Online MBA vs Regular MBA vs Distance MBA: Which One to Pursue in 2024?

MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) is one of the most sought-after higher education programs in India. It’s a preferred course for recent graduates, working professionals, and career-oriented individuals. MBA programmes are considered to offer wide skill sets, stable job opportunities, and future prospects. But which MBA is best—an online, Regular, or distance MBA? 


In this blog, we will focus on different factors of various MBA types and identify their advantages and disadvantages to help you select the right MBA for your career.

UGC-approved online MBA programs play a crucial role in an individual's career journey as the course allows you to acquire essential skills, a globally recognized degree, and a roadmap for your future. Therefore, it's important you select the right UGC approved online MBA programmes and college that helps you achieve your career goal.

To make your selection process easier, we have listed the top 10 UGC-approved online universities along with their fees, accreditations, specializations, and more. These universities are known for providing UGC-approved online MBA courses in India.

Popular MBA Types - Regular, Online, Distance 2024



In India, you can pursue mainly in three ways through traditional MBA programs, regular MBA, or online.

Regular MBA- Popular University, Entrance Test, Pros, Cons

A regular MBA is a traditional, full-time MBA program offered in person. It has a structured curriculum, compulsory attendance, real-time interaction, and immersive learning opportunities. Regular MBA is the most reputed higher education course in India, offered by some popular universities/colleges.

Popular Universities/Colleges for Regular MBA

  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Calcutta 
  • IIT  Delhi 
  • Xavier School of Management 
  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management
However, to get admission to any of these universities, you must appear for and score well in the MBA entrance exams.

Some well MBA Entrance Exams 

  • CAT (Common Admission Test)
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
  • MAT (Management Aptitude Test)
  • XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test)
  • CMAT (Common Management Admission Test)

Pros of Regular MBA

  • 360-degree learning 
  • Networking opportunities
  • Highly valued in the industry 
  • Theoretical and practical learning 
  • High-salary job opportunities

Cons of Regular MBA

  • Not suitable for working professionals
  • High college fees
  • Compulsory attendance
  • The highly competitive entrance test
  • Limited flexibility


Online MBA- Popular University, Entrance Test, Pros, Cons

An online MBA is a highly flexible program that allows individuals to manage their learning while maintaining their regular responsibilities. In an Online MBA program, you acquire similar knowledge and skills online. You attend live lectures, study through recorded classes, textbook materials, and more at your flexible time.

To be admitted to an online MBA university, you aren't required to appear for an entrance exam. Most universities provide online MBA admission on a merit basis. However, some universities, like Manipal Online, require entrance exams.

Pros of Regular MBA

  • Flexible learning opportunities
  • Equal industry recognition 
  • Manageable with Job or other responsibility 
  • Affordable fees 
  • From anywhere, anytime, learning opportunities

Cons of Regular MBA

  • Not in-person interaction with peers and faculty 
  • Less networking opportunities 
  • No involvement in any campus activities
  • Compulsory internet connection & electronic device  
  • Some colleges may ask for work experience or entrance test

Distance MBA-  Popular University, Entrance Test, Pros, Cons

Like an online MBA, a distance MBA doesn’t require you to go to college but to pursue your studies at your own pace. It is also called a correspondence MBA. A distance MBA is suitable for students who don’t have continuous internet access and time to attend live classes. In a Distance MBA, students communicate with instructors via email and phone and submit their assignments through post.

Some Popular Distance MBA Colleges are:

  • Indira Gandhi Open University, IGNOU
  • Karnataka State Open University
  • Pondicherry Distance Education University
  • MIT school of distance education
  • Symbiosis centre for distance learning
No entrance test is required for the distance MBA course. IGNOU takes Open MAT, however, temporarily it’s suspended.

Pros of Distance MBA

  • No reliance on high-speed internet connection 
  • Self-paced learning 
  • Some universities conduct on-campus classes on weekends. 
  • Can manage studies with regular job and responsibility
  • Pursue the course along with other regular programmes.

Cons of Distance MBA

  • Limited to no interaction with Peers and faculty
  • Feedback and support rates are low compared to online MBA
  • Fewer opportunities for networking
  • Exams are conducted at the centre like regular MBA
  • Generally, it does not include internships and placements. 
UGC-approved online MBA programs play a crucial role in an individual's career journey as the course allows you to acquire essential skills, a globally recognized degree, and a roadmap for your future. Therefore, it's important you select the right UGC approved online MBA programmes and college that helps you achieve your career goal.

To make your selection process easier, we have listed the top 10 UGC-approved online universities along with their fees, accreditations, specializations, and more. These universities are known for providing UGC-approved online MBA courses in India.

Online MBA Vs Regular MBA

Both the online MBA and regular MBA are 2-years programs, approved by UGC. However, considering  differences between them is compulsory for students to select the right programme.

Differentiating Factors
Online MBARegular MBA
FeesThe average fee for an online MBA ranges from Rs 50 K to 3 Lakhs.
Average fee for full time MBA from a prestigious college starts from Rs 10 lakhs.
FlexibilityWith an online MBA, you study at your pace and balance your regular duties with your job.
Full time MBA programme offers less or no flexibility do job or parttime.
AttendanceAttendance in live classes is required for students.
Attendance is compulsory. Most colleges asks for 75% attendance.
EligibilityAt Least 40-50% marks in graduation in any stream from a recognised university.
50% marks in bachelor’s degree 45% for reserved category). Moreover, Qualification in entrance exam MICAT, XAT,  CAT, GMAT, is necessary.
CurriculumThe online MBA curriculum covers almost every subject required for an MBA and resonates more with virtual learning.
The full time programmes include a curriculum balanced with practical and theoretical concepts.
Delivery of ProgramThe Virtual MBA programme provides learning through online study materials, live lectures, and recorded videos.
Regular classroom MBA programmes study on a fixed schedule, instructors come and deliver lectures, students work on projects, and appear for offline exams.
Class CapacityAn endless number of students can enrol in an online MBA, making it accessible.
The class capacity for regular MBA is limited from 30 to 50 students.
Student Teacher RelationThe teacher bond is stronger than the student-teacher bond.
A very strong bond between teacher and students.
Networking OpportunitiesVirtual opportunity for networking.
Strong alumni community and opportunity to network by visiting colleges daily, meeting numbers of people in person.
Internship/Placement OpportunitiesSome online universities offer virtual placement cells and assistance.

College placement cells, regular supports from teacher and Alumni association.

Distance MBA Vs Regular MBA

Distance MBA is another way to pursue a Master's in business administration. The distance MBA allows one to pursue 2 years in 4 years, offering great flexibility to its students. Here are some differences between distance and regular MBA.

Differentiating Factors
Distance MBARegular MBA
FeesThe fee for a distance MBA is much lower than a regular and online MBA.The fee is very high, starting from Rs 2 lakhs.
FlexibilitySelf-paced learningFixed schedule
AttendanceAttendance is required only during exams.Daily attendance is compulsory.
EligibilityBachelor’s degree with passing marks, no requirement for any entrance exam.50% marks in bachelor’s degrees and 45% for reserved category). Moreover, Qualification in entrance exams, MICAT, XAT,  CAT, and GMAT is necessary. 
CurriculumConcise curriculumVast curriculum with practical and theoretical learning
Delivery of ProgramMainly through e-textbooks and study materials.Offline regular classes
Class CapacityNot limitedIntake of 30-50 students (depends on college)
Student Teacher RelationWeaker than online and regular MBA A full-time MBA course helps nourish student-teacher relationships.
Networking OpportunitiesNoVarious options
Internship/Placement OpportunitiesNot received often (however, some university provides placement assistance)Yes

Regular MBA Vs Distance MBA Vs Online MBA

Now that you know the difference between a regular MBA and an online MBA and between a regular MBA and a distance MBA, let's discuss these three together to better understand them.

Differentiating Factors
Regular MBADistance MBAOnline MBA
Course Fees Rs. 2 LPA - 20 LPARs. 20k - 70kRs.80k  - 3 LPA
SuitabilityRecent graduates and financially strong individualsIndividual already in job market with no-time for online classes or living in remote area.Aspiring promotion, skills, and managerial position but at their own pace.
PedagogyOffline classes with advanced infrastructure and in-person teachers.Study through e-library and materials.Live and recorded classes, regular assessments, electronic study materials, textbook.
Examination ModeClassroom sittingsPhysical centre examsOnline exams can be conducted
Duration2 years 4 years 2 years 
Accreditation/RecognitionNAAC, UGC, AICTENAAC, UGC- Deb, AICTENAAC, UGC- Deb, AICTE
PlacementMost of the colleges provide placement and support.Very few opportunity



The New Age MBA Programme

Apart from a regular, distance and online MBA, some modern MBA programs are offered to students; these include executive MBA, deferred MBA and MBA with hybrid learning.

1. Executive MBA 

Executive MBA is an MBA programme for working professionals, usually aged 18 to 24. Various MBA colleges provide executive programmes, including IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Ranchi, IIM Raipur, and IIM Ahmedabad. In the Executive programme, students are required to take offline classes during evenings or weekends. 

2. Deferred MBA 

Deferred MBA refers to an MBA programme with an early entry option. It is similar to a traditional or regular MBA programme. However, in India, deferred MBA programmes are offered by limited universities only. The Indian School of Business is one of them. 

3. MBA with Hybrid Learning 

Hybrid MBA learning is an alternative MBA programme that balances regular MBA with online MBA. In hybrid MBA learning, you have the flexibility to attend classes in person or online.

How to Choose the Right MBA?

When you know about different MBAs, you must consider which one will be right for you. You can consider multiple factors before selecting the course for you.

1. Course Fees 

Fees are crucial when selecting an MBA. You can compare different MBA fees and choose the most affordable one. All MBAs are equally valued and recognised.

2. Consider MBA Goal 

It is also important to consider your MBA goal. For example, if your goal is to study for an MBA and get top jobs in the industry, a regular MBA can be the right option.

3. Check accessibility for You

Which MBA you should pursue also depends on its accessibility. For a traditional MBA, you must live in the city and pass highly competitive exams to gain admission; for an online MBA, high internet connectivity is necessary. Select the MBA that you can access.

Choose the Right MBA with EduKyu!

Making a decision seems challenging. You can consult experts. 

Edukyu, a leading online MBA consultant service, offers over 5 years of experience, a team of 125 counsellors, and a remarkable 99% satisfaction rate among working professionals and students. We value your decision-making process, which is why we provide free consultations with our MBA graduates and certified counsellors. Ask any questions related to your MBA journey and take the next step with confidence. 

All the counsellors at Edukyu are MBA graduates and certified to provide counselling. 

To connect with us, just share your basic details. Your dedicated expert will call you back soon to solve your queries! Edukyu has helped 9,000 students pursue MBAs.

Hear what Pooja Sarkar has to say for Edukyu

You must know Edukyu also helps in gaining admission in MBA colleges, select MBA types, specialisation and college to start your MBA journey.

Want to gain admission in MBA? Contact Edukyu for Seamless Experience

FAQs Related to Online MBA vs Regular MBA vs Distance MBA

Q: Which is better: a distance MBA or a regular MBA?

A: All the MBAs are recognised and valuable. A regular MBA is suitable if you aspire to have campus experience and networking opportunities. Distance MBA can be the option if you’re aspiring to an MBA programme in your busy schedule. 

Q: Which is better: an online MBA or a regular MBA?

A: If you are pursuing an MBA to gain professional promotion in your career, an online MBA is the right choice. However, a regular MBA is the best option if the goal is to earn an MBA from a top business school with various opportunities.

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