MBA or MSL: Comparing these two business degrees

An MBA or an MSL can help you level up your career. But, which degree should you choose?

MBA or MSL: Which degree is right for you?

The opportunity and decision to pursue a graduate business degree can be life-changing. Additionally, it is significant in helping to advance your professional and personal growth and development. At Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor (CUWAA), we offer both a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science in Leadership (MSL). Both the MBA and MSL are designed to prepare you for your next career move.

With an advanced degree you’ll develop the comprehensive managerial and leadership skills you need to execute organizational change, drive strategic initiatives, and develop high-performance teams—the qualifications today’s employers are actively looking for in candidates to fill the top levels of leadership.  Both degrees focus on your employability, flexibility in learning, and regional mobility.

Using an MBA or MSL to advance your career

What an MBA can offer you

The MBA covers a broad range of topics that focus on the big picture of the organization. The curriculum focuses on practical applications for decision-making in the dynamic business environment.

Choosing a concentration

Students choose to focus their studies in one of many concentrations available, including:

  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Communications & Public Relations
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Management Information Systems
  • Nonprofit Leadership & Public Administration
  • Sport & Entertainment Business
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Sustainability Management & Analytics.

Undoubtedly, as an executive, manager, small business owner, or future leader, the MBA provides a rigorous study of business strategy and decision-making, ensuring you are able to effectively lead teams and the organization.

What an MSL can offer you

Overall, the MSL has a specific focus on leadership with an emphasis on understanding yourself as a leader, leading teams, and leading organizations. This degree program combines theoretical study of leadership with the practical techniques and skills required in today’s organizations. Specifically, the MSL will enable you to discover your leadership strengths and integrate your technical competencies to lead your team and organization. Finally, the program also focuses on building your competencies to lead organizational change efforts and achieve organizational outcomes.

Both the MBA and MSL focus on developing core competencies expected from your employers. CUWAA degrees enable flexible learning opportunities with courses aligned to industry needs and expectations. You’ll join a vibrant community of learners working to become impactful business leaders. Complete your MBA or MSL and prepare to analyze, lead, and make decisions to solve complex business problems and help to create sustainable competitive advantages.

Do you want more information?

As a Christian university committed to delivering a 5-star student experience, we are here to answer any questions and provide more information as you contemplate the next stage of your education and to advance your career. We recently had a webinar to help you decide which program is right for you.

Learn about the MBA

Learn about the MSL

This blog was originally published on 09/07/2021. It has been updated to reflect current information.

— Vanessa Lane is the Content Marketing Lead at Concordia University and can be reached at When she's not at work, she can be found playing with her kids or watching NBA basketball with her husband.

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