Scope of Accreditation

Can a program that has less than the 25%/50% thresholds of business content be automatically excluded from scope i.e. no need for an exclusion request form?

AACSB advises schools to request exclusions for programs that could be construed as business degrees, even if they are below the threshold of business content.  Schools should disclose these programs as a precaution. If a Peer Review Team were to find a program that looked as though it could be business degree program, a school would want to be able to say that they disclosed this to AACSB and went through the exclusion approval process. If unsure as to whether or not the program in question could be construed as a business program, please contact your staff liaison for further clarification.


Are business courses and degree programs taught in a language other than English included in scope?

Yes, the language of delivery typically does not influence scope the scope of accreditation.


How do you calculate the 25% and 50% thresholds?

Divide the total business credits in the degree by the total degree credits. For example, if 24 credits out of 120 credits are in business subjects (marketing, management, accounting, etc.), then 20% of the degree is in traditional business subjects.


Should we apply as a unit or for the default, institutional accreditation?

For universities with multiple schools offering business degrees, there are instances in which only one unit wishes to seek accreditation. With the adoption of the 2013 accreditation standards, schools now have the option to apply as an academic unit. Schools wishing to proceed with this route are suggested to speak with a member of the accreditation staff to get additional information as to whether this is the appropriate option. Schools should have a strategic reason for applying as a single unit (i.e. there are other units offering business degrees at the university that could prevent the institution from earning AACSB Accreditation). To move forward with academic unit accreditation, the school should complete the unit application, and it will be brought to the appropriate operating committee. Schools wishing to see academic unit accreditation must demonstrate a sufficient level of independence in the following four areas:

  1. Branding
  2. External Market Perception
  3. Financial Relationships with the Institution
  4. Business Academic Unit Autonomy

Explanations of each criterion along with additional information on the differences between institutional accreditation and unit accreditation can also be found on our website.