Business Skills Development Program

Applicants to the MBA program who do not possess required GMAT/GRE score have the option to take six modules in lieu of writing the GMAT/GRE. Students must successfully complete the program in order to waive the GMAT admission requirement. Applicants should note that they will only be considered for admission into the Business Skills Development Program (BDSP) once they apply to the MBA program and receive a conditional admission offer from Lakehead University. 

Program Structure

The program will consist of 6 modules. Students will have to complete the following modules:

  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Analytical Writing
  • Critical Thinking and Integrated Reasoning
  • Canadian Business Management

Program Schedule

Each module will run for 6 sessions over two weeks (9 hours per week). Classes will be scheduled for 3 hours per day, 3 times a week. 

The program typically starts mid-may May. Students are required to pay a deposit to hold their place in the program and they must complete full payment for the program before May 1st.

Program Fees

The cost of tuition for Business Skills Development Program is C$ 5,000.00 for international students and C$2,500.00 for domestic students, plus ancillary term fees. Please visit https://www.lakeheadu.ca/current-students/tuition-fees/paying-fees for payment instructions.

Program Requirements

Students must complete all modules within the Business Skills Development Program and must maintain a minimum average of 70 percent with no more than two modules less than 70 (but above 60 percent). A grade of less than 60 percent constitutes a failing grade.

Program modules are non-credit courses. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate of completion. The certificate of completion will allow student to claim exemption from GMAT/GRE requirement of Lakehead University’s MBA Program. Similar to the GMAT or GRE results, the certificate will be valid for five years within which period students will be able to gain entry into Lakehead MBA Program without a GMAT/GRE Score.

Students who do not pass a specific module may apply to write a Special Examination for that Module. A student may only write Special Exams in two modules. If they do not pass the special exams or if they fail more than two modules they will be required to repeat the program. A Special Exam fee will apply.

There are no prerequisites among the modules. Students may only repeat the Business Skills Development Program once.

Application Process

  1. Applicants interested in the BSDP must first apply to the MBA program.
  2. Applicants will only be considered for the BSDP if they have accepted the conditional offer to the MBA program and paid their MBA program deposit with the Accounts department.
  3. Applicants with a “Confirmed with Deposit” status, (meaning they have accepted their conditional offer and paid the deposit) may request a Business Skills Development Program application form by emailing bsdp.busi@lakeheadu.ca.
  4. Completed applications are then returned to bsdp.busi@lakeheadu.ca. Once the application is received, it will be added to the pool of BSDP applicants.
  5. Applications to the BSDP are pooled and then reviewed by a committee periodically. Application reviews start no earlier than 5 months prior to the commencement of the BSDP. Applicants will be provided with a schedule of review dates.
  6. After each review meeting, a number of available seats will be offered to the top applicants within the BSDP pool. The review will place a strong focus on undergraduate GPA and work experience.
  7. Within one business day of each review date, applicants to the BSDP who were under review will be notified whether they have been offered a spot, placed on a wait-list, or denied admission. Wait-listed students will be considered when the next review of decisions occurs. Once all spots are filled, top remaining candidates on the wait-list will be offered spots immediately if they become available.
  8. If positions in the program become available with very limited time constraints, we reserve the right to offer these positions to students who are either Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents, or International Students who are already in Canada on permits, regardless of their position on the wait-list.

Important Notes and Considerations

  • This is a competitive process. An offer into the MBA is not a guaranteed spot in the BSDP. Students should be prepared to write the GMAT exam if they are not admitted into the BSDP.
  • Inquiries on wait-list positions will not be answered.
  • Applicants who have not accepted their conditional admission and paid their MBA deposit will not be considered for the BSDP.
  • Though we understand the time constraints to international students, we cannot expedite decisions. The majority of offers to the BSDP will be given out 3 or more months before the program starts, which is usually sufficient time to obtain a study permit.
  • Paying tuition up front will not result in a more favourable decision.
  • Students studying at Lakehead or in the English Language Program will not be given preferential consideration during the decision process
  • Students cannot complete other conditions (English language programs, undergraduate degree) concurrently with the BSDP. All other non-GMAT conditions must be met before the BSDP commences.
  • The BSDP is a non-credit program. There is no certificate of completion and it is only recognized by the Lakehead University MBA Program. Similar to writing a GMAT, domestic students do not receive a T2202A tax form and international students do not claim it towards their Post Graduate Work Permit.
  • An offer to the BSDP cannot be deferred 

Module Details

Quantitative Analysis

This module is designed to provide students with mathematical concepts used in social sciences. The focus will be to interpret and solve problems and to develop simple mathematical models. Topics include linear and non-linear functions and models, solving linear and non-linear systems of equations, matrices, linear programming, quadratics, exponential and logarithmic functions and differential equations. At the end of this module a student will possess heightened ability to manipulate and solve different types of equations especially from an algebraic perspective.

Statistical Analysis

This module deals with processing of information in quantitative form, imparting techniques of descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics include measuring and analyzing statistical data, probability distributions, covariance/correlation and independence, sampling distributions and control charts, hypothesis testing, experimental design, analysis of variance, and regression analysis. The module emphasizes how to apply various statistical techniques in the support of managerial decisions in the various functional areas of business.

Reading Comprehension

This module will help to develop reading comprehension skills in students. The purpose of this module is to review techniques for effective and efficient extraction of pertinent information from reading passages and to communicate their understanding of the material. The module will include opportunities for students to practice these skills.

Analytical Writing

This module will develop student’s ability to write analytically. The purpose is to prepare students for writing at a graduate level by systematically analyzing materials and developing an argument that is supported with theory and evidence. Students will develop and practice analytical writing skills.

Critical Thinking and Integrated Reasoning

This module will hone students’ ability to apply analysis, critical thinking, and reasoning in new situations to develop solutions to new and complex problems. Students will critically appraise materials, consider contextual factors and ambiguous information, and practice the principles of integrated reasoning, including graphic interpretation and table analysis, logic, and problem solving.

Canadian Business Management

This module will examine relevant economic, legal, political, and social factors necessary to understand the business environment in Canada. The purpose of the module is to ensure that all students enter the MBA program with a shared understanding of fundamental business practices in Canada.