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Difference between MBA Vs PGDM - Which is Better?

Akansha Sirohi
Akansha SirohiPublished On: November 07, 2020

Know the difference between MBA course and PGDM course in detail here and shortlist your dream and top MBA colleges in India according to your requirements.


The MBA admission season for 2020 ended late due to COVID-19 and top b-schools in India have released their PGP admission results. Registrations for MBA admission 2021 seasons have begun already and CAT applications have also started.

Candidates aspiring for MBA admissions in 2021 must already be gearing up to prepare for some of the popular management exams such as Common Admission Test (CAT), IIFT, Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT), NMAT by GMAC and Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP). Aspirants are looking for relevant MBA courses and MBA colleges in India or the PGDM colleges in India which they can consider for admissions.

This is an apt time to figure out the type of MBA course and the MBA colleges in India where you should apply. Before preparing your college list, it is essential that you know the difference between the Master of Business Administration (MBA) course and the Post Graduate Diploma Programme (PGDM) course.

Also Read:Popular MBA Colleges: Flagship Programmes and Fees

Table of Contents
  1. Difference Between MBA and PGDM
  2. Colleges for MBA vs Colleges for PGDM
  3. Admission to MBA vs PGDM Colleges

What is the difference between MBA and PGDM, which one of them is better and what curriculum differences are there between the two – these are some of the questions that MBA aspirants seek answers for. 

Difference Between MBA and PGDM

Check the table below for an in-depth comparison of MBA and PGDM courses including their focus area, curriculum and many other details.


Institute Type
  • An autonomous institute (for example, IIMs, XLRI, NMIMS, MDI, etc.) offering business programmes will always offer Post Graduate Diploma Programme i.e. PGDM course as it is a free body and is not affiliated to any university.
Body of Accreditation
  • MBA courses are accredited by the university to which the college providing the course is affiliated.
  • PGDM courses are approved and recognized by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education).
Duration of Course
  • MBA courses provided by universities are 2-year-long courses.
  • PGDM courses can be either 1-year long or 2-year long depending on the type of programme.
  • For a PGDM course to be equivalent to an MBA, it has to be a 2-year long course.
  • MBA course norms are dependent on the university and curriculum is not frequently revised as colleges cannot introduce changes without the consent of the university.
  • PGDM courses are quite flexible as they are provided by autonomous institutes that can introduce elemental changes in the curriculum of the programme to make education more effective.
  • PGDM courses are more frequently updated than MBA courses.


Check:Syllabus of MBA vs Syllabus of PGDM
Focus of the Course
  • An MBA course focuses on developing the business and technical knowledge of a student.
  • Here student develops theoretical concepts that are essential in the business world.
  • PGDM course focuses on preparing the students for real-life situations so that they can come up with feasible solutions.
  • Also, PGDM aims to make the student industry-ready and adaptable for the working environment.
Fee Structure
  • MBA is a more affordable programme and requires considerably less amount of funds as the fee is set according to the university standards.
  • PGDM programmes are quite expensive and the cost can vary between 6 and 20 lakhs.

Also Read:MBA Fees for Management Programmes Offered by B-Schools in India

These are the differences between MBA and PGDM courses. It is very important to understand the different aspects of both the type of courses before you opt for either of the two. Also, make sure that you read the college and programme details carefully before applying. 

Colleges for MBA vs Colleges for PGDM

Given in the table below is a list of MBA colleges vs a list of PGDM colleges.

MBA Colleges in IndiaPGDM Colleges in India

Admission to MBA vs PGDM Colleges

While there may be quite a few differences between MBA and PGDM courses, the admission process to both largely remains the same. Candidates have to appear for a management entrance exam and then go through the GD/PI round of the respective colleges for final selection. The exams accepted for admission to MBA and PGDM colleges are also the same or similar.

Candidates who are interested in taking admission to MBA or PGDM colleges must fill up the application form of the respective college. CollegeDekho has made the application process easier and convenient for the students through the Common Application Form (CAF). By filling the CAF once, a candidate can apply to the top MBA and PGDM colleges of the country from a single platform. In case any student faces an issue, they can contact our helpline number 18005729877 and talk to a student counsellor.

MBA vs PGDM- What To Choose

We have provided all the major difference between both these programs in this article. You can read the differences between them before choosing one. Some of the important factors that you can consider while choosing between PGDM and MBA are fee structure and curriculum. The curriculum of the PGDM is more focused on practical knowledge while the major percentage of the curriculum of MBA includes theoretical concepts of management. 

While preparing for CAT and other such MBA entrance exams, you must ensure that you put in the best of your efforts in order to secure a good score in the exam. The entrance exam score is important but is not the sole criteria for admissions in top MBA or PGDM colleges of the country. The management institutes usually conduct further screening through a GD (Group Discussion), PI (Personal Interview) and WAT (Written Ability Test) rounds in which the shortlisted candidates should perform well in order to save a spot in the respective MBA/PGDM college. Learn more about the topics and tips for the GD, PI and WAT rounds here. Given below are some more related articles on MBA admissions in India.

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Tips to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams: Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Best Books

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Stay tuned to for all MBA related news and updates. All the Best!

Get Help From Our Expert Counsellors


What is the difference between the selection process of MBA and PGDM?

The selection process of MBA and PGDM generally remains the same i.e students are selected on the basis of their performance in group discussion, entrance exam and personal interview.

What exams are conducted for admission to the MBA and PGDM courses?

Some of the exams conducted for MBA and PGDM admission are CAT, MAT, XAT and CMAT

What are some of the good colleges for MBA in India?

Some of the good MBA colleges in India are GIET University, Gunupur, GIBS Business School, Bangalore and Invertis University, Bareilly

What is the duration of PGDM and MBA?

The duration of both the programs is 2 years

What is the difference between the fee of MBA and PGDM?

The fee of MBA program ranges from INR 20,000 to INR 23 lakh per annum while the fee of PGDM ranges from INR 6 lakh to INR 25 lakh per annum


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Related Questions

How is MBA at Lovely Professional University?

-ParulUpdated on June 05, 2021 03:48 PM
  • 35 Answers
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

Lovely Professional University (LPU), Phagwara is one of the best and largest educational institutions in India. The university boasts stellar infrastructure facilities along with an excellent alumni network and a strong faculty for its MBA course.

While studying MBA from LPU, you would be provided access to world-class resources for learning and gaining practical experience. The university also maintains a good placement record with almost 100% placements for the MBA batch every year. The highest salary package for the course is around Rs. 15 LPA.

If you need help with admission to MBA at LPU, you can apply ...


I want to pursue MBA from LPU. If I did not appear for any entrance exam like CAT, MAT or XAT then can I get admission?

-Narain sharmaUpdated on June 01, 2021 12:03 PM
  • 29 Answers
Shreya Sareen, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student

Yes, you can apply for MBA admission at Lovely Professional University, Phagwara even if you have not appeared for CAT, MAT or any other entrance examination. However, you will have to appear for the University's own entrance examination (LPUNEST). The entrance examination will help you get a scholarship based on your bachelor scores and performance in the entrance examination. The college will also conduct a personal interview round. Once you have cleared all the rounds, you will have to submit an amount of INR 10,000 as the initial amount for admission. Besides this, you will have ...


Dear Sir,I just wanted to ask that is entrance exam necessary to take admission in a reputed college (like IMT ,NMIMS) for distance MBAOr one can get direct admission ?More than 8 year of work ex in banking sector

-Vivek BhartiUpdated on May 25, 2021 08:42 AM
  • 1 Answer
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

It depends on the institute you are applying for. Some institutes may accept scores of top MBA entrance exam for admission to their Distance MBA course while others may conduct their own entrance exam. However, some institutes such as the NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education may offer direct admission on the basis of the graduation score of the candidate. For more info, check our article on Distance MBA in India.

For admissions-related help, call our toll-free helpline number 18005729877.

Thank you.


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