Confirming Global Quality and Distinction in Business Education

April 15, 2020


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TAMPA, Fla. - AACSB International (AACSB) announced that the University of Montana College of Business will have their accreditation in both business and accounting extended.

For more than a century, AACSB accreditation has been synonymous with the highest standards in business education and has been earned by only five percent of the world's schools offering business degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher. Today, 874 institutions across 56 countries and territories have earned AACSB accreditation, while 190 institutions hold supplemental AACSB accreditation for their accounting programs.

“AACSB congratulates each institution on their achievement,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB. “Every AACSB-accredited school has demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curriculum development, and student learning. The intense peer-review process exemplifies their commitment to quality business education.”

Achieving accreditation is a process of rigorous internal focus, engagement with an AACSB-assigned mentor, and peer-reviewed evaluation. During this multiyear path, schools focus on developing and implementing a plan to align with AACSB’s accreditation standards. These standards require excellence in areas relating to strategic management and innovation; student, faculty, and staff as active participants; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.

To achieve accounting accreditation, an institution must first earn AACSB business accreditation. Then, in addition to developing and implementing a mission-driven plan to satisfy the business accreditation quality standards, accounting accreditation requires the satisfaction of a supplemental set of standards specific to the discipline and profession of accounting. Once accreditation is achieved, each institution participates in a five-year continuous improvement peer-review to maintain high quality and extend its accreditation.

The UM College of Business has maintained accreditation since 1949, when it was one of the first 50 schools in the country to be granted AACSB accreditation. In addition, UM College of Business undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting have continuously held separate accreditation from AACSB International since April 2001.

UM is one of only 23 schools in the five-state region (WA, OR, ID, MT, WY) and one of three schools in Montana to hold AACSB business accreditation. UM is one of only 10 schools in the five-state region and the only school in Montana to hold AACSB accounting accreditation in addition to AACSB business accreditation.

The University of Montana is the flagship university of the state. The College of Business at UM is nationally renowned and has been named the top business school in the Big Sky Conference by U.S. News and World Report for four consecutive years.