There are several different accolades that universities and schools can garner, but there’s one designation that some value above the rest: AACSB accreditation.
Every year, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) reviews hundreds of universities and schools to examine several aspects of their philosophy, approach, and success in education. AACSB accreditation is reserved for the most prestigious business schools, with fewer than 5 percent of business schools holding this distinction worldwide. Yeshiva University and the Sy Syms School of Business are honored to join their ranks.
In this post, we’ll explore the criteria for accreditation, how it has evolved, and what an online master’s degree from an AACSB-accredited school like Yeshiva Sy Syms can mean for your career.
What is AACSB Accreditation?
Around the world, AACSB accreditation is known as the longest-standing, most recognized form of specialized accreditation that an institution and its business programs can earn. AACSB accreditation is a non-governmental, voluntary process in which an external board comprehensively and rigorously reviews a business school's ability to offer the most relevant, highest-quality learning materials and programs. The accreditation process includes full analyses of a business school's mission, the qualifications of its faculty, the content of its curriculum, and in-depth reviews and self-evaluations by committees and peers.¹
The AACSB achieves its purpose by defining principles and standards to guide their evaluations, then conducting comprehensive reviews on universities across the globe. It does so to promote business schools' commitments to improvement through the foundational principles of strategic management, learner success, and impactful thought leadership. Only top-quality business schools that meet the rigorous standards and actively embrace the accreditation process can count themselves among the elite few who reach the final published list.²
The Three Pillars
The three pillars of AACSB accreditation are the primary drivers and measures of quality by which business schools are judged. In its continuous efforts to maintain relevance and increase value, the AACSB updated its pillars of accreditation in 2020. Just as AACSB expects universities to adapt and grow with modern business, this revision reflects the AACSB's commitment to its own improvement.
Adopted in July 2020, the newly revised pillars of AACSB accreditation are:²
- Strategic management and innovation
- Learner success
- Thought leadership, engagement and societal impact
2020 AACSB Accreditation Requirements
In July 2020, the AACSB Accreditation Council reorganized their previous 15 standards into nine.³ To avoid confusion during the review process, there is a transition period in effect from January 2021 until June 2023. During this time, business schools seeking AACSB accreditation can choose to be reviewed under the 2013 standards or the 2020 standards. By July 1, 2023, however, every school will need to abide by the 2020 standards for their business school accreditation reviews.²
Taken from a comparison of the 2013 and 2020 standards, these are the newly revised accreditation pillars, with the nine new standards organized under them:4
Strategic Management and Innovation
- Standard 1: Strategic planning
- Standard 2: Physical, virtual and financial resources
- Standard 3: Faculty and professional staff resources
- Standard 4: Curriculum
- Standard 5: Assurance of learning
- Standard 6: Learner progression
- Standard 7: Teaching effectiveness and impact
Thought Leadership, Engagement and Societal Impact
- Standard 8: Impact of scholarship
- Standard 9: Engagement and societal impact
Why Choose an AACSB-Accredited School?
Accreditation carries weight in business school and the job market in the same way that scholarly awards and industry certifications do. It shows that the university is committed to providing an education that meets—and often exceeds—global standards, and to continue to uphold those standards even after the review process is finished. Additionally, accreditation ensures that online students are eligible to receive federal financial aid such as loans, grants and work-study opportunities.⁵
Beyond the academic factors, accreditation ensures that students gain the leading-edge business knowledge, skills, and expertise that employers expect from modern working professionals. That includes mastering industry-standard software or tools, as well as development in interpersonal communication and effective leadership.
Although most employers are familiar with the benefits of online degrees, they usually will still want to verify that a potential hire's online degree came from an accredited school or program.⁵ More companies prefer to recruit from AACSB-accredited schools because it assures them that their new recruits are ready to perform on day one. Relying on this criterion usually works in their favor: AACSB-accredited business schools produce students with higher overall GPAs, and those students receive higher salaries upon employment after graduation.6
How Yeshiva University’s AACSB Status Can Benefit You
The Sy Syms School of Business was chosen for AACSB accreditation because of our emphasis on professional excellence and personal ethics, a combination that gives our graduate students the wisdom to succeed in their careers and lives. Specifically, our Online Master's in Business Administration (MBA) and Online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) programs caught the attention of the AACSB committee. As they concluded, the curricula, faculty, career resources, networking opportunities and graduate successes at Yeshiva University are more than compelling for anyone seeking a master’s degree.
We also incorporate experience-based learning into everything we do, including in our online graduate programs. For example, our Online MBA students are given the chance to work one-on-one with startups from around the world to experience the realities of business and see what it takes to build a brand. With immersive experiences like this, our graduate programs will more than prepare you for the next step in your career— all while connecting you to an extensive network of professionals in New York and beyond.
Distinguish Yourself with an Elite Degree
As a university dedicated to continuous advancement, we at Yeshiva strongly believe in the AACSB’s mission and process. Our AACSB distinction reflects the hard work and unwavering commitment of our faculty, staff and students, and we’re proud to share its benefits with others.
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/blog/2015/november/what-is-aacsb-accreditation-anyway
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from aacsb.edu/accreditation/standards/business
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from aacsb.edu/-/media/aacsb/docs/accreditation/business/standards-and-tables/2020%20business%20accreditation%20standards.ashx
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from aacsb.edu/-/media/aacsb/docs/accreditation/business/standards-and-tables/2020%20proposed%20standards%20comparison%20chart.ashx
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-11-11/accreditation-of-online-degree-programs-frequently-asked-questions
- Retrieved on July 14, 2021, from bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/aacsb-accredited/students