MS in Management or MBA: Which program is right for you?

There’s much to consider when applying to graduate school. You’re trying to decide on your next career goal, the program that will help you achieve that goal, the right fit for a school and the program you’re looking for. Not to mention all the other questions you have, such as:

  • “Can I make this program fit into my life?”
  • “How long is the program?”
  • “Can I afford the tuition?”
  • “Will the return on investment be worth it?”

This post won’t help you answer all those questions, but it will give you more information about the differences between our MBA programs and the MS in Management. After all, based on the title, you’re reading this because you’re curious about what the difference is between these two degrees. Let’s start with the basics. An MBA is a Master of Business Administration. Here at UB, you can earn an MBA in two ways: either through our full-time on-campus program or our online part-time program. The MS in Management is a Master of Science in Management. And you’re probably thinking, yes, I already knew that. OK, fair enough, but we had to start with the basic names of each program. Now we can jump into the nuts and bolts of each program and what differentiates them.


  • The Full-time MBA program is built on 60 credit hours, split between foundational business courses, electives and a three-credit internship.
  • The Online MBA program is a 48-credit-hour program split between foundational business courses and electives.
  • The MS in Management is a 30-credit-hour program that consists of 18 credits of core business classes and 12 elective credits.

Time to Completion

  • The Full-time MBA is a traditional, two-year MBA program that starts in the fall semester.
  • The Online MBA program allows for maximum flexibility, where you can complete the program in as little as 33 months or extend it to 48 months. You can start the Online MBA program in the fall, spring or summer.
  • The MS in Management program is completed in 11 months. The program starts in the fall and finishes the following summer.


  • The Full-time MBA program consists of students from a variety of business, technical and non-technical backgrounds. Most students come with two to three years of work experience.
  • The Online MBA program is designed for working professionals. Online MBA students take classes asynchronously while maintaining their full-time careers. They come from a variety of backgrounds, including business, medical, engineering, nonprofit and more.
  • The MS in Management program is designed for students with a non-business background. This program is great for those with a liberal arts, nonprofit or creative background.

Format of Classes

  • Full-time MBA program classes are all in-person, on campus.
  • The Online MBA program is 100% fully online, with asynchronous classes.
  • MS in Management classes are all in-person, on campus.

Career Outcomes

  • Graduates of the Full-time MBA program are prepared to take on leadership roles in their careers. Our students move into functions like consulting, finance, general management, information systems, e-business, marketing and sales, and supply chains and operations management.
  • Graduates of our Online MBA program usually seek advancement in their current organizations or possibly pivot into more advanced roles in a new industry. Industries can include health care, hospitality, manufacturing, energy, transportation and logistics, retail, nonprofit, media and entertainment.
  • Graduates of the MS in Management program are prepared for many business generalist positions, such as an HR generalist, operations manager, retail manager, marketing coordinator, communications specialist and sales manager, and have the business skills to quickly progress to upper-level management positions.

At the end of the day, each program is unique, and it is up to you to weigh each program’s characteristics. Whether it’s the traditional approach of the full-time MBA, the digital approach of an online MBA, or the specialized focus of the MS in Management, each program offers unique opportunities for personal and professional growth. Ultimately, the decision rests on finding the program that resonates with your ambitions and aligns with your vision for the future.

One Reply to “MS in Management or MBA: Which program is right for you?”

  1. Choosing between an MS in Management and an MBA depends on your career goals and preferred specialization. Consider your aspirations and industry demands for the best fit.

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