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Business and commerce education in Canada

Management, business and commerce education is a popular area of study in Canada, which offers a wide choice of programmes.

Over the past 30 years, management education has been among the fastest growing of all the disciplines in higher education in Canada. Almost 20% of all the university students enrolled in Canadian universities are in a business related programme.

Canadian business and commerce programmes emphasise practical skills in addition to the theoretical components of their curricula. Many programmes, for example, offer co-op and internship options, which enable students to gain relevant work experience while completing their degree.

Undergraduate programmes at Canadian business and commerce schools also acknowledge the importance of possessing multiple skills and global knowledge in order to prosper in the current employment market. Many business schools encourage students to complete a joint or double degree, which merges business and commerce education with training in another field. 



Pre-law course selection in the United States

“International students are an invaluable part of Canada’s academic community”

A significant proportion of Canadian business students spend part of their programme studying overseas and an equally important number of students enrolled in Canadian business schools are from abroad (18% of undergraduates and 26% of MBA students).

All universities are public institutions, and receive the bulk of their funding from various levels of government. They all share a high reputation for quality and all must go through a rigorous ongoing accreditation process from their respective provincial governments.

In addition, most schools have accreditations from international bodies, notably AASCB International, EFMD and AMBA. Canadian schools typically do very well in the numerous rankings conducted by international media and other organisations.

Tuition fees for degree programmes are 
fixed by provincial governments and vary from province to province. In most jurisdictions fees charged to international students are higher than those charged to Canadian residents, but in general are significantly less than fees charged at US schools. Many Canadian business schools have partnership agreements with schools abroad, where students pay fees to their home institution.


Approximately 70 schools in Canada offer degree programmes in at least one aspect of management. About 50 of these are in English and twenty in French. A number of schools offer courses in both languages.

International students are an invaluable part of Canada’s academic community; they enrich campuses and classrooms 
by introducing global perspectives into the curricula.

International students enrolled in Canadian business and commerce programmes receive various forms of support from the universities they attend, and all schools offer a wide range of services to help facilitate their integration and enrich their experience in Canada. Students from abroad are often permitted, depending on the province, to work on campus while pursing 
their studies.

The Canadian Federation of Business School Deans (CFBSD), which formed in 1976, works with its members to assist Canadian business schools in providing high-quality education that is relevant and valuable to contemporary management. CFBSD’s membership comprises 65 university level business schools, as well as educational and industrial associations

Written by Timothy Daus (2011)
Executive Director
Canadian Federation of Business School Deans (CFBSD)