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Admission

At Smith School of Business, we’re looking for a combination of strong academic performance and a well-rounded approach to life including demonstration of leadership and teamwork skills.

Admission is a two-stage process consisting of academic records being reviewed first, followed by an assessment of the Supplementary Essay (SE). Once the minimum academic requirements are met, the admission decision is based on the assessment of the SE.

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Who Should Apply

We want to know who you are beyond your marks. Once you qualify academically, it is up to you to show us who you really are and why you want to study business at Smith. We receive over 7,000 applications per year for 500 first-year positions and we make offers to those applicants who are able to effectively convey the qualities we are seeking.

We are looking for students who demonstrate clear thinking, an interest in international studies, enthusiasm, ambition, team skills, and a keen interest or some experience in business.

We are seeking students who are:

  • Well-rounded academically with diverse interests
  • Bright, enthusiastic, and inclusive
  • People who make a difference, in class, in their school, or in their community

We are seeking students who have:

  • Strong leadership skills, combined with the ability to thrive in a team environment
  • An aptitude for both quantitative and qualitative subjects
  • A passion to effect positive change 
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How to Apply

All applications are made online through the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC).

After you submit your application to OUAC, you are required to complete the Supplementary Essay (SE); this document will consist of two short essay questions which give you the opportunity to tell us more about who you are and what you are passionate about. 

The SE will act as your personal portfolio that will be reviewed by two members of the Commerce admission team. It is very important that you take the time and effort to plan and write this document as complete, well-written essays that tell your story.

Start your application

2021-22 Application Information

To help you prepare your best possible application to the Smith Commerce Program, we have provided the following resources – including a video outlining the admissions process, the Supplementary Essay evaluation rubric, and example Supplementary Essay responses.

Admission Overview

Supplementary Essay Rubric

Distinguished Capable Basic Unsatisfactory
Positionality* and Lived Experience** Demonstrates careful reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates adequate reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates minimal reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates very little or no understanding of their positionality and there is little reference to lived experience.
Connection Demonstrates careful reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates adequate reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates minimal reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates very little or no understanding of their positionality and there is little reference to lived experience.
Personal Growth*** Demonstrates careful reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates adequate reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates minimal reflection of their positionality, and how it relates to their lived experience described in their answer. Demonstrates very little or no understanding of their positionality and there is little reference to lived experience.

*Positionality is the social and political context that creates your identity in terms of race, socioeconomic, gender, sexuality, and ability status. Positionality also describes how your identity influences and potentially biases your understanding of and outlook on the world.

**Lived Experience is the first-hand accounts, impressions, and choices of a given person, and the knowledge that they gain from these experiences.

***Personal Growth is the process by which a person recognizes themselves and improves their habits, behaviours, and actions to reach their full potential. Personal growth is an important part of a person's growth, maturity, success, and happiness.

Communication Clarity

Satisfactory Unsatisfactory
Writing conveys the applicant’s meaning. The writing is unclear.
Download SE rubric (PDF, 57 KB)

Example Supplementary Essay Responses

Describe a transformative experience that led to a better understanding of yourself or others.

Class potlucks. Ah, it was that time again where classmates brought pasta and pie while I brought soggy homemade dumplings.

As the dishes were spread out across the room and classmates began feasting, I couldn't help but anxiously stare at my classmates, seeking signs of approval from those who sampled my dish. Suddenly, there grew a lineup of my fellow peers, praising my dish, eager to learn more about it. It was at this moment I realized how blinded I was by my own irrational fear of being different. How was it that outsiders could appreciate the beauty of my own culture when I couldn't?

This single experience led me to not only realize how little respect I had for my Chinese background, but also how my identity shouldn't be compromised by the lack of approval from others. I realized that I shouldn't feel ashamed about what makes me unique, and it shouldn't stop me from pursuing my own definition of 'success! It urged me to explore my heritage and embrace a comforting sense of belonging in a community containing similar values as my own. My confidence soared alongside my self-worth after uncovering this unknown part of my identity.

Devoted to helping other youth who fail to recognize the beauty of individuality as I once did, I became a volunteer at [a museum]. I've become a leader that advocates for diversity and inclusivity, showing youth the potential of their cultural identity. Hosting multiple team meetings during the summer, I composed an animated video on the importance of amplifying the voices of minorities; something that I wish I had known when I was younger. I shared this creation to elementary school students across the region, with the goal of inspiring these individuals to recognize their unique identity as something that will propel them in life.

Since then, I've learned to view ordinary class potlucks as new opportunities to embrace the beauty of my Chinese culture as a beautiful part of my own identity.

What is important to you? Why is it important?

The most common question a dancer receives is, "what type of dancing do you do?" I have always found this question irrelevant of its intention; a filler of superficial intrigue. The truth is, there is no one type of dance. In fact, all types of dance derive off of one goal: storytelling.

My name is [name removed]. A [name removed] of Indian-Punjabi descent, growing up in the world of ballet, jazz, and contemporary. Dancing is the anchor between my life in Canada and my "should have" life back in India. When I was three years old, my daycare teacher pointed out to my parents that my body proportions were stellar for a ballerina and despite the exotic colour of my skin, I should consider the works of Tchaïkovsky and Copland.

After spending 14 years of my life dedicated to ballet and Bollywood, I have learned that dancing is symbolic to a language; your hand gestures deliver your voice, your footwork is your accent and your body language acts as your soul. Dancing has a special place in my heart because it has enhanced my relationship with my culture. I have been able to educate those in my community about "bhakti love" of Radha Krishna through my Pas-de-deux training and mental health stigmatization in India through my mudras (hand gestures). My knowledge of movement has rendered me a position of insight; members of my Indian community started learning social equity issues from a 13 year old who was only dancing to please. Being a dance aficionado grows from a place of desperation. Desperation to be validated by your roots; my ability to dance choreography from two very distinct cultures has given me the opportunity to learn and reconnect with my heritage. Dancing is my rendition of storytelling.

I intend to extend my diverse artistic abilities at Queen's University and provide the institution with a more cultural platform. I look forward to learning and working with the school.