MBA in UK or MBA in USA: Which is Better?

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Nov 23, 2021 04:22 PM

MBA from the UK or the US do seem similar. But, are they really? Find out the key differences between an MBA in the UK and an MBA in the US to figure out which country to get an MBA from.

It can be overwhelming to be on the hunt for the ideal MBA destination for you. After an initial online search, you quickly discover that the US or the UK are the top contenders when it comes to pursuing an MBA. 

Given how both countries have amazing MBA records, be it in terms of academic standards, ROI or post-study work opportunities, choosing between the UK and USA could be a taxing task. 

You can even be tempted to think that whether you do an MBA from the US or UK, it would eventually not really make any difference. But, that is not the case and you are about to learn the differences along with the varying advantages of studying MBA in the US and the UK.

Let Us Help You Find the Right Study Destination For You to Study MBA!

Also Read: List of Universities Waiving Off GRE, GMAT for Admission in Masters Programs in 2022

Key Differences Between MBA in UK and MBA in USA

Turns out, MBA in the UK and MBA in the US are quite different. Let us find out how the countries compare when it comes to pursuing an MBA:

Point of DIfference

MBA in the UK

MBA in the USA

World Rank

According to FT Global MBA Rankings 2021, although the UK’s London Business School came second overall, ahead of Chicago: Booth in third place, 50% of the top 100 schools are based in the US, including 7 of 14 at the top. 


  • 3-4 years of undergrad education from an accredited institution

  • 2.75 to 3.6 GPA in Bachelor’s

  • 2-4 years of work experience

  • 3-4 years of undergrad education from an accredited institution

  • 2.75 to 3.6 GPA in Bachelor’s

  • 3-6 years of work experience


  • Based on classical curriculum with higher focus on theory than practical experience. 

  • Gives you enough space to pick from an array of subjects. 

  • An MBA in the US allows you to gain hands-on, practical experience. 

  • You will be offered flexibility to explore other subjects such as the liberal arts, history, etc. 

  • US B-schools provide you with enough scope for research and collaboration.

  • You can also engage in guest lectures and seminars


12-21 months (usually 12 months/one year)

2-3 years

Cost of Living

£10,000 to £15,000 per year

$2,500 to $5,000 per year

Admission Requirements

GMAT - 680-700

GRE - 160 (quantitative) and 160 (verbal) 

TOEFLIELTS or PTE Academic scores

GMAT: 650-730

GRE: 165 (quantitative) and 170 (verbal) 



Most UK scholarships are offered by universities, based on merit, financial need or ethnicity.

Some of these are The London Business School Fund Scholarship, Cambridge Judge Business School Scholarship, Oxford Saïd Business School Scholarships, etc.

Comparatively better in terms of availability of scholarships

Top US MBA scholarships include Fullbright Foreign Student Program, Harvard University Scholarships, Wharton’s Emerging Economy Fellowships, among others.

Tuition Fees

£10,000 to £15,000 per year

$70,000 to $75,000 per year

Work-Study Opportunities

Relatively fewer on- or off-campus part-time job opportunities

A wide range of part-time jobs is available for international MBA students in the US.

Post-Study Opportunities/Work Permit

2 years’ work permit upon graduation, through the new Graduate Route

F-1 visa holders can engage in OPT upto 12 months after graduation.

H-1B visa - During your OPT, you can for an H-1B visa, which is a US work visa for high-skilled migrants. 

STEM-certified MBAs have an additional advantage - the 24-month extension of OPT means that you have two more years to apply for an H-1B.

Top Recruiting Companies

Iceland, Building Society, American Express, Zurich, Legal & General and AXA 

McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, Amazon, Google, Goldman Sachs

Average Salary

$116,000 per year

$109,000 per year


  • Many UK MBAs have lower costs and better ROIs than US programs. 

  • An added advantage is one year less of studies meaning one year less of tuition.

  • Schools like the London Business School offer a salary of 107%, as per QS.

North America offers the best salary uplift in the US, with an average of 74%. In conclusion, MBAs from US schools pay back their tuition costs in an average of 55 months, as per QS. 

Upper Age Limit

In the UK, the average age at MBA programs is 28-35. 

The average age at US MBA programs ranges between 25 and 28

Why Get an MBA from the UK

While we all know that UK B-Schools fare well in all global MBA rankings, you must know some of the best advantages of doing an MBA from the UK.

Duration: The duration of an MBA program in the UK is shorter than that in the US. It usually lasts for a year, which if compared to MBA programs in the UK, is substantially shorter. 

Course Offerings: the UK offers a variety of courses and specializations to opt for. You can certainly expect a diverse range of subjects, ensuring that you are on par with the latest changes made to the global job market. To give you an idea, the core management subjects in the UK would include Human Resources, Information Systems, Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing along with a number of other electives.

Strong Research Platform: 46% of university research in the UK is considered ‘internationally excellent and 30% as ‘world-leading’, according to studies done by Research Excellence Framework. Overall, the country offers a strong infrastructure for research with students.

Career Guidance Services: Almost all B-schools in the UK have active career services for both international and domestic students. They not just help you get ready for your professional journey through CV building and tapping your full potential, but they also push you towards starting your own business.

Affordable Cost of Living: Given that the duration of an MBA in the UK is shorter, your total tuition fees gets inevitably lower. In addition, if you compare with the US, the cost of living and other living expenses are usually lower and quite economical. On average, the tuition fees for an MBA plus the cost of living in the UK would amount to around £20,000.

Also Read: Master in Management vs MBA: Which is Right For You?

Why Get an MBA from the USA

Well, the reputation of US b-schools is not news. Let us see how you best benefit from an MBA from the US:

Networking Opportunities: No country does it like the US. When it comes to making connections, top US business schools have the most-established connections and networks with global businesses across the world. These connections will always help you post-graduation or when you are looking for an internship during your study.

Quality of Business Schools: While rankings should not be the only thing when deciding where to get an MBA from, they are a good benchmark to help you figure out the quality of the school. US b-schools are widely popular for always being featured at the top of global MBA rankings. These rankings are a good indicator in terms of ROI, salary levels, employment rate and so on. 

Be at the Top of the Corporate Ladder: Getting an MBA from the US can land you senior leadership positions at renowned companies. It will increase your employability, expand your horizons and ensure competitive salaries. According to U.S. News & World Report research, 2020 graduates from top-ranked MBA programs in the U.S. reported an overall average base salary plus a bonus of more than $101,034.

Higher ROI: Compared to MBA costs in the US, the estimated return on investment for most programs remains high across the board, according to a survey of career outcomes by U.S. News & World Report. It further found that top-ranked institutions boasted seven times higher average MBA salaries than the estimated cost of the programs. 

Both the UK and US are incredibly great to get an MBA from. However, when it comes to deciding between two equally good options, you should always consider what your career goals, needs and priorities are. At the end of the day, it is you who is going to benefit the most from an MBA degree, be it from the US or the UK. 

Want to Avoid Making Mistakes in Your MBA Application?

Also Read: January Intake vs September Intake for Study Abroad

We have study abroad experts on board, with years of experience and knowledge about MBA candidacy. Have them assess your MBA potential and give you a judgement, as to which among the US and the UK is ideal for you to get an MBA from.

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