AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders.
Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,600 member organizations and nearly 800 accredited business schools worldwide.
When educational, professional, and business organizations become members of the AACSB Business Education Alliance, they are part of a movement united to improve the quality of business education around the world. AACSB connects, shares, and inspires innovation and quality throughout the member network, as well as the business community. The collective strength of the organization is founded on diverse perspectives, a global mindset, and a commitment to making a difference.
With its global headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA; Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education.
The mission of AACSB International is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. This mission is aligned with AACSB’s accreditation standards for business schools. AACSB strives to continuously improve engagement among business, faculty, institutions, and students so that business education is aligned with the needs business practice. To fulfill this goal, AACSB encourages and accelerates innovation to continuously improve business education. As a result, business schools will have a positive impact on business and society—and AACSB International will amplify that impact.
The vision of AACSB is to transform business education for global prosperity. Business and business schools are a force for good, contributing to the world’s economy, and AACSB plays a significant role in making that benefit better known to all stakeholders—serving business schools, students, business, and society.
In achieving its mission and vision, AACSB’s values drive future initiatives and interactions with the business education community worldwide.
AACSB provides internationally recognized, specialized accreditation for business and accounting programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. The AACSB Accreditation Standards challenge post-secondary educators to pursue excellence and continuous improvement throughout their business programs. AACSB Accreditation is known, worldwide, as the longest standing, most recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn.
The AACSB Accreditation Standards were first adopted in 1919. Throughout the years, the standards have continued to be revised to ensure quality and continuous improvement in collegiate business education. In 2010, the AACSB Accreditation Standards were revised, as well as the surrounding processes and documentation requirements. The latest revision occurred in 2013 after more than two years of study and collaboration with the global management education community and employer organizations.
To become AACSB-accredited in business and/or accounting, an institution must satisfy the eligibility requirements and the accreditation standards included in the documents below.
- An institution must be a member of AACSB International in order to apply for accreditation.
- The applicant school submits an Eligibility Application (for business and/or accounting accreditation) as an indication of interest to enter the AACSB Accreditation Process. A school may apply for business and accounting accreditation simultaneously, or for accounting accreditation following the achievement of business accreditation. An eligibility application fee applies. View all applicable accreditation fees.
- The Eligibility Application is reviewed by AACSB staff and a recommendation is made to the Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC) or Accounting Accreditation Committee (AAC) chair regarding acceptance of the application.
- When the application is approved, a volunteer business school administrator (such as a dean) is assigned to the applicant school as a mentor to assist with the development of an Initial Self Evaluation Report. This assigned mentor must avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. At this time, an AACSB Accreditation Staff Liaison is also assigned to the school. This liaison serves as the primary contact person within AACSB for all accreditation-related questions.
- The applicant school will receive an official letter from AACSB informing the institution that its Eligibility Application has been approved and that a mentor has been assigned. An invoice for the IAC Process Acceptance Fee and Initial Accreditation Fee will be sent to the school and must be paid in full within one month of receipt.
- The assigned mentor works with the applicant school to determine its current alignment with the accreditation standards and assist with the development of an Initial Self Evaluation Report. If the mentor finds that there is no reasonable expectation that the school can develop a successful plan to align itself with the accreditation standards in the maximum allotted time, he/she will so advise.
- With the mentor’s consent, the applicant school submits its Initial Self Evaluation Report along with its Strategic Plan to the IAC/AAC for review at its regularly scheduled meeting (view upcoming IAC/AAC meeting dates). The Initial Self Evaluation Report is presented as part of the school’s Strategic Plan. The iSER is generally completed in one year, however it may take a maximum of two years.
- The IAC/AAC reviews the Initial Self Evaluation Report. This review will lead to one of the following outcomes.
- Acceptance of the plan with a recommendation to that the school develop a Self- Evaluation Report following an invitation to apply for Initial Accreditation (the IAC/AAC must concur).
- The plan is accepted with a recommendation that the school enter the implementation phase of the Initial Self Evaluation Report. The school is asked to submit iSER update reports to inform the committee of its progress toward alignment with the standards (a three-year implementation period is permitted). The mentor then continues to work with the school until it is invited to submit an application for Initial Accreditation (for business and/or accounting). Initial Accreditation must be achieved five years following the acceptance of the Initial Self Evaluation Report by the IAC/AAC.
- The plan is accepted, however, further development of the iSER is needed. A revise and resubmit recommendation is made to the applicant school.
- The alignment plan is not accepted, as it is determined that the applicant school will not be able to align itself with the AACSB Accreditation Standards within the maximum time allowed to complete the Initial Accreditation Process (for business and/or accounting) process.
- Approximately, two years in advance of the anticipated accreditation review visit, a Peer Review Team chair (not the full team) is appointed. Chair appointments must avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. The chair guides the school as it develops its final Self Evaluation Report (SER) and works with the school to develop the schedule for the visit.
- The IAC/AAC appoints the additional members of the Peer Review Team. The team reviews the final SER, as well as prepares and sends a pre-visit letter to the school following review and approval by the IAC/AAC.
- The visit takes place and the Peer Review Team delivers a visit report to the applicant school, which includes recommendations for accreditation, deferral, or denial of accreditation. The report and recommendation are forwarded to the IAC/AAC for concurrence.
- Recommendations for accreditation or denials of accreditation are ratified by the IAC/AAC. Recommendations are forwarded to the AACSB Board of Directors for ratification.
An AACSB International member institution offering undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in business may voluntarily apply for AACSB Business Accreditation. The AACSB Accreditation Process includes rigorous self-evaluation and peer-review elements. The process begins with the submission and approval of an Eligibility Application. Once a school’s Eligibility Application has been approved, it will enter the Initial Accreditation phase. If a school is able to meet all of AACSB’s Accreditation Standards and completes the requirements, it will be recommended for Accreditation. All AACSB-accredited institutions must enter the Continuous Improvement Review process every five years.
An AACSB International member institution offering undergraduate and/or graduate degree(s) in accounting may voluntarily apply for AACSB Accounting Accreditation. To apply for accounting accreditation an institution must hold AACSB Business Accreditation or be simultaneously applying for both accreditations.
The Accounting Accreditation Process is similar to the Business Accreditation Process, except it focuses on a school’s accounting programs. It also includes a rigorous self-evaluation and peer-review process. The process begins with the submission of an Accounting Eligibility Application, followed by the Initial Accreditation phase. Institutions that earn AACSB Accounting Accreditation also must enter the Continuous Improvement Review process every five years. Currently, 180 member institutions hold AACSB Accreditation in accounting.