, Friday and Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Students may take up to six years to complete degree requirements. All courses are steeped in an evidence-based approach, which encourages decision-making backed up by data.


Université du Québec à Montréal

(École de sciences de la gestion)

Part time: 24 months (starts September, January)
Required years work experience: 4
Total cost: $7,700

UQAM offers a French-language general EMBA program as well as concentrations in financial services and accounting. On top of these streams, the school has developed a wide range of specialized curricula, teaching management techniques tailored to co-operative enterprises, municipal administration, real estate, technology and even fashion and design. Students may pursue UQAM programs at satellite campuses around the province, or at partner schools overseas. Even with all this variety, the biggest draw remains the program’s price tag, which is well below average, thanks to provincial subsidies.


Queen’s University

(Queen’s School of Business)
Kingston, Ont. (satellite locations and online)

Executive MBA
Part time: 16 months (starts August)
Required years work experience: 8
Total cost: $90,000
Part time (Cornell-Queen’s EMBA): 17 months (starts June)
Required years work experience: 5
Total cost: $108,500

The cross-Canada boardroom learning centres are the crowning glory of the Queen’s EMBA program. Every other week, for a full day on Friday and Saturday mornings, students living in and around nine different Canadian cities attend classes streamed live from Kingston to a local boardroom via video-conferencing technology. Outside of these locations, classes are accessed live online through a “virtual boardroom.” The curriculum requires short residency sessions in August, January and July, a team-based travel project and an individual project in new venture development or management consulting.

The Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA, a partnership with Ithaca, N.Y.’s Cornell University, makes use of the same technology and project requirements. Where it differs is in the workload–33 courses instead of 23–and classes take place all-day Saturday and occasionally Sunday, three weekends each month. Expect two two-week residencies, at both the Queen’s and Cornell campuses, plus international travel at the end. Participants receive degrees from both schools, with the added benefit for Canadians of a one-year U.S. work visa.


University of Regina

(Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business)

Part time: 18 months (starts September)
Required years work experience: 10 (including 5 in management)
Total cost: $43,298

Levene’s EMBA participants complete their course in 18 months, including a dozen full courses, two one-week intensive classes, a research report and a study trip. Full classes take place on campus during traditional fall and winter terms, alternating each week between Friday and Saturday. Program administrators have kept busy in the seven years since launching the EMBA, with new student associations and alumni workshops introduced last year. In 2014, the Levene school will move to new facilities.


Royal Roads University

(School of Business)

Part time (MBA in Executive Management): 18 months (starts January, August)
Required years work experience: 7 (including 3 in management)
Total cost: $38,283
Part time (Master of Global Management): 12 months (starts September, May)
Required years work experience: 2
Total cost: $23,330

At the start and end of Royal Roads’ program, degree candidates convene for three weeks of full-day classes on the university’s picturesque campus—one that includes a century-old castle—about 15 minutes outside Victoria. In between, students work on nine self-paced online courses. The program culminates in a consulting project, which sees participants prepare an executable action plan for a real business. Students may elect for a three-week residency in Grenoble, France, for an additional $3,000. The master’s in global management stream has a few more options; students may opt for the shorter applied research stream, or the 18-month internship path, which requires a minimum of 12 weeks in the workplace. Both include three weeks of online prep, a one-week on-campus foundations course, 12 online courses and an elective.


Saint Mary’s University

(Sobey School of Business)

Part time: 21 months (starts August)
Required years work experience: 5
Total cost: $45,000

Saint Mary’s EMBA program underlines the importance of analytical skills, big-picture planning and a global perspective. The curriculum delivers all the core business topics with courses relating to finance, operations management and marketing, delivered onsite during alternate weeks, Friday and Saturday, from September to April. In total, degree candidates take 14 courses, complete a major research project and embark on a 10-day international trade mission in the second year. A few extracurricular features set the Sobey school apart, including a voluntary student oath ceremony dedicated to responsible and ethical business leadership and a host of social activities such as Friday-night dinners featuring guest speakers.


Université de Sherbrooke

(Centre Laurent Beaudoin)
Longueuil, Que.

Part time (with B. Comm): 16 months (starts September)
Part time (without B. Comm): 22 months (starts September)
Required years work experience: 14 (5 management)
Total cost: $23,390 (with B. Comm)
Total cost: $33,750 (without B. Comm)

This French-language program emphasizes work/school/life balance and pairs students with a certified coach to ensure success on all fronts. Full-day classes alternate each week between Friday and Saturday at Sherbrooke’s state-of-the-art facilities in Longueuil, 15 minutes outside Montreal. Participants with a bachelor’s degree in business get advanced standing and can skip straight to second-year courses. The internationally inclined may take advantage of the university’s partnerships with schools in France, Algeria and Martinique. Stay tuned, however: this 20-year-old program will undergo a major overhaul in 2014.


Simon Fraser University

(Beedie School of Business)

Part time: 20 months (starts September)
Total cost: $49,500
Part time (MBA of the Americas): 20 months (starts September)
Total cost: $49,500
Part time (Aboriginal Business Leadership): 33 months (starts September)
Required years work experience: 10 (including 4 in management)
Total cost: $49,800

Professionals enrolled in Beedie’s general EMBA and EMBA of the Americas attend orientation together in Whistler, B.C., work in teams and follow the same first-year curriculum in class every other weekend in downtown Vancouver. In second year, the general cohort pursues coursework in strategic thinking for changing business environments, and the Americas group departs for week-long sessions at universities in Nashville, Tenn., Mexico City and Sao Paulo, where they join 15 students from each school on a year-long group project. A third specialization makes use of SFU’s ties to British Columbia’s indigenous communities and businesses to provide a general executive education with an understanding of how traditional knowledge figures into aboriginal leadership.


University of Toronto

(Rotman School of Management)

Part time: 13 months (starts September-October)
Required years work experience: 8 (3 management)
Total cost: $106,000
Part time (Omnium Global EMBA): 18 months (starts August)
Required years work experience: 5 (3 management)
Total cost: $96,000

Rotman hosts one of the larger in-person EMBA programs, with up to 65 candidates admitted each year. Students meet for a residential module and 23 courses presented twice a month, on Friday and Saturday, in the school’s recently expanded facilities in downtown Toronto. The program is built around integrative thinking, an approach that applies a blend of logic with cognitive and behavioural sciences to the study of management decision-making. The student experience can be personalized through international electives in the second term. Globally minded professionals may opt for the Omnium stream, consisting of six two-week residential modules in North America, South America, East Asia, Europe, South Asia and the Middle East (costs vary depending on locations). The months between travel are spent on readings, assignments and team projects. Candidates earn degrees from U. of T. and the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland.


Western University

(Ivey Business School)
Toronto and London, Ont.

Part time: 17 months (starts August, February)
Required years work experience: 8
Total cost: $95,000

The Ivey school’s EMBA program is all about case-method learning. In fact, Ivey is the largest publisher of business case studies in Canada, and joins Harvard and the University of Virginia as the Top 3 in North America. It’s little surprise, then, that the program’s 16 courses make good use of these studies, along with experiential education, in the form of a 10-day field trip to China or India, and a group management consultation project in which self-selected teams seek out and advise a client. Classes are held at Ivey’s satellite campus in Toronto’s financial district, and each term begins with a one-week residential module at the Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre in London. Graduates join an EMBA alumni network of about 2,000 professionals.


York University

(Schulich School of Business/Kellogg School of Management)
Toronto and Chicago

Part time (Kellogg-Schulich EMBA): 18 months (starts January)
Required years work experience: 8 (5 management)
Total cost: $115,000

York University’s program, hosted in partnership with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, is one of the most sought-after EMBA degrees in the country. Cohorts averaging around 40 students meet at Schulich on alternate weekends, from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, in Toronto’s north end. Candidates from both schools meet for a week in Toronto and two weeks at Kellogg, just north of Chicago. In the second year of study, participants may take electives at Kellogg or partner schools in Miami, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and Dusseldorf. Second year also includes a global-strategy project with international travel and a capstone project. Program administrators stress the importance of personal support while completing the degree and, in that spirit, encourage partners and family to attend a number of events throughout the year.