McGill University’s redesigned MBA program equips students to lead in shifting business climate

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, what works today will not always work tomorrow,” said Professor John-Paul Ferguson, Academic Director of the MBA program. “At the Desautels Faculty of Management, we are in close communication with industry leaders who are searching for candidates to help them build more resilient, future-ready companies. Our newly designed MBA program gives students the right blend of skills and experience to answer the call.”

Traditionally, most MBA students relied on their degree to reach the next level within their company or industry. Today, an increasing number of students enroll in the MBA program to change industry, relaunch their career in another country, or prepare to start their own business. “Our redesigned MBA responds to changing student needs as well as to market demand,” said Ferguson. “The average MBA student has changed significantly in the past 15 to 20 years.” The Faculty’s one- or two-year program options, which differ in length depending on whether students do an internship, are designed to meet more diverse student needs.

The Desautels MBA program helps students gain a competitive edge through offering flexible, personalized specializations in fields such as financial technology and data analytics. As Montreal emerges as a global hotspot for AI and machine learning, the Faculty capitalizes on its strong industry ties to give MBA students unparalleled access to learning opportunities in the field.

The redesigned MBA program also acknowledges the growing number of students who want to use their degree to make a social impact. “Our students aren’t just thinking about how to climb the corporate ladder,” said Ferguson. “They want to leverage their skills to make a real change in their communities.” The redesigned MBA program incorporates sustainability themes into its core classes, ensuring that every MBA student grapples with themes of environmental, social, and economic sustainability by the time they graduate. “To lead in this uncertain economic climate, our students need to be equipped to develop business practices that are viable and beneficial in the long term,” said Ferguson.

As the world experiences a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, MBA students at the Desautels Faculty of Management prepare to join and create companies with a mounting set of challenges. “Our job is to form leaders with the agility to navigate an uncertain future,” said Ferguson. “The redesigned MBA program is a major step in the right direction.”  

About McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management:

Founded in Montreal in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution with 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students from over 150 countries around the world. Since 1906, McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management has continued to be one of the top management schools in the world, offering programs at the undergraduate, masters, doctorate, and executive levels. The Faculty emphasizes the integration of teaching, research and practice, and applies a multi-disciplinary, holistic approach to identifying opportunities and solving problems. Find out more.


Major changes to the redesigned MBA will include:

  • Program length options of one or two years to offer more flexibility to students.
  • Introduction of integration courses and a comprehensive leadership and professional skills program to address industry needs.
  • Replacement of concentrations with non-mandatory specializations in Entrepreneurship, Global Strategy & Leadership, Business Analytics, Marketing, and Finance
  • Increased focus on experiential learning opportunities through real-world application of knowledge. Students will have opportunities to work on live cases and consulting projects for real companies throughout the course of their program.


SOURCE McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management

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