Shannon School of Business MBA

Cape Breton University, Sydney, N.S.

The Shannon School of Business offers an MBA program focused on community economic development, a rarity in North America. Also rare: applicants do not need any work or managerial experience to be eligible.

Students can complete the program in three ways. First is an in-class format that is taught at the Sydney, N.S., campus over the course of a year. Alternatively, they can take some courses online mixed with month-long residencies each July. Finally, classes are offered on alternating weekends in six cities: Toronto, Kingston, Ont., Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary and Whitehorse.

The core curriculum focuses on subjects such as comparative development, business development and economic geography. In addition to their coursework, students are expected to complete an intensive research project.

In keeping with its community focus, the program offers optional courses in subjects such as sustainability, tourism and public policy. There are also optional courses on the issues facing First Nations communities as well as peace-building. Courses in emergency management and conflict resolution explore the role of community economic development in responding to crises and averting conflict.

In part because of these course offerings, the Shannon School of Business attracts a large number of Indigenous and female students, as well as learners from a non-business background. Classes tend to be a mix of individuals in the early stages of their professional life and mid-career managers.

Cape Breton University hosts the Community Innovation and Social Enterprise Conference every July on its Sydney campus.

The Shannon School of Business boasts a faculty of 23 members—18 of whom are full-time, tenured faculty.

Notable alumni include Nolan Crouse, former mayor of St. Albert, Alta., and Brig.-Gen. Michael Jorgensen.

Full-Time: 12-15 months

Part-Time: 26 months

Work Experience: Not required 

Cost: $22,659-$34,904

Cost (International): $35,139

Incoming Full-Time Enrolment: 75

Incoming Part-Time Enrolment: 83

Female Students: 52%

International Students: 47%

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