Carlson School building

Carlson School Earns AACSB Reaccreditation

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

This week, the Carlson School’s degree programs were officially reaccredited through 2025-2026 by the Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business (AACSB), the premier accrediting agency of collegiate business schools and accounting programs worldwide.

"We've offered rigorous, high-quality, practical business education for more than 100 years and we're grateful for AACSB's continued recognition of how our offerings continually improve," Dean Sri Zaheer says. "The actions, every day, of our faculty and staff ensure our students are prepared to be leaders who use business as a force for good."

AACSB requires a “continuous improvement review” every five years. The accreditation standards were updated in 2020 and the Carlson School is among the first schools in the U.S. to be reaccredited under the new standards.

As part of the accreditation process, a review team of three deans and AACSB officials virtually visited the Carlson School from Feb. 28 to March 2. The team—Dean John Kraft (University of Florida), chair; Dean Jeffrey Brown (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign); and Dean Robert Sullivan (University of California, San Diego)—noted five items in particular that showed the Carlson School’s “leadership and high-quality continuous improvement in management education.”

  • A “laudable” faculty mentoring evaluation and review system;
  • The school’s unofficial motto of “Business as a Force for Good” being embraced by faculty, staff, and students alike;
  • A strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which are embedded in all aspects of the Carlson School mission;
  • An “excellent leadership team”; and 
  • The significant level of experiential learning for all students, including the required international study experience for undergraduate and MBA students.

AACSB is an association of educational institutions, businesses, and other organizations devoted to the advancement of higher education in management education. AACSB accreditation assures quality and promotes excellence and continuous improvement in undergraduate and graduate business education worldwide. To become accredited, business schools around the world must undergo a rigorous review process and ongoing evaluations of faculty qualification, curriculum, continuous improvement processes, assessment practices, and student and faculty resources. In total, just five percent of business schools worldwide are accredited by AACSB.

The University of Minnesota’s business school was first accredited by AACSB in 1920, becoming the 18th school to have the certification.