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Confused which course to pursue - MBA vs MS?


If you are planning to pursue a master’s abroad, it is all right to be confused between MS and MBA. You should choose wisely between the two alternatives, since both are popular options that provide ample career opportunities.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and typically lasts from 10 months to 24 months. A duration of 10 to 15 months for an MBA is usually referred to as an Accelerated programme, while a duration of 24 months is referred to as a full-time degree course. Some broad specialisations in an MBA course include Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Operations, etc. There is also an executive MBA programme, which requires prior work experience and is shorter in duration.


Every institution has its own minimum eligibility criteria, so it’s best to visit their website and find out whether you fulfil the criteria or not. Most commonly, you will need documents like your past Merit Certificates, resume, LOR (Letter of Recommendation) and Experience Certificates. Some institutions may also ask for a certain GRE/GMAT score to shortlist you for an interview. For an Executive MBA, you will need to show a work experience of 2-4 years.

What is Master of Science (MS)?

MS stands for Master of Science and is also referred to as MSc in many countries. It is a degree course that majorly pertains to subjects in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (popularly known as STEM). The curriculum of an MS degree is a combination of both physical and practical application of learnings and thus, usually requires completion of a project, thesis, or research paper, to obtain a degree. The typical duration of this course, for a full-time programme, is 1-2 years (also depends on the time spent on research projects.)


To pursue MS, you need a bachelor’s degree, though not particularly in a specific stream (in-total 16 years of education), your test scores, English language Certification (such as IELTS - 6.5 or above), GRE/GMAT scores, SOP (Statement of Purpose), LOR (Letter of Recommendation), etc. Do check with your preferred institution their exact requirements before making your application.

Despite all the similarities and dissimilarities, both MBA and MS offer great career choices. If you are confused between both and can’t decide the best option, you can always reach out to us at IDP and our experts will help you to choose wisely.

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