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What is the difference between an MBA and an MSBA?

Posted: October 18, 2019 | Author: Lyndsey Nelson | Read Time: 2 minutes

Students in class taking notesFinishing an undergraduate degree can be a wonderful accomplishment. The achievement leaves students with a rush of pride and excitement as they move forward beyond the bounds of traditional education and enter a whole new world of graduate degrees and job offers. However,  deciding what to do once a student has finished their undergraduate degree can be a stressful decision, and it’s often impossible for students to know where to start as they move forward with their education. 

For business students seeking a graduate degree, that decision can be even more difficult. With thousands of different acronyms floating through the air: CPA, MBA, MSBA, MACC, the list can throw a student’s head through a thousand loops before they even know what they’re looking at. The decision to go into a master’s program is a big decision, and the thousands of names and acronyms, degree types and certifications, can make the whole process uncomfortable and confusing, even to students who have already completed an undergraduate degree in business.

To simplify the list of endless acronyms, let’s take a look at two of the degree types available to undergraduate students and figure out what the difference is between an MBA and an MSBA.

Master’s of Business Administration (MBA)

A Master of Business Administration, or MBA, primarily serves to give students a broad understanding of how business works. This degree may include courses in ethics, management, marketing, economics, and law, as well as other business courses. An MBA does not require students to study calculus or any kind of advanced finance. 

An MBA will grant students access to a variety of fields, including retail management, human resource management, accounting, contract management and more. 

Master’s of Science in Business Administration (MSBA)

In contrast, a Master's of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) focuses a student’s studies on narrower topics, going deeper into the student’s studies than an MBA would. An MSBA includes some of the same courses as an MBA, however, the master of science asks students to pick a particular focus or field. Classes will focus on that field, giving students the opportunity to take a deep study into their chosen area.  

Whatever the area of study, the MSBA program will help students to understand the ‘science of business,’ rather than viewing business as a whole. 

As a student, you will make more decisions than you can count, and it’s helpful to know exactly what you’re choosing between before you make your move. Regardless of the degree, SUU’s School of Business is one of the highest-rated in the county, and the excellent faculty will work with you to find the path that best serves your personal goals.

Learn more about SUU’s School of Business and its management programs.