MBA in UK or MBA in USA: Which is Better?


Subhashri Roy
Updated on May 22, 2023 06:26 PM IST

MBA from the UK or the US do seem similar. But, are they really? Find out the key differences between an MBA in the UK and an MBA in the US to figure out which country to get an MBA from.

MBA in UK or MBA in USA: Which is Better?

It can be overwhelming to be on the hunt for the ideal MBA destination for you. After an initial online search, you quickly discover that the US or the UK are the top contenders when it comes to pursuing an MBA.

Given how both countries have amazing MBA records, be it in terms of academic standards, ROI or post-study work opportunities, choosing between the UK and USA could be a taxing task.

You can even be tempted to think that whether you do an MBA from the US or UK, it would eventually not really make any difference. But, that is not the case and you are about to learn the differences along with the varying advantages of studying MBA in the US and the UK.

Key Differences Between MBA in UK and MBA in USA

Turns out, MBA in the UK and MBA in the US are quite different. Let us find out how the countries compare when it comes to pursuing an MBA:

Point of Difference

MBA in the UK

MBA in the USA

World Rank

According to FT Global MBA Rankings 2022,  nearly 50% of the top 100 schools are based in the US, including 8 of 20 at the top.


3-4 years of undergrad education from an accredited institution

2.75 to 3.6 GPA in Bachelors

2-4 years of work experience

3-4 years of undergrad education from an accredited institution

2.75 to 3.6 GPA in Bachelors

3-6 years of work experience


Based on a classical curriculum with a higher focus on theory than practical experience.

Gives you enough space to pick from an array of subjects.

An MBA in the US allows you to gain hands-on, practical experience.

You will be offered the flexibility to explore other subjects such as the liberal arts, history, etc.

US B-schools provide you with enough scope for research and collaboration.

You can also engage in guest lectures and seminars


12-21 months (usually 12 months/one year)

2-3 years

Cost of Living

USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 per year

GBP 1,500 to GBP 5,000 per year

Admission Requirements

GMAT - 680-700

GRE -160 (quantitative) and 160 (verbal)

TOEFL, IELTS or  PTE Academic scores

GMAT: 650-730

GRE: 165 (quantitative) and 170 (verbal)



Most UK scholarships are offered by universities, based on merit, financial need or ethnicity.

Some of these are The London Business School Fund Scholarship, Cambridge Judge Business School Scholarship, Oxford Sad Business School Scholarships, etc.

Comparatively better in terms of the availability of scholarships

Top US MBA scholarships include Fullbright Foreign Student Program, Harvard University Scholarships, Wharton Emerging Economy Fellowships, among others.

Tuition Fees

USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 per year

GBP 70,000 to GBP 75,000 per year

Work-Study Opportunities

Relatively fewer on- or off-campus part-time job opportunities

A wide range of part-time jobs is available for international MBA students in the US.

Post-Study Opportunities/Work Permit

2 years work permit upon graduation, through the new Graduate Route

F-1 visa holders can engage in OPT upto 12 months after graduation.

H-1B visa - During your OPT, you can apply for an H-1B visa, which is a US work visa for high-skilled migrants.

STEM-certified MBAs have an additional advantage - the 24-month extension of OPT means that you have two more years to apply for an H-1B.

Top Recruiting Companies

Iceland, Building Society, American Express, Zurich, Legal & General and AXA

McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, Amazon, Google, Goldman Sachs

Average Salary

GBP 116,000 per year

GBP 109,000 per year


Many UK MBAs have lower costs and better ROIs than US programs.

An added advantage is one year less of studies meaning one year less of tuition.

Schools like the London Business School offer a salary of 107%, as per QS.

North America offers the best salary uplift in the US, with an average of 74%. In conclusion, MBAs from US schools pay back their tuition costs in an average of 55 months, as per QS.

Upper Age Limit

In the UK, the average age for MBA programs is 28-35.

The average age for MBA programs ranges between 25 and 28

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Why Get an MBA from the UK?

Although it is common knowledge that UK B-Schools perform highly in all worldwide MBA rankings, you should be aware of some of the best benefits of earning an MBA in the UK.

  • Duration: Compared to the US, the UK's MBA programmes last less time. It typically lasts a year, which is significantly less time than MBA programmes in UK.

  • Course Offerings: There are many different specialisations and courses available in the UK. You can expect a wide variety of topics, ensuring that you are up to date with the most recent changes to the international employment market. To give you an idea, the core management courses in the UK would consist of several electives in addition to Human Resources, Information Systems, Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Marketing.

  • Strong Research Platform: According to assessments conducted by the Research Excellence Framework, 46% of university research in the UK is regarded as being internationally good, and 30% is regarded as being world-leading. In general, the nation has a robust infrastructure for research involving students.

  • Career Services: Almost all British business schools offer active career services to both domestic and international students. They encourage you to create your own business in addition to assisting you in preparing for your professional journey through CV building and maximising your potential.

  • Affordable Cost of Living: Because an MBA in the UK lasts for a shorter period of time, your overall tuition costs will undoubtedly decrease. In addition, the cost of living and other living expenditures are often cheaper and fairly affordable when compared to the US. The typical cost of an MBA in addition to living expenses in the UK would be about GBP 20,000.

Why Get an MBA from the USA?

Well, the standing of US business schools is nothing new. Let's look at how you could profit most from a MBA in USA:

  • Networking Possibilities: No other nation does it as well as the US. Top US business schools have the strongest networks and relationships with multinational corporations throughout the world when it comes to networking. After graduation or while you are looking for an internship while you are a student, these relationships will always be useful to you.

  • Quality of Business Schools: Rankings are a helpful indicator of a school's quality, but they shouldn't be the only factor considered when choosing where to get an MBA. US business schools are well-known for consistently appearing at the top of international MBA rankings. In this list are schools that have good indicators in terms of ROI, salary levels, employment rate and so on.

  • Top of the Corporate Ladder Position: You can acquire top leadership positions at prominent firms by earning an MBA from the US. Your employability will rise, your horizons will widen, and you'll earn competitive wages. The average base salary plus bonus reported by 2021 alumni of the top-ranked MBA programmes in the United States was more than USD 145,000, according to research by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Higher ROI: According to a survey of career outcomes by U.S. News & World Report, the anticipated return on investment for the majority of programmes continues to be strong across the board when compared to MBA expenses in the US. It also discovered that typical MBA earnings at top-ranked institutions were seven times greater than the programmes' anticipated costs.

Top MBA Universities: USA vs UK

An MBA from top universities in the USA and UK nurtures the most demanded skills for business administration and management including communication, time management, leadership, finding creative solutions and decision making all of which come incredibly handy during the running of businesses. These reputed universities cultivate competencies of the business leaders and are world-famous for their glorious alumni. Here we will list down some of the top MBA colleges in USA and UK along with their QS Ranking 2023 and US News and World Rankings 2023  that will help students compare them. 

Top MBA Schools in UK

The most popular MBA schools in UK are given in the table below: 

MBA Schools in USA

QS MBA Rankings 2023

FT MBA Rankings 2022

Stanford Graduate School of Business




Harvard Business School



Penn (Wharton)



MIT (Sloan)



Columbia Business School



Top MBA Schools in USA

The MBA schools in USA along with their rankings are given below: 

MBA Schools in UK

QS MBA Rankings 2023

FT MBA Rankings 2022

London Business School



Cambridge Judge Business School



Oxford (Said)




Imperial College Business School



Warwick Business School 



Job Prospects and Salary: MBA in USA vs UK

Jobs for MBAs are on the rise in every sector, especially the technology sector. The annual MBA hiring has also increased as a consequence. Most business programmes in the USA incorporate STEM elements to provide better job opportunities to students. UK business programs also strengthen students’ knowledge and skills to make them recession-proof. They develop valuable proficiencies that can be transferred to jobs. Let us look at the job prospects after MBA in USA vs UK and the average salary earned by MBA professionals.

MBA Job Roles and Salary in USA

MBA in USA trains students with lessons in finance, data analytics, strategy, accounting, marketing, decision-making and communication. The graduates are hired by top technology, consulting and other companies that provide lucrative salary packages. Here we will look at the top job roles after MBA in USA and the average salary earned: 

MBA Job Roles in USA

Salary in USD 

Salary in INR

Director of Marketing


58.39 lakhs

Management Analyst

81, 674

67.49 lakhs

Sales Director


71.70 lakhs

Human Resource Director


73.09 lakhs

Finance Manager


75.09 lakhs

MBA Job Roles and Salary in UK

MBA in UK aims to give new career perspectives to students that will transform their employment opportunities for the better. They gain and share business insight that strengthens their quality of business education. After MBA in UK, students are highly preferred by employers and their business acumen proves valuable for the company. The popular MBA job roles and the average salary earned by MBA graduates in the UK are shown below: 

MBA Job Roles in UK

Salary in GBP

Salary in INR

Director of Marketing


71.10 lakhs

Management Analyst


37.41 lakhs

Sales Director


72.67 lakhs

Human Resource Director


74.35 lakhs

Finance Manager


45.22 lakhs

We have study abroad experts on board, with years of experience and knowledge about MBA candidacy. Have them assess your MBA potential and give you a judgement, as to which among the US and the UK is ideal for you to get an MBA.

Want to Avoid Making Mistakes in Your MBA Application?


Is MBA in USA better than MBA in UK?

MBA in USA and MBA in UK both have their own merits. Making a choice between the two is a daunting task as both countries feature some of the top business programmes. While MBA in UK is of one year and hence cost-effective, MBA in USA requires candidates to spend two years to complete the course which increases the investment. 

Is the GMAT score requirement higher in USA than in UK?

Yes, for some of the top business schools in USA, the GMAT score requirement can go up to 740. On the other hand, in the UK a GMAT score between 670 and 700 is considered to be good for admission to the country’s best business colleges. Therefore, whichever country you choose, you will have to ace the GMAT exam to increase your chances. 

Are MBA scholarship opportunities better in UK than in USA?

Both UK and USA provide several MBA scholarships to students pursuing the course. The scholarships can be awarded by the government, organisations or by the institutes themselves. The scholarships provide a discount on tuition fees and cover other expenses. The popular MBA scholarships for UK are the London Business School Fund Scholarship and the Reaching Out MBA Scholarship. The top scholarships for MBA in USA are Forte MBA Fellowships 2023 and Harvard University - MBA Scholarships.

Are MBA salaries higher in USA than in UK?

Yes, MBA salaries are slightly higher in USA than in UK. One must note that the salaries are adjusted according to the living costs and inflation of a country and the difference might be because of these reasons. Besides, the salaries depend on the qualifications, job profiles, skills and experience of candidates so the same job role will fetch different salaries within the same as well as different companies. 

Is the stay-back period after MBA in USA longer than in UK?

The stay-back period after MBA in USA depends on the type of course or programme you have attended. Generally, the stay-back period is one year but you might get an extension of two years if it is a STEM-designated MBA. In such cases, the stay back in USA is three years which is longer than two years stay-back period after MBA in UK. 

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