Accredited online MBA programs

If you're going to study for an online MBA, you really need to ask the question how important to you is it to study an accredited online MBA program? To answer that, you need to know what role MBA accreditation plays.


Accreditation exists for two primary purposes. Firstly to confirm quality standards are being met and secondly, to ensure consistency of provision. Remember there are over 13,000 business degree providers globally in over 150 countries.


This is especially important given the varying modes of MBA delivery.


Full time, part time, executive MBA (EMBA) and distance learning programs all require differing methods of learning and provider delivery but studying an accredited online MBA program is the universal yard stick by which standards can be assured by provider, student and employer.




Accreditation bodies

The major accrediting bodies are listed below but pay special attention to the three primary, globally recognised bodies: AMBA, EQUIS & AACSB - to find out more about what differentiates these three, click here.

Accrediting Body Recognition
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

USA & worldwide


Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)



International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)



Association of MBAs (AMBA)

UK & worldwide


All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)



Distance Education Council in India (DEC) - for all distance learning courses



The Council on Higher Education (CHE)

South Africa


European Foundation for Management Development operates the

European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)

Europe, Australia,

New Zealand, Asia & worldwide


Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA)



Central and East European Management Development Association (CEEMAN)




Triple accreditation - the best of the best?

The best online MBA programs are conferred 'triple accreditation' incorporating AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS accreditation. In 2014, less than 70 business schools worldwide held triple accreditation out of a global provider population in excess of 13,000. This means that triple-accredited institutions can claim to be in an exclusive club containing just 1% ot total providers.


The reason for the relatively small number of triple accreditations is that the AMBA stipulate that AMBA-accredited business schools only admit MBA applicants with at least 3 years of full-time post-graduate work experience. The AMBA restrictions rule out the vast majority of US Business Schools so whilst triple accreditation is a sure sign of quality, it is not an all-encompassing measure. For US programs, the premier accreditation body is widely regarded as the AACSB.


EQUIS and AACSB accredit the school as a whole whilst the AMBA accreditation is conferred on the individual MBA program.


In terms of assessing the quality of an MBA, one might want to consider online MBA rankings performance along with assurances on accredited online MBA program status.



Accreditation from the perspective of a provider: Newcastle University Business School (UK)

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