How to Choose an MBA College: 10 Points


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Update on
March 7, 2020

how to choose mba college

Doing MBA or PGDM Program from a good B-schools is the dream of every student. But, do you know that there are more than 3,000 MBA or PGDM colleges in India! The question however, is how to choose the right MBA College which is the best fit for you? What are the key parameters that should guide you in making the right choice?


If you are confused, don’t worry. This article will help you arrive at the decision.


10 Points Guide to Selecting the Best MBA College  
Use our step by step guide to decide your MBA College. Evaluate MBA colleges systematically based on following parameters:

  1. Exam Accepted & their Cut Off: Check your eligibility
  2. MBA Vs PGDM: Select type of MBA College carefully 
  3. Fee: Calculate Total Amount you will spend, not just Tuition Fee
  4. Placements: Check Average Salary and Top Recruiters
  5. Ranking & Accreditation: Trust only the best
  6. Faculty: The most important criteria, research wisely
  7. Location: Either prefer Top Cities for MBA, or Top Colleges 
  8. General MBA or Specialized MBA: Match your aptitude
  9. Legacy & Alumni Base: Network Matters 
  10. Infrastructure & Facilities: Good Ambience aids Great learning

Exam Accepted & Cut Off
The first and foremost in choosing the MBA College is your eligibility criteria. Different B-schools accept different National Level or State Level or their own Entrance Test scores for which a minimum overall (sometimes even sectional cut off) is prescribed. For example, IIMs have sectional cut offs along with the overall cut offs. Many other top colleges like MDI, IMI, IMT consider overall cut offs. Others like SPJIMR focus more on academic profile and achievements, instead of simply considering the entrance exam scores. Most other B-schools accept MAT or CMAT Scores.


So, before moving forward to make your choice of MBA College, check which exam you are appearing in and whether the B-school will accept its score for admission and what is the expected cut off. To make your decision easier, brief division of MBA colleges accepting different exam scores with cut off guide, is given here:

MBA Colleges
Exam Accepted
Cut offs
CAT conducted by IIMs
XLRI, XIMB, IMT & other Xavier Institutes
XAT conducted by XLRI
NMIMS & other 30 MBA colleges
16 Symbiosis Institutes in Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad & other cities
SNAP conducted by SIU
AICTE Approved 1000+ Colleges
CMAT conducted by NTA
Other MBA colleges
MAT Conducted by AIMA

Apart from the above exams, hundreds of MBA colleges also accept ATMA, IBSAT and State CET exam scores like MAH-CET, PGCET, KMAT among others and offer admission at moderate cut offs.


MBA Vs PGDM: Choose Your Program
Out of so many B-schools there are different types of MBA colleges operating in India. You need to make a choice which type of MBA College & program you wish to choose out of them.


An MBA degree program is offered by University B-school recognized by UGC, while PGDM, equivalent to MBA is offered by the AICTE approved B-school. The flexibility of curriculum is more in PGDM program. Following type of MBA colleges offer MBA and PGDM programs:

  • 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs): Offer PGP leading to MBA degree now
  • MBA offered by the departments at IIT Bombay, Delhi, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee among others
  • MBA offered by Central & State University MBA Departments and affiliated MBA colleges like FMS of Delhi University; JBIMS of Mumbai University; IIFT Delhi Deemed University; IP University MBA Department among others
  • MBA offered by Private Universities like – NMIMS Mumbai, XIMB at Xavier University Bhubaneswar, Christ University Bangalore, IFMR Graduate School of Business under Krea University, KSoM at KIIT University Bhubaneswar, among others
  • PGDM (Equivalent to MBA) offered by Private PGDM Colleges, like – XLRI Jamshedpur, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, TAPMI Manipal, K J Somaiya Mumbai, Goa School of Management Goa, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai/Gurgaon among others

It may be noted that broadly there is no difference in offering of MBA or PGDM programs as both have equal recognition except the difference in nomenclatures. Read more about difference between MBA and PGDM programs. Check here MBA or PGDM


A moderate fee structure with good placement that can assure you about your career prospects is what you might be looking for. So, it will be better to compare the fee structures of different B-schools and the benefits of learning arising out of it before finalizing your MBA admission decision. 


You should calculate total fee and expenses for 2 years at the MBA college and not just the tuition fee as the tuition fee could form only 50-60% of the total expenses. If you add the expenses for laptop, other study material, boarding & lodging expenses, other deposits at the B-school, the total fee will be much higher. 


There are MBA colleges with different fee structure. For example, IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta have a fee structure above Rs. 20 to 25 lakhs whereas the total program fee at FMS Delhi is less than Rs. 2 Lakhs. The MBA fee range at some of the best MBA colleges is shared below to help you make a choice:


MBA Colleges with Fee Range above Rs. 20 Lakhs

  • IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta
  • MDI Gurgaon
  • XLRI Jamshedpur

MBA Colleges with Fee Range between Rs. 15-20 lakhs

  • IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Udaipur,
  • SPJIMR Mumbai
  • XIM Bhubaneswar
  • IMI New Delhi
  • IMT Ghaziabad
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai
  • IFMR GSB Chennai
  • SIBM Bangalore

MBA Colleges with Fee Range between Rs. 10-15 lakhs

  • IIM Amritsar, IIM Nagpur, IIM Visakhapatnam
  • IRMA Anand
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • FORE School of Management, Delhi
  • GIM Goa
  • K J Somaiya, Mumbai
  • Welingkar, Mumbai
  • XIME, Bangalore
  • BIMTECH Greater Noida
  • Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow
  • EDII Ahmedabad
  • SDMIMD Mysore

MBA Colleges with Fee Range between Rs. 5-10 lakhs

  • VJIM Hyderabad
  • IPE Hyderabad
  • JIMS Rohini, Delhi
  • SRM School of Management, SRM University, Chennai
  • Mody University School of Business, Jaipur

MBA Colleges with Fee Range below Rs. 5 lakhs

  • FMS Delhi
  • USMS-IP University
  • SIMSREE Mumbai
  • PUMBA Pune
  • BIMM Pune
  • AMSoM University Ahmedabad
  • DSE-Delhi University, Delhi.  Check here MBA Colleges Fee in India

MBA Placements
Before making a choice, check what are the average placements over the years in the B-school? Which MBA program gets higher Placement? Who are the top recruiters? These queries need to be answered before you make huge investment to your MBA programme.


The division in average placements could be made in 3 categories – Highest Placement B-schools like older IIMs, High Placement B-schools like IITs, TAPMI, Moderate Placement B-schools like BIMTECH, LIBA, Jaipuria among others. You should compare the fee and placements of the B-schools and then choose the right MBA college:


MBA Colleges in India with Average Placements: Rs. 20+ LPA

  • IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow
  • FMS Delhi
  • SPJIMR Mumbai
  • XLRI Jamshedpur
  • IIFT Delhi

MBA Colleges in India with Average Placements: Rs. 10+ LPA

  • JBIMS Mumbai
  • IMI New Delhi
  • IMT Ghaziabad
  • K J Somaiya
  • MICA Ahmedabad
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • GIM Goa
  • FORE School of Management
  • XIMB Bhubaneswar

MBA Colleges in India with Average Placements: Rs. 5+ LPA

  • Welingkar Mumbai
  • BIMTECH Greater Noida
  • BIMM Pune
  • KSoM KIIT University Bhubaneswar
  • BITS Pilani
  • Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow
  • LIBA Chennai
  • SDMIMD Mysore. Check here MBA Placements

Ranking & Accreditation
MBA College Rankings help you to decide which MBA College or MBA program you should apply when there are number of options available to you.  Although there are dozens of B-school rankings which are published in India, the creditability and track record of the ranking is most important to get reliable guidance.


The top five MBA Rankings or B-school Rankings in India are:

  • NIRF Ranking Framework by HRD Ministry, Government of India
  • Business Today B-School Ranking
  • Ranking
  • The Week Ranking of B-Schools
  • Outlook B-School Rankings. Check here MBA Rankings in India

All these rankings help you make an informed choice to select the best MBA college


National and International Accreditations awarded to the B-schools reflect the quality of education including curriculum as per Global standard and industry requirement, pedagogy, high quality of faculty and research, facilities at the institute which are prominent parameters to choose the best MBA college. Following are the prominent International and National Accreditations that you should look for, before making a decision on your preferred MBA college:


Top 3 International Accreditations:

  • Association to Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), USA
  • EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) 
  • Association of MBAs (AMBA), UK

Top 2 National Accreditations

  • National Board of Accreditation (NBA)
  • National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC)

Faculty & Learning Experience
It is of utmost importance to find out how qualified and experienced the faculty is at the B-school. Every B-school publishes its faculty profile area wise on its website. You must read faculty profiles carefully and do area wise research especially for the MBA program you wish to pursue and look for following qualities:

  • Professional Experience
  • Academic Qualification
  • Research Area and publications
  • Industry engagement

If the B-school has not published on its website the details of faculty profile, you should be cautious and avoid such MBA college. Core faculty at the B school decides the learning experience in imparting the education at the institute and is the main factor in providing adequate mentorship to the students.  The better is the teacher student ratio, the better will be the mentorship at the institute.


A teacher-student ratio of 10 students mentored by 1 teacher could be considered as good one. If there are fewer good faculty members and the ratio does not remain good enough, it may affect adversely the learning experience at the B-school.


Location preference needs to be exercised, if you do not get admission in one of the top MBA colleges. If the MBA college is located in or near an industrial hub with high career prospects like Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, you could opt for the best available MBA college in the city as per your eligibility for admission.  


General or Specialized MBA
You need to decide whether you wish to pursue General MBA and take some specific area of specialization in the second year or want to do specialized MBA right from the beginning.


There are many top MBA colleges which offer General MBA and very few specialized MBA programs while many other MBA colleges offer specialized MBA programs also, like MBA Finance, MBA HR, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Rural Management among others. The choice has to be made before taking admission.


So, if you are interested in MBA Finance and the B-school does not offer specialization in it, there is no point of opting for the said MBA college. You should first figure out what is your career goal and which is the relevant MBA program for you to help you achieve your goal.

If you go to an MBA college offering MBA Marketing while you wish to pursue MBA Finance or some Industry aligned MBA, you will be wasting your investment and 2 precious years of life. Check here MBA Courses & Specialization


Legacy & Alumni Base
The older the B-school, higher is its alumni base that leads to better career path due to global network of its old students. How true it is, you will know simply by comparing the 20 IIMs where the older ones complete their placement as early as in February with high salary packages and newer ones struggle till late. FMS Delhi the oldest B-school offering MBA has a legacy of more than 60 years. Its alumni base is spread all over the world. Candidates get placed within a few days when campus placement starts.


The truth that Old is Gold has not yet gone wrong when deciding on the B-schools. The legacy not only reflects its position on placement year after year but also proves the sustainability and growth of the institute over a period of time. The learning experience from well learned experienced faculty is another advantage that students of an older B-school get according to changing market trends.


Infrastructure & Facilities
Good management institute is supposed to have good, well equipped classrooms, library, auditorium, residential accommodation for the students on campus so that they can make best use of the library, labs and get mentorship from their professors when they feel like


There is no point running for the brand, but choose the one B-school where you can expand your wings not looking at your average scores but making it big in good learning environment



Ready to select? Check MBA Colleges Admission Dates & Application Form
Depending upon your scores in CAT/XAT/CMAT or MAT, now you need to search which MBA options are open for you now. You may also check for the admission opportunity according to you preferred location of the MBA colleges to enable you to get the best MBA college at the link below.


After going through these B-schools and their admission last dates, you should prepare a list of MBA colleges with admission process open to choose the best B-school according to your preference and based on above 10 parameters to arrive at the right MBA admission decision.


Once you’ve done your research, you’ll have a better understanding regarding where you stand and what MBA colleges you should target. Now a lot depends upon you in selection of your MBA program and what you are seeking to get out of it. Check here MBA Admission 2020