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Requirements for Accreditation

Requirements for Accreditation

Learn how to become an accredited member of the IACBE.

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Accreditation RequirementsSelect a Topic Area

Requirements for First-Time Accreditation

Requirements for Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Public Notification of Accreditation

Public Disclosure of Student Learning Information

Annual Reports

Timelines for First-Time Accreditation and Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Accreditation Costs

Apply for First-Time Accreditation or Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Requirements for First-Time Accreditation

In order for the business programs of an academic business unit to be considered for first-time accreditation by the IACBE, the academic business unit must:

  1. Be granted candidacy status by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.
  2. Submit an application for accreditation. Applications must be approved and signed by the institution’s chief executive officer (i.e., president, chancellor, director general), affirming the academic business unit’s commitment to abide by the IACBE’s accreditation policies and procedures and to attaining and maintaining excellence in business education.
  3. Pay its application fee for accreditation to the IACBE.
  4. Provide evidence that its parent institution has institutional accreditation from an appropriate nationally-recognized institutional accrediting organization. Institutions located outside of the United States must provide evidence of equivalent recognized institutional accreditation from an appropriate organization in the relevant country or region, or approvals or authorizations to award degrees from an appropriate governing, legal, or similar body. This evidence should take the form of a copy of the most recent letter from an appropriate nationally-recognized accrediting organization affirming or reaffirming institutional accreditation. For institutions located outside of the United States, this evidence would be the most recent equivalent letter, certificate, charter, or license from an appropriate accrediting, governing, legal, or similar body in the relevant country or region granting institutional accreditation, recognition, approval, or authorization to award degrees. In cases where this documentation is written in a language other than English, the academic business unit must submit a copy of the original non-English version of the letter, certificate, charter, or license, and an English translation of the original documentation.
  5. Provide evidence that each business program to be included in the accreditation review (including each major, concentration, specialization, and emphasis contained within the program) has produced graduates for at least two years.
  6. Submit a current and complete outcomes assessment plan. The assessment plan must encompass all business programs for which the institution is seeking accreditation (including majors, concentrations, specializations, and emphases contained within the programs), must conform to IACBE guidelines as outlined in the IACBE document entitled “Key Content Areas of an Outcomes Assessment Plan,” and must be prepared using the assessment plan template developed by the IACBE. Note: These documents are available for download from our Accreditation Documents page.
  7. Fully implement its outcomes assessment plan. This includes the completion of at least one assessment cycle (i.e., at least one cycle of “closing the loop” in assessment).
  8. Attend a workshop on “Preparing an Effective Self-Study.”
  9. Prepare a self-study.
  10. Undergo a site visit.
  11. Be reviewed by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.

The determination of the programs, majors, concentrations, specializations, emphases, and locations to be included in and excluded from the accreditation review will be made well in advance of the self-study year by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.

Guidelines for preparing the self-study are found in the IACBE’s Self-Study Manual. It is essential that these guidelines be followed when preparing the self-study. Incomplete, inaccurate, or poorly organized information may jeopardize a program’s potential for accreditation.

Self-Study Manual (DOC)

A preliminary draft copy of the self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters no fewer than 150 days prior to the site visit. IACBE staff will review the draft self-study for completeness and accuracy. Any missing information and inaccuracies will be communicated in writing to the academic business unit, which will then revise its self-study accordingly to ensure that it is complete, addresses all accreditation principles, and is in the appropriate format with accurate tables. The completed self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters no fewer than 60 days prior to the site visit. No explicit site visit travel arrangements will be made and no site visits will be conducted until the IACBE has received a complete and accurate self-study.

If accreditation is granted, it will cover a time period not to exceed seven years. Under extenuating circumstances, an extension of an academic business unit’s accredited status may be approved by the Board of Commissioners. In those cases in which an extension is granted, academic business units will be required to undergo a mentoring visit in order to address the issues that led to the extension request.

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Requirements for Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Reaffirmation of accreditation is required in order for an academic business unit to maintain its accredited status. In order for the business programs of an academic business unit to be considered for reaffirmation of accreditation by the IACBE, the academic business unit must:

  1. Submit an application for reaffirmation of accreditation. Applications must be approved and signed by the institution’s chief executive officer (i.e., president, chancellor, director general), affirming the academic business unit’s commitment to abide by the IACBE’s accreditation policies and procedures and to attaining and maintaining excellence in business education.
  2. Pay its application fee for reaffirmation of accreditation to the IACBE.
  3. Provide evidence that its parent institution has institutional accreditation from an appropriate nationally-recognized institutional accrediting organization. Institutions located outside of the United States must provide evidence of equivalent recognized institutional accreditation from an appropriate organization in the relevant country or region, or approvals or authorizations to award degrees from an appropriate governing, legal, or similar body. This evidence should take the form of a copy of the most recent letter from an appropriate nationally-recognized accrediting organization affirming or reaffirming institutional accreditation. For institutions located outside of the United States, this evidence would be the most recent equivalent letter, certificate, charter, or license from an appropriate accrediting, governing, legal, or similar body in the relevant country or region granting institutional accreditation, recognition, approval, or authorization to award degrees. In cases where this documentation is written in a language other than English, the academic business unit must submit a copy of the original non-English version of the letter, certificate, charter, or license, and an English translation of the original documentation.
  4. Submit the following programmatic information to the IACBE:
    1. A listing of all business programs offered by the institution regardless of the academic units that administer them. These include associate-, bachelor’s-, master’s-, and doctoral-level programs and all programs at the institution that have “business,” “industrial,” “administration,” “management,” “leadership,” or “organizational” in the degree designation or program name. This listing must also include all majors, concentrations, specializations, and emphases contained within the programs.
    2. An identification and description of all locations where business programs are offered.
    3. For each of the programs listed in item 4.a above (including each major, concentration, specialization, and emphasis contained within the program), provide the following information:
      1. Academic unit that administers the program
      2. Name and title of the program coordinator (e.g., dean, director, department/division chair, program director, etc.)
      3. Total number of credit hours (or contact hours as applicable) required to earn the degree
      4. Number of credit hours (or contact hours) in the program that are in the traditional areas of business education; Note: The following typical disciplinary areas are considered to be the “traditional areas of business education”: business administration, accounting, finance, human resources, information management, international business, management, marketing, economics (principles of microeconomics/macroeconomics), business law, business ethics, business communication, and business-related quantitative methods.
      5. Percentage of the total number of credit hours (or contact hours) required for the degree that is composed of credit hours (contact hours) in the traditional areas of business education.
    4. For each of the programs listed in item 4.a above (including each major, concentration, specialization, and emphasis contained within the program), an identification of the program’s mode of delivery; This can be fully on-ground, hybrid delivery, or fully online.
    5. An identification of the business programs listed in item 4.a above (including each major, concentration, specialization, and emphasis contained within the programs), and the locations at which they are offered, that the institution wishes to include in the accreditation review.
    6. An identification of the business programs listed in item 4.a above (including each major, concentration, specialization, and emphasis contained within the programs), and the locations at which they are offered, that the institution wishes to exclude from the accreditation review, along with the rationale for exclusion.
  5. Submit a current and complete outcomes assessment plan. The assessment plan must encompass all business programs for which the institution is seeking accreditation (including each major, concentration, specialization, and emphasis contained within the programs), must conform to IACBE guidelines as outlined in the IACBE document entitled “Key Content Areas of an Outcomes Assessment Plan,” and must be prepared using the assessment plan template developed by the IACBE. Note: These documents are available for download from our Accreditation Documents page.
  6. Attend a workshop on “Preparing an Effective Self-Study.”
  7. Prepare a self-study.
  8. Undergo a site visit.
  9. Be reviewed by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.

The determination of the programs, majors, concentrations, specializations, emphases, and locations to be included in and excluded from the reaffirmation of accreditation review will be made well in advance of the self-study year by the IACBE Board of Commissioners. Subsequent to the submission of the application for reaffirmation of accreditation, the institution and its academic business unit will be sent the commissioners-approved list of programs, majors, concentrations, specializations, emphases, and locations that will be included in and excluded from the reaffirmation of accreditation review.

Guidelines for preparing the self-study are found in the IACBE’s Self-Study Manual. It is essential that these guidelines be followed when preparing the self-study. Incomplete, inaccurate, or poorly organized information may jeopardize a program’s potential for accreditation.

Self-Study Manual (DOC)

A preliminary draft copy of the self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters no fewer than 150 days prior to the site visit. IACBE staff will review the draft self-study for completeness and accuracy. Any missing information and inaccuracies will be communicated in writing to the academic business unit, which will then revise its self-study accordingly to ensure that it is complete, addresses all accreditation principles, and is in the appropriate format with accurate tables. The completed self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters no fewer than 60 days prior to the site visit. No explicit site visit travel arrangements will be made and no site visits will be conducted until the IACBE has received a complete and accurate self-study.

If reaffirmation of accreditation is granted by the IACBE Board of Commissioners, it will cover a time period not to exceed seven years. Under extenuating circumstances, an extension of an academic business unit’s accredited status may be approved by the Board of Commissioners. In those cases in which an extension is granted, academic business units will be required to undergo a mentoring visit in order to address the issues that led to the extension request.

Note: In addition to the required workshop on “Preparing an Effective Self-Study,” academic business units applying for reaffirmation of accreditation are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop on “Developing a Comprehensive Outcomes Assessment Plan” in order to familiarize themselves with current IACBE requirements for outcomes asessment.

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Public Notification of Accreditation

Once program accreditation has been granted by the IACBE, an institution must denote this status on its website and in its catalog and official publications, and may denote it in its advertising. The form of notice and specific permissible language are prescribed by the IACBE. Such notice should, in all cases, clearly delineate the name of the business programs that are accredited.

The form of notice that must be used on the institution’s website and in its catalog and other official publications is provided below:

[Institution’s name] has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) located at 11374 Strang Line Road in Lenexa, Kansas, USA. The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE:

  • Doctor of [Philosophy, Business Administration, etc.] in [list of fields] with majors/concentrations/specializations/emphases in [list of majors/concentrations/specializations/emphases] (if applicable)
  • Master of [Business Administration, Science, Arts, etc.] in [list of fields] with majors/concentrations/specializations/emphases in [list of majors/concentrations/emphases] (if applicable)
  • Bachelor of [Business Administration, Science, Arts, etc.] in [list of fields] with majors/concentrations/specializations/emphases in [list of majors/concentrations/specializations/emphases] (if applicable)
  • Associate of [Science, Arts, etc.] in [list of fields] with majors/concentrations/specializations/emphases in [list of majors/concentrations/specializations/emphases] (if applicable)

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Public Disclosure of Student Learning Information

Before first-time accreditation can be granted by the IACBE and subsequent to the granting of accreditation, an academic business unit must publicly disclose information pertaining to the degree of student learning in its IACBE-accredited business programs. At a minimum, an academic business unit must make student learning assessment data available on the unit's or its parent institution's website, but it should also make this information available in hard-copy form should it be requested by any member of the public. For details regarding this requirement, see our Public Disclosure page.

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Annual Reports

Annual reports are required of all academic business unit members of the IACBE, regardless of accreditation status. For details regarding this requirement, see our Annual Reports page.

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Timelines for First-Time Accreditation and Reaffirmation of Accreditation

The IACBE's Board of Commissioners meets three times per year – in the spring, summer, and fall – for the purpose of accreditation reviews. To assist our members in planning for the submission of their self-studies and undergoing site visits, the following deadlines will apply for the three meetings of the commissioners each year:

Spring Meeting of the Board – April (Held in Conjunction with the Annual Conference and Assembly Meeting)

In order to be considered for accreditation review at the spring meeting of the Board of Commissioners in any given year, schools must comply with the following deadlines:


Deadline for completion of site visit: January 15 of the same year
Deadline for submission of final self-study documents: 60 days prior to scheduled site visit
Deadline for submission of draft self-study: 150 days prior to scheduled site visit
Deadline for submission of application for accreditation: Prior to beginning of self-study year

Summer Meeting of the Board – July (Held in Conjunction with the IACBE Summer Institute)

In order to be considered for accreditation review at the summer meeting of the Board of Commissioners in any given year, schools must comply with the following deadlines:


Deadline for completion of site visit: April 15 of the same year
Deadline for submission of final self-study documents: 60 days prior to scheduled site visit
Deadline for submission of draft self-study: 150 days prior to scheduled site visit
Deadline for submission of application for accreditation: Prior to beginning of self-study year

Fall Meeting of the Board – December

In order to be considered for accreditation review at the fall meeting of the Board of Commissioners in any given year, schools must comply with the following deadlines:


Deadline for completion of site visit: September 30 of the same year
Deadline for submission of final self-study documents: 60 days prior to scheduled site visit
Deadline for submission of draft self-study: 150 days prior to scheduled site visit
Deadline for submission of application for accreditation: Prior to beginning of self-study year

Notes

  1. The self-study year should be the full academic year immediately preceding the calendar year in which the site visit takes place. For example, if the site visit is scheduled for the calendar year of 2016, then the preceding academic year (2014-2015 academic year) would be the self-study year.
  2. In addition to the required workshop on “Preparing an Effective Self-Study,” academic business units applying for reaffirmation of accreditation are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop on “Developing a Comprehensive Outcomes Assessment Plan” in order to familiarize themselves with current IACBE requirements for outcomes asessment.
  3. All schools receiving first-time accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation during a given calendar year will be considered the “class” for that year, and will be recognized at the accreditation and awards banquet at the annual conference the following spring. (For example, schools that are accredited at any of the three meetings of the commissioners in 2014 will be considered the "Class of 2014," and will be recognized during the banquet at the annual conference in the spring of 2015.) The recognition at the banquet is ceremonial only; accreditation decisions become effective immediately upon approval by the Board of Commissioners.

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Accreditation Costs

Costs of Accreditation for Institutions in the United States

The costs related to obtaining accreditation by the IACBE will vary depending on the institution’s location and the size of the site-visit team. These costs include an $1600 application fee plus travel, meals, and hotel expenses for the site-visit team. Normally a two-person site-visit team is used for institutions located in the United States. These team members are paid an honorarium for their work. The chair of the team is paid $300 per day and the other team member is paid $200 per day. Academic business units are also encouraged to include an IACBE staff member in a consultative capacity as a member of the team. No honorarium is required for the staff consultant. Therefore, the only costs to the institution for this person are travel, meals, and hotel expenses. The table below contains an approximation of the total direct costs of IACBE accreditation for institutions in the United States, assuming a 2-person site-visit team and a two-day site visit.

Accreditation Costs for Institutions in the U.S.

Item Amount
Application Fee (must be paid prior to the site visit)
(The application fee for first-time accreditation and reaffirmation of accreditation will be $1,700 for institutions submitting applications for site visits to be conducted in 2016 and beyond.)
$1,600
Travel for Site-Visit Team Members $1,600
Honoraria for Site-Visit Team Members (two days) $1,000
Hotel Accommodations and Meals for Site-Visit Team Members (two days) $800
Total $5,000

Note: These figures are estimates for budgeting purposes. In many cases, actual costs are lower than these estimates. When site visits are scheduled, IACBE headquarters can provide updated information.

Costs of Accreditation for Institutions Outside of the United States

The costs related to obtaining accreditation by the IACBE (especially travel costs) for institutions located outside of the United States will vary depending on the institution’s location. The institution must pay the costs of the site visit 90 days in advance of the visit. The IACBE will invoice the institution for the estimated costs of the visit. Following the visit, a final accounting will be provided that will include either a final billing or credit. Costs may be paid by credit card or wire transfer. The costs of a site visit include an $1600 application fee plus travel, meals, and hotel expenses for the site-visit team. A three-member site-visit team is used for visits to institutions located outside of the United States. This team includes two trained peer reviewers and a consultant from the IACBE staff. The peer reviewers on the site-visit team receive honoraria totaling $500 per day (the chair is paid $300 per day and the other team member is paid $200 per day). The staff consultant does not receive an honorarium. . Typically a site visit takes three days. The table below contains an approximation of the total direct costs of IACBE accreditation for institutions located outside of the United States.

Accreditation Costs for Institutions Outside of the U.S.

Item Amount
Application Fee (must be paid prior to the site visit)
(The application fee for first-time accreditation and reaffirmation of accreditation will be $1,700 for institutions submitting applications for site visits to be conducted in 2016 and beyond.)
$1,600
Travel for Site-Visit Team Members $6,000
Miscellaneous Travel Expenses $500
Honoraria for Site-Visit Team Members (three days) $1,500
Hotel Accommodations and Meals for Site-Visit Team Members (three days) $3,000
Miscellaneous Expenses $500
Total $13,100

Note: These figures are estimates for budgeting purposes. Please be aware that travel costs (airfare) can vary substantially depending on the institution's location. However, in many cases, actual costs are lower than these estimates. When site visits are scheduled, IACBE headquarters can provide updated information.

Required Workshop Costs

All academic business units seeking either first-time accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation must have one or more representatives attend a workshop on preparing an effective self-study. The table below identifies the costs of this required workshop.

Required Workshop Costs

Workshop: Preparing an Effective Self-Study/Site Visit Preparation Amount
First Two Participants $400 per person
Additional Participants $200 per person

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Apply for First-Time Accreditation or Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Application for First-Time Accreditation (DOC)

Application for Reaffirmation of Accreditation (DOC)

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More Information

For more information or if you have questions about first-time accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation, please contact IACBE World Headquarters.

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