Main Content

Frequently asked questions

What if I...? What are the...? How many...? If I'm...? Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA

US travel restrictions

If you are an international student affected by travel restrictions to the US and are interested in applying to this program, please contact

How many candidates do you accept each year?

To ensure the most exceptional learning experience, the Rotman School and SDA Bocconi together accept 50 candidates each year.

Is the program delivered by distance learning?

We use a combination of in-class lectures and online sessions to deliver the program. Our goal is to provide a rich experience in each of the program modules, including classroom discussion, company visits, guest lectures, group projects, cultural experiences and networking activities. The modules are complemented with online learning, study sessions, team projects, career sessions and exams. This approach provides a deep, experiential program while allowing students the opportunity to work through their course curriculum with a manageable schedule.

When do classes begin?

Classes begin once a year in the fall. 

Is there an admission deadline?

Applications are accepted throughout the year, and application deadlines are set annually. To maximize your chances of admission—and of receiving a merit-based entrance award—we strongly encourage candidates to apply by the first deadline. As well, the program is highly competitive and may reach enrolment capacity before the final application deadline. If we receive a large number of applications, students may be placed on a waitlist and/or considered for the following academic year. Please see the Application Deadlines section for this year's dates. 

Is an interview required?

Yes. Interviewing with one of our program directors is an important part of the application process. We want to help you decide whether the Rotman-SDA Bocconi GEMBA is the right fit for your career goals before you begin the formal application process. The interview may be conducted either in person, remotely or by telephone.

If I meet the minimum admissions criteria for the program, what are my chances of being accepted?

Fulfilling the minimum criteria only guarantees you consideration for admission to the program. An offer of admission often depends on both the individual strength of your application and its strength relative to other applications. Due to the competitive nature of the application process, successful applicants tend to significantly exceed the minimum admissions criteria.

What are the most heavily weighted factors?

We take a holistic approach when reviewing applications. We look not only at the quantitative features of the application such as the GPA (grade point average) and EDT*/GMAT**/GRE*** score, but also at the quality of the requested essays, references, interview results, academic background, work history and leadership activities.

*Executive Diagnostic Test
**Graduate Management Admission Test
***Graduate Record Examinations

Do I need to write the GMAT or GRE?

Candidates with an undergraduate degree equivalent to the University of Toronto’s four-year degree have the option of writing the Executive Diagnostic Test (EDT) instead of the GMAT or GRE. Learn more about the EDT.

All candidates without a recognized undergraduate degree must write the GMAT or the GRE and achieve a competitive score.

What is an EDT and do I need to write it? Do I write it after I complete my application?

The Executive MBA Diagnostic Test (EDT) measures the basic mathematical and analytical skills you will need to successfully work with the course material of the Rotman-SDA Bocconi GEMBA. A successful EDT result is one part of your completed application, and the test can be completed at any time after you have been invited to apply to the program. All candidates for the program will be required to pass the EDT, unless they have a valid and competitive GMAT/GRE score.

Learn more about the EDT.

Do I need to write a TOEFL or IELTS?

Candidates who have completed their undergraduate degree in a language other than in English must write their TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum overall score required is 93 (writing, 22; speaking, 22) on the TOEFL*, and for the IELTS** the minimum accepted overall score is 7.0 (Academic). Further information is available here.

* Test of English as a Foreign Language
** International English Language Testing System

Do I need to be employed to be admitted into the Rotman-SDA Bocconi GEMBA?

We prefer students to be employed when applying to, and while enrolled in, the program. However, we consider each candidate on his/her own individual merits. Please contact our admissions team  to discuss your situation.

Once my application is complete, how long will I have to wait for an admission decision?

All complete applications are presented to the Admissions Committee on a bi-weekly basis. A member of our admissions team will get back to you as soon as a decision on your application is made.

If I’m admitted this year, can I defer my admission to next year?

Please contact us for details at

What should I budget for additional costs associated with travel and accommodations?

We would suggest budgeting an additional $15,000–$30,000 CAD for flights, hotels and dinner expenses.

What is included in the program fee?

The program fee includes tuition, core course materials, select class-day meals, accommodation in modules except for Toronto and Milan, and one-on-one career coaching.

Do I need travel visas?

The Rotman-SDA Bocconi GEMBA class travels to different countries, each with its own visa requirements. You are responsible for ensuring your eligibility to obtain a visa to travel to each of those countries before beginning the program. You are also responsible for applying for and obtaining the necessary visa in a timely manner prior to each module. Failure to obtain a visa to one of the destination countries may compromise your ability to complete the program.

How can I pay tuition?

Note: During COVID-19 we only accept tuition payments via credit card and bank wire. We have temporarily waived all credit card surcharge fees.

During regular times, tuition can be paid by personal cheque, wire transfer or bank draft. We also accept credit card payments; however, to use this method students have to pay an additional fee which varies by card type.

Discover more about the GEMBA

Hello, I'm an arrow!

Download a copy of the GEMBA brochure

Hello, I'm an arrow!

Learn more about the experiences of Rotman students and alumni

Hello, I'm an arrow!

Watch this to learn more about the GEMBA program

Hello, I'm an arrow!

Attend an admission event

Hello, I'm an arrow!

Interested in the GEMBA? Apply now


COVID-19 FAQs for applicants


Tip: Apply early to increase your chances of an entrance award.

Connect with us to have your questions answeredHello, I'm an arrow!


$300,000 in award funding available
Learn more Hello, I'm an arrow!


Email us anytimeHello, I'm an arrow!

Read our admissions blog.