What is the Difference Between MBA and PGDM?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

MBA vs PGDM: You must ponder by thinking about which one to choose. MBA or PGDM? The dilemma of MBA vs PGDM has been a common question for all aspirants who want to pursue a post-graduate course in management. Confusion arises as most of the candidates are not completely aware of the similarities and differences between MBA and PGDM.

MBA or Master of Business Administration and PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management are both management programs that aim to equip students with business and management skills. Both of these courses have a commercial orientation and do have not many differences between MBA and PGDM. In this article, BYJU’S Exam Prep experts have given a detailed study on MBA vs PGDM so that aspiring candidates can get a clear clarification of these two courses.


It is seen that MBA and PGDM do not have many differences when it comes to acceptance in the industry as well as for higher studies. It can be mentioned that both MBA and PGDM are business-oriented courses and both of these aims to help a candidate to move up to the higher managerial level. Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM Full Form) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) are master-degree level courses and have the same outcomes considering the employment perspectives.

Evaluating similarities and differences between MBA vs PGDM is the primary key to find out which course suits you the most. Each MBA/PGDM aspirant desires a lucrative managerial role. For this reason that he/she should know the key differences between MBA vs PGDM.

☛ Get a list of MBA Entrance Exams in India.

Difference Between PGDM and MBA

MBA programs are offered by universities and are recognized by UGC, while PGDM programs are offered by autonomous institutions and are recognized by AICTE. One major key difference between MBA and PGDM is that MBA is a Degree course offered only by those colleges that are affiliated with universities. But PGDM is a Diploma course offered by autonomous institutes. Below we have listed some important differences between PGDM and MBA for your easy reference.




MBA programs are generally more theoretical and assignment based

PGDM has a practical and industry-oriented approach.

MBA programs usually offer a range of specializations,

PGDM programs tend to be more focused on specific areas of management

MBA programs usually offer more flexibility in terms of course structure and duration

PGDM programs tend to be more structured and standardized

In the section below, we have listed some important parameters to help you to know all the details of MBA vs PGDM. Note that both of these courses are highly valued in terms of the same course accreditations.

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PGDM vs MBA Syllabus

In most cases, the course curriculum for MBA is set by the respective university. The core MBA syllabus as well as the elective subjects are generally the same in most of the colleges under the same university affiliation.

It is seen that the PGDM syllabus is not too much different from the MBA syllabus, since PGDM courses are always determined by the respective institute. Periodic changes are made to the MBA syllabus in accordance with industry requirements. Universities frequently fall behind and update their course offerings every few years.

MBA vs PGDM: Study Focus

Core subjects in both the MBA and PGDM programs are the same. Yet, other professionals assert that rather than taking a practical approach, the majority of MBA courses place a greater emphasis on management’s theoretical and technical parts. On the other hand, PGP or PGDM courses have an industry orientation and place a greater emphasis on skills based on market requirements.

MBA vs PGDM: Course Fees

It has been noted that most MBA programs charge lesser tuition than PGP or PGDM programs. This could be because the majority of MBA programs are offered by public colleges. Government subsidies and financial aid are provided to certain colleges, making degrees more affordable for students. Students are responsible for covering the whole cost of a PGP or PGDM degree program. This is not a firm rule, though. There are Top MBA Colleges in India, like IIMs, that have exorbitant tuition costs.

PGDM vs MBA: Fraudulent

Although PGP or PGDM programs are provided by independent institutions, applicants should exercise caution. Many lesser-known universities and institutions make claims but lack the necessary accreditation. As universities award MBA degrees, the likelihood of false claims is decreased. Aspiring managers should search for legitimate accreditations. Management institutes are accredited by NAAC, AACSB, AMBA, and Equis in addition to UGC recognition.

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MBA vs PGDM: Influential Factors

In the table below, we have listed some important factors that you must be aware of while taking admission to an MBA or PGDM.





Approval by University Grant Commission (UGC)

Accredited by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)


Minimum three-year Graduation Degree

Different colleges set different selection criteria

Candidates who are in the final year can also apply

Minimum three-year Graduation Degree

Different colleges set different selection criteria

Candidates who are in the final year can also apply




Entrance Exams

State-level exams like MBA CET, TANCET, METMP, etc.



It depends upon the particular institution. Many MBA colleges have high records of placements

It depends upon the particular institution. IIMs colleges have better records in placement sections

Course Duration

Mostly semester-based

Mostly trimester-based


Exams are conducted by University

Exams are conducted by Approving Body

Even, there are minute differences between MBA and PGDM but they have the same aspect of making candidates ready for managerial roles. The main influencing factor is the institute that you walk into. Hopefully, this article has mentioned all the details that you must know to get sufficient information for the questions MBA vs PDGM.

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