Accredited MBA programs are educational programs that offer a master of business administration (MBA) degree and are accredited, having been inspected by a body that sets and enforces educational standards. Attending an accredited MBA program has a number of advantages that should be considered when evaluating MBA programs to decide where to go to school.
Numerous organizations offer accreditation to programs that offer an MBA degree, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the United States. These organizations have worked with leading professionals in the industry, as well as educational institutions to establish basic standards for business schools. These standards cover everything from the course requirements students need to fulfill to get a degree, to the handling of finances and administration at the school.
When schools apply for accreditation, they are inspected and must submit a variety of supporting documentation. Accredited MBA programs are also required to periodically undergo repeat inspections designed to ensure that the programs are upholding the accreditation standards. Schools can be evaluated routinely as their accreditations expire and also investigated in response to reports that they are not providing adequate educations to their students.
Attending accredited MBA programs provides students with an education that will be valued highly by prospective employers. Because these programs must meet basic standards, employers can be assured that job applicants have received at least a minimum of appropriate education. Accredited programs are believed to be more prestigious, and if students intend to pursue additional education, attending an accredited program is strongly recommended.
Ideally, both the school and the individual MBA program should be accredited. Students who are applying to schools can get accreditation information from the admissions office and check it against the records of the cited accrediting organization. It's also possible to receive a list of accredited MBA programs from a reputable organization and use these as a guideline for finding schools to apply to. It is important to be aware that just because a school is accredited does not mean that its MBA program is accredited.
Costs of attendance for accredited MBA programs tend to be slightly more expensive than those for unaccredited programs and institutions. However, accreditation also provides more opportunities for financial assistance including grants and loans designed to make program attendance feasible. Prospective business students who are unsure about whether accreditation is important can investigate the resumes of people working for companies they are interested in to see where they went to school.