The Best Executive MBA (EMBA) Programs of 2022

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Last updated August 25, 2022

When the first-ever Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program kicked off in Chicago in 1943, it consisted of just 11 courses over two years. The curriculum had nothing on marketing, leadership, business ethics, entrepreneurship or anything digital (obviously). But since then, the EMBA experience has evolved into a holistic and multidisciplinary offering, even including career coaching, digital strategy and other concepts almost unheard-of 79 years ago. And Canadian schools are at the forefront of the evolution in EMBAs, offering some of the top-ranked programs in the world.

But what is an EMBA? Despite the elite-sounding title, an EMBA isn’t more prestigious or even all that different from an MBA, it’s just designed for a different and very specific demographic. While MBAs are designed for those entering the business world, EMBAs are geared toward existing (or aspiring) executives who typically have several years of management experience. The core curriculum may not differ much from an MBA, but there’s often a greater emphasis on leadership and collaboration, using the experience of your fellow students to help hone your skills. And since EMBA candidates are typically already in a job, the programs themselves are usually more flexible, with classes on alternating weekends or similarly accommodating schedules.

While the cost of an EMBA may be intimidating – some programs on our list run upwards of $100,000 – they do offer a compelling return on investment: a 2021 survey from the EMBA Council found respondents receiving an average 14 per cent salary bump, and 36 per cent of participants were promoted during the program. Several schools on our list report even higher numbers, with salary increases in the neighborhood of 30 per cent. Plus, scholarships abound, even as some employers will finance your tuition, at least in part.

If you’re considering the next big step to level-up your business and management skills and win that corner office, we’ve done the legwork to help you make your decision. Here are Canada’s best EMBA programs of 2022.

CourseCompare’s annual school rankings are determined using a process that considers several core metrics and principles. Read more about our methodology here.

1.

Schulich School of Business 4.8/5

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2.

Rotman School of Management 5/5

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3.

Ivey Business School 5/5

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4.

Smith School of Business at Queen's University 5/5

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5.

McGill Desautels Faculty of Management 4/5

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6.

University of Alberta 4/5

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7.

DeGroote School of Business 4.8/5

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8.

Concordia University John Molson School of Business 4.5/5

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9.

Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business 4/5

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10.

Telfer School of Management 4/5

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11.

University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business 4/5

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12.

Saint Mary’s University Sobey School of Business 4.5/5

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13.

University of Fredericton (UFred) 4.9/5

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1

Schulich School of Business

emba-executive-mba
4.8/5
$ $ $ $

York University’s Schulich School of Business ranks among Canada’s largest and most diverse universities, with more than 10,000 international students from 172 countries enrolled in its wide range of degree programs. Of the 54,000-plus students who call York home, more than one-third speak a second language.

York’s Schulich School of Business and its vaunted EMBA program have a similar international flavor, giving you opportunities to develop global connections while learning at partner schools in some of the most influential business markets around the world. In 2021, 89 per cent of Schulich graduates were hired within three months of graduation.

What sets Schulich School of Business at York University apart?

The Kellogg-Schulich EMBA, a partnership with U.S.-based Northwestern University’s prestigious B-school, emphasizes a global perspective, but not just in theory; the first year alone includes a one-week module in the U.S. as well as a social entrepreneurship and innovation project in Costa Rica.

In year two, students can personalize their learning through a range of 40 global elective courses at partner schools in China, Germany, Hong Kong and Israel. Each school offers unique courses based on its own specialties and the surrounding business market, all while providing valuable market insight and networking inroads throughout a global learning cohort of 500-plus future business leaders.

What Students Are Saying

After working as in-house counsel for a decade, I decided I wanted to go into private practice. I enjoyed law but fatigue was setting in and I wasn't learning the way I used to. The Kellogg-Schulich EMBA accelerated my transition into the c-suite. The students are incredibly diverse and have brilliant perspectives to share on leadership and management. And the name recognition of Kellogg, a prestigious US brand, doesn't hurt. I didn't appreciate this when I enrolled, but the joint US-Canadian credential opened new doors for me in the States, where I now work as an executive for an e-commerce company. Brilliant people, superb name recognition, and phenomenal students and professors -- many of whom are now colleagues. That's what you can expect from this global program.

Aviva Lopez, Kellogg Executive MBA Global Network

The Curriculum

Schulich’s 18-month program is designed to minimize time away from work while still providing an immersive and interactive program. Most first-year classes take place every third weekend, and cover essential skills such as managerial decision analysis, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, competitive strategy and strategic crisis management. Year two, with its wide range of electives, makes for a distinct learning experience based on your interests and goals.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

2

Rotman School of Management

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

The University of Toronto consistently ranks as one of the top postsecondary institutions in Canada and internationally; its star-studded alumni network includes five Prime Ministers of Canada, 17 supreme court justices and 12 Nobel Prize winners.

UofT’s Rotman School of Management is similarly ranked as one of the top business schools anywhere in the world, and offers a wide range of degree and diploma programs as well as expert instructors (98 per cent of Rotman instructors hold a doctorate). A Rotman degree also opens doors, as the school boasts an 89 per cent job placement rate.

What sets Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto apart?

Rotman’s EMBA program promises to accelerate your career, and does so on an accelerated basis: its EMBA program delivers a comprehensive business leadership education, network-building and tailored personal leadership development in just 13 months.

Personal development is a key focus of Rotman’s program. Its “integrated leadership framework” provides highly personalized coaching and assessments, team feedback and your own insights to define and achieve individual leadership goals.

Rotman also offers two specialized EMBA programs, the Global Executive MBA and Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and Life Sciences, 18-month programs developed in concert with, and including learning at, prestigious business schools in London, Italy and Singapore, among others.

What Students Are Saying

This is a great program and it has a top-notch reputation in Canada and globally (best business school on CourseCompare, top on Financial Times, Economist, QS global lists, etc.) But the reason I chose it was because it was flexible and close to home. Other than orientation week (a gruelling 7:30am-9pm schedule) I could manage the workload and professional responsibilities with two high school aged kids at home. I learned much about myself and leadership style and how to get more out of my team. I loved the diversity here: military leaders, government managers, a home builder were mixed in with the expected crowd of management consultants and executives. I even picked up some tricks in data analytics and Excel I didn't think were possible for a veteran like me. My only caution is the price tag -- a hefty $100k+. So I would encourage people to have their company foot the bill if possible.

Daryl Brown, One Year Executive MBA

The Curriculum

The one-year EMBA is designed for personal and professional flexibility, with a mix of online, evening and weekend classes over four terms. The program emphasizes real-world analysis and experiential learning, employing case studies, simulations, class discussions and more to facilitate engaging and interactive learning.

 

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

3

Ivey Business School

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

Western University is a tough school to get into but once you’re in, you may not want to leave. The London-based school has one of Canada’s highest entrance averages – 91 per cent – but also one of the highest student retention rates in the country, at a whopping 95 per cent.

Western’s Ivey Business School is known as a top provider of experiential business education, and an Ivey degree tends to pay off: 97 per cent of Ivey graduates receive at least one job offer within three months, and in 2021, the Financial Times rated Ivey’s program #1 in Canada in terms of value for money.

What sets Ivey Business School at Western University apart?

Western specializes in case-method learning, taking complex real-world business scenarios and challenging students to present solutions and action plans to address the issue. In class, students discuss and dissect their solutions and leverage the insights of their classmates and faculty to absorb new perspectives, gain confidence and develop the skills to tackle challenges in their own careers.

The Curriculum               

Ivey’s EMBA curriculum consists of 18 courses over three terms, mostly on-campus from Thursday-Sunday. Among the key courses, you’ll gain skills in management accounting, information systems, negotiations, sustainability and risk management. Training in global business perspectives is also a key element, and students take a deep dive not only into coursework but a trip to the global innovation hub that is Silicon Valley, a visit to Brazil or Vietnam, and an optional trip to Mexico City.

Locations

London, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario

4

Smith School of Business at Queen's University

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

Queen’s University is a place to connect and develop your network. The Kingston-based school has more student clubs per capita than any Canadian university on a tight-knit campus home to more than 24,000 students. Both Queen’s and its Smith School of Business regularly rank among the top postsecondary institutions in Canada. With its strong international reputation and multidisciplinary prowess, the Smith School boasts a 99 per cent job placement rate within six months of graduation.

What sets the Smith School of Business Queen’s apart?

Taught via Smith’s dedicated interactive teaching studio, this online program delivers a globally focused education without having to leave your home city. Depending on your location, you’ll attend classes at a boardroom learning centre in your city, or remotely in a virtual boardroom. Either way, Smith’s strong focused on team-based learning provides the full in-person experience.

The Smith School takes a holistic approach to your career development, providing uniquely comprehensive coaching with a support team featuring an executive coach, career coach and team coach, as well as a lifestyle coach who can support you in developing a lifestyle, diet and fitness plan.

What Students Are Saying

The program gave me an edge in my day-to-day business dealings and ultimately boosted my confidence to take my family business to the next level. I loved the videoconference technology. It felt as if you were right there in the front row of the class, and the professor– student interaction was wonderful. This program is not for the faint of heart, but I couldn’t imagine where I would be today without it.

Adam Cooney, Executive MBA - The National Program

The Curriculum

Smith’s EMBA is balanced but intensive: you’ll attend full-day classes every other Friday and Saturday. Over 16 months, you’ll absorb a highly integrated menu of courses to provide solid and diverse foundational skills with an eye on evolving global markets. The seven course modules include creativity and innovation, integration and execution, and creating successful enterprises, as well as an individual project and a two-week international elective at one of Smith’s global partner schools.

Locations

Live Online; Kingston, Ontario

5

McGill Desautels Faculty of Management

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

Montreal’s McGill University consistently ranks as one of the top universities in Canada and internationally, a reputation that draws a diverse student body. In fact, more than 30 per cent of McGill students hail from outside of Canada. The Desautels School of Management, with its bilingual EMBA program, also attracts a cosmopolitan crowd with a strong success rate. In 2021, 91 per cent of students found work within three months of graduation.

What sets Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University apart?

Desautels holds a unique spot on our list as the only fully bilingual EMBA program in Canada, with class presentations and discussions held in both of Canada’s official languages. And it’s not only in two languages but also the product of two leading schools, as a joint program from McGill and HEC Montréal, Canada’s oldest business school. Desautels graduates come away with two impressive seals on their degree but also the training to meet management challenges in any Canadian market.

Among the experiential components of the program, students take part in a managerial exchange, spending 3-5 days in the workplace of another student, then 3-5 days hosting one, opening up opportunities to see and experience other businesses in action.

The Curriculum             

The Desautels EMBA is delivered over 15 months in Montreal, but the accommodating schedule only involves one Thursday-Sunday block per month. Over 11 months, students absorb a curriculum based largely on business “mindsets,” such as the analytic mindset, collaborative mindset and future-ready mindset. Another module, the “worldly” mindset involves an international trip and residency in a business hub in Latin America or Asia.

Locations

Montreal, Quebec

6

University of Alberta

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

The University of Alberta has a reputation for its career-focused programs that produce highly employable students; the Edmonton-based university ranks among the very best in Canada for student employment thanks to its internships, career coaching and experiential learning. Graduates from the Alberta School of Business are highly successful, with 94 per cent finding work within three months of graduation.

What sets the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta apart?

The Alberta School of Business has a longstanding record of excellence in business education. It was the first school in Canada to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 1968, a distinction shared by fewer than 30 schools across the country.

Students at uAlberta develop more than just strong business skills; personal development is a key focus of the program, including a focus on “executive resilience” – enhancing your ability to respond to and recover from workplace challenges and setbacks. Comprehensive leadership and coaching opportunities provide direct access to current business leaders as well as an executive coach of your choice.

The Curriculum

The intensive 22-month EMBA is delivered live in Edmonton and consists of 15 core courses with innovative electives such as entrepreneurial strategizing or new venture creation, which are chosen by your cohort. Most courses over four-day blocks from Thursday-Sunday.

A course on international business includes a three-week international study tour to develop first-hand knowledge and insight into market conditions in global business hubs such as Germany and Japan.

 

Locations

Edmonton, Alberta

7

DeGroote School of Business

emba-executive-mba
4.8/5
$ $ $ $

McMaster University was originally founded in Toronto in 1887, but relocated to nearby Hamilton to allow room for a more expansive campus. Today, McMaster has four regional campuses and is home to more than 70 research institutes and 31,000 students earning degrees in six faculties, including its DeGroote School of Business.

Students graduating from DeGroote find themselves a hot commodity in the job market, boasting a 94 per cent employability rate.

What sets DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University apart?

DeGroote’s program is actually named the EMBA in Digital Transformation, a unique program that teaches core MBA concepts like strategy, finance and leadership but in the context of an evolving and increasingly digital business landscape. Students combine those foundational MBA concepts with advanced-level learning in data science and business analytics to manage digital systems and make data-driven decisions.

With a maximum class size of 25 students, DeGroote students are assured of an intimate and personalized learning experience. A Personal Leadership Effectiveness program also provides 1:1 coaching throughout your studies.

The Curriculum          

A 14-month mix of online and in-person learning delivers immersive modules on entrepreneurship, analytics, leadership coaching, corporate innovation and a program-long capstone project where you can apply your learning to a real-world digital business challenge.

The data-focused curriculum includes a residency in the global hub of digital disruption and innovation, Silicon Valley. There, you’ll study at Stanford University, join site visits to companies such as Google, Facebook and Salesforce, and participate in panel discussions with industry experts.

Locations

Hamilton, Ontario

8

Concordia University John Molson School of Business

emba-executive-mba
4.5/5
$ $ $ $

Montreal’s Concordia University prides its itself as a “next-generation” university with an emphasis on engagement, sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation. Accordingly, its John Molson School of Business is named for a sharp young entrepreneur who, at just 23 years old, founded Molson Brewing Company, now the oldest brewery in North America.

Molson’s EMBA program has earned recognition among Canada’s best, with recent rankings in The Economist and CEO magazine. It churns out highly employable grads as well, with 89 per cent of EMBA job-seekers finding work within three months of graduation.

What sets John Molson School of Business at Concordia University apart?

Molson aims to develop what it calls “complete executives,” combining solid knowledge, creative thinking, a commitment to ethics and sustainability, self-awareness and a well-rounded business approach enhanced by broad international networks. To facilitate your development, each class cohort is assigned a “champion,” an established business leader who provides guidance and insight throughout the entire EMBA program.

The Curriculum

The Molson EMBA takes 20 months to complete with an accommodating schedule of just one day of classes each week, on alternating Fridays and Saturdays. There are four semesters, each with a defined theme: mastering fundamentals, integrating globally, thinking outside the box, and leading change. Each semester wraps with an integrative course challenging students to apply their learned skills to real-world business challenges. The second semester includes a two-week study international study trip to gain firsthand insight of a distinct business landscape.

Locations

Montreal, Quebec

9

Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

Simon Fraser University is a true pioneer in Canadian higher education: the Vancouver-based university was the first in Canada to offer athletic scholarships, the first to introduce computerized registration and the first non-U.S. member of the NCAA, the world’s largest college sports organization.

In another notable first, SFU’s Beedie School of Business introduced Canada’s first EMBA program in 1968, just three years after the school opened its doors. Since those early days, SFU has developed a reputation as one of Canada’s top comprehensive universities and business schools. And with a job placement rate of 92 per cent, an SFU EMBA definitely opens up new doors.

What sets the Beedie School of Business at SFU apart?

At SFU, you’ll learn through an applied and interactive approach, learning alongside a cohort of other business professionals with an average of 21 years’ experience. In the first year, each cohort is divided into simulated leadership teams with diverse and multifaceted skill sets and expertise to tackle projects and case studies derived from real-world business scenarios.

Year two offers a unique optional stream — Americas MBA for Executives — where you’ll study management issues with other EMBA candidates in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil. Students travel to top business schools in each country to learn about each market and network and collaborate with other future leaders.

The Curriculum          

SFU’s 20-month program is intensive but manageable, with full-day classes on alternate weekends. In year one, you’ll learn key foundational concepts such as finance, business ethics, leadership and teamwork, managerial economics and business ethics. Year two varies, depending on whether you stay in Vancouver of pursue the Americas MBA program. Both include negotiations cross-cultural management and innovation, although each stream delivers some courses unique to the school and its relevant business landscape.

Locations

Burnaby, British Columbia

10

Telfer School of Management

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

With more than 42,000 students and 450 programs, the University of Ottawa is the biggest bilingual university in the world. UOttawa’s internationally recognized Telfer School of Management offers a certain bilingual advantage as well; while its EMBA program is delivered in English, students can complete coursework in either English or French. All instructors are bilingual and each cohort includes a significant percentage of Francophone students.

What sets Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa apart?

Hands-on learning and skill application are central to the Telfer EMBA experience. At the program’s core is the series of six business consulting projects where you’ll apply new skills to tackle real-world business challenges that are strategically aligned to the course curriculum. The innovation and entrepreneurship project takes place during a class trip to Silicon Valley, and an international expansion project takes place at a global business hub selected by the course. Past destinations have included China, Chile, India, Poland, South Korea, Italy and South Africa.

Telfer also offers a complex project leadership concentration within the EMBA program, a specialization for practicing managers overseeing particularly large-scale and complex projects, such as project managers or senior systems engineers.

The Curriculum

Telfer’s program takes place over 21 months on a flexible alternating schedule with in-person classes on alternating Fridays and Saturdays. Courses are split over four terms, and include key concepts like strategic management, corporate finance, marketing management, corporate governance, supply chain management and change management.

Locations

Ottawa, Ontario

11

University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business

emba-executive-mba
$ $ $ $

University of Calgary students can look forward to a bright future, both literally and figuratively. Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada, with an average 333 days of sunshine each year. And graduates from its Haskayne School of Business find work fast; 86 per cent of graduates are employed within two months of receiving their degree.

What sets Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary apart?

Immersive opportunities are a key component of the Haskayne EMBA. On top of your coursework, you’ll get the chance to apply new skills and develop a network through a hands-on project of your choice: a capstone project involving real-world case studies; participation in the IXL Innovation Olympics, the world’s largest innovation consulting competition; or train at the Creative Destruction Lab, an innovative startup accelerator, originally out of UofT, that is partnered with Haskayne.

Haskayne also offers a specialty finance stream where your core EMBA training explores sophisticated finance methodologies and how to apply them to contemporary business challenges.

The Curriculum

Haskayne’s EMBA is a 20-month program, spreading 19 courses over four semesters. Each semester starts with a block week, then shifts to alternating weekends. On top of the core courses, students can choose from a range of electives such as business negotiations, mergers and acquisitions, digital marketing and strategies for sustainable development. A 10-day international study tour includes research and analysis of country-specific economic and trade issues, as well as site visits to influential companies. Past visits include Sweden, Germany, Chile, China, Japan and Singapore, to name a few.

 

Locations

Calgary, Alberta

12

Saint Mary’s University Sobey School of Business

emba-executive-mba
4.5/5
$ $ $ $

Halifax, Nova Scotia-based St. Mary’s is one of Canada’s oldest universities. In 1934, it was among the first to establish a faculty of commerce. That same faculty was renamed the Sobey School of Business in 1992, after Frank Sobey, founder of the eponymous grocery chain. The Sobey School has a strong record of success, with 93 per cent of students finding employment within three months of graduation.

What sets Sobey School of Business at St. Mary’s University apart?

The Sobey School is a leader in “evidence-based management,” or EMB, a methodology using the best available evidence and an exploratory framework to tackle business challenges. Students learn to aggregate evidence from disparate sources and apply it to drive decision-making processes in a real-world context. And EBM-based EMBA arms you with functional and innovative  critical thinking techniques. In 2020, Sobey’s EMBA became the first in Canada to earn accreditation from the Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBMa).

The Curriculum

Sobey’s 16-month program consists of four semesters based on five concepts: functional, management foundations, international, practice-oriented research and executive development. You’ll cover those concepts and courses during intensive in-person classes every third weekend, with self-paced modules in between. A cornerstone of the program is its international trade mission, where you’ll represent Atlantic Canada-based companies in a global context, gaining valuable market insight while also giving a boost to homegrown businesses.

Locations

Halifax, Nova Scotia

13

University of Fredericton (UFred)

emba-executive-mba
4.9/5
$ $ $ $

Since its founding in 2005, the University of Fredericton, or UFred, has developed a reputation for top-tier business and leadership programs. The New Brunswick-based private university operates exclusively online with courses delivered by e-learning specialists with extensive experience designing and delivering engaging and innovative learning experiences. The average UFred EMBA graduate has 16.5 years of work experience upon graduation.

UFred delivers a focused selection of certificate, degree and diploma programs through its School of Occupational Health and Safety and the Sandermoen School of Business.

What sets The University of Fredericton apart?

UFred offers a uniquely customizable EMBA experience. After completing the program’s foundation stage, students can choose from nine distinct leadership and management fields, including innovation, consulting, health and safety, business analytics, cybersecurity, social enterprise and professional selling.

And while the program is already designed for great flexibility, students can also pay by the course, giving you greater choice over your course workload. UFred also offers a distinct advantage to international students, being the rare school that doesn’t add extra fees for learners from outside of Canada.

What Students Are Saying

I'm a current student doing my EMBA at UFred. Here are just a few reasons why I chose the University of Fredericton: - The price is a reasonable $30k and there are very few options at this price point from accredited universities like UFred. - They are masters of online education delivery, doing this long before the pandemic pushed schools to teach online. The experience is based around cohorts and really is smartly designed so students don't lose out on the social/networking aspects of the EMBA. - I wasn't looking to change careers. I chose a program based on the quality of education and not necessarily its ability to help me start a new job. Everyone in my program is really happy as an executive or senior person within their organizations. So, this can be a pro or con depending on who you are. - Professors: The profs are from around the world and have an amazing diversity of backgrounds. I'm being exposed everyday to ways of thinking I would have truly never considered without the benefit of this program. Good luck choosing where to go!

Sujay Kove, Executive MBA

The Curriculum

Given all that flexibility, the time to complete the program depends on your pace and can take anywhere from 18-30 months. The program kicks off with 10 foundational courses, all live online with one virtual class per week. Once complete, you’ll complete three courses in your chosen stream and wrap up with a capstone integration project.

Locations

Live Online

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