Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) or Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) or Masters in Business Administration (MBA) are both management courses at the Master’s level. Both the courses have a commercial orientation and it’s difficult to differentiate between the two.

While both the courses have the same outcomes in terms of employment perspective, there are some subtle differences.

M.B.A refers to Master of Business Administration. It is a degree that is conferred on completion of a two to the three-year management program. It is granted by a University or an institution that is affiliated with the University. On the other hand, P.G.D.M. stands for a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. It is a diploma course of one to two years and is granted by an autonomous institution.

Many people do not understand the difference between an M.B.A. programme and a P.G.D.M. programme. People often relate the difference with the values associated with both and conclude that a degree is always better than a diploma. However, the main difference between them lies in the affiliation of the institutions offering these programmes.

M.B.A. is a degree that is provided by the colleges that are affiliated with a University and these Universities are controlled by the University Grants Commissions. P.G.D.M is a diploma that is provided by the colleges that are not affiliated with any University and the institution functions as an autonomous body.


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 that it is a Diploma. The main reason why postgraduate courses are named PGDM is that when an Institute is an autonomous body (meaning it is not affiliated to any University) and conducts management courses then such Institutes cannot offer MBA degrees. Even IIMs, XLRI’s doesn’t offer MBA degrees they only give PGP Diploma or PGDM since they are autonomous and independent bodies.

When an Institute secures autonomy they design their own curriculum to be taught instead of following outdated University syllabus. The reason why they chose to do this is that the curriculum can be updated regularly depending on the need in Industry. Hence one can say that PGDM courses are more Industry relevant as compared to MBA courses.

Colleges which offer AICTE approved courses will also offer PGDM, not MBA, for example, XYZ College is affiliated to ABC University they offer MBA course affiliated to that University, the same college is offering AICTE approved course it means they are offering PGDM which is not linked to ABC University.

Typically if any PGDM is to be equivalent to MBA then the course duration should be 2 years, a 1 year PGDM will not be equal to an MBA course.


A two-year management degree expands to Master of Business Administration, only Universities can grant MBA degrees. It could be a foreign university or an Indian University.

Further enlightenment

Let us help you understand the basic difference between the two in India-:

1) Only universities can offer MBA: In India, only those management institutes which are affiliated with a university can offer an MBA degree. For this reason institutes like NIMT Institute of Hospital & Pharma Management and NIMT Institute of Management can offer MBA degrees, as they are affiliated with Mahamaya Technical University and Rajasthan Technical University respectively. Also IIMs, though being the best of the lot, can’t offer MBAs as they are not affiliated with any university. Institutes that are not affiliated with the university are autonomous and can offer PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) degree. However, these programs are approved by regulatory bodies such as AICTE.

2) Difference in the focus of curriculum: While there are huge similarities in the curriculum of both MBA and PGDM, there are finer points of difference. While MBA focuses more on theoretical aspects of management and is more exam-oriented, PGDM has a focus on building soft skills and is industry-oriented. It prepares you for the job market.

3) Curriculum of PGDM is flexible: Since an autonomous institute does not have to follow university standards, it is free to change its curriculum according to industry standards and changes in a business environment. Also, a PGDM gives you industry exposure. Whereas it will take time to change the curriculum for MBAs as it is affiliated with a university and it will essentially follow the university guidelines and changing this curriculum is a very slow process.

4) MBAs are more affordable: In comparison to PGDM, generally, MBAs are more affordable as the fees are almost similar to university standards.

5) Difference in focus: An MBA will help in developing technical skills and business knowledge whereas a PGDM will prepare graduates for senior-level positions in the industry and paves the way for a strong corporate career. Hence, if you’re looking for a career in the challenging area of management, you should go for PGDM.

Open chat
Hello, how can we help you?