Accreditation Process - First-Time Accreditation

For the business programs of an academic business unit to be considered for first-time accreditation by the IACBE, the academic business unit must follow the process summarized below:


Be a Candidate for Accreditation in Good Standing
Submit Application Materials and Fee for First-Time Accreditation
Schedule Site Visit
Attend the IACBE Accreditation Institute
Prepare and Submit Draft Self-Study
Undergo a Technical Review
Prepare and Submit Final Self-Study
Undergo Accreditation Site Visit
Receive and Respond to Site Visit Report
Undergo Accreditation Review by Board of Commissioners
Board of Commissioners Determines Accreditation Status of Business Programs


First-Time Accreditation Requirements

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. Have at least one set of graduates for which there are outcomes assessment results for each program to be considered for accreditation.
  3. Submit an application for accreditation and pay its application fee.  The application must be submitted and the fee must be paid prior to the beginning of the self-study year.
  4. Fully implement its outcomes assessment plan which includes collecting at least one full set of results for each academic program included in the self-study.
  5. Have at least one representative attend the IACBE Accreditation Institute within the year immediately preceding the beginning of the self-study year. If a representative of the academic business unit attends the Accreditation Institute as a part of the candidacy process and the school begins the self-study year with one year of attendance, the requirement will be met. If the individual who attended the Accreditation Institute is no longer employed by the academic business unit, the requirement is no longer considered met and another individual will be required to attend the Accreditation Institute.
  6. Prepare and submit a draft self-study and all supporting materials at least 120 days prior to the scheduled site visit.
  7. Prepare and submit the final self-study and all supporting materials at least 60 days prior to the scheduled site visit.
  8. Undergo a site visit.
  9. Be reviewed by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.

If two or more institutions have the same parent institution or if an institution provides business programs under different institutional names, separate accreditation may be required. Contact the IACBE office to discuss the options that are available.

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 delay a program’s pursuit of accreditation.

A preliminary draft copy of the self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters at least 120 days prior to the site visit. Upon receipt of the draft self-study, IACBE staff will contact the academic business unit to schedule a virtual meeting to conduct an initial technical review of the self-study for completeness and accuracy. This technical review will not include any judgments regarding the quality of the responses contained in the self-study, nor will it evaluate the extent of the academic business unit’s compliance with the IACBE’s Accreditation Principles, policies, and requirements. These determinations will be made by the Board of Commissioners.

The purposes of the technical review are:

  • to identify any technical issues associated with the academic business unit’s self-study (i.e., missing, incomplete, and/or inaccurate information) and
  • to help to ensure a smooth visit by the site-visit team. Any missing or incomplete responses and inaccurate information will be communicated to the academic business unit during the technical review consultation.

Subsequent to the technical review, the academic business unit will 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 revised, final self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters at least 60 days prior to the site visit. No site visit travel arrangements will be made until the IACBE has received the final self-study documents.

Once an academic business unit has been granted accreditation of its business programs by the IACBE, the institution must provide a link on the academic business unit's home page to their Member Status Page. A link to the page will be sent to the academic business unit along with the letter notifying them of their accredited programs. If accreditation is granted, it will cover a time period not to exceed seven years.