For those with an undergraduate degree looking to improve both job and income potential, graduate studies provide a clear choice. Possibilities include the Master of Business Administration and the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration. Both programs offer advanced business studies, but the differences are significant, including accreditation, admission requirements, costs and acceptance by employers.

Admission Requirements

Admission to an MBA program requires an undergraduate degree, preferably in business. Graduate Management Admission Test or Graduate Record Exam scores are required, as are letters of recommendation and a personal essay. MBA programs also favor those with career experience.

The PGDBA is a diploma awarded by autonomous institutions and it is not an accredited degree. Admission usually requires only a degree from a college or university. The degree can be in any field and study is distance based. No graduate test scores, letters of recommendation, essays or work experience are typically required.

MBA vs. PGDBA Tuition

Cost of graduate study greatly differs.
Cost of graduate study greatly differs.

In the United States, the annual full-time tuition at an accredited, two-year MBA program ranges from $9,500 at less expensive schools to more than $50,000 per year at top-ranked schools such as Harvard Business School, Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Full-time, part-time and distance learning MBA programs charge per-credit fees ranging from approximately $500 to $1400 for each credit hour or a flat fee for the entire program.

The cost of a PGDBA can be as low as $1,000 or less for the entire program.

MBA vs PGDBA Studies and Duration

Wharton Business School, one of the top MBA programs in the country, requires core studies in economics, accounting, finance, management, communications and international business which is similar to other graduate MBA schools throughout the country.

The full-time MBA degree is generally achieved in two years although some schools offer accelerated options. Part-time MBA studies require three or more years to complete.

PGDBA studies including those at Hayward Business School in California include management, business communications, organizational behavior, marketing, economics, business law and accounting. The program is usually completed in one or two years and is designed for the working professional as is the part-time MBA..

Employment Opportunities

Employer acceptance of either degree is an individual issue, but an accredited MBA is considered the standard graduate business degree and is a prerequisite for those interested in a doctoral program. The PGDBA is a lesser-known, unaccredited program and those considering it should check with current and prospective employers to determine the diploma's acceptance as a post-graduate avenue of study.