AACSB accreditation

Business Accreditation

Earning AACSB accreditation signifies a business school’s commitment to strategic management, learner success, thought leadership, and societal impact.

AACSB Business Accreditation Standards

2021 Annual Update

In the spirit of continuous improvement, AACSB enhances the accreditation standards and interpretive guidance annually. Updates are based on feedback from peer review teams, accreditation committees, deans, accounting program administrators, and other representatives from the AACSB business education community.

On July 1, 2021, AACSB released its annual update to the 2020 Guiding Principles and Standards for Business Accreditation and Interpretive Guidance. These updates are intended to provide greater clarification and do not represent material changes. As such, these standards are effective immediately. View a summary of key updates to the to the business accreditation standards and interpretive guidance.

Development of the 2020 Business Accreditation Standards

The guiding principles and standards are principles-based and outcomes-focused and affirm AACSB’s commitment to having the world’s highest standard of quality in business education.  

AACSB has continued to revise its business accreditation standards to improve relevancy, maintain currency, and increase value. An appointed Business Accreditation Task Force, with widespread input from member schools, developed the current business standards, which were adopted by the AACSB Accreditation Council in July 2020. 

The standards also place greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion, which are core values of AACSB. These principles are embedded throughout the standards and enable business schools demonstrate impact in this area in a variety of ways, according to their contexts.

The new standards fulfill the following key objectives:

  • Reinforce long-held AACSB commitments to mission focus and peer review
  • Emphasize a principles-based and outcomes-focused approach, as well as relevance for business schools now and in the future 
  • Recognize the changing landscape of student demographics and reflect the activities we envision business schools of the future will undertake to ensure continuous improvement and high quality in business education 
  • Value the diversity of thought leadership in the context of a school’s mission
  • Characterize the guiding principles that represent key values to AACSB

The nine standards are organized into three categories: 

 AACSB 2020 Business Accreditation Guiding Principles and Standards

View a comparison of the 2013 and 2020 business accreditation standards.

Transition Guidelines

The transition period for adopting the 2020 business accreditation standards will take place between January 2021 and June 2023.

During this time, schools can choose to be reviewed under either the 2013 or 2020 business standards. If your school has questions regarding the transition, please contact your AACSB accreditation staff liaison.

Beginning July 1, 2023, all schools will be reviewed under the 2020 standards during their next scheduled visit.