If you’re thinking about applying to an MBA program, one thing that you’ll have to consider is accreditation. So, why is MBA accreditation important? Well, accreditation is used to determine the quality of the business school. Actually, according to Business Because, a business school needs to be accredited in order to be eligible for many ranking systems.

MBA accreditation can be a confusing term, so we’ve decided to break it down for you. Here’s everything you need to know about MBA accreditation.

How Can I Tell If an MBA Program Is Accredited?

First, it’s important to know that not all MBA program are the same. It’s a good idea to spend a considerable amount of time researching each program, especially if you’ve decided to take an online MBA program. Of course, one of the things to look for is accreditation as this ensures that a school and its business program are certified.

According to OnlineMBA.com, schools that are accredited must adhere to a particular list of standards, which are set by learning commissions that are not connected to the schools. By meeting the standards, applicants can feel confident that they are applying to a program that is trustworthy and is going to give them a quality education.

Accredited MBA programs are said to offer an exceptional learning experience and graduates of MBA accredited programs are better prepared for jobs in the business field and more likely to be eligible for promotions.

Types of Accreditation

There are different types of accreditation and when you start looking into MBA program you will notice that some business programs are accredited by different organizations.

AACSB

This acronym stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This organization was established in 1916 as an agency that accredited bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in both business administration and accounting.

The AACSB focus mostly on schools that are research-based and offer large grants. Any school that is AACSB accredited has been assessed based on 15 standards including the program’s academic engagement, strategic management, and innovation.

According to Business Because, most of the highest-ranked schools in the world such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT Sloan carry an AACSB accreditation.

ACBSP

This acronym stands for the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Program. It was created in 1988 to accredit quality accounting and business programs across the globe. Right now, there are over 2,980 ACBSP accredited business programs worldwide.

This accreditation program follows the Baldrige model, which focuses on teaching excellence, learning outcomes, and continuous improvement. ACBSP institutions are fully committed to ensuring their business program is always striving to improve and they are constantly changing their approaches to best suit the skills need to succeed in business.

It’s important to know that the ACBSP does not accredit the school, but the program being offered.

IACBE

This acronym stands for the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The program, founded in 1997, offers accreditation based on educational outcomes that aren’t driven by a set of prescriptive standards but are mission-driven (i.e. is a student learning what they need to be learning to succeed). The IACBE accredits business programs in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels of higher education.

The IACBE has accredited over 1000 business programs in the United States and around the globe.

Why Does Accreditation Matter?

The value of an MBA accredited program is shown through both the quality of the curriculum as well as providing students with the confidence needed to succeed in the workforce. Accredited school are held to very high standards, so you can ensure that you are receiving a quality education. If you graduate from an accredited MBA program, it will be noticed as all accredited programs are well-respected in the business world.

Here are other reasons why MBA accreditation is important:

  1. Accrediting agencies will evaluate the faculty.
  2. Some prospective employers will consider the reputation of the candidate’s MBA program.
  3. Help to narrow down what business programs to apply to.
  4. All three business accrediting agencies (AACSB, ACBSP, IACBE) have an international presence.
  5. Financial aid eligibility.
  6. Most MBA programs will only accept transfer credits from accredited programs.
  7. Avoid being scammed by online MBA programs.

Is Online Accreditation Different?

According to Forbes, more and more people are applying to online MBA programs than ever before. One of the main reasons for this is it allows students more flexibility. If you’re considering an online MBA program, it’s important to do your homework; right now, there are over 150 accredited online MBA programs. It’s important to spend time evaluating each school, and if possible, it might be best to visit the campus for more information.

Most of the online MBA programs in the U.S are accredited regionally and usually by the AACSB.

If you’re looking to receive a top-notch education in an MBA program, it best to find an accredited MBA program. There are plenty of business schools in the U.S that are well-respected and will give you a quality education. You owe it to yourself to spend time evaluating each of your prospective MBA programs to determine if it’s the right program for you.

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