Every semester I have to update my faculty profile for the school of business’s accreditation. I do it without giving it much thought. Since I have the template completed all I have to do is update courses I thought the previous semester, any professional development I completed, school committee, and community activities for the calendar year. Some of my colleagues look at the activity as a good way to keep their curriculum vitae up to date. The business school I work at is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Types of Accreditation

There are five main accrediting organizations for business schools. The following three are focused on associate (two year) or bachelor (four year) degree programs.

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the oldest and largest. It focuses on large publicly funded research schools. Accredits 4 year, masters and doctoral programs. (Zhao & Ferran, 2019, p. 53) https://www.aacsb.edu/
  • Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits 2 and 4 year programs, masters and doctorial programs. Focus is on teaching excellence. (Zhao & Ferran, 2019, p. 54) https://www.acbsp.org/page/accreditation-overview
  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) accredits 2 and 4 year programs, masters and doctoral programs at smaller teaching-orientated schools. Focus is on continuous improvement and is principles based. AASBC and ACBSP are standards based. (Zhao & Ferran, 2019, p. 55) https://iacbe.org/

For more information of these accrediting organizations click here. You will be taken to Ashford University’s page on Business School Accreditations – What’s the difference?

What does it mean for a business school to have accreditation?

The accreditations are seen as an external seal of approval for business schools. They are a way for schools to differentiating themselves from the thousands of other schools. Once a school has an accreditation they work very hard to keep it and spend significant amount of time and money. The re-accreditation process has to be completed every three to five years (Zhao & Ferran, 2019, p. 56).  The accreditations determine the necessary qualifications of faculty and the ratio of each degree type of faculty — Doctorates vs Masters.

Accreditation have help schools to align their missions and their practice and request additional resources from the institution. (Zhao & Ferran, 2019, p. 63) This includes additional resources and money for salaries and professional development. I believe there is value in the accreditation process for business schools. Accreditation and keeping their accreditation helps schools to identify areas of improvement and determine if they are offering a creditable business education to students. It does this by providing the standards that schools are evaluate against.


Ashford University. (2014, May 23). Business School Accreditation — What’s the Difference? Retrieved from Ashford University Website: https://www.ashford.edu/blog/online-learning/business-school-accreditation-whats-the-difference

Zhao, J., & Ferran, C. (2019). Business School Accreditation in the Changing Global Marketplace. Journal of International Education in Business, 52-69.

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