Difference between MBA and Master's Degree

Management and business know how for young professionals, newcomers or specialists

When planning the graduate studies, the choice is between several different MBA or Master programs.

The Master of Business Administration is a rather young academic degree which originates from the U.S. in the 20th century. As a non-consecutive kind of studying, the education of the MBA program is not based on the previous main course, but passes on additional qualifications in a range of management and business fields in a practice-oriented way. Besides, students can guide their career in another direction with the MBA.

In contrast to that, the Master is a very old academic degree having its' roots in Europe in the 13th century. As a consecutive study program, the Master is based on the contents from the previous main course and aims to educate in a specific business area by focusing on scientific analysis.

How to differentiate MBA and Master programs?


  • Requirements: Successfully completed Bachelor's degree & working experience
  • Focus: Theory & Practice alike, basic knowledge in different business disciplines, learning on the operative level
  • Structure: Full time or half time (1 or 2 years), Part 1: Core modules, Part 2: Specialization & dissertation
  • Content: Theory in a classroom setting, practical orientation with external practitioners, discussions, consulting-projects, hard & soft skills
  • Career prospects: Generalist, leadership positions, future career in diverse business fields


  • Requirements: Successfully completed Bachelor's degree
  • Focus: Theory & Literature, research-oriented, hone in on one area of international business (e.g. marketing or finance), learning on the strategic level
  • Structure: Full time or half time (1 or 2 years), Part 1: Courses and lectures for specialization, Part 2: Master's thesis
  • Content: Theory, literature analysis, classical lectures and seminars
  • Career prospects: Specialist, management position, research

The IGC in Bremen offers various options of MBA and Master's degrees. Six full time (1 year) and three half time (2 years) programs are among the Study Opportunities at the University.

Particular MBA Programs - Business Skills

Depending on the business knowledge that students have acquired so far and on the strucure of the curriculum,  one can distinguish between the MBA, Executive MBA and FlexMBA.
The MBA expects 2-3 years work experience and especially is addressed to graduates with a non-economic first degree  (e.g. scientists, architects, lawyers and medical practitioners).
In contrast to that, the Executive MBA is designed for members of the executive board or department managers with 5-10 years job experience.
Studying the FlexMBA, students do not need to interrupt their career as they can choose single modules from the MBA’s curriculum according to their schedule and working times.

Whether an exciting professional project abroad or a private change: The part time study at the IGC can be flexibly designed - step by step you can get the Master of Business Administration as well.

Photo Anne Meyer
Anne Meyer
Course Coordinator

Choosing the IBSA Dual Degree Master's Program, you don't have to decide at all whether to study the MBA or Master. With this program you can get two degrees in two countries in just one year: one MBA degree in Bremen and another degree at one of five accredited partner universities worldwide. Take the opportunity to increase your future career options with a Double Degree.