Although an M.S. and an MBA are both awarded at the end of graduate studies, they have different focuses. An MBA is a Master of Business Administration degree, so students in these programs learn the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the business world. An M.S. is a Master of Science and is awarded in a number of fields, including mathematics, business, education, sciences and social sciences. Students typically concentrate on a specific area within the discipline.
A bachelor's degree is required in order to enter either of the master's programs. Many institutions have MBA programs, and several formats are offered. A traditional full-time MBA program takes two years to complete. Part-time programs run three or more years. Classes are usually held evenings and weekends when working students are available. For individuals with significant experience in the business field, weekend Executive MBA programs are options.
Master of Science programs are typically two years long, but this varies depending upon length of academic year, whether the student attends full or part time and the department's specific requirements. M.S. programs are research-oriented, so additional training is often needed because research is not an important focus in most undergraduate studies. For both MBA and M.S. programs, campus and on-line programs are available.