AACSB International is an internationally respected accreditation for business administration courses from the USA. Behind the name AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) is a global, non-profit organization.
Around the world, AACSB International is regarded as one of the leading accreditation organizations for business schools. The AACSB’s review process is characterized by its commitment to rigorous compliance with quality standards in research and teaching.
Overview of facts: AACSB accreditation
AACSB International was founded in the United States in 1916 and is based in Tampa, Florida. Worldwide there are only around 761 business schools in 52 countries that have been awarded the AACSB seal of approval. Around 500 of the largest US business schools are supervised as members of AACSB International.
The declared goal of the non-profit organization is to provide products and services that help its members to continuously improve their business or accounting programs. For this purpose, the members of the AACSB are given access to conferences, seminars, meetings and webinars that give business schools and business schools the opportunity to develop further.
They also get an insight into current scientific publications in economics worldwide as well as access to global data and reports from other business schools.
The American AACSB accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CHEA organization is the largest institutional organization of universities that is committed to quality assurance in the American university landscape.
The accreditation process
There are two different AACSB accreditations: A general business accreditation for business schools or business faculties. In addition to business accreditation for the accounting department, an AACSB accreditation is optionally available.
All institutions that want to be certified by AACSB International must first meet two essential requirements: The institution must have the right to award academic degrees in the respective country and have the corresponding official recognition. The university must become a member of AACSB International before the accreditation process can begin.
Membership in AACSB International alone is not enough for AACSB accreditation. Members must meet a number of quality criteria in order to receive this seal. For accreditation by AACSB International in business or accounting, potential members are checked in an accreditation process with regard to compliance with the following accreditation standards:
- High quality as well as good teaching and learning conditions of the business and possibly accounting courses
- Extensive activity of the lecturers in teaching and applied research
- Constant interaction between students and faculty
- Successful cooperation with companies and international partner universities
- High career entry opportunities for graduates
Together with the university, the AACSB is developing a strategy with which the university can take all measures to meet the accreditation standards. Compliance with the standards is checked by an accreditation body and awarded AACSB accreditation after the requirements have been met.
Continuous improvement: the re-accreditation process
A re-accreditation process takes place every five years to ensure that the business programs that have been awarded an AACSB seal continue to meet the high standards.
However, students do not receive any transparent information about which business school is currently in the re-accreditation process. For this reason, when choosing a university, students should not only pay attention to the accreditations, but should also get as broad information as possible about the university of their choice. For this they can, for example, consult university rankings or experience reports.
Use of AACSB accreditation for business studies abroad
The AACSB accreditation standards certify that the accredited universities and colleges have excellent quality in research and teaching. The AACSB International attaches great importance to the feedback to and from students, which is queried in continuous evaluations and surveys.
The AACSB seal and the associated commitment to continuous improvement usually guarantee students who are studying international business administration, business law or industrial engineering abroad, for example, management training at the highest level.