The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence. The association embraces the virtues of teaching excellence and emphasizes to students that it is essential to learn how to learn.

ACBSP accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate degree levels worldwide. Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in 2001 and again in 2011, ACBSP was the first to offer specialized business accreditation at all degree levels.


ACBSP promotes continuous improvement and recognizes excellence in the accreditation of business education programs around the world.

ACBSP acknowledges the importance of scholarly research and inquiry and believes that such activities facilitate improved teaching. Institutions are strongly encouraged to pursue a reasonable mutually beneficial balance between teaching and research. And further, ACBSP encourages faculty involvement within the contemporary business world to enhance the quality of classroom instruction and to contribute to student learning.

ACBSP history

In April 1988, representatives from 150 business schools and programs across the country met in Kansas City to consider the feasibility of forming a new accrediting body based on an innovative approach. While recognizing the importance of scholarly research and encouraging a mutually beneficial balance between research and teaching, the new accreditation process would focus on teaching excellence and student outcomes. For those convening the meeting, the big question was what the level of interest would be. They had their answer when 149 of those representatives voted to participate in making the idea a reality.

The founders of what was then known as the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs went to work creating a process that not only recognized the scholarship of teaching but promoted continuous improvement in teaching and real-world success for students.

It was a first, as was the decision to be inclusive in its membership. ACBSP was the first to realize the importance of including associate degree schools, as well as private and religious institutions.

ACBSP was also the first accrediting body to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and later, the first to be recognized by CHEA, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

In 2010, to better define the mission of the Association as well as to reflect a growing global presence, the decision was made to change the name of ACBSP to Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Today, ACBSP has a network of more than 1,260 member campuses and more than 10,000 individual members, making it one of the leading accreditation bodies for business schools and programs around the world.