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MHA Program

Does the MHA Program require a lot of work?

The MHA program does require a lot of work. This is especially true during the first 4 months, as you re-adapt yourself to the academic lifestyle. Expect to spend 18-20 hours per week for as a professional student, which includies class time, group work and homework.

Do you have a lot of case studies compared to lectures?

You will have a mix of the case-study approach and the lecture approach in your courses, depending on the professor and the course. Some teachers like to use cases for each lecture, while others use case work simply for assignment and evaluation purposes. Most of the faculty uses some aspect of the case-study approach within their respective courses.


When will I find out if I am admitted?

Files are evaluated once they are complete (including the admission test results (GMAT or GRE)). Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for final decision.

Do I need a management or a health background to apply to the MHA program?

No, you don’t need a management or a health background to apply to the MHA program. The cohort environment allows students to work and learn together, benefiting from each other’s strengths, capabilities and experience. They work in carefully created groups composed of students with different academic, cultural and professional profiles that allow you to develop your leadership abilities and gain the tools you will need in your career management field.

Should I apply if I don’t have the minimum 3 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. Nonetheless, the admission process is based on the competitive setting, since each admission file is evaluated on an individual basis. Here are some facts that might help you assess whether or not you should apply:

  • 60 applications are received each year on average;
  • the average professional experience is 6 years for those entering the program. Emphasis is placed on career progression or potential for career progression in management. Demonstration of leadership, management and supervision skills is important; and,
  • the GMAT range is typically 550-780 and 305-320 for the GRE.

Do coop terms, internships or full time summer work count towards the years of work experience?

Coop placements and work internships completed to meet the requirements of a post secondary academic program will be viewed favorably 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 five years of full-time work. The work experience is typically post-degree. However it is important to mention any work experience that you may have. In exceptional circumstances, volunteer work, internships and other demonstrated leadership roles can be considered as part of this criterion.

Is the GMAT or GRE necessary?

Yes! You must take the GMAT or the GRE. While the GMAT minimum criteria is a 50th percentile score (approximately the 45th percentile in each categories), competitive scores are above the 70th percentile (above 600). For the GRE a minimum overall score of 310 is required with at least the 45th percentile in verbal and 40th in quantitative.

To learn about the GMAT visit and the GRE, visit

To prepare for the GMAT:

Kaplan (Test Prep and Admissions)

Veritas Prep GMAT

Knewton – online GMAT prep courses

Richardson Prep Center

What is the institution code for sending GMAT and TOEFL scores?

The institution codes are:

  • GMAT: 4BZ-76-78 (MHA Program)
  • TOEFL: 0993

If I have been working or studying in Canada or the U.S.A do I need proof of proficiency in English?

You may be exempted from taking a proficiency test if you can provide proof of recent prolonged residence and exercise of a profession in an English speaking country (normally at least four years over the last six years) or proof of completion of a previous degree program in an English language university (within the last five years).

Do you accept other language proficiency tests other than the TOEFL?

Candidates applying to the MHA program must submit one of the following to the Telfer School of Management Graduate Office to confirm their English proficiency (the test scores cannot be more than two years old as of September 1 of the year of potential entry into the MHA program):

  • Proof of completion within the last five years, of a previous degree program in an English language university
  • Proof of recent prolonged residence and exercise of a profession in an English speaking country (normally at least four years over the last six years)
  • A score of at least 250 (100 Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a score of at least 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE) and a score of at least 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE). The TOEFL is administered by Educational Testing Service, Box 899, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 08540; see also
  • A score of at least 7 in at least three of the four International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests (Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking) and at least 6 in the fourth. The IELTS is administered by the British Council:

Can I be admitted based on my professional experience?

Occasionally, 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 credits to the MHA?

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 MHA 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 credits that can be granted as exemption or advanced standing is 24, and all students must complete a minimum of 30 credits of MBA courses following admission to be granted 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). Advanced standing is granted only for 5000-level MBA courses.

Student Association

Is there a MBA and MHA student association?

Yes! Many students join the MHA Student’s Association (MHASA) in order to be more involved in shaping the program and to gain practical management skills. The association organizes events and activities for the MHA student body.

Another important advantage to joining the MHASA is for the social involvement. Business is based on relationships; therefore, it is very important to interact and network on a social level. The MHASA 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 create linkages that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It is these bonds that will serve as your network in the future.

When does the MHA Student Association hold elections?

The MHASA will likely hold an election in September. This will give all new students a chance to get settled and accustomed to the program. Joining the MHASA is something that every student should consider. It is an excellent way to build your experience as a manager, and it looks great on a C.V. There are many positions available in the MHASA, so there is an opportunity to get involved at varying degrees depending on your availability and interests.

Are students in contact with the MHA Alumni Associations during the program?

Yes, students have a representative from the MHA Student Association that attends all Alumni Association meetings. The MHASA tries to get involved with the Alumni events in order to capitalize on some of the Alumni’s standing in the business world and their expertise.

Living in Ottawa

Is the campus urban or rural?

The 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. Telfer School is 5 minutes from the Byward Market and across the street from the Rideau canal. The Byward Market is an area in Ottawa where you have museums, art galleries, restaurants, pubs, clubs, shopping, etc… Also, the University is about 15 minutes away from the National Art Gallery, the Museum of Civilization, the Gatineau Hills, and Parliament Hill.

What information can you provide me about housing?

There are several options regarding housing depending on your needs. You may stay on campus or off campus. To learn more about housing visit or contact:

Housing Services (residence)

University of Ottawa
100 Thomas More St,
Room 308,
P. O. Box 450, Station A,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6N5
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Tel: (613) 562-5885
Fax: (613) 562-5109

Business Hours:

Monday to Friday
9:00 to 12:00, and 13:00 to 17:00

Off Campus Housing Office

90 University Private
Room 145
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 1H3
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Tel: (613) 564-5400 ext.5061
Fax: (613) 782-6100


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