AACSB International is a nonprofit global membership association for the business education industry. Through its rigorous standards and processes, AACSB accredits institutions that uphold its mission and core values, work to advance the interests of global business education, and participate in AACSB’s community of leading business schools. In this context, AACSB focuses on continuous quality improvement in business education through engagement, innovation, and impact.
AACSB was founded in 1916 and established its first standards for degree programs in business administration in 1919. AACSB adopted additional standards for undergraduate and graduate degree programs in accountancy in 1980 to address the special needs of the accounting profession. AACSB maintains two distinct sets of accreditation standards: business standards and accounting standards. Throughout the years, the standards have continued to evolve to improve relevancy, maintain currency, and increase value.
In order to earn and sustain business accreditation, an institution must align with AACSB’s business accreditation standards that focus on mission, strategic management, and innovation; support for learners, faculty, and staff; and thought leadership and societal impact. The supplemental accounting accreditation standards are a rigorous complement to the business standards. The six accounting standards are specific to the discipline and profession of accounting.
A collegiate business school offering degrees in business or accounting may apply for AACSB accreditation. As a first step, the school must establish its eligibility for accreditation by submitting an eligibility application, which assesses a school’s alignment with AACSB’s guiding principles for accreditation. During the initial accreditation process, the school is evaluated on how well it achieves AACSB’s accreditation standards, through a process of self-evaluation and peer review. After earning AACSB accreditation, the business school undergoes a continuous improvement review process every five years.
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