The Marshall Online MBA: An Innovative Program Offered by an AACSB-Accredited Business School

The USC Marshall School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a recognition of excellence earned by fewer than 5 percent of all business schools. All of Marshall’s MBA programs, including its Online MBA (OMBA), must meet AACSB standards for the school to earn and maintain AACSB accreditation, which is the longest-standing, most recognized form of accreditation that a business school can earn.

The Marshall OMBA leverages the most advanced online learning tools to prepare students for leadership roles in today’s technology-driven business landscape. It combines the rigor of a top MBA program with the convenience of online learning. Designed by USC Marshall faculty in close collaboration with the school’s instructional design team, the innovative program provides students with a comprehensive integrated curriculum, uniquely engaging learning environment, and membership in the Trojan Family network that is more than 390,000 members strong.

What is the AACSB?

AACSB is a global organization that promotes excellence in business education. The Association’s founders formed the organization in 1916 as a network of business schools whose leaders would regularly meet to discuss business education and industry standards. In 1919, the AACSB approved its first set of minimum standards for schools seeking accreditation. The organization’s mission statement states, “AACSB strives to continuously improve engagement among business, faculty, institutions, and students so that business education is aligned with the needs of business practice. … The vision of AACSB is to transform business education for global prosperity.”

AACSB Accreditation Standards

Earning AACSB accreditation is a rigorous process, and schools must meet stringent eligibility requirements before the Association will even consider them for review. These requirements include demonstrating ethical behavior, maintaining a supportive and engaging collegiate environment, and committing to corporate and social responsibility. To attain accreditation, eligible institutions must develop and implement a strategic plan that aligns with the AACSB Standards for Business Accreditation, which focus on faculty and staff qualifications, student preparedness to meet program expectations, and the quality of the curriculum. Other factors AACSB considers include global mindset and quality academic research.

The Association assigns a committee to help the school implement its strategic plan in accordance with AACSB standards and, ultimately, earn accreditation—a process that takes two to five years. AACSB-accredited institutions must annually submit relevant data to demonstrate continuing adherence to Association standards. Every five years, institutions enter the Continuous Improvement Review Process to ensure ongoing educational achievements that correspond to AACSB core values and the institution’s mission statement.

What AACSB Accreditation Means to MBA Students and Employers

The AACSB’s high standards and stringent accreditation process help ensure that students attending an AACSB-accredited school will benefit from a business education that has been quality assured for academic excellence and, in accordance with AACSB’s mission, is characterized by engagement, innovation and impact. Given the Association’s stringent standards, commitment to excellence in business education, and long history, AACSB accreditation enjoys widespread recognition among corporate recruiters and business leaders. AACSB observes on its website that 96 percent of chief executives listed in the 2016 Financial Times “From MBA to CEO” article attended an AACSB-accredited school and that 90 percent of the 2016 Economist’s top 100 full-time MBA programs are in AACSB-accredited schools.

With Marshall’s vast alumni network, U.S. News & World Report top rankings, world-class faculty, global leadership, and penchant for innovation, it stands out even among business schools that are AACSB-accredited. USC Marshall students—online and on-campus—graduate well-prepared to succeed and lead in today’s global business climate.

Last edited September 2017.

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