PGDM vs MBA: How Are These Two Different?

PGDM vs MBA: How Are These Two Different?

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Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Feb 14, 2024 17:13 IST

PGDM and MBA are higher education courses that inculcate managerial skills in the students. However, these two courses differ in certain aspects. While MBA is a degree course, PGDM is a diploma course. Further, in this article, we will be discussing the differences between PGDM and MBA in more detail.


Table of Contents

PGDM Vs MBA: What is the difference?

Both of them are management courses are great for acquiring managerial skills. The two however differ in some ways. Let us understand the difference between PGDM and MBA courses:

Degree course Diploma course
Offered by only those institutes that come under University Grants Commission (UGC) Offered by autonomous institutions, AICTE and AUI recognized B-schools
Fixed curriculum as per the university Varies according to changes in industrial standard
Theoritical approach Practical approach
Classroom style of study Case study focused learning pedagogy

What is Post Graduate Diploma in Management(PGDM)?

PGDM full form is Post Graduate Diploma in Management. It is a two-year postgraduate course. PGDM is a diploma course that can be pursued by any graduate student. Most B-schools offer PGDM courses through which students can gain practical knowledge on management

The course is available in the full-time as well as a part-time learning mode. To get admission into PGDM programs, you will have to qualify in entrance examinations that are conducted by different universities and organizations. In a PGDM program, students learn the industrial requirements through the practical approach of these courses. 

Eligibility Criteria For Admission in PGDM Courses

The following eligibility criteria must be fulfilled by the candidates:

  1. Need to have a Bachelor’s degree in any subject from a university recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). 
  2. Must score at least 50% in graduation. For the reserved category, there is a 5% relaxation.
  3. Have to qualify for the entrance examinations.  

Types of PGDM Courses

There are three main types of PGDM courses. These include the regular, online and distance PGDM courses. Based on your eligibility and requirements, you can choose the learning mode. 

  1. Regular PGDM Courses: Regular PGDM courses are offered by colleges in the country that can be affiliated to any university recognized by AUI. To get admission to PGDM institutes, you will need to qualify in one of the entrance exams. 
  2. Distance PGDM Courses: This course is suitable for those who want to work and study. For admission to these courses, many institutes conduct their entrance examination. Like regular PGDM courses, the minimum requirement for admission to these courses is at least 50% in graduation and qualifying for the entrance exam.
  3. Online PGDM Courses: These courses are offered by various PGDM institutes and universities through the medium of online platforms. Anyone who wants to complete this diploma course at their own pace and place can opt for online courses. 

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What is Master of Business Administration (MBA)?

MBA program is a two-year postgraduate degree in management studies. These courses help students in learning business administration in a theoretical manner. Business schools that come under UGC offer different specializations for those who want to pursue an MBA. Anyone who wants to get managerial-level jobs must have an MBA degree to validate their skill set. 

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Eligibility Criteria For MBA Programs

To get admission in the top MBA colleges in India, you will need to fulfill the eligibility criteria of both the entrance test and the institute offering MBA degree. 

  1. Have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
  2. Minimum 50% for general and 45% for reserved category in graduation.
  3. Must qualify for the entrance exam and get cut off required by the institute.

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Types of MBA Courses

There are different learning modes in which you can choose an MBA course that suits your requirements.

  1. Full-time MBA: These are 2 years regular MBA programs that are completed from management institutes by attending classes. These courses have a fixed schedule, more fees, and require more time compared to other types of MBA.
  2. Part-time MBA: These are suitable for working professionals. Unlike regular or full-time MBA courses, there are no internships and campus opportunities for the students. These courses require less time, with no need to attend classes except for examinations.
  3. Executive MBA: These MBA programs are developed for working professionals having more than 5 years of experience. These can be completed within 15 to 19 months. While the time to complete these courses is less, they are more expensive compared to full-time and part-time MBA. 
  4. Online MBA: Many institutes offer online MBA courses through course platforms. These courses are suitable for those who either lack time for studies or cannot afford the fees of full time courses. The fee is less in comparison with other learning modes. Along with that, you can work and study together through these courses. 

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Entrance Exam For PGDM and MBA Courses

  1. CAT: This examination is conducted by IIM Bangalore on the national level once a year, around November. For taking this entrance exam, you need to score at least 50% in graduation with a relaxation of 5% for reserved categories. After qualifying for the exam, you can apply to those colleges for which you have the required cut-off. 
  2. Management Aptitude Test (MAT): It is conducted for admission to MBA and allied programs in more than 600 B-schools in India. Anyone who is either in the final year or has completed graduation can take the test. Appearing candidates must score 50% in graduation if they belong to the general category. For reserved categories, there is 5% relaxation. 
  3. Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT): This exam is conducted for PGDM programs for XLRI and XAMI member colleges. More than 1,000 B-schools accept the XAT score. There is no minimum mark criteria for taking XAT. However, students must have completed their graduation, or at least they should be in the final year. 
  4. NMAT: Graduate Management Admission Council conducts this entrance test for admission in MBA programs at NMIMS University. To take the exam, you will need to score at least 50% in the graduation with no age bar.
  5. SNAP: This entrance exam is conducted for admission in Symbiosis MBA colleges. At least 50% for general candidates and 45% for reserved candidates is the minimum mark requirement in the exam. There is different eligibility criteria for each program and institute as well.
  6. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): It is an international-level entrance examination to MBA programs across different B-schools. Anyone with a bachelor’s degree can take the test a maximum of eight times. It is a 210 minute long entrance exam.

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PGDM vs MBA: Detailed Differences

PGDM and MBA are two similar courses that teach managerial aspects. In detail, the two programs differ in the following ways:


  1. Degree Course: MBA is a formal academic program that provides a degree in business administration from universities recognized by the UGC.
  2. UGC Recognition: MBA programs are offered by institutions accredited by the UGC. They follow a set of academic and ethical guidelines laid down by this governing body.
  3. Fixed Curriculum: The MBA curriculum is predetermined by the university and changes infrequently. It provides a comprehensive education in business fundamentals designed for broad applicability.
  4. Theoretical Approach: The program emphasizes theoretical knowledge in business principles and management theories. It aims to create a strong academic foundation for future business leaders.
  5. Classroom Style of Study: Traditional in-person classes are the main method of instruction. It focuses on lectures and exams that revolve around these theoretical concepts.


  • Diploma Course: PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management. It is a diploma program rather than a formal university degree.
  • Autonomous Institutions: These programs are offered by institutes that operate independently. PGDM are not directly under university control, allowing them flexibility in curriculum design.
  • AICTE and AIU Recognition: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) ensure these diplomas meet quality standards. This regulation makes the program equivalent to MBA degrees.
  • Industry Standards: The curriculum is dynamic, and regularly updated to provide the latest trends and demands of the business world. It ensures that graduates are ready for the current job market.
  • Practical Approach: Emphasizes learning through practical experiences and applications in business settings, rather than just theoretical knowledge.
  • Case Study Pedagogy: Focuses on learning through real-world case studies, encouraging students to solve complex business problems and use decision-making skills.

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Hope that through this article on PGDM vs MBA, you have been able to decide the course which is more suitable to your career requirements. Based on your discretion and the advice of mentors working in the same career path of your choice, you can make a better decision.

About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio