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Identifying Internationally Recognized MBA Programs

written by: John Garger•edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch•updated: 6/29/2011

The MBA has become almost a necessary degree to break out of middle management and move up the corporate ladder. Learn how to create your own list of internationally recognized MBA programs when searching for the right program for you.

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    The modern economy is a global one; no longer can nations and companies afford to indulge in isolationism and ignore the necessity of participating in the global economy. However, participation is not enough. Leadership is necessary to carry a company from participation to success.

    The MBA is a highly sought after degree that can help you achieve your career goals and let you participate in the growth of the global economy. However, before you begin, you need to make a list of the internationally recognized MBA programs that can launch you the furthest. This list must take into account not only program attributes but accreditation as well.

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    MBA Program Accreditation

    Several accreditation organizations govern the standards of the business and management schools. More important at the graduate than the undergraduate levels, accreditation speaks volumes to employers by ensuring that high standards were met in delivering quality education to the MBA holder.

    The most prominent and prestigious accreditation comes from The Association to Advance the Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Accreditation can take years in which the AACSB judges a business school in terms of quality education and a number of other important factors. Not so much a laundry list of quotas and statistics, AACSB accreditation is about excellence and sustainability. According to the AACSB website, only 5% of business schools worldwide enjoy accreditation. Membership, though not accreditation, in AACSB spans 70 countries. This is testament to how internationally recognized this organization and its accreditation status really are.

    Although the MBA program you are considering may not be internationally recognized, the AACBS certainly is. Any AACSB-accredited school can make the list of internationally recognized if only for the accreditation itself.

    There are a number of other accrediting bodies that can help an MBA program become internationally recognized such as The Association of Collegiate Business School and Programs (ACBSP). Founded in 1988, this accrediting body isn't quite as prestigious as the AACSB but does have similar goals when it comes to ensuring excellence and quality education in MBA programs.

    The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) is another accrediting organization that focuses on flexible and adaptable paradigms when it comes to student learning and operational outcomes. Founded in 1997, the IACBE is still quite young and yet, again, it shares many of the same goals as the two other accrediting bodies mentioned above.

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    List of Internationally Accredited MBA Programs

    Accreditation alone is a poor reason to choose an MBA program. Accreditation simply means that the MBA program has met what someone else believes to be quality when it comes to turning out MBA holders. Your list may differ from others when you consider your own career goals and needs.

    When making your list of MBA programs, be sure to include more than just the school's internationally recognized status from accreditation. Consider other features such as cost and value. For example, suppose you are considering two MBA programs that both have AACSB accreditation. One is a private school and one is a public, state university. Almost always, the public school will be cheaper and, therefore, a better value. Since both are AACSB accredited, you can be sure that the public school's education (if not its name) is internationally recognized and should occupy a higher place on your list of potential business schools.