MBA vs MA: Difference and Comparison

There are long roads for careers that do not end with just an undergraduate degree. There are a lot of options available for students if they are interested in graduation.

Usually, the course of study for graduation is a sequel to the undergraduate course, but it is not necessary. 

Key Takeaways

  1. An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a professional degree focused on business and management skills.
  2. An MA (Master of Arts) is an academic degree covering various disciplines within the humanities and social sciences.
  3. MBA programs emphasize practical skills, while MA programs delve deeper into theoretical and research-based learning.


MBA programs focus on developing knowledge and skills in business management and leadership. MA is a graduate degree program that focuses on developing students’ knowledge and skills in a specific area of study within the humanities, social sciences, or fine arts.


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MBA stands for Master in Business Administration. It is a graduation course that many people widely choose.

People with a bachelor’s degree in Business administration, economics, accounts, commerce, etc., select this master’s degree. It is a two-year-long degree course and can be part-time, full-time, executive, or accelerated.

MA stands for Master of Arts. This is also a graduation degree pursued by students with a bachelor’s degree in English, humanities, social sciences, fine arts, dance, Hindi, psychology, history, politics, geography, and other art subjects.

Master of Arts is a graduation course which can be pursued in 2 years.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMBAMA
Full-FormMBA stands for Master in Business Administration.MA stands for Master of Arts.
Beneficial forMBA is pursued by students with a bachelor degree in Commerce related fields.MA can be pursued by students with a bachelor degree in Academic related fields.
DurationMBA is a 2-year degree course but requires study of three years.MA is a course that is pursued in 2 years.
CourseIn MBA, students learn about scientific approaches to management and much more.In the MA degree course, students learn about their specific field in a more profound sense and about the correlative areas too.
Future opportunitiesMBA graduates can work at high s in organisations as they have enough professional knowledge.An MA graduate can work as a professional consultant, professor and even go for a doctorate.

What is MBA?

MBA is an abbreviation for Master of Business Administration.

The degree has open eligibility for all students with bachelor’s degrees in commerce, Business administration, accounts, economics, and even any other degree related to the Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Maths fields.

Therefore students with a bachelor’s degree in Arts cannot go for MBA.

However, it is most beneficial for students who have bachelor’s degrees in commerce, accounts, business, economics, and business. 

Master of Business Administration is a course of two years. In this, students learn about various ways of professionally dealing with business and management.

Students with prior knowledge of accounts, economics, business studies, etc., find it much easier to pursue MBA. There is a lot to understand and learn in the degree.

However, even students with a bachelor’s degree in engineering are free to choose MBA as a field for graduation. 

After gaining all the knowledge about managing business or Business Administration, the now graduates can be easily selected for handling big organisations by being given a high official.

MBA also opens the gate towards a doctorate degree, finance official, and even manager in big companies with incredible opportunities and high pay scales.

Since many people nowadays are influenced toward entrepreneurship, MBA stands as an essential and valuable aspect of their journey.


What is MA?

MA is an abbreviated form of Master in Arts. The degree is the only one that is open for almost everyone with a bachelor’s degree in any field. It is a versatile degree.

The Master in Arts degree is a graduation course that goes on for two years.

Besides, the students with bachelor’s degrees in the same subject in which they are opting for MA will have the upper hand due to their prior knowledge and experience.

MA is pursued chiefly by students having bachelor’s degrees in History, English, arts, social sciences, geography, politics, psychology, language, fine arts, dance, fashion, etc.

The only requirement to opt for a Master’s degree in Arts is a bachelor’s degree, no matter what field it is. In MA, the undergraduates learn about their chosen subject more deeply and broadly. 

This makes them fit to become a professor, mentor, consultant at a firm, counsellor, or an educator in their field of study.

For instance, an MA graduate in English can become a professor of English in a school or college. In contrast, an MA graduate in psychology can become a professional and certified counsellor. 


Main Differences Between MBA and MA

  1. MBA stands for Master of Business Administration, while MA stands for Master in Arts.
  2. MBA is a two-year course but requires three years, whereas MA can be pursued in 2 years.
  3. MBA is a graduate degree for a bachelor in commerce-related fields, while MA is a graduate degree for a bachelor of arts and other related areas.
  4. In MBA, students learn about scientific ways of handling management, and in an MA, students learn about their subject more profoundly and get ready from a professional point of view.
  5. Future career opportunities for MBA graduates include high s in organisations while MA has, mentoring, consulting, or even opting for a doctorate.
Difference Between MBA and MA

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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