What is the Difference between MBA and PGDM?

Before we go on to explain the difference between MBA and PGDM, we would like to ask you two questions.

  1. Which is the Most Beautiful monument in the World?
  2. Who is the Most Beautiful actress in the World?

In our research, 90% respondents answered “Taj Mahal” for the first question, while 85% respondents answered Aishwarya Rai to the second question. Have you ever wondered why an overwhelming majority could only think of Taj Mahal and Aishwarya Rai in the answers?  

The answer lies in the basic concept of Marketing. Both of them have been promoted very aggressively, and when you think of beauty, your mind only associates beauty with them. This is called Branding. Similarly, MBA has been enormously promoted and branded in India, and every time you think of a Business Programme, you mind thinks of MBA, which is also termed as Brand Recollection.

Difference between MBA and PGDM

First & Foremost, a Master’s in Business Administration or MBA can only be offered by a University, while Post Graduate Diploma in Management or PGDM can only be offered by an autonomous bodies or Private B-School.  

Secondly, MBA at most of Universities in India follow traditional curriculum, compared to the ever changing curriculum of PGDM. Since there is a massive hierarchical system in the University for Course Modification, it’s makes the MBA little outdated in comparison to PGDM, where course gets modified every year, and focus more on industry requirements. 

Thirdly, If you are thinking of pursuing further studies, like PhD etc, then getting a MBA degree or PGDM, approved by the AIU is recommended. Else a simple PGDM, just approved by AICTE, can only get you PhD in a Private University. 

Rankings: MBA vs PGDM

PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management, sounds like some Diploma programme and is not viewed favourably in the traditional Indian society. However, if you look at rankings of Top 100 B Schools in the country, you will see 90% of B Schools offer PGDM and not MBA. B Schools like IIM’s, MDI, XLRI, SP Jain, etc only offer PGDM. The only B School offering MBA programme and ranked in Top 20 in FMS, Delhi University. 

Select your MBA or PGDM carefully 

While selecting PGDM or MBA programmes, students must carefully check the affiliation status of the B School. B Schools offering PGDM courses needs to be recognized by AICTE, AIU or both. In case of MBA, it can now only be offered directly by the University, which must be UGC approved. Any college offering MBA degree from a University not within the same state will be treated as Distance MBA. 


If you are looking for a good corporate job, then PGDM certainly is equal to MBA, if not higher. If you are looking for Higher Education like PhD, then ensure your PGDM is approved by AIU i.e. Association of Indian Universities.


Concluding Recommendation: If you are looking to get into a good corporate job, do not bother much about MBA or PGDM. Just opt for the best available option that you are getting, which has the best placement record & academic reputation. After-all, you cannot differentiate much between an MBA from FMS and PGDM from XLRI.