What is the difference between PGDM and MBA?

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Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content
Updated on Jan 16, 2023 16:32 IST

While MBA is a degree courses, PGDM is a diploma. Read this article to know more differences between MBA and PGDM.


"What is the difference between MBA and PGDM?” is a very important question that every Management aspirant must ask before choosing a course. 

Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM full form) or Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM full form) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) are both management courses at Master’s level. Both the courses have a commercial orientation and there is not much difference between PGDM and MBA.

MBA and PGDM are both business-orientated courses. The main aim of both the courses is to equip a person who wants to move up in the hierarchy or enter the management field,” says expert Nikhilesh Mathur. 

“For people who are interested in the corporate world or want to be an entrepreneur, PGDM would be a more suitable choice,” further says Mathur.

While both the courses have the same outcomes in terms of employment perspective, there are some subtle differences such as degee, fees, etc. Below, we have listed five differences between PGP(M)/PGDM and MBA:

1. PGDM vs MBA

At the end of a PGP and PGDM course, the candidate is offered a Diploma whereas at the end of an MBA programme, the candidate receives a Degree.

Many students think that a Diploma course does not hold the same value as a Degree course but that is not true. Many Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top B-Schools such as XLRI, Jamshedpur and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai offer PGP or PGDM courses. Most of these institutes are autonomous bodies (not affiliated to any University). Between a PGDM and an MBA, there is only the difference of nomenclature but not of professional value.

Both MBA and PGDM are highly valued in the job market as they are same in terms of course accreditation, curriculum and pedagogy. Another key factor is the institute. For example, a PGDM course from XLRI Jamshedpur will have more professional value than a degee course from a state university.

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2.MBA vs PGDM: Syllabus

In most cases, the MBA course curriculum is designed by the university. The core MBA syllabus (and sometimes even elective subjects) will be pretty much the same in two MBA colleges under the same university. Even though the PGDM syllabus is no different from the MBA syllabus, since PGPM or PGDM courses are determined by the individual institute, it gives them certain flexibility to design the course curriculum. The MBA syllabus undergoes change according to industrial requirements periodically. Universities tend to lag behind and change their syllabus after a few years.

3.MBA vs PGDM: Susceptible to Fraudulence

Since PGP or PGDM courses are offered by autonomous bodies, students need to be careful while taking admission. Many smaller colleges and institutes make claims but do not have proper accreditation status. MBA degrees are conferred by varsities, and hence there’s a lower chance of fraudulent claims. Management aspirants should look for genuine accreditations. Apart from UGC recognition, management institutes are accredited by NAAC, AACSB, AMBA and Equis. 

Also Read: Understanding MBA Accreditation

4. MBA vs PGDM: Focus

Both MBA and PGDM courses have common core subjects. However, some experts claim most MBA courses focus more on theoretical and technical aspects of management rather than adopting a practical approach. PGP or PGDM courses on the other hand, have an industrial orientation and focus on skills-based on market requirements.            

5. MBA vs PGDM: Cost

It has been observed that most MBA courses have lower tuition fees as compared to PGP or PGDM courses. This may be so because mostly government universities offer MBA degrees. These universities receive financial aid and grants from the government, making the degree cheaper for the student. In case of a PGP or PGDM degree, students have to bear the cost of the entire programme. However, this is not an ironclad rule. There are insitutes which charge high tuition fees like the IIMs.

Difference between MBA and PGDM

There are several other factors which make MBA and PGDM different entities. The below table indicates the basic differences between MBA and PGDM:




Approving Authority

AICTE, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India.

AICTE, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India, UGC Approval is needed at the university level.


Valid and equivalent to Post Graduate Degree.

Valid Post Graduate Degree.

Eligibility for PhD. and Lecturership

PGDM with a minimum of 55% aggregate are eligible to enrol for PhD. From Indian Universities. Also PGDMs eligible to teach PG students.

MBA with a minimum of 55% aggregate are eligible to enrol for PhD. From Indian Universities. Also MBAs eligible to teach PG students.


Depends upon the institution. Most of the PGDM institutions have better placement records than MBA institutions.

Depends upon the institution. Comparatively, Some of the MBA institutions like FMS, JBIMS have better placement records.

Course Syllabus

Dynamic, Gets updated as per needs of the industry. The syllabus is approved by AICTE.

The syllabus is prepared by universities and gets updated less frequently.

Innovative Practices

Teaching and training are multidimensional. Cases, simulations, presentations, short term training are part of pedagogy.

Limited scope for innovation as practices are defined by syllabus prepared by central body i.e. University.

Ranking in general (by business magazines and student-centric websites)

90% of top 100 are PGDM institutions owing to better teaching, training, exposure and placements. Eg: IIMs, XLRI, MDI, IMT, GIM, and many more.

Approximately 10 out of the top 100 are MBA institutions such as FMS, NMIMS, KJSIMS, SCMHRD, etc.


Equivalent to MBA from any Indian University. For PhD, Teaching (UGC NET) and all other purposes.

MBA a post-graduate degree.

Entrance Process

Thorough CATMAT/XAT/ATMA and some state-level examinations like TSICETMAH-CET etc.

Thorough national and state tate level entrance examinations like CAT, MAT, CMAT, TSICET, MAH-CET etc.


PGDM institutions are authorised by approving body, AICTE, to conduct the  Examinations 

Examinations are conducted by University

Colleges Offering MBA or PGDM

Here is the list of IIMs and other Top Management Colleges Offering MBA and PGDM/PGP courses:

College Name


IIM Ahmedabad


IIM Bangalore


IIM Calcutta


IIM Lucknow


IIM Kozhikode


IIM Indore


IIM Shillong


IIM Ranchi


IIM Rohtak


IIM Bodh Gaya


IIM Visakhapatnam


IIM Trichy


IIM Jammu


IIM Kashipur


IIM Sambalpur


IIM Udaipur


IIM Amritsar


IIM Nagpur


IIM Raipur


IIM Sirmaur


XLRI Jamshedpur


MDI Gurgaon






IMT Ghaziabad


IIFT Delhi


FMS Delhi University


JBIMS Mumbai


Symbiosis International Deemed to be University






IIT Kharagpur - VGSOM


IIT Roorkee- DOMS






IIT-ISM Dhanbad


IIT Jodhpur


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FAQs on Difference Between MBA and PGDM

Q: What is the difference between MBA and PGDM?

A: MBA refers to a management degree issued by a University and PGDM refers to Post Graduate Diploma in Management offered by a private college, institute or university, affiliated to AICTE. Apart from this, there is no major difference between MBA and PGDM.

Q: Which is more valuable between MBA and PGDM?

A: The value of MBA and PGDM is determined on the basis of certain factors such as the quality of the course curriculum, pedagogy and the institute’s ranking, repute and placement records. 

Q: Is PGDM equivalent to MBA?

A: PGDM is Diploma course whereas MBA is a degree course, hence it cannot be claimed that a PGDM is completely equivalent to an MBA degree. However, in terms of core subjects, curriculum, training and market value, MBA and PGDM are largely similar.

Q: Do IIMs offer MBA or PGDM?

A: Some IIMs offer MBA and some IIMs offer Post Graduate Programme (PGP) or Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM). Until 2017, the IIMs offered PGDM and PGP, but the IIM Bill passed that year allows them to offer MBA degree as well. Also Read: President gives not to IIM Bill, institutes can award degrees.

Q: Which is better among MBA and PGDM?

A: There is no hard and fast fact which can furnish an MBA or PGDM to be better than the other. The quality of management course, be it MBA or PGDM, depends on factors like quality of curriculum, pedagogy, faculty, placements, industry and international exposure, to name a few.

Q: Is it possible to pursue an MBA after completing PGDM?

A: As per the eligibility criteria of the MBA, candidates should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised institute or university. Postgraduate candidates are also eligible to apply for MBA. Hence, if a candidate wants to pursue MBA after completing PGDM are eligible to do so.

Q: What are the scopes of higher education after completing MBA and PGDM?

A: After completing an MBA, students can pursue PhD in Management. Students who want to pursue academics can opt for Fellow Programme in Management. Since PhD is a doctorate degree which can be opted after completing a master’s degree, PGDM students will not be eligible for PhD. However, FPM is equivalent to PhD.

Q: Is it necessary to do an MBA to get a Government job?

A: No, it is not necessary to have an MBA degree to get a managerial job in a Government organisation. A PGDM in a relevant specialisation can also be equally eligible or suitable for a managerial role in a Government organisation. However, having an MBA or a PGDM degree is not enough for getting a job in any organisation. The candidate has to fulfil other eligibility criteria or other skills required for the role.

Q: Which course is more affordable among MBA and PGDM?

A: Generally MBA programmes are more affordable than PGDM. Especially those MBA programmes which are offered by Government or public universities. The fee range of MBA programmes in government colleges and universities is under Rs 2 lakh while in private institutes and universities it can go up to Rs 25 lakh.

Q: Which are some of the top MBA colleges in India?

A: Some of the top MBA colleges in India include Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi; Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), University of Mumbai; KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research (KJSIMSR), Mumbai, to name a few.

Q: Which are some of the top colleges offering PGDM?

A: Some of the top management institutes in India that offer PGDM/PGP include the IIMs, Management Development Institute Gurgaon, XLRI Jamshedpur, SPJIMR Mumbai, among others.

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About the Author
Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content

Vipra is a massive Breaking Bad fan. When not watching crime drama series, she spends time in updating the list of places she wants to visit and people she wants to meet, but she is happiest in the company of dogs. ... Read Full Bio



saurabh borse

2 years ago

ISMS pune mba global program is good or worth doing?

Reply to saurabh borse


Ashok Yadav

2 years ago

in this article initially it is written PGDM can apply for Ph.d..ln later part it states PGDM are not eligible for Ph.d as it is Diploma

Reply to Ashok Yadav


nandhini s

4 years ago

whether PGDM is better than MBA?

Reply to nandhini s


Manisha Kashyap

3 years ago

Tell me about IBA college or ISBR BANGLORE college is good for PDGM



3 years ago

MBA Vs PGDMPGDM expands as Post Graduate Diploma in Management and it is NOT a degree. PGDM is offered by any autonomous body which is NOT affiliated to any University. As a result, such institutes are not allowed to provide MBA degree. However, these programs are approved by AICTE.The main reaso...MBA Vs PGDM
PGDM expands as Post Graduate Diploma in Management and it is NOT a degree. PGDM is offered by any autonomous body which is NOT affiliated to any University. As a result, such institutes are not allowed to provide MBA degree. However, these programs are approved by AICTE.
The main reason why postgraduate courses are named as PGDM is because when an Institute is an autonomous body (not affiliated to any University) and conducts management courses, then such Institutes cannot offer MBA degree. Even IIMs, XLRI's,NMISM-Mumbai,SPJAIN doesn't offer MBA degrees; they only give PGP Diploma.
The major plus of PGDM course over MBA is that the curriculum of PGDM is more flexible. It will get updated from time to time. Whereas the curriculum of MBA won’t be like that, as MBA course is offered by institutions which are affiliated to universities, the curriculum will get updated once in 3-4 years or maybe more. The curriculum of MBA is more exam-oriented and covers the theoretical aspects, while that of PGDM is more industry-oriented and covers the soft skill aspects. In fact, PGDM makes you industry ready and prepares you for the market. An MBA course is for those people who would like to get a comprehensive view of the program, whereas, a PGDM course is for those who would like to specialize in their areas of interest, it’s more like having an in-depth knowledge.
While choosing an college for doing PGDM, one should make sure that he chooses an institute with a good brand name.
Typically if any PGDM is to be equivalent to MBA then the course duration should be 2 years, a 1 year PGDM will not be equal to MBA course. A two year management degree expands to Master of Business Administration, only Universities can grant MBA degrees. It could be foreign university or Indian University
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