Why Choose an AACSB-Accredited MBA Program

If you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’ve probably done a lot of research. It means you took the time to outline your career goals and decide if an MBA aligns with where you are now and where you would like to be. Now, the next step — choosing an MBA program — prompts even more questions like:

  • With over a thousand programs across the nation, how do you decide on a school?
  • How do you know if the schools on your list have a quality curriculum in place taught by a reputable faculty?

Thanks to accreditation, you can tackle those questions and confidently build your short list of programs to consider.

What Is Accreditation?

“The goal of accreditation is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality,” says the U.S. Department of Education. Students can count on their pursuit of an accredited degree program being a worthwhile investment. On the flip side, those who choose unaccredited programs risk receiving a substandard education or being scammed.

There are two types of accreditation: institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation applies to an educational institution as a whole, while specialized accreditation applies to departments or programs within an educational institution.

Youngstown State University’s Williamson College of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an agency with global recognition. Since it was founded in 1916, AACSB has been setting the standards for business education worldwide. What this means for students in YSU’s online MBA program is that they will receive an education from an institution that meets AACSB’s standards for excellence in business education.

What Is AACSB Accreditation?

AACSB is an international nonprofit organization that works to strengthen business education by providing development services and resources to accredited business schools worldwide. Only 5% of schools are accredited by the AACSB. Accreditation is not a one-time award, however. Institutions must undergo AACSB’s periodic evaluations of programs, curricula and faculty to maintain accreditation.

AACSB’s standards have been continually revised and improved over the years, with updates in 2018 to the last major revision in 2013. Standards for business accreditation are organized into four categories: management and innovation; students, faculty, and professional staff; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement. Schools interested in AACSB accreditation must first undergo a review to determine eligibility. The accreditation process includes self-evaluation, peer reviews, committee reviews and the development of strategic plans.

When it comes to choosing an MBA program, a school’s reputation trumps career impact and geographic location for candidates, according to a 2018 AIGAC study. A school’s reputation is tied to many factors, with accreditation being especially important. A school or college of business that holds AACSB accreditation is well-placed for the students in its degree programs to tap the brightest minds in business education, as well as benefit from innovative programming and professional support.

Learn more about Youngstown State University’s online MBA programs.


U.S. Department of Education: Accreditation in the United States

AACSB: 2013 Eligibility Procedures and Accreditation Standards for Business Accreditation (Revised 2018)

AIGAC: 2018 MBA Applicant Survey Great Expectations

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business: Who We Are

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business: Prospective Students and Business Practitioners

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