MBA Admissions Q&A: Schulich School of Business |

MBA Admissions Q&A: Schulich School of Business

By Mike Grill

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York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto is one of Canada’s leading business schools, sitting just outside of the country’s top five in the latest Global 200 ranking of MBA programs based on the opinions of international recruiters and academics.

The Schulich MBA program limits the number of core (required) courses in order to offer as many as 20 different areas in which students can specialize in their second year – for example in business and sustainability, marketing or global mining management. This puts the Canadian school very much on the customization side in the ongoing debate between the relative merits of gaining a generalist or specialized MBA degree. (Read TopMBA’s debate on the topic here.)

Indeed, there are as many as 120 elective courses open to Schulich’s students, according to the school’s assistant director of graduate recruitment and admissions, Renice Jones. For this reason, Jones says that it is essential for anyone interested in pursuing the Schulich MBA to research the program thoroughly enough to understand how it will fit in with their future career ambitions. There’s also a strong recommendation for visiting the school prior to your application to get a sense of the environment - so that you can see if it is one in which you can flourish – in the following MBA admissions Q&A with Jones below:       

Schulich School of Business library interior
What is the typical acceptance rate to the Schulich MBA program?

The typical acceptance rate is 25-30% for the Schulich MBA program.

What are the most important aspects of the Schulich MBA application process besides GMAT score, prior GPA and current job position?

In addition to these elements, the video essays and the interviews are key aspects of the admissions process. These components bring to life what has been presented in the other areas of the application and allow the committee to see the personality of the applicant.

What is a common mistake you see applicants make?

One mistake that applicants make is not doing enough research to ensure that the program will fit with their career goals. For students that are looking for a customizable program, the 20 different areas offered at Schulich provide over 120 elective courses to choose from. Students can choose those that will be the best fit for their desired next step.

What is something you would like to see applicants do more often?

There is value in participating in events offered by the institution a prospective student is interested in. At Schulich, we offer a number of events – class visits, open houses, special sessions and more. These give students a good sense of what Schulich has to offer.

How can a candidate overcome a lower GMAT score?

While a minimum score of 550 or better is considered for admission, the average GMAT score at Schulich is 660. Candidates that are below the average can use the other components of the application, such as the interview and video essays in particular, to exhibit why they may be a great fit for Schulich.

MBA admissions tips

Essay(s): Take time to really think about what you can bring to the school environment that is unique. Don’t focus on what you think the committee would like to hear, rather present what makes you stand out and why this is would make you a good fit for the Schulich environment.

Interview: Whether in person, on the phone or via Skype, this is an excellent opportunity for the candidate to go beyond what has been presented in the application. It’s important to take the time to prepare. Candidates should know their story well and practice responses ahead of time so that they come across as natural, prepared and confident. In this part of the process our goal is to get a complete understanding of the contribution the candidate can make in the classroom and in the Schulich community.

Letters of recommendation: Speak with your referees ahead of time so that they understand what your goal is in applying to graduate school and why you have chosen to apply to Schulich in particular. Referees complete short-answer questions about the candidate and will need to understand their motivations, in addition to how they feel an MBA can help a candidate to develop.

Résumé: Quantify your accomplishments. This will help the admissions committee understand the impact that you have had in your organization.

School visit: It is important to get a sense of the school environment. If you are not in the Toronto area then at least come and meet a member of the recruitment team at one of the QS fairs or events in your city. Alumni will often be on hand to assist with these events and can share their experiences with you.

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

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