What is the difference between the MBA program and the MHA program?
The Telfer MBA program is designed to connect you to course content that matters to employers in today’s competitive work environments. Our MHA program is affiliated with the MBA program because of the core management component, which represents approximately 30% of program units. MHA students learn fundamental business-management skills and focus on essential disciplines in the field of health management.
Nevertheless, our MHA program is different from our MBA program because of its focus on health care management. The mission of the MHA program is to prepare ethical and socially responsible professionals to assume management and leadership positions in the changing health service system primarily in Canada but also internationally, and to strive for excellence in professional education, scholarly research and community service in health management.
Unlike the MBA, the MHA requires an administrative residency of at least four (4) months. This provides students with an opportunity to work in leading health care organizations, enabling them to participate in management decisions and experience day-to-day life in the health care system.
What is the difference between the MBA and the Executive MBA?
We offer an MBA delivered on campus and an Executive MBA, delivered from World Exchange Plaza, in downtown Ottawa. Although both have a lot of the same characteristics, they are different. The difference is in the format, course curriculum, admission criteria, candidate profiles and range of services offered. The Executive MBA is adapted to the needs of a senior executive’s active life.
Upon completion of the program requirements (MBA or EMBA format), students will be awarded an MBA degree from the University of Ottawa.
Is it possible to work during the MBA program?
The heavy workload and the adjustment period required within the first semester make it challenging to work more than 10 hours per week. However, there are a few students who manage to work while studying each year. After the first semester (blocks 1 and 2), some students take on part-time employment. In addition, many students pursue work as Teaching Assistants. These jobs are available to graduate students and tend to pay well; they are also a way to get you in closer touch with other students on campus.
Do you know if the MBA program is well regarded in Canada or internationally?
Our school is very well regarded in Canada and internationally. We are among the 1% of business schools in the world to have achieved the triple crown of accreditations (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS). Roughly 67 business schools in the world have achieved this, and we are one of only two schools in Canada to have done so. This is yet another aspect that sets our program apart, and is proof that the program is recognized and valued.
Should I apply if I do not have the minimum three years of full-time work experience?
If you do not have the minimum three years of full-time work experience, you should wait to apply.
Do co-op terms, internships or full-time summer work count towards the three years of work experience?
Co-op placements and work internships completed to meet the requirements of a postsecondary academic program will be viewed favourably at the time of admission, but do not constitute a replacement for the full-time work experience requirement. Unfortunately, full-time summer work does not count toward the minimum of three years of full-time work. The work experience needs to be post-degree. However, it is important to mention any work experience that you may have.
Is the GMAT necessary?
Yes! You must achieve a competitive score in the Graduate Management Admission Test. Last year's average score for the MBA program was 612. The range was 570–770.
To learn more about the GMAT, visit www.mba.com or contact the GMAT Customer Service at:
Telephone (toll-free): 1-800-717-GMAT (4628)
Ottawa region: 613-230-2902
To prepare for the GMAT:
What is the institution code for sending GMAT and TOEFL scores?
The institution codes are:
GMAT: 4BZ-76-75 (MBA Program)
GMAT: 4BZ-76-78 (MHA Program)
If I have been working or studying in Canada or the US, do I need proof of proficiency in English?
You may be exempt from taking a proficiency test if you can provide proof of recent prolonged residence and practice of a profession in an English-speaking country (typically at least four years over the past six years) or proof of completion of a previous degree program in an English‑language university (within the last five years).
Can I be admitted as a mature student?
Occasionally, mature applicants are admitted without having completed an undergraduate degree. Those admitted usually have at least 10 years of work experience in a senior management position, a superior GMAT score, and very strong letters of recommendation. Furthermore, many already have professional designations. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
I completed a Bachelor of Commerce; can I transfer some units to the MBA?
No advanced standing is granted for undergraduate courses or work experience. At the time of admission, students may be granted exemptions or advanced standing for graduate courses in management previously completed as a regular student in a Canadian MBA program or similar program accredited by the American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB), or equivalent.
Exemptions and advanced standing may also be granted for graduate courses previously completed in a University of Ottawa interdisciplinary program in which the Telfer School of Management is involved.
The maximum number of units that can be granted as exemption or advanced standing is 24, and all students must complete a minimum of 30 units of MBA courses following admission to be awarded the degree. No exemption or advanced standing will be granted for courses completed more than five years ago or for which the grade was lower than B (70 percent).
Student, Alumni & Networks
Is there an MBA student association?
Yes! Many students join the MBA Student Association (MBASA) in order to be more involved in shaping the program and to gain practical management skills. The Association meets once a month, and organizes events and activities for the MBA student body.
Another important advantage of joining the MBASA is social involvement. Business is based on relationships; therefore, it is very important to interact and network on a social level. The MBASA holds at least one social event every month. Becoming involved in events and activities is the best way to build your business network. This enables you to forge ties that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It is these bonds that will serve as your network in the future.
The MBASA will likely hold an election in September. This will give all new students a chance to get settled and accustomed to the program.
Are students in contact with the MBA Alumni Association during the program?
Yes, students have a representative from the MBA Student Association who attends all MBA Alumni Association (MBAAA) meetings. The MBASA tries to get involved with alumni events in order to capitalize on some of the alumni’s standings in the business world and their expertise.
How does the MBA program benefit from the cultural, business and social environment of Ottawa?
In many classes, you will be asked to focus your project work around companies and actual problems. You will be asked to hold interviews with these companies and to collect data from both the public and the private sector. You are therefore exposed to many types of businesses and many business people. You will be able to expand your network of contacts through collaboration with these industry leaders. Also, you will be required to complete your MBA by undertaking a final MBA consulting project. You will be required to work with a company to define and resolve a business issue that company is facing.
In addition, there are many opportunities for MBA students to attend various corporate functions in the Ottawa area, such as alumni breakfasts, wine and cheese events, guest speakers, business events, career fairs, Invest Ottawa events, and many more.
How many international students are there in the class?
Over 25% of MBA students come from nations outside of Canada. There are students from countries from as far as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America, as well as from the United States. This diversity enriches the educational experience by bringing a wide range of perspectives, skills and knowledge to classroom discussions.
Who are some of the guest speakers the Telfer School of Management has hosted over the past years?
The following is a partial list of speakers we have hosted over the past year:
- Richard L’Abbé, former President and CEO, Med-Eng Systems
- Steve Hindle, Vice-President, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC)
- Dr. Khalid Al-Kofahi, Vice-President, R&D, Corporate Technology, Thomson Reuters
- Carl Nappert, Vice-President, Business Development, Maplesoft Group
- Mark Fulton, Senior Consultant, LeadingCulture Inc.
- Karima Kara, President, iexpressions.ca
- Frances Paquette, President, CreaVision
- Dr. Randy Giffen, MD, Analytic Solutions Software Architect, IBM Ottawa Lab
- Dr. Yong Li, Associate Professor, College of Economics & Business Administration at Chongqing University
- Dennis Watters, Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Céline Bak, CEO, Analytica Advisors
- Dustyn Lanz, Director, Research and Communications, Responsible Investment Association
- Heather Lang, Director, Sustainalytics, Canada
- Jacques Pronovost, President and Editor, Le Droit
- Michael A. Chambers, Senior Partner, Maclaren Corlett LLP, and Immediate Past President of the Canadian Olympic Committee
- Janet LeBlanc, Founder and President, Janet LeBlanc + Associates Inc.
- Jonathan Barker, President and Co-Founder, Evidence Partners Incorporated
- David Coderre, Senior Director, Comptroller General’s Office, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and Public Servant in Residence, Telfer School of Management
- Dr. Glen Geiger, Chief Medical Information Officer, The Ottawa Hospital
- Marc Garneau, Member of Parliament for Westmount–Ville-Marie and First Canadian Astronaut
How will an MBA benefit my career?
What is your career goal? Tell us about it and we will do all we can to prepare you to achieve it. That is what we mean when we say “We connect you to what matters.” Nothing matters more to you than achieving your career goal. So think hard. Dream big. Because if you can see your specific career objective, we can help you get there.
Does the Telfer School of Management have a good business network?
The best. We have forged close connections with our alumni and the business community. We make you part of this network so that you can learn alongside leaders, executives and entrepreneurs as brilliant as they are inspiring.
Living in Ottawa
Is the campus urban or rural?
Our campus is located in the heart of the city of Ottawa, Canada's capital. We have the luxury of being right downtown, so that everything is within walking distance. The Byward Market is an area in Ottawa where you have museums, art galleries, bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, shopping, and much more. We are located 5 minutes from the Byward Market and across the street from the Rideau Canal. The University is also about 15 minutes away from the National Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of History, the Gatineau Hills and Parliament Hill.
What information can you give me about housing?
There are several housing options depending on your needs. You can stay either on or off campus. To learn more about housing, contact:
University of Ottawa
90 University, Room 143
Ottawa ON K1N 1H3
Off campus housing:
Short stay reservations (24⁄7):
Office hours (administration):
Monday to Friday
8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.