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McGill MBA Full-Time FAQs

On this page:

MBA Program
→ Admissions
→ Tuition and Funding
→ International students
→ Student Life


1. MBA Program

1.1: 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.

1.2: 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.

1.3: Can I change from the 12-month program to the 16 or 20-month program or vice versa?

Our MBA is flexible in many ways. Changing from one program length to another is possible, though there are deadlines and other considerations for those wishing to switch.

For international students, it is important to note that changes to the length and program of study may affect your post-graduation work permit.

Students completing the 12-month program will not be required to complete an internship and will be taking a full load of classes in all three terms (i.e. Fall, Winter and Summer). For international applicants interested in completing this option, their post-graduate work permit in Canada would be for a maximum of 1- year.

For the 16 or 20 month- internship option, students are required to complete an internship. The internship can be completed any time after the core. For international applicants interested in completing this option, their post-graduate work permit in Canada can be issued for a period of up to 3 years.

If a change to the initial program of acceptance is required, students will need to consult with the student advising team.

1.4: Is there a possibility of doing the program part time?

Currently, the MBA program is only offered as a full-time study program.

1.5: 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.

1.6: 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.

1.7: 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.

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

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

1.9: 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.

1.10: 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 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. 

2. Admissions

2.1: 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.

2.2: Is the required IELTs/TOEFL score the same as for other programs at McGill?

The scores required for admission to the MBA are as follows: TOEFL iBT (internet-based test) 100 with a minimum score of 20 in each category or IELTS Academic 7.0 overall with no score below 7.0 is required. Please note that these scores may differ from other graduate programs offered at McGill.

2.3: Is the MBA program part of the AEHE or CREPUQ agreements that allow students enrolled at other universities to complete classes at Desautels?

Desautels is a private program, and our MBA courses are restricted to students enrolled in our MBA program. We are not part of CREPUQ, and we don’t accept Inter-University Transfers.

2.4: Can I get a GMAT/GRE waiver?

All applicants must complete the GMAT exam or the GRE exam. There are no exemptions to this rule and no waivers will be granted.

2.5: Can I get an application fee waiver?

The non-refundable Graduate Studies application fee of $132.90 (subject to change) must accompany each application. Applications cannot be submitted without this fee. This sum must be paid by credit card.

2.6: 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.

2.7: 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.

2.8: Who should I ask for references?

We recommend you obtain references from individuals who know your strengths and competencies. These letters should be from a person who was in a supervisory role in relation to you. These references should provide the letter using a professional email address. References coming from personal email addresses will not be accepted and may delay the application from being deemed complete. No academic reference letters will be accepted.

2.9: Can you look at my degree/credentials and tell me if I’m eligible for the program?

It is only after we receive your full application could we make any concrete assessment about your candidacy to the MBA cohort. Please review our admission requirements and credentials and grading equivalencies for international applicants. You may also find it helpful to view our current class profile.

2.10: 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.

2.11: 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.

2.12: 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.

2.13: 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.

3. Tuition and Funding

3.1: When are tuition fees due?

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

3.2: 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.

3.3: Is financial assistance available and how does one apply?

New McGill MBA financial aid packages for permanent residents of Quebec are available which can cover up to 75% of current tuition. To be considered a Quebec resident, students must meet all the criteria of one of the 14 situations outlined by the Quebec Government.

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

4. 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 up to 3 years after graduation from a 2 year MBA program. Visit Immigration Canada for more details. 

All international students are responsible for maintaining valid immigration documents and legal status throughout the duration of their program of studies.

4.1: What are the new procedures in place for International students applying to McGill University?

In January 2024, the government (IRCC) issued immigration updates with new measures for incoming Masters and PhD students. Find more information on the International Student Services page.

Proof of financial capacity

  • Effective January 1, IRCC has increased the minimum amount of financial capacity students must demonstrate when applying for a study permit. This new minimum does not apply to Quebec. To study in Quebec, applicants must prove they meet the financial requirements outlined by the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI).
  • As per MIFI, the minimum amount required for a student without dependents includes tuition, transportation (round trip from country of origin), settlement fees, health insurance and living expenses of $15,078 per year. This amount is normally adjusted every year.
  • ISS has updated this information on their website (please see the yellow box on top of the page).

International student caps

  • On January 22, the federal government announced new caps to the number of study permits to be issued in 2024. These caps do not apply to master’s and PhD programs.

Post-Graduate Work Permit

  • The January 22 announcement also included the following:
  • Graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will soon be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit. Under current criteria, the length of a post­graduation work permit is based solely on the length of an individual’s study program, hindering master’s graduates by limiting the amount of time they have to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residence.

Letter of acceptance verification process

  • Since December 1, 2023, post-secondary designated learning institutions have been required to confirm every letter of acceptance submitted by an applicant outside Canada directly with IRCC. This enhanced verification process protects prospective students from fraud and ensures that study permits are issued based only on genuine letters of acceptance.
  • Institutions have 10 calendar days to validate the letter of acceptance.
  • At McGill, the verification process is coordinated through Enrolment Services.

4.2: 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.

5. Student Life

5.1: 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.

5.2: 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.'

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