What are the Differences Between an MBA and a Master's Degree?

All the important facts about these two degrees

First things first: When you plan your graduate studies, you have the choice between an MBA and a  Master's degree.

The MBA is still a quite young academic degree, originating in the United States in the 20th century. It offers a scientific and practical approach to management and business. It covers various areas of business and gives you a broad fundamental knowledge in the different business disciplines. You also have the chance to change your carrer with an MBA. 64 % of all MBA graduates used their MBA to change their careers in 2012.

The Master's degree on the other side is a very old academic degree, originating in the 13th century in Europe. It focuses on the scientific analysis of business disciplines. The goal of a master's degree is the mastery of a specific business field.

Are you still wondering about exact the differences between the MBA and the Master's degree? Then you should look at the table down below, where we laid the hard facts out for you.

  MBA Master
  • Working experience
  • Undergraduate grade point average
  • A successful completion of study at bachelors degree
  • Theory & Practice alike
  • To acquire fundamental  knowledge in the different business disciplines
  • Theory & Literature
  • Hone in on one area of international business, for instance marketing or finance.
  • Full time or half time
  • Duration between 1 and 2 years
  • Part 1: Core courses
  • Part 2: Specialization and dissertation
  • Full time
  • Duration between1 and 2 years
  • Part 1: Courses and lectures
  • Part 2: Master's thesis
  • Theory in a classroom setting
  • Practical elements with external pactioners
  • Hard & soft skills
  • Theory
  • Literature analysis
  • Case studies
To educate students to become a good manager in their specialization field and teaching them how to supervise and handle complex situations. Advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics, high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application and the ability to think rigorously and independently.
Professional prospects  
  • General management
  • Many types of careers in business
  • Leadership positions
  • Specialist
  • Management position
  • Research


Within the IBSA program you don't have to decide at all. The IBSA Dual Degree Master's Program offers various combinations of degrees, which means you can get both a Master's degree and an MBA. This means you will have the best from both worlds and increase your future career options.

Degrees & Accreditation

Now that the differences between Master and MBA are clearer, learn more about the individual degrees our partner universities offer.


Six Universities

The IBSA universities offer you modern study environments for the challenging business modules in 6 countries on 3 continents.


Our Business Specializations

The six specializations of the IBSA program cover many relevant business areas, preparing you for the global business world.