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, for example: Engineering Management, 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.
Yes, the language of delivery typically does not influence the scope of accreditation.
The percentage of business content is calculated by dividing the maximum total number of business credits that can be taken in a degree (including electives) by the total number of credits required to earn the degree. For example, a 120-hour bachelor’s degree with 30 or more hours of business credits would normally be included in scope unless an exclusion request is granted by the appropriate AACSB committee. For more information, please refer to the 2020 Business Accreditation Standards.
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 have the option to apply as an academic unit. Schools wishing to proceed with this route are advised 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 seek academic unit accreditation must demonstrate a sufficient level of independence in the following two areas:
2. External Market Perception
Explanations of each criterion along with additional information on the differences between institutional accreditation and unit accreditation can also be found at aacsb.edu/accreditation/resources/business/academic-unit.