Accredited Online MBA Programs

How important is it to join an accredited online MBA program?

There are two major reasons why you should pick an online MBA program with accreditation. First, joining an accredited online MBA program assures you that the MBA program adheres to high quality standards based on the latest business education research. Accrediting bodies conduct regular review cycles. During each of these reviews, an accredited online MBA program must continue to demonstrate that it is developing and growing, not just maintaining existing standards.

Second, attending an accredited online MBA can give you an edge in today’s competitive job market. When job interviewers compare you with other candidates, they can’t help but be influenced by the brand name of the degree that’s on your resume. In fact, some employers will only accept degrees from an accredited institution when considering new hires, promotions, or salary increases.

Now, the question is, how do I know which accreditation to trust?

US Accredited Online MBA Programs

There are a number of accrediting bodies for MBA programs, but the two most recognized organizations in the US are:

  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and
  • The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

AACSB is considered the gold standard of MBA accreditation. It was established in the US in 1916 and is located in Tampa, Florida. Every AACSB accredited MBA program goes through a stringent set of requirements. AACSB asks for a lot more than just evidence of research. AACSB puts a lot of weight on teaching standards, such as evidence of quality control, outcomes assessment, design of classes, and coordination of course content. Only 10% of US business schools hold an AACSB accreditation.

ACBSP was established in the US in 1988 and is located in Kansas City. It is a younger organization and seems an easier group for an online MBA program to join. That said, an ACBSP accreditation does indicate a good level of quality in courses, internships, library resources, faculty credentials, and other factors important for any university. The most renowned ACBSP accredited online MBA program is the University of Phoenix online MBA, the world’s largest MBA program.

European Accredited Online MBA Programs

If you are considering an MBA from a European institution, there are three recognized European-based MBA accrediting bodies:

  • The Association of MBA’s (Amba),
  • The European Quality Improvement System (Equis), and
  • The European Foundation for Management Development accreditation for teChnology-Enhanced Learning (EFMD Cel).

Amba was established in the UK in 1967 and is based in London.

Equis and EFMD Cel were both founded by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and are based in Brussels, Belgium.

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