The rating game
McGill University finance professor Sujata Madan bars students from bringing laptops to her class. The same goes for cellphones. And if you'd rather chat with friends than work on a problem that she provides 15 minutes of class time to tackle, there's a good chance she'll ask you to leave.
"I've been known to not be soft," she says from Copenhagen, where the academic director of the MBA program at the Desautels Faculty of Management is teaching a summer course.
With sites like RateMyProfessors.com giving students a chance to publicly fire back at profs who give them a hard time, you'd expect disciplinarians like Madan to be rare, and feared. Yet students love Madan, so much that they nominated her for the McGill-wide Principal's Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2011. She won.
Queen's University finance professor Bill Cannon has a similar reputation on campus. As one former student put it, Cannon "taught the most terrifying and hardest finance class in, as far as I can tell, the world." But then the student added: "He was really sweet and everyone loved him, a victory considering even [some of the most diligent students] failed his class." Cannon's teacher evaluation rating this past year, as measured by a university-administered survey of students, was 4.9 out of 5.
Tough love doesn't usually earn professors extra points, but Cannon's and Madan's students realize that the high standards will pay off in the long run. They also respect that both profs really want to teach. It's their thing, not a side job that takes them away from their research.
Madan started leading classes as a way to make extra cash while completing her doctoral studies. "I fell in love with it. Forget the PhD," she says, noting that she never finished it. "This is what I wanted to do with my life."
As for Cannon, though he earned a PhD in business economics from Harvard in 1976, making him a hot commodity in the private sector, he turned to teaching, and loves it. "I tell my students that they are my work - they're not an interruption to my work," he says.
Both professors are so devoted that they create their class materials from scratch, often collecting concepts from an array of different textbooks. Madan says this encourages students to come to class to follow along, and to learn by working through problems together.
Cannon also goes so far as to mark each and every one of his students' exams, a task most professors hand off to their teaching assistants. His responses to students' answers are sometimes even longer than the student's original attempt to answer the question.
This attention to detail forces students to "up their game," Cannon says. And it works. "I totally wanted to do well for him, and worked hard," said one Queen's grad who went on to become an investment banker.
But what about marks? MBAs do need to get jobs after graduation. Cannon says that his class averages are often just a percentage point or two below those handed out by other profs - but he has to adjust them to get them there.
Marks, however, aren't the end goal, he says. "I want you to judge me on how successful you are in your business career, five years or 10 years after you leave Queen's."
How does the EMBA compare to the MBA as a credential?
If you're [starting out], an MBA might be more useful, but as a senior executive moving from one position to another, I would assume that an EMBA would be as strong, if not stronger, depending on the connections you made in the program.
(Mike Ross, McGill MBA 2011; consultant, McKinsey & Co., Montreal)
Although I believe the MBA is more recognizable, this is changing as more people get EMBAs. And a major strength of the Sauder EMBA is that it is targeted: From day one of the program, the classroom learning has been transferable to my place of work.
(Blake Armstrong, Sauder EMBA 2010; senior operation leader, St. Michael's Care & Hospice Centre, Burnaby, B.C.)
I'm not sure that employers really differentiate between EMBA and MBA as long as you get the job done. I have heard people say that an EMBA [program] is not as rigorous. But I disagree - balancing studies, family and work was very challenging.
(Eric Demaere, EMBA Sauder 2009; director, Strategic Transformation, Fraser Health Authority)
Amount that consultants charge to advise applicants about the admissions process at each school
Canadian schools with the top percentage of international students
Alberta School of Business / 56%
Desautels Faculty of Management / 55%
Sauder School of Business / 50%
HEC Montréal / 44%
Richard Ivey School of Business / 36%
WHO HAS AN MBA?
President & CEO, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; Queen's University
CBC TV host and chairman of O'Leary Funds; Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
President & CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Schulich School of Business, York University
Chairman, Goldcorp; Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa
ENROLMENT IN MASTER'S PROGRAMS IN CANADA, 2009-2010
14% / Social and behavioural sciences
12% / Architecture, engineering and related technologies
11% / Education
11% / Health, parks, fitness
28% / Business management and public administration
1% / Other
2% / Visual and performing arts
3% / Agriculture, natural resources
5% / Math, computer and information sciences
6% / Humanities
7% / Physical and life sciences
SCHOOL / LOCATION / TUITION / NUMBER ENROLLED / WORK EXPERIENCE (years) / MALE/ FEMALE RATIO / DURATION (months) / DETAILS
Asper School of Business (University of Manitoba) / Winnipeg / $35,000 / 45 / 8 / 63-37 / 11 / Advanced electives available in Management Accounting (with CMA Manitoba) and Business Government Relations
Beedie School of Business (Simon Fraser University) / Vancouver /$33,000 / 55 / 4.5 / 62-38 / 14+ / Emphasis on applied learning, including case analysis, business simulations, an international trip and company projects
Management of Technology (Beedie School of Business) / Vancouver /$32,500 /25+/ 8 / 76-24 / 24 / First program of its kind in Canada
Brock University / St. Catharines, ON. / $23,103 / 37 / 4 / 64-36 / 24 / Two optional paid co-op terms and possibility to combine MBA with CMA designation
Dalhousie University / Halifax / $40,000 / 65 / 2 / 56-45 / 22 / Corporate residency MBA twins academic work with eight-month placement at a company
DeGroote School of Business (McMaster University) / Burlington, ON /$38,950 / 123 / 1 / 58-42 / 28 / Features co-op program and Focus Business Consulting, a student-run consulting business
Edwards School of Business (University of Saskatchewan) / Saskatoon / $23,950 / 52 / 6 / 44-56 / 12 / Students tour a selected country and complete business meetings with local executives, Canadian trade commissioners, factory tours and networking opportunities
John Molson School of Business (Concordia University) / Montreal / $8,267 / 100 / 6 / 62-38 / 16 / Social responsibility concepts are embedded throughout this MBA learning experience
Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario) / London, ON / $67,000 / 135 / 5 / 71-29 /12 / Applied work opportunities at the Ivey Consulting Project - largest and oldest "client field project" in Canada
Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business (University of Regina) / Regina / $31,110 / n/a / 5 /n/a / varies / International MBA with one-week intensive international study trip to Europe, Asia or South America
Lakehead University / Thunder Bay / $17,268 / 28 / 3 / 67-33 /12 / Students won mini-cup for "most points per participants" at the 2012 MBA Games in Edmonton
Laurier School of Business & Economics (Wilfrid Laurier University) / Waterloo, ON / $23,328 / 47 / 77 / 77-23 / 12 / A two-year pilot program offers one-year full-content MBA program, with terms in Canada, Dubai and India
Co-Op Master of Business Administration (Wilfrid Laurier University) / Waterloo, ON / $25,174 / 27 /1 / 56-44 / 20 / Designed for MBA candidates with less than two years' work experience
Desautels Faculty of Management (McGill University) / Montreal / $69,500 / 55+ / 4.5 / 70-30 / 20 / Curriculum includes international study trip to one of the world's leading cities
Memorial University of Newfoundland / St. John's / $4,400 / 57 / 5 / 56-44 /20 courses / First MBA program in Canada to have a required corporate social responsibility/ethics course
Odette School of Business (University of Windsor) / Windsor, ON / $18,700 / 45 / 2 / 58-42 /14 / Student teams partner with different companies - Crayola, Chrysler Canada, etc. - to complete a series of projects
Peter B. Gustavson School of Business (University of Victoria) / Victoria / $21,945 / 41 / 3.5 / 63-37 / 13+ / Executive mentor program and one 12-day consulting project in India, China or Brazil
Master of Global Business (Peter B. Gustavson School of Business) / Victoria / $21,106 / 70 / 2 / 50-50 / 12 / A three-continent program, delivered in Canada plus two other countries, including France, Austria, South Korea and Taiwan.
Queen's University / Kingston/ $69,000 / 88 / 4.5 / 77-23 / 12 / Students work with a team coach, a personal coach, a career coach and a lifestyle coach
Royal Military College of Canada / Kingston / $6,000 / 63 / n/a / 62-38 / 16+ / Civilian and military students interact; learning combines business and government viewpoints
Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) / Toronto / $80,931 / 265 / 4.2 / 72-28 / 12 / Includes Prosperity and Competitiveness class with Professor Richard Florida
Sauder School of Business (University of British Columbia) / Vancouver / $42,179 / 110 / 5 / 67-33 /16 / Experiential learning, global immersion and personalized leadership development
Sandermoen School of Business (University of Fredericton) / (online) / $14,000 / 22 / 11 / 66-34 / 20+ / Focus on Global Leadership or Innovation Leadership
Schulich School of Business (York University) / Toronto / $55,536 / 247 / 6 / 63-37/ 16 / Features a team-based, strategic consulting project that all students must complete for a client
Shannon School of Business (Cape Breton University) / Sydney, NS / $20,112 / 82 / 4 / 42-58 / 12 / Emphasis on community economic development, including courses on First Nations Management and Peace-building and Reconstruction
Sprott School of Business (Carleton University) / Ottawa / $14,500 / 136 / n/a / 62-38 / 16 / Five concentrations, including International Development Management and Management Change
Ted Rogers School of Management (Ryerson University) / Toronto / $15,428 / 75 / 5 / 67-33 / 12 / Unique specializations, such as supply chain management, media management and real estate finance
Telfer School of Management (University of Ottawa) / Ottawa / $22,149 / 74 / 7 / 66-34 / 12 / Program includes consulting project with a local organization and a trip overseas to explore international management
Trinity Western University / Langley, BC / $35,775 / 54 / 7 / 64-36 / 12 / Option to focus on social enterprise with specialization in Non-Profit Management
University of Alberta / Edmonton / $26,000 / 74 / 5 / 71-29 / 24 / Small class sizes, collegial environment
University of Guelph / Guelph, ON / $28,000 / 30 / 14 / 60-40 / 13 / Also offers online MBA and MBAs in Food and Agribusiness Management and Hospitality & Tourism Management
University of Northern British Columbia / Prince George, BC / $35,000 / 30 / 12 / 60-40 / 21 / Scheduling designed for working adults (classes held once per month in three- or four-day sessions)
Université du Québec à Montreal / Montreal / $5,700 / n/a / 2 / 70-30 / 24 / Specializations in science and engineering as well as management consulting
Université Laval / Quebec City / $4,182 / 306 / 3 / 57-43 / 12+ / 17 different concentrations, including a new MBA in Urban and Real Estate Management
Vancouver Island University / Nanaimo, BC / $18,870 / 133 / 3.2 / 54-46 / 14+ / Graduates receive an MBA from VIU and an MSc in International Business from the University of Hertfordshire (UK)