Inspired by the Grands Ecoles model in France, in particular the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Paris (HEC Paris), HEC Montréal was founded in 1907 by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. When it opened the school was the first university-level business school in Canada and one of the first in North America. Its story since has been is one of constant change and modernisation and the university is now housed in the award-winning, avant-garde building of the Côte-Sainte-Catherine Campus in the city centre.
HEC Montreal currently has 13,401 students, 10,191 undergraduates, 3,098 graduates and 112 students at PhD level. Courses are offered across 11 faculties: accounting; applied economics; management sciences; entrepreneurship and innovation; finance; human resources management; information technology; international business; logistics and operations management; management and marketing.
Course options are varied and can be in French, English, or both, or trilingual in some cases, and online. Various partnerships are involved with other institutions and so study abroad is an option. The courses offered are: bachelor of business administration (BBA); professional certificates; master of science in administration (MSc); professional masters; masters in international arts management; D.E.S.S. (Graduate Studies Diploma); short graduate programmes; professional education programme; executive education; MBA; EMBA; MBA-ITC (Engineers).
For its PhD courses, HEC Montréal offers a joint bilingual program with three other Montreal universities, McGill University, Concordia University and Université du Québec à Montréal and in 10 areas: accounting studies, applied economics, finance, human resources management, information technologies, international business, logistics and operations management, management, management sciences, and marketing.
HEC Montreal has 450 students attending many of its 127 partner universities across 40 countries, with the same number coming from these universities to HEC Montreal making up 35 per cent of the student population.
HEC Montreal has enjoyed the distinction of being one of fewer than 70 business schools globally to be accredited by AMBA, AACSB International and EQUIS.
Notable alumni include: Stéphane Bédard, Québec politician and lawyer; Louis R. Chênevert, ex-CEO of United Technologies Corporation; Armando Torres Chibrás, orchestra conductor in the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico; François Desjardins, CEO of B2B Bank; Anne-Marie Gélinas, film producer and CEO of Emafilms; Pauline Marois, former prime minister of Québec; Daniel Paillé, Québec politician, economist and former minister; Jacques Parizeau, former prime minister of Québec; Charles-Albert Poissant, philanthropist and Canadian businessman.