About Ivey’s Leave of Absence Program (LOA)

The one-year Ivey MBA is perfectly aligned with many corporate leave policies. The Leave of Absence Program for the full-time MBA is designed to facilitate the process of requesting a leave from your employer as well as easily making the transition back to the company following completion of the MBA. This opportunity is also available to AMBA candidates.


As an incoming Ivey MBA student, you are eligible for enrolling in the LOA Program if you worked at your pre-MBA employer in a full-time capacity and completed a minimum eight months of consecutive service. 

How to Enrol

Enrolment in the Leave of Absence program is subject to approval.

The first step is to provide Ivey with a letter from your current employer. This letter serves to confirm your interest in the LOA Program. This letter must

  • be on company letterhead
  • include your time of company service (ie. your work start date)
  • include reference to the company being aware of your leave due to MBA studies and their plans to welcome you upon completion of your MBA
  • to be signed by a Director or Human Resources lead and include their contact details

The letter does not need to indicate the position or area to which you will be returning upon MBA completion.

Students who submit a letter from their employer then attend a mandatory Leave of Absence Program clinic held after the MBA program start. At this clinic, Ivey reviews the program and asks students to sign a commitment form regarding program requirements and code of conduct. This form is provided at the LOA Clinic.

Only following approval of the Employer Letter, clinic attendance, and receipt of two signed agreement forms is a student considered officially enrolled in the LOA Program and therefore eligible for the financial incentive.

How do I receive the $10,000 incentive from Ivey?

A student must provide Ivey with a signed Employment Contract from their pre-MBA employer no later than the last day of the MBA program. Note that a student must return to their pre-MBA employer in a full-time capacity. This contract may be subject to verification with the employer during Ivey's review. 

Upon satisfactory review of this contract, the incentive will then be applied to a student's Western account before the end of the MBA program, leaving a zero balance owing. 

Paying Tuition

If you pay your tuition in full, you can deduct the $10,000 incentive from the amount owing and pay that amount. 

If you pay your tuition over instalments, you can deduct the $10,000 incentive from the final January instalment and pay the remaining amount. 

This means that students in the LOA Program will have a $10,000 balance temporarily owing on their accounts. 

Should a student decide not to return to their employer, they must pay off their remaining balance of tuition owing before the end of the program. 

If a student received the LOA financial incentive and chooses to terminate their employment before September 1st of their year of graduation, they are required to pay back the full value of the award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Career Management offers specific clinics and coaching sessions for candidates enrolled in the Leave of Absence Program. Additionally, those enrolled will still participate in any mandatory Career Management programming and are still eligible to participate in on-campus recruitment activities.

Yes. Interest or enrolment in the LOA program has no bearing on scholarship and award decisions.

While LOA enrolled students receive full access just like any other MBA student to career management services, including recruiting, we strongly encourage you to consider thoroughly the commitment you are making before applying to be part of the LOA Program. The intent of this program is for enrolled students to return to their pre-MBA employer post-program.

There are indeed students who, for various reasons, decide not to return to their pre-MBA employer. This is not ideal but nevertheless it does happen. In this case, special coaching is provided around managing this professionally, and you must pay off the remaining balance of tuition owing before the end of the program. If you've received the financial incentive and decide to terminate your employment before September 1st of your year of graduation, you're required to pay back the full value of the award.

A letter from your employer must be provided to the Admissions Office by the first day of the program.

Once you are admitted to the MBA program, you can request a phone call with one of our Career Advisors to receive advice and coaching on how to approach this conversation.

Should you wish to receive coaching on how best to approach your employer about the possibility of an LOA prior to applying to the program, please email us at mba@ivey.ca so that we can help to facilitate the process.

For Employers

Ivey’s Leave of Absence Program allows companies to retain valuable talent within their organizations and support the growth and development of individuals who have proven their high potential and their leadership capabilities. These individuals will return post-MBA with the ability to contribute at an even higher level, take on a new role, or encompass a broader area of expertise.

If you are interested in more information on this program on behalf of your company, please contact mba@ivey.ca.