What is AACSB Accreditation for College Business Programs?

Here's everything you need to know about AACSB accreditation.When it comes to college programs–especially, but not only, online–accreditation is a major factor that also needs to be carefully taken into consideration by any prospective student.

One of the main accrediting bodies that you’ll come across when investigating college programs is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or AACSB.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about AACSB and the accreditation that they offer.

What is AACSB?

AACSB is a globally-recognized, and reputable, accrediting body that focuses on the accreditation of business programs around the world.

They offer accreditation to institutions offering undergraduate, graduate, and also doctoral degree programs that cover “traditional business areas”. These areas include a variety of specialized majors from accounting and finance, to management consulting, and global supply chain management.

What requirements are there for AACSB accreditation?

The AACSB uses extensive criteria in its accreditation process. The standards ensure that the educational program is reputable, has strong processes and procedures, and is committed to the success and advancement of students and the institution.

In order to obtain and maintain accreditation, institutions do not necessarily have to meet specific benchmarks. However, the evidence must clearly show that their values and actions also align with these core tenets, or that they are actively working toward meeting these requirements in a significant and obvious way.

Who is AACSB accredited?

Nearly all business school programs at public and private universities within the U.S. have AACSB accreditation. A few examples of programs accredited by the AACSB include Xavier University, Florida State University, and Duke University.

There are some notable exceptions from this group (e.g., Kaplan University, Ashford University, and University of Phoenix).  For-profit, online business programs are not eligible for AACSB accreditation.

How do I know if my program is AACSB accredited?

Most accredited programs will have a section of their website that displays their accreditation.

If you’re unsure, or unable to find it on the college’s website (be sure to check the business school specifically), then you can check the directory listed on the AACSB website to see if the school is listed.

What should I do if my program is not AACSB accredited?

Don’t panic if you participate in a non-accredited AACSB business program. Generally considered industry standard, there are reputable programs with alternative accreditations.

What other accrediting bodies are there?

Some reputable and respected alternative accrediting business school program bodies exist.

It’s important to know that there are many different types of accreditation available, but the best ones are generally regional accreditation and recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). They list recognized accreditation agencies on their website.

The other accreditation agencies listed for business schools are:

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)