McGill MBA Full-Time FAQs

MBA Program

What is the length of the Desautels MBA program?

The full-time McGill MBA program is a one year or two-year program. You can choose between our 48-credit (12-month) and 54-credit (20-month) programs. The 54-credit takes 20, though many students accelerate it to finish in 16 months.

Is there an accelerated option in the MBA program?

You can choose to complete your MBA in as short as 12 months. The difference in length comes down to the amount of time you spend learning on the job through an internship.

Does the Desautels MBA Program have a core curriculum?

Yes, McGill does have a core curriculum, and one of the most unique core curriculums in the world. The first semester of the MBA program is referred to as the Core. The Core, consisting of five integrated modules and a final case competition, provides the organizational and environmental context for the rest of the program.

What is the teaching method used in the McGill MBA program?

The Desautels MBA program at McGill combines both theory and cases. Other methods include guest lectures and team projects. Students have the opportunity to not only learn from leading professors from around the world, but also from exceptional international business leaders. This combination of theoretical and real world teaching is an important differentiating factor of the Desautels MBA program at McGill.

What areas of specialization/concentrations does the Desautels MBA offer?

There are five areas of specializations that students can choose from - Global Strategy & Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Business Analytics. Concentrations allow students to tailor their studies to their specific career goals and interests. A concentration is comprised of five courses (15 credits) selected from a chosen area.

Can I transfer credits from courses completed in my undergraduate degree?

Credits earned during an undergraduate degree may not be counted towards an MBA.

Can I work while studying at McGill?

The program is rigorous and intensive; thus, incoming students are not recommended to work while attending full-time studies.

I obtained my business degree some time ago. Are there any refresher courses that I can take to prepare for my MBA studies?

We have students from all different backgrounds, as such, all accepted students participate in Base Camp at the at the beginning of August; a non-credit one-week workshop that provides a strong foundation in Business Math and Financial Accounting. Base Camp works to ensure that students begin the Core with a solid knowledge of these key areas. 


What are the minimum admission requirements for entry into the MBA program?

Candidates applying must have an undergraduate degree from a recognized university. Additionally, all applicants must complete the GMAT or the GRE exam. For candidates whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed their degree in an English speaking country, the TOEFL or IELTS is required. The minimum TOEFL iBT score is 100, with a minimum of 20 in each category. The minimum overall band for the IELTS is 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in each category. Additionally, all applicants must have a minimum of two years of work experience following their undergraduate degree.

Are interviews required for admission to the MBA Program?

Yes, strong candidates who also meet the minimum admission requirements will be invited for an interview. Selected applicants will be notified by e-mail as to a time and date.

How important is the interview in the admission process?

We understand that our applicants invest a great deal of time and effort into their applications. The written application, including the essays and letters of reference, remains a critical part of the evaluation process. The interview is also a key component of the admission process. There is no specific weight assigned to the interview as we take a holistic approach. We use the information derived from the interview in context—just as we use all other information in the application process. No single factor is decisive. Therefore, a positive interview does not guarantee admission. This interview is important not only for the admissions committee to better understand your background and experiences, but also an important opportunity for you to ask key questions and ensure that the Desautels MBA at McGill is the right program for you.

When is a student notified of the admission decision?

Once an application is complete, applicants can expect to receive a response within 4-6 weeks.

What is the profile of a typical Desautels MBA student?

Our student body is extremely diverse, and as such, there is no "typical candidate". This is one of the reasons why our program is so special. We look for excellent candidates who will become responsible leaders, and that can come from many different backgrounds. Our averages for our last incoming class include 4-5 years of full-time post-baccalaureate work experience, an average GMAT score of 670 and an overall GPA of 3.3, however there are ranges around each of these figures. We look at all of the different components of the application package.

I have been accepted, what is the next step?

You must confirm your offer of acceptance and submit the non-refundable deposit of $5,000 by the deadline date specified in your letter of acceptance to ensure that your space in the program is not forfeited to another candidate.

Once accepted, can an acceptance be deferred?

Under exceptional circumstances, an applicant may defer his/her acceptance for a period no longer than one year. To apply for a deferral, the student must do so in writing, explaining the reasons for the deferral. In order to secure a space for the following year, a deferral fee is required.

Tuition and Funding

When are tuition fees due?

Tuition fees are due only after the student has registered for courses. For tuition deadlines, visit Student Accounts

I was awarded an entrance award/fellowship from the Desautels Faculty of Management, when will I receive the funds?

For students who have received an award/fellowship, the funds are transferred to their student account by the end of August.

Is financial assistance available and how does one apply?

All applicants are automatically considered for all internal MBA entrance awards/fellowships. For specific information on scholarships, visit Scholarships & Awards

International students

All international students are required to secure the CAQ and study permit to prior to starting the MBA program. Visit International Student Services for information regarding how to obtain these documents.

Immigration Canada allows international students to obtain a work permit for 3 years after graduation from a 2 year MBA program. Visit Immigration Canada for more details. 

Student Life

Where do MBA students live while studying at McGill?

MBA students traditionally live off-campus in downtown Montreal. For detailed information on apartment sizes, location, lease laws, subletting and tips on searching for an apartment in Montreal, visit Student Housing.

What is living in Montreal like?

Montreal is a bilingual city (English and French) located in the heart of North America. Montreal offers students a unique and enriching cultural experience in addition to an exceptionally low cost of living. It is often referred to as the Paris of North America. As for the climate, there are four seasons present where the daytime high can reach as high as 32°C in mid-July to -20°C in mid-February. For more detailed information on Montreal, please visit 'Living in Montreal.'

COVID-19 Update

Given that test centres are closed, can I still apply to the McGill MBA program without a GMAT or GRE?

The GMAT is an admission requirement; we do not exempt students from the test. Both GMAC and ETS have launched online-proctored alternatives to their GMAT and GRE. For information on the GMAT, please refer to the Update on Coronavirus and its Impact on Testing. For information regarding the GRE, please refer to the General Test at Home.

The MBA program is supposed to begin in August with Base Camp. Is this still the start date, or is the program postponed to January?

The program will begin with Base Camp on August 3 as scheduled (August 8 for the part-time program). However, per University directives, we are offering all summer classes (including anything that meets in August) remotely. Therefore, Base Camp and at least the first two weeks of classes will be taught completely remotely.

It was announced that courses at McGill for the fall 2020 semester will be offered primarily through remote delivery platforms. Does this mean that all international students will study remotely for the fall 2020 semester even if current restrictions are lifted before the semester starts?

The University has announced that the fall 2020 term will begin as scheduled, with academic programs and courses delivered primarily through remote instruction platforms. In keeping with evolving government directives and prioritizing the health and safety of our community, McGill and Desautels are examining possibilities for on-campus student life and learning activities, particularly for small, self-contained programs like the MBA.

The determining factor right now is whether a student can receive their CAQ & Study Permit in time to come to Montreal. If current restrictions are lifted before the semester starts, such that you are here, you will be part of the Montreal cohort and attend classes on campus as permitted. If you have not yet received these authorizations, you will have to begin studies remotely. 

How will the fall term being primarily delivered remotely affect my eligibility for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) after I complete the program?

According to the Government of Canada Immigration website, the PGWP eligibility will not be affected for international students whose fall 2020 courses will be online due to COVID-19. This is in line with guidance provided to students already studying in Canada or whose program had a spring or summer start date.

Students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50% of their program via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.

In addition, they will not have time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020.

I have not secured my CAQ and Study Permit. Will I be able to start the MBA remotely?

While you must work on obtaining your documents, students are permitted to follow remote classes without having secured their CAQ or Study Permit. Once the university fully resumes classes on campus, students who have their CAQ & Study Permit must be ready to arrive on campus at their earliest. Those who do not secure the CAQ & Study Permit before classes resume on-campus will not be able to continue in the program.

What is the University’s deferment policy in light of the COVID-19 situation?

Our deferment policy is unchanged. Up until the first day of Base Camp, August 3, admitted students can choose to defer their admission for one year. In such cases, students must pay the deposit fee. We will retain the confirmation deposit and apply it toward the following year’s tuition.

Where can we obtain the most up-to-date information on policies instituted by the Canadian Government?

In an effort to provide all students with the most up-to-date information, our International Student Services office has created a COVID-19 resource page with important links. For all updates, please refer to McGill’s Covid-19 Immigration Resources.


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Get the latest Covid-19 updates and learn what to expect for McGill’s return to campus this Fall, 2021.

For Desautels specific updates please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.

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