You’re investing a TON of time, money, and energy towards your future.
You’ve gotten the grades, done a bunch of extracurriculars, improved your real-world skills, and become the type of leader that top-tier business programs in Canada look for — you’ve put in the work.
As if doing all that wasn’t stressful enough, now you have to decide where you want to spend the next 4 years of your life and complete your undergrad degree.
We get that it can be really stressful to make such a big decision about which university aligns to your unique interests, goals, and aspirations.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best business schools in Canada (with a focus on undergraduate programs, listed in no specific order), so you can get rid of all the questions and hesitation that might be floating around in your mind.
Here you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of the standout features of the best business schools in Canada — all in one place — so you can be confident that you’re making the right decision for your future.
And just remember — you don’t have to go through this process alone! Our Youth Coaches™ are alumni of all the programs listed below and they have helped hundreds of students choose the program that’s right for them (as well as helping them succeed once they’re in university). If you’re looking for an objective mentor to help you through this process, connect with a coach now for support.
We also have a ton of free resources, including comprehensive program guides, application prep guides, skills building guides, and more.
To stay up to date on the latest content to empower you to fulfill your potential follow our channel on YouTube and subscribe to our monthly newsletter (by filling out the form at the top of this page).
Queen’s (Smith) Commerce (Kingston, Ontario) – One of the Best Business Schools in Canada Overall
Smith Commerce is ranked as one of Canada’s leading business schools because it provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed as students and young professionals.
The flexible program not only teaches a comprehensive foundational knowledge of all disciplines of business, but it allows students to tailor the degree based on their unique interests and goals. In the first 2 years, you’ll take general courses covering many areas of business from accounting to marketing, so you can decide what you’re truly interested in. Then, in Year 3 and 4 you’ll become an expert in that specific area.
Queen’s stands out from other business programs because you don’t have to declare a major right away and you can choose the courses you want to take (vs. a required list). This is a huge benefit, especially during this period of your life when you’re not really sure what you want to do and what you’re passionate about.
Queen’s University, Smith School of Business, image credit
If you’re looking for a school where you can get involved and grow as a student and future leader, Smith is definitely a great choice. There are many opportunities for professional development as well as student clubs and other extracurricular activities.
For example, Smith Commerce Society (ComSoc) is the largest undergraduate business society in Canada, comprising over 55 conferences and committees and 1,000 student held positions, and QMA, which hosts an annual conference for students and industry leaders. There are also various business case competitions at the local, national, and international levels, like the QCCU and ICBC where you can build communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. These are all great for building skills and experiences, but they are also key for networking and establishing valuable connections at some of Canada’s top employers — and this exposure will be key when you enter the job market after graduation.
DID YOU KNOW?: 96% of Smith students get a quality job within 6 months of graduation! Why? Queen’s goes above and beyond to set their students up for success after they graduate. This school is known for their outstanding Career Advancement Centre, which will help you from deciding what kind of job you want, all the way through the recruitment and hiring process. This mentorship will make you feel confident and ready to take all the lessons you’ve learned at Smith into the real world. It also helps that Canada’s top recruiters make Queen’s their first choice for new graduates when hiring, which can also help you get your foot in the door.
Another thing that makes Queen’s stand out is their international exchange semester opportunity in third and fourth year. With over 120 partner schools in over 35 countries, students get an invaluable opportunity to broaden their perspective through experiential learning, while building a global network of contacts. In fact, over 85% of Smith students participate in this international exchange.
This experience not only helps students grow as individuals through exposure to different cultures and learning opportunities, but it also acts as a professional differentiator. For example, imagine a student who wants to pursue a career in business fashion and did their international exchange at Bocconi University in Milan — this type of experience would drastically increase their chances of getting the job.
Want to see what it’s really like to be a student at Smith Commerce? Check out this Day in the Life at Queen’s Commerce video by Youthfully Insider, Sara:
If you’re interested in learning more about this business program, watch the video below to learn about Smith Commerce courses and the co-op/exchange program, what it’s like to live in Kingston, student culture, and everything in between!
We’ve helped hundreds of students improve real-world skills, write standout application essays, and become the type of leader that Smith Commerce looks for (check out this inspiring journey from one of our students, Stephanie, who worked with her Youth Coach™ to start her own non-profit, receive an offer to Queen’s as well as other top business programs, AND become a finalist for some of the most competitive undergrad awards).
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Western Ivey HBA (London, Canada) – A Top 2-Year Business Program in Canada
One of the great things about the Western Ivey program is that you can explore your other interests in the first two years of university as a student with AEO (Advanced Entry Opportunity) status. AEO is a conditional, pre-admission status to the HBA program, which you will start in your third year as long as you meet the course, GPA, and extracurricular HBA requirements. Most Ivey students (about two-thirds) have AEO status, and many choose to enroll in the BMOS program in Years 1 and 2.
This flexibility of the Ivey program is such a game-changer at this crossroads in your life when you’re trying to figure out what you’re passionate about and what career you want. With AEO, you can take courses in various faculties/departments at Western — business, philosophy, art, history, engineering…the list goes on and on. However, some students find the 2+2 program structure really stressful to fit their business education into the last 2 years, but it can also open your eyes to other research areas, which can make you a more well-rounded student overall.
Richard Ivey Building, Western University, Image Credit
Another unique thing about Western Ivey is that it almost exclusively uses the case-method style of learning, where students use real business case scenarios to test their thinking and judgment and receive feedback for ways to improve (on average, students study more than 400 business cases!). This type of experiential learning is key for preparing graduates for real-world situations in which you have to make crucial decisions under pressure and without all the information. This style of learning adds so much additional value to the traditional business degree.
Not only does it give you a good idea of the problems and issues that today’s businesses face around the world, but you’ll learn skills that will help you excel in your career, like collaborating with others, solving problems effectively, analyzing complex information, managing projects, and communicating effectively. Having these skills and experience is probably why 94% of Ivey graduates are employed after 3 months and 98% are employed after 6 months. The Western Ivey HBA tuition might be high (at around $25,000 per year), but trust us that it’ll pay off in the end!
Want to see what a day in the life of a Western Ivey student is really like? Check out this Day in the Life at Ivey video by Youthfully Insider, Salina:
We’ve also put together this helpful program overview video which goes over everything from applying and details of the program, to what it’s like to be an Ivey student:
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UBC Sauder Commerce (BCom) (Vancouver, Canada) – Best Business Program in Canada For Real World Learning
UBC Sauder’s Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) program is ranked as one of Canada’s best — and for good reason!
The UBC Sauder BCom program provides students with a solid foundation in business and management, and then allows them to become experts in their chosen field in upper years, offering 10 specializations (or ‘options’) that cover all aspects of business.
Sauder goes beyond traditional in-class learning and course material and teaches students real-world skills like writing a resume/cover letter, preparing for an interview, presenting to a large group, writing business plans, and more. At the end of their degree, students are prepared to succeed in all aspects of the business world.
UBC Sauder School of Business, Image Credit
Another thing that makes Sauder stand out is that it offers school-run and student-managed mentorship programs that provide specialized preparation and training for students interested in certain career paths, led by alumni or professionals working in these fields like Sauder’s Portfolio Management Program and the Strategic Consulting Mentorship Program.
These programs help students gain valuable experience, work with industry experts, and build a network. They’re also especially key because UBC is on the west coast, where some top employers don’t have a presence, including employers in consulting (e.g. Bain, BCG, McKinsey). These programs help UBC students break into this challenging industry which is mostly focused in Toronto.
If that wasn’t enough, Sauder also has a great co-op program where students can do 4 or 8 month full-time work placements. Over 500 Sauder students are currently taking advantage of this experiential learning opportunity, and many students tell us how life-changing their co-op with Sauder was because they gained skills firsthand at some of Canada’s leading companies, and they built connections that helped them get a job when they graduate.
Want to see what a day in the life of a UBC Sauder student is really like? Check out this Day in the Life at UBC Sauder video by Youthfully Insider, Jerry:
McGill Desautels (Montreal, Quebec) – Best Business Program in Canada for International Exchange
The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management is a highly respected Canadian business program. This program has the highest admission standards of any undergrad business program in Canada.
McGill Desautels stands out from other business schools because they recognize that you might not have decided exactly what your interests and career objectives are yet. That’s why they offer one of the most flexible programs around, allowing students to customize the program as they wish, choosing between various combinations of Honours, Majors, Concentrations, and Minors. You can even take a Major or Minor in an area that’s in a field other than business as well as non-management electives.
This flexibility will give you a more diverse skill set and experiences because you build a working knowledge of many different research areas and disciplines. Our students have also told us that exploring all their options eliminates a lot of emotional and mental stress associated with university because it made them confident that they were making the right academic and career choices based on their unique interests.
Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Image Credit
DID YOU KNOW?: Unlike other business programs on this list, the McGill Desautels BCom program does not offer a co-op program. There are Career Advisors available to help explore employment opportunities, but these will not count as credit towards the BCom degree. If experiential learning, networking, and building skills in a real workplace are important to you, you might want to consider another program like Laurier BBA or UBC Sauder which are known for their co-op programs.
Desautels is recognized as one of the best international business schools and they make international experience a top priority. Most of the faculty at the Desautels Faculty of Management have an international background. They also have an impressive exchange program with over 55 leading business schools to help you put what you’ve learned about global business into context. McGill has also made an effort to build relationships with top level executives around the world, called the Desautels Global Experts, who are also Desautels alumni. They’ll teach you about various industries and career paths, and help you build valuable networking and communication skills.
Learning from such notable professors, taking part in the student exchange program, and being supported by the Desautels Global Experts will expand your knowledge of international business and management, while opening doors as you build your global network. Experiencing other cultures, ways of life, and interacting with new people will help you not only develop as a student, but also as a young adult as you yourself are learning about what you value and what you want your life to look like.
McGill Desautels is also known for its exceptional student life, both inside and outside of the university. Within the university, there are various clubs, societies, and case competitions to participate in so you can make friends and feel like you’re part of a community. Montreal itself is a vibrant city, full of culture, fun activities, and old and new world charm. With iconic restaurants, exciting sports events, and Canada’s largest cultural and artistic complex, the Place des Arts, there will never be a dull moment when you need a break from your studies.
Where you live is a really important thing to consider when choosing what school you want to attend because it will help you alleviate stress and have a positive headspace, allow you to explore your interests outside the classroom, and discover who you are — all of which will make you a better student. And, with a relatively low cost of living and many job opportunities, Montreal is a great place to go to school and even start a career when you graduate (in fact, 60% of McGill BCom graduates go on to work in Quebec!).
For more information about the McGill Desautels BCom program and to see if it’s the best choice for you, connect with a coach now.
University of Toronto Rotman Commerce (Toronto, Ontario) – Best Business School for Finance & Economics
As a leading school in economics and finance, Commerce Rotman offers students a top-tier education in these areas, along with various opportunities for professional development and a one-of-a-kind student experience.
If finance and accounting are your areas of interest we definitely recommend that you consider this program (over 52% of Rotman Commerce grads go into the financial services or accounting industry).
However, if you’re still unsure about what area of business you want to study, you might want to consider another program. Why? Rotman’s specializations are limited to 3 choices, again with a heavy focus on finance and accounting. This is rather limited when you compare it to other programs (like UBC Sauder which has 10 specialization options), so it’ll be harder to explore other areas like marketing, entrepreneurship, business technology management, etc.
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, Image Credit
Rotman Commerce is also known for working hard to set its students up for success after they graduate with its various professional development and internship opportunities. Many students come to Rotman Commerce because they offer the chance for students to be fast tracked to the CPA program or other professional designations/diplomas when they graduate. Living in Toronto also means that you can take advantage of the thousands of internship and employment opportunities in this bustling financial center.
As a Rotman student, you’ll be able to gain invaluable professional experience as you work with leading companies in various roles and industries. These internships and employment opportunities are the difference maker for getting your foot in the door and building real-world professional skills.
DID YOU KNOW?: Something to be aware of before applying to Rotman is that when you get your U of T acceptance letter, you aren’t actually a part of the Rotman BCom program until your second year. While you have Guaranteed Admission to the program, you have to complete a required list of courses, GPA requirements, and more to actually be accepted into the Rotman program in second year. Over the years we’ve seen students really stress about this in first year.
Another huge advantage of studying at Rotman is the one of a kind student life. Not only does Rotman have a ton of clubs and activities, student groups, and job fairs, but you also get to live in Toronto and experience all the great things this city has to offer, no matter what you’re into. Going to sports events, museums, concerts, and more (usually for free or discounted pricing) on your days off really make this student experience memorable and help you take a break from studying and coursework.
Want to see what a day in the life of a Rotman Commerce student is really like? Check out this Day in the Life at Rotman video by one of our Youthfully Insiders:
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Laurier BBA (Waterloo, Ontario) – Business Program in Canada with the Best Co-op & Entrepreneurship Programs
The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Laurier’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics is in the top 5% of business schools worldwide because of its co-op program, as well as its focus on entrepreneurship and social innovation, and double degree program opportunities.
Laurier has the largest business degree co-op program in the country. As a Laurier BBA student, you’ll almost always be guaranteed a co-op placement (95% of students get a co-op placement for their first work term). These paid work terms provide the unique opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned in their classes and become familiar with business practices and fundamentals, all while building key skills like communication, critical thinking, and time management.
The co-op program will help build a network with leading companies in the country and many students even get hired at the place where they did their co-op after they graduate (97% of students get a placement after graduation). We’ve also had many clients who’ve told us that these co-ops were key in making them confident that they were choosing the right career path (and we even had some who changed it up completely after realizing it wasn’t for them).
The Lazaridis School of Business & Economics, Image Credit
If your passion is entrepreneurship, then Laurier BBA is definitely the program for you. Known as the ‘Changemaker Campus’ Laurier is a global leader in social entrepreneurship and social innovation education.
As a BBA student, you can choose the Entrepreneurship Concentration and have access to innovative faculty and mentors who will help you develop your ideas and build the skills you need to begin a startup or non-profit, along with various campus spaces and resources like the Science Maker Lab and StartUp Lab to get your ideas off the ground. Many of our students have started their own small businesses and they constantly tell us that Laurier was the difference between the success and failure of their ideas and that they wouldn’t have been able to turn their dream into a reality without these resources.
If you are interested in exploring other fields in addition to business administration, Laurier is unique because it offers many choices for double degree programs, where you can earn the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with either Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath), Bachelor of Financial Mathematics (BA), and Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS), as well as the Co-Op Double Degree Program. This might seem like a lot of extra work at first, but these programs will help make you a highly competitive applicant when you graduate because you have a solid knowledge of various fields and can work across various industries.
We’ve helped hundreds of students improve real-world skills, stand out on their Laurier BBA ABS, and get accepted to this top business program (check out this inspiring journey from one of our students, Isaac, worked with his Youth Coach™ to execute big goals like giving a TEDx Talk, become the type of leader Laurier looks for, AND get a competitive position in the university as well as an internship).
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Waterloo AFM (Waterloo, Ontario) – Best Business School in Canada for Experiential Learning
If you are interested in accounting and/or finance, Waterloo’s AFM program in the School of Accounting and Finance is definitely worth considering. The University of Waterloo is well-known for its Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program because of its unique approach and curriculum.
As an AFM student, you’ll learn about all aspects of accounting and financial management, while also focusing on how to use technology, business analytics, sustainability, and innovation to keep up with today’s business landscape. In the first couple of years, you’ll get a solid foundation in these areas, and then in upper years you can pursue the path you want, like finance, investment, accounting, etc. It’s totally up to you.
DID YOU KNOW?: Even though Waterloo AFM specializes in accounting and many students join the program to pursue their CPA or MAcc, completing your degree at Waterloo does NOT mean you have no choice but to pursue a job in accounting. With the broad education that AFM offers, there are various other paths and designations other than accounting that you can focus on.
This comprehensive and broad curriculum, which uses coursework and case studies, along with the flexibility to focus on what you want in upper years, will help make you more competitive in the job market. It will also allow you to develop new and innovative perspectives that will make a difference in the world.
University of Waterloo, School of Accounting and Finance, Image Credit
The co-op program at Waterloo SAF has also gained national and international recognition over the last few years. Note that the co-op is mandatory for Waterloo AFM. This program is top-ranked for its ability to prepare students for many types of careers.
Why? Unlike other business schools that require students to do shorter work terms (e.g. Ivey with 1 summer work term), Waterloo AFM requires 4 work terms. This might seem like a lot, but in reality this gives the students the time they need to learn valuable on-the-job experience and they come out of the program with more work experience than students who do shorter co-ops. With more work terms, you also have the chance to try out different positions in various industries, which further expands your experience and opens your eyes to other potential interest areas.
Even though the co-op program is a bit competitive (with a lot of students competing for the same jobs), the work experience and network you build is well worth it. A lot of AFM students get co-ops and get hired at their placement location after graduation, especially in investment banking, private equity, consulting, etc.
Another thing that makes Waterloo AFM a top program is that after Years 1 and 2 (when you’ve built a foundation in accounting, finance, and business), you can use your 13 electives to customize the rest of your degree in Years 3 and 4 and work towards various certificates and specializations. For example the Professional Accountant Career Specialization fulfills the CPA prerequisite education requirements as well as the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program. Other designations that students can pursue during and after this program are CFA, CBV, CIA, and CAP. Along with the experience you get from the co-op, students are set up for success after they graduate.
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York Schulich BBA/iBBA (Toronto, Ontario) – Best International Business Program in Canada
One of the biggest things that sets York Schulich BBA apart from other business programs is that they take a global approach to business and combine international experiences and business education. Schulich is the only program to offer the International Bachelor of Business Administration (iBBA).
While studying international business, learning another language, and doing a mandatory exchange term, students learn so much about themselves, their place in the world, and how they want to make a difference in their local and global communities. If you aspire to get a job outside the country (or are simply interested in learning more about business in other parts of the world), York Schulich is definitely the place for you.
For students who are taking the BBA program, there are also many opportunities to learn about international business. For example, York’s exchange program partners with 84 schools around the world in 38 countries, and over 250 students travel abroad to take advantage of Schulich’s international opportunities each year. Participating in their exchange program, summer programs, and/or work placements will teach you about international business while developing your worldview and understanding of business needs around the world (and they can help you stand out as you enter the job market when you graduate).
Schulich School of Business, York University, Image Credit
Schulich is a great program to enroll in because it focuses on learning and development beyond the classroom. There are various clubs, case competitions, and conferences like the Schulich Ambassador Program, Undergraduate Business Society (UBS), and Undergraduate Case Competitions that will allow you to build relationships, gain academic and professional experience, and build real-world skills like leadership, teamwork, communication, giving presentations, and more. These types of experiential learning opportunities will help you discover what you’re most passionate about and make you a stronger student and leader.
Another benefit of being a Schulich BBA student is that they provide resources to set you up for success before and after graduation. With student services and support like Alumni Relations, Learning Skills Services, and Services for International students, you’ll never feel like you have no one to turn to for support.
Schulich’s Centre for Career Design (CCD) is a really helpful program where students can work 1-on-1 with a career counselor and participate in career building sessions to understand what career path you truly want to do, and then make a plan to get there. The CCD also has strong relationships with many leading domestic and international companies and they frequently host networking events where students can talk to leaders in their industry as well as recruiters and employers. These events and the various career resources that the CCD offers are game changers for helping you get noticed and getting a great first job after graduation — it’s no wonder that 88% of Schulich grads get a job within 6 months of graduation!
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