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Considering MiM, MiF, or MsBA degrees?

Katie Schenk - November 05, 2019

Prodigy Finance compares difference between MBAs and MiMs

It’s easy to fall into the habit of equating business master's degrees with MBAs. 

The Master of Business Administration is, after all, the most recognisable graduate business school offering. And, you’ll find top programmes on every continent. Plus, the intensity of MBA applications makes difficult to ignore this degree.

MBA programmes deserve all the credit they receive. But, that doesn’t make an MBA right for everyone. Nor does it need to be, there are a lot of master's degrees that offer incredible career progression.

How do MiMs, MiFs and MSBAs stack against MBAs?

European universities have long been a proponent of accelerated business programmes. That’s evident in their 1-year MBA programmes

But, shorter doesn’t necessarily mean less intense. That’s the driving force behind specialised business masters such as the Masters in Management (MiM), Masters in Finance (MiF), and the Masters of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA).

There are a couple of big differences between MBAs and other business degrees. One of the most obvious is the age of applicants. 

MBAs are encouraged to wait until they have 5 to 7 years of experience under their belt before submitting their applications.

Applicants to MiF, MiM, and MSBA programmes are usually younger. Programmes, such as the MIT Sloan Master of Business Analytics, are designed with newly minted grads in mind. 

That doesn’t mean they turn away applicants with some experience, the equivalent degree at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin offers the following advice to prospective students:

“No work experience required, though students with work, leadership, and/or professional development experience are encouraged to apply.”

Another big difference is the price of these degrees. 

Most MiF, MiM and MSBA degrees are about half the price of MBAs at the same university. At HEC Paris, an MSc in International Finance has a base tuition fee of €33,625. Compare that with their MBA’s price tag of €72,500. 

In both cases, you’re sitting with a master’s degree from one of the most recognised and respected European universities – and you’ve spent the same amount of time studying.

It should get you thinking about the possibilities.

And, as we said, there are plenty. Just look at these these MiF programmes and their tuition costs. 

Top Master's in Finance programmes

These are the Financial Time’s top ranked Masters in Finance programmes

This list isn’t the same as you’re used to seeing in the top MBA programmes. 

Sure, there are familiar names such as HEC Paris and ESADE, but some of the top schools for MiF programmes aren’t the same as top schools for MBAs. 

More than that, almost every degree listed in the top 10 is based in Europe. The exception is MIT Sloan – and, sitting in seventh place, carries a much higher tuition than European programmes.

But, the specialisation in these degrees should also be fairly obvious. It’s not just a straight up Masters in Finance. There’s an MSc in International Finance, an Advanced Master in Financial Techniques, and even a slightly unusual HSG MA in Banking and Finance. (It’s unusual as it is a Master of Arts, rather than a Master of Science.)

HEC Paris

  • MBA tuition € 72,500
  • MSc in International Finance tuition € 33,625

ESCP Europe

  • Executive MBA tuition € 62,000
  • Advanced Master in Finance tuition € 25,000

EDHEC Business School

  • Global MBA tuition € 44,000
  • MSc in Financial Markets tuition € 24,900

Skema Business School

  • Global Executive MBA tuition € 32,000
  • MSc in Financial Markets and Investments tuition € 21,500

ESSEC Business School

  • Global MBA tuition € 45,000
  • Master in Finance tuition € 23,000

University of St Gallen

  • Full-Time MBA tuition CHF 58,500
  • HSG MA in Banking and Finance tuition CHF  9978

MIT Sloan School of Management

  • Full-Time MBA tuition $ 154,336
  • Master of Finance tuition $ 85,807

IE Business School

  • International MBA tuition € 72,200
  • Master in Finance tuition € 37,200

SDA Bocconi

  • Full-Time MBA tuition € 59,000
  • MSc in Finance tuition € 28,000

Imperial College Business School

  • Full-Time MBA tuition £ 52,000
  • MSc in Finance tuition £ 35,900

Top Master's in Management programmes

You’ll see similar variations in the top MiM programmes (at schools with MBA programmes) as ranked by the Financial Times

You should see a lot of similarities when comparing these schools to the previous list. You'll see plenty of university overlap as each of these is also a European institution.

You can see the difference in the price structure. It’s not universally half, but the average works out about the same as MiF programmes.

University of St Gallen

  • Full-Time MBA tuition CHF 58,500
  • MA in Strategy and International Management tuition CHF 9978

HEC Paris

  • MBA tuition € 72,500
  • Masters in Management tuition € 39,700

London Business School

  • MBA tuition £ 82,00
  • Masters in Management tuition £ 32,500

ESSEC Business School

  • Global MBA tuition € 45,000
  • MSc in Management tuition € 41,900

ESCP Europe

  • Executive MBA tuition € 62,000
  • Master in Management tuition € 21,500

Rotterdam School of Management

  • Full-Time MBA tuition € 52,000
  • MSc International Management tuition € 27,300

Check out our school spotlight

University College Dublin Smurfit

  • The Smurfit MBA tuition € 34,500
  • MSc International Management tuition € 19,900

SDA Bocconi

  • Full-Time MBA tuition € 59,000
  • MSc in International Management tuition € 28,000

ESADE Business School

  • The ESADE MBA tuition € 72,000
  • MSc in International Management tuition € 29,100

Top Master of Science in Business Analytics programmes

As already noted, the Master of Science in Business Analytics expects applicants at the start of their careers rather than several years into it. And, like the MiF and MiM programmes, it’s typically a consolidated 1-year programme.

But, there’s a big difference between these degrees and the MiF and MiM programmes.

Until recently, MSBA programmes have been most popular in the United States. Okay, recent is a little tongue in cheek; these are still relatively new degrees – as is the big data these degrees seek to analyse, interpret, and manipulate.

See why Vinaught chose to pursue an MSBA:


Prodigy Finance Borrower MSBA Vinaught


Their novelty can be seen in the lack of rankings by traditional business school programme reviewers. You won’t find a Financial Times top Master of Science in Business Analytics table, nor is there a U.S. News & World Report ranking. TFE Times has a solid ranking, and it tells us that there are some similarities with between the MSBA and its European specialised business masters cousins.

New York University Stern

  • Full-Time MBA tuition $ 148,368
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 76,750

University of Southern California Marshall

  • Full-Time MBA tuition $ 124,740
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 63,096

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lally

  • MBA tuition $ 108,000
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 54,000

University of Texas at Austin McCombs

  • Texas McCombs MBA tuition $ 109,848
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 48,000

University of Rochester Simon

  • Full-Time MBA tuition $ 94,000
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 65,000

Arizona State University Carey

  • Full-Time MBA tuition $ 103,671
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 55,488

Villanova University

  • Executive MBA tuition $ 98,000
  • MS in Analytics tuition $ 49,500

University of Utah Eccles

  • Full-Time MBA tuition $ 64,872
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 59,200

University of Minnesota Carlson

  • Full-Time MBA tuition $ 102,912
  • MS in Business Analytics tuition $ 63,450

Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Stevens MBA tuition $ 73,360
  • MS in Business Intelligence & Analytics tuition $ 55,020

For a start, the names look different to those you would find on top MBA rankings. Sure, you’ll see plenty of these institutions on the list, just generally not so high in them. 

Interestingly, some of the top MBA schools that also find themselves on the MiM and MiF charts have also introduced MSBA degrees. IE Business School offers a Master in Business Analytics and Big Data and ESADE has recently launched its MSc in Business Analytics.

And then, there are the price tags. They’re tough not to notice.

Learn more about Niharika's MSBA journey and how she's financing it:


Prodigy Finance borrower and MS engineering student Niharika chose online international lender

Should business master's tuition costs impact your decision?

An MBA isn’t right for everyone. Not everyone needs it. Not everyone wants to wait until they’re 8 years into their career. Some may want to study in the United States, but can’t afford 2 years without an income to do it. And, yes, some may be swayed by the cost of an MiF, an MiM, or an MSBA if they can use those degrees earlier in their career.

That’s especially true given that universities like to demonstrate the overlap between the specialised business masters and the MBA. It’s believed that as much of 30% of MiM and MBA content overlaps

Though MiM curriculum leans towards theoretical work and MBA’s tends to focus on practical experience, it’s not surprising that institutions leverage existing material in new ways.

Each one of these master’s degrees shares another quality with the MBA; universities are looking for the best talent. You’ll still need an awesome essay and hours of study towards a terrific GMAT score. And, you’ll spend just as much time considering the universities and programmes that will be the best fit for you

Ready to get the degree that'll transform your career?

Prodigy Finance offers loans for a range of masters programmes, including MBAs, MiMs, MiFs, MSBAs and more at top universities across the globe.

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Post updated for accuracy and freshness on November 5, 2019. Originally published on June 28, 2018.


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