AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business)

AACSB International is an internationally recognized accreditation for business studies from the USA. Behind the name AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) is a global non-profit organization.

Around the globe, AACSB International is regarded as one of the leading accreditation organisations for business schools. AACSB’s peer review process is characterised by its commitment to rigorous compliance with quality standards in research and teaching.

Overview of facts: The AACSB Accreditation

AACSB International was founded in the United States in 1916 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. There are only about 761 Business Schools in 52 countries worldwide that have been awarded the AACSB seal of approval. Approximately 500 of the largest US business schools are supervised as members of AACSB International.

The stated goal of the non-profit organization is to provide products and services that help members continuously improve their business or accounting programs. For this purpose, the members of the AACSB have access to conferences, seminars, meetings and webinars which offer business schools and business schools the opportunity for further development.

They will also gain insight into current scientific publications from economics around the world, 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 higher education institutions that works for quality assurance in the American higher education landscape.

The accreditation process

There are two different AACSB accreditations: A general business accreditation for business schools and business schools. As an option, in addition to business accreditation for the Accounting Department, an AACSB accreditation is offered.

All institutions wishing to be certified by AACSB International must first of all meet two essential requirements: The institution must have the right to award academic degrees in the respective country and be officially recognised accordingly. The higher education institution must become a member of AACSB International before the accreditation process can begin.

Membership in AACSB International on its own, but is not sufficient 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 reviewed in an accreditation process with regard to compliance with the following accreditation standards:

  • High quality and good teaching and learning conditions for business and, where appropriate, accounting courses of study
  • Comprehensive activity of lecturers in teaching and applied research
  • Constant interaction between students and lecturers
  • Successful cooperation with companies and international partner universities
  • High career opportunities for graduates

Together with the higher education institution, the AACSB develops a strategy on the basis of which the higher education institution can carry out all measures to meet the accreditation standards. Compliance with the standards is verified by an accreditation body and, once the requirements have been met, awarded with the AACSB accreditation.

Continuous improvement: The re-accreditation process

Every five years, a re-accreditation process is carried out to ensure that the business programmes awarded an AACSB seal of approval continue to meet the high standards.

However, students do not receive transparent information on which business school is currently in the re-accreditation process. For this reason, students should not only pay attention to the accreditations when choosing a higher education institution, but should inform themselves as broadly as possible about a desired institution of higher education. For example, they can consult university rankings or experience reports.

Benefits of AACSB accreditation for business studies abroad

The AACSB accreditation standards certify the accredited universities and colleges an excellent quality in research and teaching. AACSB International attaches great importance to feedback and student feedback, which is requested in continuous evaluations and surveys.

The AACSB seal of approval and the associated voluntary commitment to continuous improvement generally guarantee that students studying international business administration, business law or industrial engineering abroad, for example, receive top-level management training.

College Contact can place business students for study options such as a bachelor’s degree, a semester abroad or an MBA.

A list of all academic institutions with AACSB accreditation can be found on the homepage of the AACSB Accreditation: