Best Undergraduate Business Programs in Canada

How do you stand out amongst other fresh-faced entrepreneurs and budding executives?

Top-tier business programs. When you choose the right program, you’re not just a student—you’re part of a giant, innovative think tank. A network of talent.

Success in the global business arena isn’t just about intelligence and skill set. The right business program can give you an edge, help you make the right connections, and push you to innovate and excel.

Are you ready for the challenge?

Choosing the Best Program

What makes a business program the “best”?

Is it rankings or employment rates?

Networking opportunities and internships?

Faculty expertise?

Well, it depends.

The best undergraduate business program for you is the one that helps you achieve your goals while also helping spark new ones. 

Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?

Climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder or pushing the boundaries of digital marketing? Launching your own SaaS company, or becoming a consultant? 

Your specific career goals, personal interests, budget, and abilities all come into play when choosing the best business program.

Highest Ranking Undergraduate Business Programs in Canada

Maclean’s list of Canada’s top 20 business programs is a great indicator of how much we’re spoiled for choice in our country.

While it’s not easy to narrow it down, we’ve certainly given it our best shot.

Here are our top picks.

UBC Sauder School of Business

Tied for the top spot with UofT is UBC Sauder School of Business. 

Sauder’s motto says everything you need to know about the program:

“It’s not about what you want to become, but who you want to be.”

The UBC business program is holistic – it gives you the theory to be wise and the practice to be bold. With ten specialization options, you have your pick of career paths and the opportunity to pivot when you find your calling.

There’s a real focus on collaboration so you’re sure to develop a strong network. Want a fast track to coveted positions after graduation or solid mastermind business partners? Here’s where you’ll do just that.

The University of Toronto Rotman Commerce

UofT’s program is definitely “work hard, play hard.”

Students get the full university experience, and 90 percent of them get hired within a few months of graduation.

It gives you a top-tier education in the main fields of business, but the specialization options are limited. Unless you love Accounting, Finance and Economics, or Management, you may find the Rotman Commerce program too restrictive.

But what we love about this program is the flexibility to pad your business experience with other subjects that enrich your degree and knowledge of the world.

McGill Desautels Faculty of Management

If international adventure is what you’re after, then the McGill Desautels program may be for you. The program is ranked as one of the world’s top international business schools, with an exchange program that business students drool over.

Choosing a career path is tough, but some programs make it easy. McGill’s business program is one of the most flexible and lets you choose minors other than business. It’s incredible how what you learn in other subjects like psychology and even art can help you become better at business.

While there’s no co-op program, you can put your networking skills to the test while enjoying the vibrant student life McGill offers.

Western Ivey 

With a 98 percent hire rate, there’s much to be said for the Western Ivey Business Program. But earning your place in the program is easier said than done.

First, you’ll need to apply for Advanced Entry Opportunity (AEO) status while you’re in high school – it’s like a golden ticket into the program. The competition is fiercer than Shark Thank, with more than 7000 students vying for just 609 spots.

(Hint: this is where your application becomes critical.)

If you thrive with real-life learning and can’t wait to experience a heated boardroom discussion, you’ll love the case-method style of learning at Western Ivey.

Queen’s Smith Commerce

Queen’s business program earned a spot in our top picks because it gives you options. Customize your degree by choosing courses that let you push yourself and pivot when necessary.

Not sure where you’re heading? Spend two years exploring Queen’s business courses before choosing a specialization you can hone.

When all the studying gets overwhelming, tap into the many delights of the Smith Commerce Society, which is the largest undergraduate business society in Canada.

Rankings Are Just the Start

Remember, rankings aren’t everything. 

They only give you a glimpse into what makes a business program a winner. It’s important to factor in your interests and strengths when envisioning how you might succeed in a business program.

You’ve made a list of the best undergraduate business programs in Canada, and now it’s time to dig deeper.

Take the time to do some in-depth research on your top university picks. As you’re envisioning what life would look like while studying in a given program, keep your goals top of mind.

Do you need more flexibility as you settle on a career path?

Will hands-on experience push you out of your comfort zone?

Are you looking for mentors with proven track records?

Is international networking one of your dreams?

Get in touch with university advisors or spend a day on campus for a “vibe check.” You’ll be spending a lot of time and money on a business program, so you’ll want to be sure you actually like studying there.

The Business of Admissions

Finding the right program is one thing, but getting into it is another. Check the admissions page on the program websites to get all the up-to-date details about requirements and admission deadlines.

Most of the top programs will require supplemental essays or personal statements as part of the application process (often called “Personal Profiles” or “Supplementary Applications”). Even when not explicitly asked for, we recommend submitting one to strengthen your chances of acceptance. 

Universities want to see your personality, not just your grades. They’re looking for well-rounded applications who check multiple boxes:

  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Analytical skills
  • Passion for business

The Personal Profile is your chance to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are this person. But don’t just write what you think the admission committee wants to hear, focus on showing them who you are as a person.

Business programs at top-tier universities want students who can not only push boundaries with their business savvy, but are multidimensional human beings.

Funding Your Business Career Dreams

Business degrees don’t come cheap, and you may need your business acumen skills from the get-go. Get in touch with universities to ask about scholarship and funding opportunities.

Scholarships for business programs like the Melissa Weeks Business and Marketing Excellence Scholarship ($1000) and the RBC Capital Markets Diversity Scholarship ($10,000) can be a game-changer. The Bank of Canada also offers 12 scholarships for students in programs related to the “Bank’s Work”.

GrantMe is passionate about helping students secure funding. Take our eligibility quiz to see what scholarship opportunities we can help you unlock.

Career Opportunities

Business is big business, with hundreds of career opportunities for students willing to be bold. 

Here are just some of the potential career paths a business degree unlocks:

  • Wealth management: $72,347
  • Digital marketing: $57,027
  • Technology consulting: $68,743 
  • Startup consulting: $71,297
  • HR management: $82,262
  • Logistics management: $70,933
  • Global market analysis: $97,009
  • Real estate finance: $68,712
  • Predictive analytics: $63,364

You may not know exactly where you’re heading yet, but the right business program will help you get there.

Imagine Your Future Business Career

The most exciting thing about studying business is that it’s constantly changing and evolving. A flexible program can open your mind to a career avenue you never considered or help you pivot with a new interest.

So start exploring! Talk to past graduates, visit campuses, and start to imagine your future taking shape.

And once you get in, be sure to capitalize on every conversation and networking opportunity, taking full advantage of the “think tank” aspect of your business program.
Want guidance choosing the best program for you? GrantMe is here. Our education consultants will not only help you narrow down your options, but help you get in and get funded. Take our eligibility quiz and find out how we can help you take that first step toward your big business dreams.

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