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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
July 28, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Overview of SBE

Laurier’s School of Business & Economics (SBE) develops leaders with skills in management and economics for a rapidly changing and complex global environment. It seeks to advance knowledge and practices in these fields by supporting both theoretical and applied research. The School also strives to serve business and its community by fostering mutually beneficial alliances with local, national and international leaders.

Laurier produces some of Canada’s best aspiring business professionals and graduates who carry their knowledge and skills into influential positions.  A cornerstone in Waterloo, Canada’s Technology Triangle, Laurier SBE promotes innovation and entrepreneurial thinking and action, and takes a contemporary approach to addressing the challenges of business through research, teaching and application of knowledge. Successful industry partnerships are a cornerstone of the School’s success, which has a strong commitment of bringing businesses together with the academic community.



The Laurier business programs are recognized across Canada as both leading and innovative.  They produce what Canadian business needs: smart, motivated, knowledgeable, professional employees. The programs use a variety of techniques including case discussions, simulation games, visits by business executives and student projects. By providing a real-time laboratory in which to experiment and apply theoretical learning, the business program helps students develop a better understanding of how to work together to analyze situations and manage organizations.

The Undergraduate Business Department offers the following degrees and diplomas:
  • Honours Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Laurier)/Honours Bachelor of Mathematics (UWaterloo)
  • Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Laurier)/Honours Bachelor of Computer Science (UWaterloo)
  • Honours Bachelor of Business Administration/Honours Bachelor of Science in Computing and Computer Electronics
  • Honours Bachelor of Business Administration/Honours Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Honours Bachelor of Business Administration/Honours Bachelor of Science in Financial Mathematics
  • Diploma in Business Administration
  • Diploma in Accounting
  • Diploma in Financial Planning

Our Master of Business Administration office offers a number of different programs:
  • The School’s MBA program promotes the integrative thinking necessary in a constantly changing world. The program features significant applied projects, service with not-for-profit organizations, opportunities for international experience and workshops in applied business practices.  This program is offered through the regular program, or with the co-op option. 
  • Master of Business Administration with CMA designation: Laurier SBE and CMA Canada-Ontario joined forces to launch English Canada’s first combined MBA-CMA program. Using Laurier’s executive-style MBA model, students complete the requirements for both the degree and the designation in just over three years. First offered in the Toronto area in April 2000, this combined program saves participants two years of study time.
  • Master of Business Administration with CFA® designation:  Launched in 2005, this program offers students the opportunity to complete the requirements for both their MBA degree and the CFA®  concurrently.  Successful candidates will graduate with an MBA Degree, with an expertise in investment analysis and portfolio management, while preparing for the three levels of CFA®  examinations.
  • Master of Business Administration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A first in Canada, the MBA encourages rigorous approaches to the management of innovation, allows students course credit for starting their own business and is supported by a unique Capital Venture Fund which will be administered by students

PhD & Research-based business Masters Programs:
  • PhD in Management in five fields  –Organizational Behaviour & Human Resource Management, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Financial Economics, Accounting and Marketing.  This program is designed to develop graduates skilled in research with both theoretical and practical understanding of the complex problems of business management.  Our doctoral program provides excellent preparation for academic, professional, and research careers.  
  • Two separate research-based Masters programs – Master of Finance (MFin), Master of Science in Management (MSc). Our MSc programs include Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, Supply Chain Management, and Technology Management

Executive Masters in Technology Management (EMTM):
  • A first of its kind in Canada, our program aims to create a more global and engaging experience. It allows for flexibility to work on related projects outside the classroom as well as using the face-to-face meeting times to discuss practical issues of importance, relevant to their executive, professional responsibilities.
  • The program is built on our strategic choice to remain small and to provide more engaging learning environments through our intimate seminars. It combines the power of team-based learning and flexible blend of teaching styles with an unmatched ability to personalize the participants learning around their strengths and aspirations.

A variety of concentrations are available in both in the BBA and MBA programs, which allow students to pursue a specific interest within the study of general management.  Specifically of note are interdisciplinary concentrations such as entrepreneurship, insurance and risk management, supply chain management and brand communication.


The Economics department emphasizes a balance between acquisition of knowledge and skill development, a feature that benefits students whether they plan to pursue graduate studies or begin a career in the private or public sector. All programs combine courses in economic theory and courses that apply economic analysis to a particular problem.

  • The Economics Department offers the following degrees and diplomas:
  • Honours BA Economics
  • Honours BA Economics and Accounting
  • Honours BA Economics and Financial Management
  • Honours BA Economics in combination with Philosophy and Political Science
  • Honours BA Applied Economics
  • Master of Arts in Business Economics (MABE)
  • Masters in International Public Policy
  • PhD in Global Governance (joint with University of Waterloo)



Laurier is one of the pioneers of the business co-operative education program. Recognizing the positive opportunity for students to develop business skills, Laurier was one of the first universities in Canada to offer a co-op option for business students. Each year about 500 business and economics students apply for roughly 200 positions in the program.   

Most Laurier co-op students begin their first work term after two years of study and complete three or four, four-month work terms by the time they finish their undergraduate degree. The program has one of the best employment rates in the country, and students work in areas such as industry and commerce, finance, accounting, and at numerous government agencies. SBE Co-op students are located primarily in the GTA and the local region; opportunities are also available in western Canada, the United States and internationally

Laurier also offers co-operative education within our MBA, MFin, and MABE programs

The following represents the top undergraduate employers based on hires for the January – April 2011 work term:

  1. BMO Capital Markets
  2. Canadian Tire
  3. ConAgra
  4. Desire2Learn
  5. General Motors
  6. Manulife
  7. National Accounting firms - PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton
  8. PepsiCo
  9. Research in Motion
  10. Scotiabank
  11. SunLife

** Desire2Learn, RIM, Sunlife, and Manulife are based in Waterloo Region, and all of the national accounting firms represent GTA and local.


The Integrated Case Exercise, or ICE, is a week-long case study competition that takes place in the winter and spring terms and is unique in Canada. Started 28 years ago, this competition gives all third-year BBA students the opportunity to analyze current, comprehensive, problems facing real companies.

Groups of five to six students present their recommendations in writing and orally to a board of SBE faculty. The groups with the best overall performance before each internal board are selected to present before an external board of business executives, including those of the case company, and other professionals. Through this competition, BBA students have the chance to integrate the management disciplines into a real-time problem-solving context, experience work world pressures, develop presentation skills, and interact with business executives.


More than 630 first-year business students take part in the event, which introduces them to entrepreneurship and new venture creation. The competition is designed to strengthen students’ communication and presentation skills, as they analyze opportunities for business creation and development. The competition is a foundation for students who concentrate in entrepreneurship during their business education.


This project provides MBA students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience through applied research in a strategic management setting. The program acquaints students with the business community and requires them to apply business management techniques and put into practice many of the integrated strategic management theories discussed in the classroom.

Working in teams, students devote about 1000 hours over the course of two terms, analyzing a strategic business issue on behalf of an “adopted company” sponsor. The company is presented with a final report addressing specific questions related to the strategic issue. Projects include business plan preparation, mergers and acquisitions work, new product development, global marketing preparation, technological transformation, and corporate restructuring.


Unique to Laurier’s MBA program, the NFP Service Component provides Laurier MBA students with opportunities to explore management issues within the voluntary sector while providing field-based community service.  It features value-added management consulting services and/or the provision of service time to meet community needs.  In return, the MBA students receive a vital learning experience and increase awareness of the benefits of not-for-profit work.  Activities are conducted either individually or by teams of students. All Laurier MBA students participate.  A minimum of forty hours of direct, practical service is devoted to a registered not-for-profit organization.  



With over 4,500 students, the Laurier School of Business & Economics is one of the largest business schools in Canada. In fact, with more than 3,500 students, the undergraduate business program is larger than those of Queen’s University and the University of Western Ontario combined.

Students in SBE are among the top achievers in Ontario. The program attracts the best and brightest students and has one of the highest proportions of Ontario Scholars entering first year. The minimum grade to enter Laurier’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program is currently 86%, with 87% being required to enter the combined BBA/Financial Math double degree program, with 90% being required to enter the combined BBA/ Math (UW) double degree program, with 90% being required to enter the combined BBA/Computer Science (UW) double degree program, and with 86% being required to enter the combined BBA/Computer Science and the computing and computer science double degree programs.

Students in Laurier’s MBA programs come from a diverse array of career backgrounds, ranging from architecture to veterinary medicine, and have an average of 8.5 years of work experience. Students enter the program with an average GMAT score of 600+ and an average GPA equaling B+. Together, Laurier’s part-time, full-time, and Toronto MBA programs have an enrolment of almost 600 students.


Number of full-time faculty: 115
  • Organized into 2 departments:  Department of Economics and Department of Business with 6 areas: accounting, finance, organizational behavior and human resource management, marketing, operations and decision sciences and policy. 


  • A full-time honours business program commenced in 1960; the first eight degrees were conferred in May 1962
  • Department of Business Administration and Economics formed in 1966
  • Board of Governors approved concept of School of Business & Economics on April 11, 1966 – School officially started September 1, 1966; Herman Overgaard named first SBE Director; Glenn Carroll appointed Director effective January 1, 1967 (title changed to Dean in Carroll’s last year)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Accreditation attained in 2004; reaccreditated in 2009 with five-year review.  AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools, worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. AACSB International accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in management education.  Laurier’s SBE was awarded the highest of three possible recommendations.
  • Laurier’s MBA (Accounting stream) and the undergraduate BBA programs are accredited by Chartered Accountants of Ontario and CMA Canada.
  • Directors/Deans:
    Herman Overgaard (1966 - 1967)
    Glenn Carroll (1967 - 1970)
    John Jenkins (1970 - 1974)
    Max D. Stewart (1974 - 1982)
    J. Alex Murray (1982 - 1996)
    A. Scott Carson (1996 - 2006)
    Ginny Dybenko (2006 - 2011)
    William J. Banks (2011 - 2012)
    Michéal J. Kelly (2012 - Present)


Central to the success of all the School’s programs, is the wide-ranging, contemporary and relevant research conducted by its faculty members. The faculty is committed to theoretical and applied research. Various areas, including finance and economics, have been ranked among the top schools both nationally and internationally for their research output.


  • Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Chair in International Public Policy
  • CIGI Chair in International Supply Chain Management (ODS)
  • CIGI Chair in Marketing
  • The Betty & Peter Sims Professor of Entrepreneurship
  • Chair Of Insurance
  • Economical Insurance Group Professorship in Finance
  • Dobson Professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship


  • Centre for Supply Chain Management
  • Centre for the Study of Nascent Entrepreneurship and the eXploitation of Technology (NeXt)
  • CMA Centre for Business & Sustainability
  • CMA Centre of Excellence in Management Accounting for SME’s
  • Financial Services Research Centre
  • Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis (LCERPA)


The Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship is named after entrepreneur and Laurier alumnus Robert Schlegel and his wife Myrna in recognition of their $2-million donation to the construction project. The Ontario government’s SuperBuild announcement in 2000 included funds for the Centre’s $4.9-million capital and construction costs. The Centre opened in 2002.

The Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, led by Executive Director Steve Farlow, adds a dynamic dimension to the SBE.  It provides Laurier with facilities needed to encourage strategic growth in entrepreneurial teaching and research, and facilitates active partnering with the private sector.

The Centre supports emerging enterprises and enhances the SBE’s ability to connect students with the entrepreneurial community.  Its strategic focus on entrepreneurship and technology provides students with the skills training that are essential for enterprise growth and wealth generation.

In 2003, the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship was designated as a CMA Canada Centre of Excellence in Management Accounting for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.  It is the only facility of its kind in Canada. This initiative is part of a 10-year agreement between CMA Canada and the School of Business & Economics aimed at expanding the boundaries of management accounting and enhancing the competitiveness of Canadian small businesses.

The Centre will facilitate interaction between entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), management accountants, faculty, and students through a research program, workshops, a speaker series, and publications.

The CA/Laurier Centre for the Advancement of Accounting Research and Education has been established to promote excellence in research and teaching, and to encourage knowledge development in accounting education and practice.  Our vision is to enhance the scholarly activities of accounting faculty and to foster the development of the highest quality accounting graduates.

The Centre’s mission is to support the scholarly activities and research efforts of WLU accounting faculty and to build upon our record of producing highly successful graduates.  This will be achieved by facilitating access of WLU accounting faculty to research opportunities and outlets, by encouraging students to assist faculty in knowledge development and by promoting the enhancement of WLU accounting programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Centre will also support curriculum development projects to help ensure that the WLU accounting related curriculum evolves to reflect the changing education requirements as set out in publications such as the CA Candidates’ Competency Map.



A number of active speakers’ series bring leading business and academic presenters to the campus, enriching both student and faculty life.  The series include:  the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, CMA Canada Accounting Research Speaker Series, Finance Seminar Series, Economics Speaker Series and the Supply Chain Management Speaker Series. 


The Laurier Outstanding Business Leader Award has been presented annually since 1987. The award is given to an individual who demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities in any area of business and who exemplifies the values and qualities the School of Business & Economics seeks to develop in its students.  Some past award winners are:  

Mac Voisin, Chairman and Founder, M&M Meat Shops

Peter Gilgan, President, Mattamy Homes

Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion, Inc.

Linda Hasenfratz, President, Linamar

Annette Verschuren, President, Home Depot Canada

Christine Magee, President and Co-founder, Sleep Country Canada

Claude Lamoureux, President and CEO, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

David Brown, Q.C. Chair, Ontario Securities Commission   

Clive J. Beddoe, Chairman, President and CEO, WestJet Airlines Ltd.   

Eric P. Newell, Chairman & CEO, Syncrude Canada Ltd.   

Firoz Rasul, Chairman & CEO, Ballard Power Systems Inc.


Further information on the Laurier School of Business & Economics can be obtained by visiting our website.