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Understanding the Accreditation of Business Courses

Top-tier business schools are accredited. Whether you're eyeing a bachelor's degree in business or aiming for a master of business administration (MBA), it's wise to verify the school's accreditation status. After all, you wouldn't want to waste your time and money on a degree that doesn't hold up to industry standards, right?

Why Does Accreditation Matters?

Three accrediting bodies approve business schools to accredit degree-granting programs, and business schools have the freedom to choose which of these accreditations to pursue.

The burning question remains: does a business school's accreditation truly make a difference? And if it does, which  reigns supreme in the world of business education?

Let's dive into the world of business accreditation in this blog and understand the truth behind its importance.

Working of Business School Accreditation

Curious about how business school accreditation works? Well, just like other types of accreditation, business school accreditations are voluntary and awarded by independent nonprofit organizations. Business schools have the option to seek accreditation from one of three major accrediting bodies.

These three prestigious accrediting bodies meticulously assess both undergraduate and graduate business programs, including the esteemed MBA programs. They establish standards for business education, perform thorough on-site evaluations, and consistently monitor the performance of accredited business schools.

Failure to meet these high standards can result in the loss of accreditation for the schools in question. Interestingly, all three accrediting bodies evaluate both traditional in-person programs and innovative online programs. It's worth noting that a university's in-person and online business programs typically share the same prestigious accreditation.

  1. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)- The AACSB accredits more than 950 prestigious business schools worldwide. With a history dating back to 1916, AACSB is the gold standard for business and accounting accreditation. Only schools that offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees are eligible for AACSB accreditation, making it a mark of excellence in the academic world. Known for its focus on thought leadership, AACSB tends to accredit business schools at research-focused institutions.

AACSB-Accredited Business Schools

  • Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business

  • Harvard Business School

  • Indiana University Kelley School of Business

  • Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business

2. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)- Established in 1988, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) grants accreditation to 750 esteemed business schools. ACBSP prides itself on promoting teaching excellence and ensuring positive student outcomes. ACBSP was the first accreditor to assess associate-level business programs. With a strong emphasis on student learning and teaching, ACBSP is the go-to choice for colleges and universities that prioritize education over research.

ACBSP-Accredited Business Schools

Alabama State University College of Business Administration

Colorado State University Global School of Management and Innovation

Fisk University Department of Business Administration

Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry

Liberty University School of Business

3. International Accreditation Council for Business Education- The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) accredits fewer than 200 business schools. Founded in 1997, IACBE prides itself on being a "mission-driven and outcomes-based" accreditor. As the newest player in the business accreditation game, IACBE collaborates with member institutions to enhance their business education processes and practices.

IACBE-Accredited Business Schools

Albertus Magnus College Tagliatela School of Business and Leadership

Azusa Pacific University School of Business and Management

Franklin University Ross College of Business

Seton Hill University School of Business

University of Maryland Global Campus Department of Business Administration

Which Accreditation Is Better?

Is business school accreditation really worth all the hype? And what about MBA accreditation? Accredited business schools adhere to strict academic and outcome-based standards, ultimately benefiting students.

Unlike professions such as nursing, social work, and teaching, you don't necessarily need an accredited business degree to obtain a professional license. Employers tend to focus more on the reputation of the business school rather than its accreditation status. So, while accreditation is important, it won't necessarily make or break your career.

You can always consider other factors that will truly shape your business school experience and job opportunities. Look into specialization options, internship opportunities, alumni networks, reputations, and job placements when comparing programs which will have a much greater impact on your education and career path.

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