Studying MBA in USA Vs Australia

An MBA degree is the most coveted postgraduate degree in today’s world among the fresh graduates and business professionals. An MBA degree opens wide horizons for the students in different fields of business administration. The core subjects covered by an MBA program include marketing, finance, accounting, human resources, operations, and management analysis and strategy. There are countries which provide tailored MBA programs like full-time, part-time, executive, and distance learning programs with many specializations.

MBA in USA Vs Australia: Which Destination is Better?

MBA in USA Vs Australia

We all know the various reasons i.e. a huge pay package, skill sets, knowledge, global networking etc.  to make MBA as the most in-demand course in the world. What we are puzzled about is the destination/place from where it should be pursued from. Here in this article we are going to evaluate MBA in USA Vs Australia. If we go by the ranking and statistics, USA has the more top ranked universities as compared to the Australia. If you make your decision only on the basis of one factor, it will be lopsided. So, when you weigh that whether Studying MBA in USA or Studying MBA in Australia is a better option, you have to take various factors in to consideration.

The factors which you should take into consideration while weighing MBA in USA vs Australia are:

  • Ranking of Universities
  • Cost
  • Admission Process/Cycle
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Value for Money
  • Alumni and Milkrounds

So, read on further to know about how each of the above mentioned parameter can affect your decision about whether to Study MBA in Australia or Study MBA in US.

Ranking of Universities

As mentioned earlier the USA has more top ranked universities than Australia. Though it can’t be the sole deciding factor but it is an important factor to influence your decision. While ranking a university lot of key variables are taken into account like faculty, international exposure, scope of research, presence or absence of contemporary programs and funding opportunities for students. So, in a way it ensures you the minimum quality which you can expect from the top ranked universities. As per the QS list, there are four US Universities among top 10 universities in the world whereas there is not even a single Australian university in the top 10 list. If we look at the overall numbers of top universities, then also the number of US Universities is much more than that of Australian Universities.

With so many universities making to the top list, MBA in US will give you wider range of specializations than the MBA in Australia. Also, the US Universities offer many contemporary and unconventional courses. So, studying MBA in USA gives you an added advantage over other countries.

Here is the World QS Ranking of top USA Universities and top Universities in Australia.

Top Business Schools in The USA

University World QS Ranking
Harvard University 2
Stanford University 4
University of Pennsylvania 5
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 6
University of California, Berkeley (UCB) 12
University of Chicago 16
New York University (NYU) 19
Columbia University 21
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 22
University of Michigan 23

Top Business Schools in The Australia

University World QS Ranking
The University of Melbourne 15
The University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia) 19
The University of Sydney 32
The Australian National University 36
Monash University 39
The University of Queensland 48
RMIT University 51-100
The University of Western Australia 51-100
University of Technology Sydney 51-100
Griffith University 101-150


As per the HSBC report, the Australia is the costliest country to live in the world where the annual cost of living is $18, 012 whereas in US you need $11, 651. The tuition fees for MBA in USA vs Australia in top colleges is given in the below charts:

Tuition Fee at Top MBA Colleges in the USA

Name of the Institute Duration of the Program Tuition Fees (1st year)
Stanford Graduate School of Business 2 years $66,540
Harvard Business School 2 years $63,675
Kellogg School of Management 2 years $66,462
1 year $91,716
Booth School of Business 21 months $66,540
Tuck School of Business 2 years $66, 390

Tuition Fee at Top MBA Colleges in Australia

Name of the Institute Duration of the Program Total Tuition Fees  (Approx.)
Melbourne Business School, The University of Melbourne 1 year $59,829
AGSM MBA, University of New South Wales 16 months $57,153
College of Business and Economics, Australian National University ANU 2 years $57,365
La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University 1.5 years $36,944
Monash Business School, Monash University 2 years $48,069

So, you can evaluate from the above charts that there is a huge difference in the MBA tuition fee in US and MBA tuition fee in Australia. E.g. If you pursue your MBA from Kellogg School of Management even when you go for one year program, you have to pay a whooping amount of $91,716. On the other hand, if you pursue your degree from Melbourne Business School, The University of Melbourne, you have to pay $59,829 for a one year program.

Thus, if cost of studying is the sole parameter of comparison, Australia wins hands down. But if you are looking for better Return on Investment, pay packages offered to MBA graduates from US are much higher as compared to that of MBA graduates from Australia. Also, MBA from US universities are given much more importance in the job industry.

Admission Process/Cycle for MBA in USA Vs Australia

MBA Admission Criteria in USA and Australia are different. Both the countries follow different admission cycles as described here:

US have three admission cycles during an academic year. The universities in US have divided the academic year into Spring, Summer and Fall. The major intake by most of the top US Universities is done in Fall while some universities take summer as well as spring intake.  The deadlines for each cycle are different for each university and program. So, candidates need to check the department website to know about the deadlines. The candidates should start preparations at least 15 months prior to the target admission intake.

In Australia, the academic session begins in February. So, the candidates should start the procedure an year before the target academic session. The entire process of application takes around 10-11 months.  The application window generally for most of the universities in Australia falls between September to November. There are always some exceptions like AGSM MBA has three rounds of intake. Also, some the universities when fail to fill the seats in September-November window, call for applications in July.

Eligibility Criteria

Most of the universities in US require you to have 16 years of education plus work experience for 3-6 years. This means that you should have 4 years of education after 10+2 and work experience is mandatory. However, there is always room for some flexibility and there are some universities which accept 15 years of education. There are also some universities which accept your candidature even if you don’t have work experience.

In Australia, 3 years of graduation along with the 2-4 years of work experience is the pre-requisite for an MBA applicant.

Value For Money

As analyzed above, the cost of studying MBA in USA is higher as compared to that of studying MBA in Australia. Now, the question is degree from which country will prove its value for money.

No doubt that the graduates from the top US universities are offered much higher pay packages as compared to those from the Australian university. E.g. the starting pay package for a graduate from Stanford or Harvard will be around $180,000. The average pay package of MBA graduates from North America is $128,600 which is quite impressive

However, the MBA graduates in Australia get an average compensation of $86,000 which is quite lower than that of US MBA graduates.

 B-Schools With The Best ROI in USA

Name of the Institutes Rank Duration Tuition fee(annual) Salary
Harvard Business School 1 2 years $63,675 $180,183
Stanford Graduate School of Business 4 2 years $66,540 $178,929
University of Pennsylvania: Wharton 3 2 years $73,634 $172,699
Columbia Business School 6 2 years $65,988 $170,849
 University of Chicago: Booth 9 21 months $66,540 $162,791

 B-Schools With The best ROI in Australia

University Rank Duration Tuition fee Salary 
Macquarie Graduate School of Management 68 2 years $49,872(annual) 120,485
AGSM at UNSW Business School 75 16 months $57,153 109,794
Melbourne Business School 90 2 months $59,829 96,411

Alumni and Milkrounds

Finally, compare the basic difference between the US education model and the Australian education model. Although, both the countries have strong learning model but when compared the American model is unparalleled. Also, the recruitment support and alumni organizations in US Universities are large and well-funded and their milkrounds are broader and deep rooted than that of Australian universities. As America is bigger economy with bigger schools, every dream company goes to its favorite school to pick the best talent and give best incentives to the deserving candidates.

So, when you are evaluating your options, keep the above parameters in our mind. Take a paper and pen and start writing answer to the following questions:

  • Why you want to pursue MBA?
  • What is it that you want to learn from MBA?
  • Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
  • Which destination fulfill your expectations as an international exposure?
  • Which is more pocket-friendly and gives you better ROI?

Once,you have the answer to the above questions, you will be able to make a rational decision about your destination to study abroad. You can contact us anytime if you have any queries. We will be more than happy to help!

Related Articles: