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Smith School of Business and ESSEC Business School partner on undergraduate double degree

Posted on June 11, 2024
Consul General of France Bertrand Pous, Smith Dean Wanda Costen, and ESSEC Dean and President Vincenzo Vinzi at SmithToronto
Consul General of France Bertrand Pous, Smith Dean Wanda Costen, and ESSEC Dean and President Vincenzo Vinzi at SmithToronto

Toronto, Ont., and Cergy, France –  Smith School of Business and ESSEC Business School are celebrating the official signing of a double-degree agreement that will benefit undergraduate students at both institutions. 

Students in the Smith Bachelor of Commerce and ESSEC Global BBA programs will have the opportunity to take part in this new learning experience that will see them split their studies between Smith’s campus in Kingston, Ont., and ESSEC’s campus in Cergy, France. Participants will earn a degree from both business schools. 

Smith has a robust and successful portfolio of international exchange programs at the undergraduate level. We’re seeing double-degree programs at this level become more popular as well, with students increasingly interested in more immersive international academic and experiential learning opportunities ,” explains Wanda Costen , Dean at Smith School of Business . “ With ESSEC, we saw an opportunity to meet this growing demand and deepen our relationship with a key international partner .”

Each year, a select group of students from each school will complete the first two years of their four-year undergraduate degree at their home school, followed by their final two years of study at the affiliate school. The first exchange of students will take place during the 2025-2026 school year. 

An immersive cultural experience, access to expanded career resources and networks, and a global business curriculum are just some of the benefits that will help students learn to adapt to the rapidly changing global business landscape. 

Vincenzo Vinz i, ESSEC Business School Dean and President, s ays,  We are thrilled to sign this double-degree agreement with Smith. This collaboration unites France's No. 1 ranked Bachelor in Business Administration with a truly global institution, one that shares our values and vision for the future of higher education. This innovative program will cultivate a generation of multicultural leaders, equipped to navigate the intricate challenges of the ever-evolving business landscape.”

Smith and ESSEC first partnered in 2006 with an undergraduate exchange program that has seen more than 430 students study at the two institutions. In recent years, the partnership has evolved with the addition of a double-degree offering for Smith’s Master of International Business and ESSEC’s Master in Management in 2015. In 2023, Smith joined the Council on Business & Society (CoBS), a network of top business schools dedicated to promoting responsible leadership, of which ESSEC was one of the founding schools. The addition of this new undergraduate double-degree pathway is an extension of this long-standing collaborative relationship.

About ESSEC Business School

ESSEC, founded in 1907, is one of the world’s top management schools and holds the “triple crown” accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. With 7,550 students; a faculty comprised of 152 full-time professors and 25 emeritus professors, in France and Singapore, recognized for both the quality and influence of their research; a wide range of management training programs; partnerships with the world’s best universities; and a network of 69,000 alumni, ESSEC continues to foster a tradition of academic excellence and a spirit of openness in the fields of economics, social sciences and innovation. In 2005, ESSEC opened a campus in Asia. ESSEC’s operations in Asia Pacific, strategically located in Singapore, present the perfect foothold for ESSEC to be part of the vibrant growth of Asia and to bring its expertise to the expanding region.  Additionally, in 2017 ESSEC opened a new campus in Rabat, Morocco.  ESSEC’s international expansion allows students and professors to study and understand the economic forces at work in the different regions of the world.  For more information, please visit

About Smith School of Business

Smith School of Business at Queen’s University is renowned for its excellence, innovation, and leadership in business education. From establishing the first undergraduate business degree over a century ago to creating groundbreaking programs and courses in emerging areas, Smith is at the forefront of preparing students for the business marketplace. In addition to its rich tradition of academic and teaching excellence, Smith is known for delivering an outstanding learning and development experience. Personal attention, individual and team coaching, opportunities for specialization and a deep commitment to student success characterize the Smith experience. To learn more, visit .