The Most Successful Wharton Grads

Is Queens School of Business Really #1?

Is Queens School of Business Really #1?

Canada’s Top MBA Programs


“Where’s Rotman?”

That should be the rallying cry of Canadian Business’ latest rankings of the country’s business schools. Heck, you could throw “Where’s Ivey” and “Where’s Sauder” into the mix as well.. And did I mention McGill didn’t make the top 10 either?

Ah, those wacky business school rankings! And just when you thought Princeton Review had cornered the market on worthless rankings. Well, Poets&Quants has apparently found a new punching bag.

You’d expect the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to make the list. Their transformation into a global powerhouse is the stuff of case studies. Ranked #51 globally by The Financial Times, they made #21 in Poets&Quants’ 2013 ranking of non-U.S. schools. Not impressed? OK, they were also ranked #22 by alumni themselves according to The Financial Times (which also reported that students witnessed an 85% salary bump after graduation. And somehow they were leapfrogged by Ottawa, Calgary, and Manitoba? Smells fishy to us.

And Rotman probably isn’t alone in raising an eyebrow. Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School was also shut out. Along with a #29 ranking from Poets&Quants – a composite of quantitative and qualitative data from rankings published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Economist, The Financial Times, and Forbes – Ivey also maintained an enviable 83% placement rate and 71% salary increase for grads in The Financial Times data. McGill and Sauder…They ranked #31 and #32 in Poets&Quants non-U.S. rankings, with both schools’ grads enjoying 81% salary increases.

See a pattern here?

In the end, the Queens School of Business topped Canadian Business’ rankings. Ranking #39 on Poets&Quants, Queens nudged out HEC Montreal and York University’s Schulich School of Business (with the former ranking #35 with Poets&Quants and the latter ranking #66 with The Financial Times).

So what happened? According to Canadian Business, “Five schools — UBC, McGill, Toronto, Western and Windsor — refused to provide data, making this ranking incomplete.” In other words, the top schools were so dismissive of the ranking – and its methodology – that they refused to participate. Despite this, Canadian Business still calls it a “Top 10” list. That would be like U.S. News crowing Booth as the #1 business school after Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and MIT boycotted their rankings! Even with Canadian Business conceding that the ranking is “not the whole picture,” it is disingenuous at best.

So what’s behind the ranking? Canadian Business proclaims that its ranking “emphasize(s) value for money.” 25% of the weight is based on a “reputation” survey of MBA grads and corporate recruiters conducted by Compas Research. Strangely, Rotman and Ivey came in first and second, respectively, in that survey. McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management was fifth and the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business came up sixth.

Another 25% of the methodology stems from a salary boost after graduation. The remaining metrics include classroom experience like student-teacher ratio and cohort diversity (15%), average GMAT scores (10%), tuition affordability (10%), and work experience (10%), and program length (5%). Sure, placement rate is missing (and placing a quarter of a score on a qualitative instrument is dicey). And it would be nice if they would post their underlying data (ala U.S. News & World Report). However, the mix has validity.

Publishing a ranking without the top schools is an exercise in futility. Let’s hope this is the last ranking like this that we see.

Here is the ranking, with school comments abridged from Canadian Business. To review additional information on these schools, click on the Canadian Business link below.

Rank University School Tuition Average Degree Length (Months) Comments
1. Queens University (Kingston) Queens School of Business $77,000 12 Organized in a modular format, Queens is known for “integrating case studies, class instruction, discussion, experiential learning and travel, simulations, real-world business projects, and small team-based learning.”
2. HEC Montreal HEC Montreal $15,000 12 The curriculum is based on a thematic, cross-curricular structure. Students must also complete a five-week consulting project .
3. York University (Toronto) Schulich School of Business $65,811 16 Dropping to #2, Schulich offers 20 specializations, with real estate and infrastructure being added in 2015.
4. Concordia University (Montreal) John Molson School of Business $14,000 16 Strong on sustainability and social responsibility, Molson also features a community service initiative.
5. University of Alberta (Edmonton) Alberta School of Business $26,640 16 The school provides seven combined degrees, including a joint MBA-Library Sciences degree.
6. University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business $32,452 17 Gustavson is the only Canadian school to offer entrepreneurship or service management specializations.
7. University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management $24,347 12 The program is in the process of beefing up its part-time program and expending relationships with established firms and entrepreneurs.
8. University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business $33,927 16 Aside from being located in a booming oil market, the program offers summer exchange programs with 10 schools worldwide.
9. University of Manitoba (Winnipeg) Asper School of Business $35,000 12 After revamping its curriculum, Asper “now offers functional concentrations in finance, leadership and organizations and marketing” (with supply chain management on the way).
10. Ryerson University (Toronto) Ted Rogers School of Management $21,248 12 Launched in 2006, the global MBA features programs ranging from mining and corporate social responsibility to marketing and technology and innovation management.

Source: Canadian Business