What is the AACSB?

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The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, referred to as AACSB, promotes high-quality business management and accounting education around the globe. The association accredits bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs to ensure that curricular studies uphold traditional and trending industry standards. A business degree from an AACSB-accredited school and program means that prospective business candidates have met the highest professional standards and competencies desired and expected by 21st-century employers.

The AACSB Accreditation Process

To become AACSB-accredited, schools and programs must go through a rigorous, voluntary process that fewer than five percent of all business programs world-wide have completed. In cooperation with the association, the institution completes an extensive, comprehensive review of

-the school’s educational mission,
-qualifications of faculty,
-curricular framework,
-and strategic development plans for the future.

The process requires self-evaluations, peer assessments and committee reviews that examine how students are learning and ensure that curricular studies cover relevant business and leadership topics. The accreditation process typically takes two to three years to complete and must be reviewed every five years to make sure schools are complying with current standards.

Accreditation Standards

The association first adopted standards in 1919. Since then, standards have regularly been revised to meet the changing trends and climate within business and accounting professions. Currently, qualifying institutions and programs must meet 15 standards in four categories:

  • Strategic Management and Innovation
    -Mission, Impact and Innovation
    -Intellectual Contributions and Alignment with Mission
    -Financial Strategies and Allocation of Resources
  • Students, Faculty and Professional Staff
    -Student Admissions, Progression and Career Development
    -Faculty Sufficiency and Deployment
    -Faculty Management and Support
    -Professional Staff Sufficiency and Deployment
  • Learning and Teaching
    -Curricular Management and Assurance of Learning
    -Curriculum Content
    -Student Faculty Interactions
    -Degree Program Educational Level, Structure and Equivalence
    -Teaching Effectiveness
  • Academic and Professional Engagement
    -Student Academic and Professional Engagement
    -Executive Education
    -Faculty Qualifications and Engagement

Benefits of Accreditation

Graduating with a business or accounting degree from a school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International gives graduates an edge to land prospective jobs. Employers recognize that degrees from AACSB-accredited institutions mean graduates have been trained to the highest standards regarding foundational competencies and trending theory in management, accounting and professional leadership. Desired personal outcomes of holding an AACSB-accredited degree can include

-easier acceptance into graduate schools from baccalaureate programs,
-greater employment flexibility across multiple sectors like retail, healthcare, education or Fortune 500 companies,
-preferential consideration for management, executive or administrative positions,
-and achieving higher salaries than those earned by counterparts from non-accredited institutions.

College education is an investment that affects future success, so earning a degree from a program with specialized accreditation should be an important consideration. Degrees from schools with AACSB-accredited programs offer graduates a return on their investment by providing them with the professional competencies required to compete and advance in their careers. With all the challenges that undergraduate and graduate studies hold, aspiring business and accounting professionals can relax more easily knowing that their degree comes with an AACSB stamp of approval.