Skip to content

AACSB vs. ACBSP Accreditation: An Explanation

 |  3 Min Read

Accreditation can help you determine the MBA program that is right for you. But you may not know what types of accreditation signify. Here are some key things potential MBA students need to know.

What Is Accreditation?

Accreditation is defined as “the action or process of officially recognizing someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity.” For higher education institutions, the institutional accreditation process is performed by a peer review board of faculty from other institutions, who investigate the institution based on criteria that include its requirements for admission, faculty reputation, and the quality of its educational programs.

Programmatic accreditation is similar, except it focuses on a specific program rather than the entire institution. For a business program, the peer review board consists of faculty and other professionals from the industry. Consequently, MBA accreditation signifies that a program has met a certain level of quality in its faculty, services, and curriculum.

Typical areas of investigation for accrediting agencies include:

  • Graduation, retention, and enrollment rates
  • Student and alumni satisfaction
  • Faculty and staff development and qualifications
  • Administrative, computer, and library research support

While accrediting agencies may use similar categories for criteria, their importance to each of them may vary.

Is ACBSP Accreditation Good?

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accreditation signify the quality of business education programs. The organizations have different approaches and criteria for accreditation.


AACSB is undoubtedly one of the most recognized accrediting bodies for MBAs and other business programs. Founded in 1916, it emphasizes faculty research as one of its standards. This means that faculty members are focused on exploring and advancing business theory and their teaching responsibilities. Consequently, it tends to accredit programs at larger schools that place a lot of emphasis on research and the published work of faculty members.

ACBSP was founded in 1988 when only 15 percent of U.S. business schools were accredited. From the beginning, the MBA ACBSP has focused on excellence in teaching and tangible learning outcomes. This emphasis on results and continuous quality improvement helps ACBSP-accredited institutions update their programs to ensure they align with employer needs and provide students with the skills companies require. Today, ACBSP is a leading accrediting agency in the learning outcomes category.

Like the AACSB, the ACBSP accreditation review process is rigorous to ensure programs meet their standards, including assigning a mentor to help schools complete a plan for self-study. Accreditation is granted for 10-year periods, with reviews for quality assurance every two years.

Which Type of Business School Accreditation Is Right for You?

While AACSB accreditation is older and has broader name recognition, ACBSP is also a very valid indicator of the high quality of the business school. Organizations want their employees to have the practical knowledge they can implement right away. An ACBSP-accredited MBA from a regionally-accredited school that emphasizes real-world applications of business expertise is a good choice.

Utica University’s online MBA is accredited by the ACBSP. For more questions about accreditation and Utica University’s online MBA, call 866-295-3106 or request more information.

Recommended Articles

View All
Back to Top