Why is accreditation important? It proves to students, future employers, and the public that the school or degree program meets established business education standards It's also necessary for some federal financial aid, and could affect transfer credits.
Accreditation comes in three flavors: programmatic, regional, and national. Some schools carry multiple accreditations.
The largest business education accrediting body is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The ASSCB accredits universities that offer bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees and is considered the top business school accreditor. Only 25% of schools receive AACSB accreditation.
Other organizations that accredit business education are the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) .
In addition to those agencies dedicated to business education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes six regional accrediting bodies:
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Regional accreditation is common for public and private colleges and universities. Credits are often more easily transferred within regionally accredited programs, while credits earned at nationally accredited universities may not be accepted by a regionally accredited school Check with the school before considering a transfer.
Other agencies that accredit business school degree programs include:
- International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
- European Council for Business
- Business and Professional Women's Foundation
Always request more information from the schools in which you're interested about the type of accreditation they hold -- regional, national, or programmatic -- to find out how they became accredited and how their accrediation could affect you.