What is MBA (Masters of Business Administration)?

Master of Business Administration or MBA is one of the most popular post-graduate programmes in India and abroad. The two-year programme is a gateway to a plethora of job opportunities in the corporate world. Here are some important facts about the MBA program:

  • What makes MBA such a popular course is that students from any background – including Science, Commerce and Humanities – can pursue it.
  • A regular MBA or Post-Graduation Diploma in Management (PGDM) is generally a two-year course divided into four or six semesters. However, there are certain private institutes that offer one-year PGDM programmes as well.
  • One can pursue MBA in various modes, such as, Regular, Online and Distance-Education. Interested candidates can also find programmes customised based on their professional experience such as Executive MBA.
  • Many management institutes offer Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) or Post-Graduate Programme (PGP) in Management instead of an MBA degree. There is not much difference between the two, but for their titles.
  • The full-time MBA is the most popular among all, and includes theory classes, practical projects, and internships.
  • Fresh graduates as well as candidates with a few years of work experience opt for a full-time MBA. Some colleges prefer fresh graduates while some colleges give higher preference to candidates with a few years of work experience.
  • On the other hand, the Executive MBA is fit for candidates with more than 5 -10 years work experience as it is designed to enhance their managerial and leadership skills to stay relevant in the job market.
  • Online MBA, Part Time MBA and Distance MBA programmes are ideal for candidates who wish to study while working.

MBA eligibility

Full-time MBA eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • The basic eligibility criteria for MBA (full-time) is Graduation in any discipline or equivalent from a recognised university
  • Most of the institutes follow the minimum score criteria in Graduation which is 50 per cent in average or equivalent. For Reserved category students, the minimum score in 45 per cent in aggregate
  • Final-year Graduation candidates are also eligible to apply for MBA, provided they present the proof of completion of Graduation degree within the duration specified by the institute

MBA Admissions

Admissions to all B-schools typically take place through an admission test. This test can be one of the following types:

  • National Level Test conducted by an apex testing body or a top national B-school on behalf of the other participating colleges. eg: CAT, MAT, CMAT or ATMA
  • State Level Test conducted by a state level testing body or a top state B-school on behalf of the other participating colleges in that state. eg: MAH-CET, OJEE, KMAT, TANCET or APICET
  • Test conducted by a B-school for entrance to its own MBA programme. In some cases, these scores can be accepted as a qualifying criteria by other B-schools as well. eg: IIFT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP, IBSAT
  • Test conducted by a university for entrance to MBA programmes being offered by colleges that are affiliated to it. eg: KIITEE, HPU MAT

The qualifying exam is usually followed by a second level screening round that could be a group discussion or a personal interview conducted by the college that the student has qualified for.

Top MBA entrance exams

Given below is the list of top MBA exams scores that are valid for admission to various B-schools.


Popular MBA Specializations

MBA Finance MBA Marketing

MBA Skillset

A manager is expected to lead a team of professionals hence the most important skills for a successful manager are good communication and leadership qualities. Take a look at some of the skills required for MBA/PGDM, below:

Full-time MBA: Required Skillset
Business acumen Good communication skills
Problem-solving Skills Management skills
Strong mathematical skills Research oriented
Analytical thinking Leadership qualities
Eye for detail Goal-oriented & ability to work under pressure

MBA courses and specialisations

Apart from the generic MBA course, there are many MBA specialisations available to candidates. It is recommended that every candidate must choose a branch or specialisation in their MBA programme since it equips them better with the requisite skills for specific domains such as finance, operations, human resources, marketing, to name a few.

Some of the most popular MBA specialisations are listed below:

MBA/PGDM specialisations
Finance Infrastructure
Marketing International Business
Sales Disaster Management
Human Resources Energy & Environment
Operations Import & Export
Product IT & Systems
Business Analytics Healthcare & Hospital
Digital Marketing Business Economics
Entrepreneurship Agriculture & Food Business
Advertising Materials Management
NGO Management Oil & Gas
Pharma Retail
Project Management Rural Management
Sports Management Supply Chain
Telecom Textile Management
Transport & Logistics Forestry
Public Policy Hospitality

MBA Subjects

Students pursuing MBA programme are exposed to a range of subjects. In a two year programme, students begin with core subjects such as Organisational Behaviour, Marketing, Principles of Management, to name a few. In the second year, they are exposed to subjects such as Entrepreneurship and Business Law, among others. Often MBA schools classify these subjects as core and electives and give a chance to students to choose between the elective subjects. Listed below are some of the subjects that most MBA courses offer:

  • Marketing
  • HR management
  • Business planning
  • Finance management
  • Principles of management
  • Business laws
  • Communication skills
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Communication
  • Computer Application
  • Organizational behavior
  • Taxation
  • Retail management
  • Project work
  • Economics
  • Business environment

FAQs related to MBA course

Q: Which MBA course is the best?

A: All of MBA courses or specializations have bright prospects for students it the field of business management. However, the best MBA course depends solely on the candidates and their interest. Some of the best MBA courses in India are MBA in Sales & Marketing, MBA in Operations, MBA in HR, MBA in Finance and MBA in Information Technology.

Q: Which are the top MBA colleges in India?

A: The IIM A, B and C are considered top MBA colleges in India. Apart from these three MDI, FMS, SPJIMR, IMT, JBMIS, NMIMS, IBS, GIM, GLIM and others. For the list of all top MBA colleges in India, click here.

Q: What is the eligibility criteria for MBA?

A: Eligibility criteria for MBA is Graduation. However, Many colleges prescribe minimum marks in aggregate in Graduation ( 50% for General and 45 percent for SC/ST candidates).

Q: How can I get admission in MBA course?

A: The MBA admission process includes entrance exam, group discussion and personal interview. Many colleges offer admission on the basis of graduation score only. To get admission in MBA course, the candidate will have to fill an application form and follow the admission process.

Q: Do I need to appear for entrance exam for MBA?

A: Most of the Tier-1 and Tier-2 MBA institutes in India accept candidates on the basis of MBA entrance exam score. So, if you want to pursue MBA from a reputed MBA college, taking an entrance exam is a must.

Q: What is the duration of MBA course?

A: MBA course is of two years, divided into four semesters. This course duration also includes summer internship after the first year.

Q:  I have a Bachelors in Arts degree. Which MBA specialization is best for me?

A: The most suitable MBA specialization for Bachelors in Arts degree holders are HR, Sales & Marketing, Tourism & Hospitality, Entrepreneurship and General MBA.

Q: Can I pursue MBA through correspondence?

A: Yes, many universities like IGNOU, Annamalai University and Osmania University offer MBA programmes in correspondence (distance education mode).

Q: Will I get good placement after completing MBA course?

A: Yes, most of the MBA colleges provide placement to its students at the end of the course. To ensure, you get a placement, check whether the college you shortlist for admission has a placement cell or not. Also check its placement reports to know which companies participate in campus placement.

Q: What is the difference between MBA and PGDM?

A: After completing the MBA course, the student gets a degree while after completing PGDM, the student gets a diploma.