Schools that are interested in AACSB Accreditation must be a member of AACSB International before applying to pursue accreditation. Schools should familiarize their faculty and administration with the AACSB accreditation eligibility criteria and standards along with the initial accreditation process. Taking the time to understand the accreditation process and standards before submitting an eligibility application provides a greater understanding of what is needed, which is typically reflected in a school’s application.
Prior to beginning the accreditation application process, a school must determine the scope of accreditation, meaning the degree programs to be included in the AACSB review process. AACSB Accreditation is granted by default to the institution. In this case, all of the institution’s business and management programs are included in the scope of the AACSB accreditation review. It is possible in the case of institutional accreditation to limit the programs included in the review by receiving formal approval to exclude particular programs from the scope of accreditation. Details on determining program exclusions are available below.
In contrast to institutional accreditation, schools may apply as a single academic unit within a larger institution offering business and management degree programs. Business academic units that would like to enter the accreditation process as the unit of accreditation must submit a Unit of Accreditation Application for review and approval by the IAC. This Unit of Accreditation Application must be approved prior to the submission of the eligibility application. More in-depth information regarding the unit of accreditation can be found here. Schools should contact an AACSB accreditation staff member to discuss their institutional structure and whether accreditation as an academic unit is applicable before completing the eligibility application.
After determining scope of accreditation, a school may begin the first stage in the accreditation process by completing the eligibility application. The eligibility application process involves a review of a school in order to determine if it meets the eligibility criteria to pursue AACSB accreditation. A school should review the eligibility application for business accreditation and examples of responses to eligibility criteria prior to submitting an application. Eligibility applications are accepted at any time.
In order to exclude certain programs in an institutional review, the following criteria must be met.
Participation refers to the level of contribution of the included business programs in the development, delivery, and oversight of a program or programs. To be excludable from the review,
Distinctiveness refers to the ability of students, faculty, and recruiters to clearly distinguish the program from the business programs included in the accreditation review. That is, to be excludable,
Control refers to the level of administrative control the faculty and administration of included programs have over the program(s) seeking exclusion. Areas of control include:
4. Other exclusion factors that are considered:
A complete description of program exclusion criteria is available in Eligibility Criterion D. Review the various scope scenarios as guidelines to assist in making scope-of-accreditation decisions.
Program exclusions may be requested at any time during the accreditation process by submitting an exclusion request form.