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MBA VS PGDM: What is the difference between these two?

edited September 2017 in MBA
Many students have confusion in their mind on PGDM course and it's comparison with MBA. This forum discussion will try to elaborate the difference between these two.


PGDM expands to Post Graduate Diploma in Management, the confusion starts when you see the term Diploma. Many students are of the view that it is a Diploma course and not a Degree; you are right to an extent PGDM is a Diploma Course but you are ignoring the Post Graduate Term. So PGDM is basically Post Graduate Diploma which can be done by only Bachelor's who hold a valid UGC recognized Degree. The eligibility criteria for the full time PGDM and MBA is same, any graduate with a min of 50% aggregate can only apply for PGDM course.

The main reason why postgraduate courses are named as PGDM is because in India only Universities which are established by the UGC Act can only offer MBA Degree. Autonomous B Schools which are not under the Universities can't give MBA Degree, hence the concept of PGDM had arised.

Even the IIMs, XLRI's doesn't offer MBA degrees they only give PGP Diploma or PGDM since they are autonomous and independent bodies. On similar lines AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) is allowing approved B Schools to offer a PGDM course. Some Business Schools offering this AICTE PGDM course need not be autonomous, the PGDM course will be autonomous given by the Institute & directly approved by AICTE, Ministry of HRD, Govt of India.

Just like how UGC - University Grants Commission controls the Universities in India, AICTE - All India Council for Technical Education has control on both technical and management courses and especially colleges not under Universities. Even colleges offering UGC recognized MBA Programmes in most cases should have AICTE approval.

Advantages of Autonomy

When an Institute secures autonomy they design their own curriculum to be taught instead of following outdated University syllabus. I have mentioned outdated syllabus because the syllabus change at University level happens once in either 3 or 5 years.

Technically syllabus change affects university affiliating colleges, the books needs to be revised and the faculty needs to upgrade themselves. Where as in PGDM, since the colleges have autonomy the curriculum can be updated regularly depending on the need in the Industry. Hence one can say that PGDM courses are more Industry relevant, up to date as compared to MBA courses.

However University MBA Programmes too are of value, it totally depends on the University one wish to do MBA. For instance FMS Delhi offers MBA - Delhi University, Symbiosis offers MBA - Symbiosis University, Narsee Monjee offers MBA.

Word of caution

While opting for PGDM courses, students must exercise caution and check the accreditation status of the college. Colleges offering PGDM courses needs to be accredited by AICTE. In case of MBA, the colleges are affiliated to an University and Universities are controlled by University Grants Commission (UGC) and the colleges may also get accredited by AICTE.

Is PGDM equal to MBA

Not necessarily that a PGDM is equal to MBA because if PGDM is to be an equivalent to MBA then the college offering the PGDM course must have accreditation from AIU (The Association of Indian Universities).


AIMA PGDM or PGPM course is a certificate programme, AIMA stands for All India Management Association an apex body which conducts MAT examination. AIMA also offers PGDM which is clearly mentioned as a course approved by AICTE and Distance Education Bureau (DEB). There is a lot of difference between AIMA PGDM & AICTE PGDM.

What is MBA & How is it different from PGDM

MBA is a two year post graduate management degree expands to Master of Business Administration, only Universities can grant MBA degrees. It could be a recognized foreign university or an Indian University. For more clarification on MBA VS PGDM, you can leave a reply. Fill the form below in case you wish to discuss more about MBA and PGDM courses, B School Admissions etc.



  • edited February 2016
    Thanks a lot Shrikant, this is a perfect answer to clear my confusion regarding MBA and PGDM. I have come across this college iFEEL, Institute for Future Education, Entrepreneurship and Leadership. They offer PGDM courses with specializations in Marketing. Please could you tell me if this is a good choice for a doing my PGDM course.
  • Now a days, both PGDM or MBA courses are worthless if not pursued from a premier institute. I would personally suggest that you check out a college like Welingkar. I've heard that they have really good placements. If you are really interested in marketing, they have an array of courses that could suit your aptitude. 
  • edited September 2017
    I hve done cmat feb-2013 and got 95..should i get admission in any good college for MBA or PGDM?
  • hi sir/madam,

    my brother wrote i-cet he has to joined in MBA course but he has the % of 49. My problem is the college people did n't give hall ticket. could you please tell me details of PGDM? he want to do that course


    Is PGDM = MBA? please tell me

    my mail id is


  • edited September 2017
    @Vishal : Yes you can get admission, use this form for assistance
  • edited February 2016
    Very nice information. @Vishal, there is one institute which offers PGDM courses. It is one of the top management colleges in India. You can visit its website page as well.
  • Hllo to query is that
    1. in current scenario what a guy with BCA as graduation degree should or pgdm?
    2. If on wants to pursue that in kanpur then which college is good? about the institute ..Dr. Guar Hari Singhania (GHS) for managment in kanpur...actually problem is that i am not vry well aware of pgdm ...and dr.GHS offers only pgdm 2 yr course...which is as per the above discussions equivalent. They say that their pgdm is mba equivalent. They are charging 2 lakh per yr. Can any body suggest me should i go for it
    or not.

    I hv presumptions that mba is bttr thn pgdm...pls do correct me if i am wrng. Thnks in advance @Srikanth Krishna @All @all @Muk
  • Thank u so much!!.
  • srikanth sir i wud like to ask ask u one more wich u didnt mention in your article, which is about the best colleges for mba and pgdm, and according to present scenario of placements.. can u give me your personal opinion about colleges IBS Kolkata, PIBM Pune, IIBS Bangalore and Kolkata. i just want the correct info, which i am not getting from the college people and their websites.. plz help me asap
  • Dear Srikant Sir,

    I am doing Mba in ITM college.My brother wants me to take specialization in marketing.& i have a poor communication & not have confident enough to speak english ,u can say its a stage can i improve myself & be a good & skillful in marketing.

  • @Hidden User: You can overcome this with practice, read good books, talk more, experiment more, remember that no one is perfect in this world. You can only improve if you believe you can improve, self confidence is what it matters. Avoid thinking that you can't speak, you start speaking and gradually u r ability to communicate will improve.
  • edited September 2017
    IBS Kolkata, PIBM Pune, IIBS Bangalore and Kolkata. ICFAI Kolkata gives PGPM, PIBM Pune is better among the three you mentioned.

  • Sir, plz tell me from which institute i shall opt for mba or pgdm in onida like jaypee or amity or iilm or jaipuria (plz pick me one) if not can you recommend any !!
  • @Harshdutta all the four colleges you mentioned are good. I would personally suggest you to visit each college and have a chat with the current students and get their opinion on the B-School. You should also consider what specialization is good in each college and what you would like to take. See the cost factor also, higher fee is quiet risky given the highly volatile market conditions, go for something which you can afford. See hostel facilities, canteen, attitude of the college towards the students etc.

    Jaipuria sounds to be a better option to me. Jaypee started in 2007 only and Amity fees is always on the higher side and since it is an University the intake is more as there are no. of courses.
  • hai.... my name is marshal from kerala ... i did my mba at Kerala university tyhis year with hr and marketing..  actually i want to ask about what is the major difference about while studying mba in premier or private institutes and government universitys... and also tell me the scope of hr and marketing.. if i need to pursue higher study for finance which course will be suitable for me? thanks i await for reply
  • @marshal As far as your first question is considered, there is a lot of difference from doing MBA in premier Institutes like IIMs, XLRIs, FMS, SP Jain and other B-Schools. If you are doing MBA from Top 50 B-Schools and doing MBA from the last 50 B-Schools don't you see a huge gap. HR & Marketing usually don't go well, the reason is that Marketing is an out house job (travel & sales), HR is an in house job (Training & Recruitment). In finance you can go for Chartered Accountancy (takes atleast 2-3 years) course or SAP FICO Module or learn about share market there are courses offered by National Stock Exchange and also from IIFT.
  • @Srikant sir

    right now am persuing bba from punjab technical university and i m in last (6th) semester.My course is going to be completed in the month of september or october .i have filled the form of mat sept and cmat2014-15 .My question is that is after giving my final semseter bba exam and mat and cmat exam will i get admission in the month of november december or january .Or i have to wait for the next year..if i can get admission the plzz suggest me colleges also..sir plz help me i am really in a mess 
  • edited September 2017
    @abhi199120 if you want to join in the academic year 2013-2014 you can join, you need to have secure min. of 50% aggregate in your graduation. This Sept MAT or CMAT is usually for the next academic year, but still most colleges do consider for 2013-2015 batch as well.

    Refer below links

    Top 10 Business Schools through MAT

    Top 10 Business Schools through CMAT
  • sir
    i have completed my graduation this year only from Du regular ..
    i want to do MBA from Distance Learning 
    please suggest me some good colleges .. from were i can opt it
    further your article had made me very clear about pdgm and mba .. thanks , it helped me a lot 
    becz i was just geeting enrole for IMT-CDL but they are providing PGDM not MBA !!!
    i am very much confused what to do ..
    plzz suggest
  • Hello sir
    sir i am in my final year of btech in ip university.sir i am somewhat confused about my career .whether i should go for campus placement or should i prepare for cat 2013.which is more beneficial for my career.plss help me regarding this issue 

    and my second question is ,if i go for cat 2013 ,will i be able to make it in 3 months as approx 3 months are left for exam.
  • Hello sir
    sir i am in my final year of btech in ip university.sir i am somewhat confused about my career .whether i should go for campus placement or should i prepare for cat 2013.which is more beneficial for my career.plss help me regarding this issue 

    and my second question is ,if i go for cat 2013 ,will i be able to make it in 3 months as approx 3 months are left for exam.
  • @sackap1 It is advisable that you prepare yourself for campus placements first,
    you can consider doing MBA after working for a min of 2-3 years. For CAT
    preparation you require adequate skills in logical reasoning &
    aptitude. It depends on how good you are in these areas, so 3 months you
    can say is good for practicing but not for beginning from scratch.
  • hi sir I've completed diploma in entc n having 7 years of industrial experience now I wanted do distance MBA can it b possible?
    if yes which is the best institute within pune?
    it is OK with welingkar institute?
  • @prvinshinde1975 yes you can do distance MBA, Welingkar Mumbai is good, you can also consider Symbiosis Institutes in Pune which are superior than Welingkar. You can consider Part Time MBA, where in it will be a 3 years course the classes will be held on weekends or evenings.
  • sir
    I'm really confused about all iim programs. I'm doing my btech- mechanical, n after that i wan2 go for MBA. So which programs should i choose while filling cat form ?
  • Each IIM has a flagship course, which is usually termed as PGP. PGP will be a full time course, courses like PGPX, EPGM are for working executives and hence not applicable to you. FPM is a doctorate programme (like (PhD) it is also not applicable. PGP ABM is Post Graduate Programme in Agri Business Management. Some management courses are specific to a particular domain like software, if you are looking for a regular MBA you should look at PGP.
  • hello ,
    i finished my graduation in mechanical engineering, i m currently working am now willing to do pgdm or mba in good institution. kindly track me for the progress of the course..
    what eligiblity test to be appeared for india..
    pls clear my query
    my id :
  • hi!
    I wanted to know what about the colleges offering both pgdm and an MBA ... for example Narsee Monjee,, I was goin through the website and their programs they have an MBA and some specialisations under it, and also an option of PGDM from bengaluru or hyderabad campus.
    what is the better option?

  • hello sir,
    i wanted to know how much marks in cmat out of 400 are required to take admission in the ITM Banglore???
    plz let me knw as soon as possible......
    thank you.....................

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