What is the scope of the US MBA


Accreditation of MBA programs

Since accreditations are dynamic - some universities receive new accreditations, others lose their accreditation - every student can only be urgently advised to find out about the actual, current status of accreditation on the Internet.
But be careful, there are a number of universities that equate membership in an accreditation agency with accreditation. However, this is not always the case. At the AACSB from the USA, this abuse was carried out to such an extent that the accreditation agency had to react to this annoying circumstance with a task force and warned the relevant members:
Internationally, the AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditations are the best known and most renowned. In the German-speaking area, it is FIBAA followed by ACQUIN and AQAS. The fact is: accreditation plays an important role in choosing the right master’s program. From a global perspective, there are various fundamentally different approaches to accreditation in higher education:

  • the institutional accreditation of entire universities / business schools (e.g. EQUIS, AACSB, Austrian Accreditation Council),
  • the program accreditation (e.g. FIBAA, AMBA)
  • and in Germany there is also system accreditation.

The entire quality assurance system of a university is checked in a system accreditation. This is based on the expectation that a high-performance quality assurance system guarantees that all courses set up within the framework of this system automatically meet the requirements of program accreditation.

Accreditation bodies

The following accreditation bodies are important for you:

USA = AACSB - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
The AACSB is the central accreditation body for MBA providers in the USA and specializes in accreditation in the areas of business and accounting. By focusing on entire subject areas, every MBA program at an AACSB-accredited university is considered to be of high quality. The AACSB has accredited around 755 institutions in 51 countries, including over 160 outside the USA. This means that the number of accredited institutions has increased by almost 100 universities in just a few years. In the USA, however, only just under 40 percent of business schools have AACSB accreditation.
Due to the high reputation of the AACSB, many universities use a trick: They advertise with an official AACSB seal, although they are only members of the AACSB or can establish a connection to the AACSB via a "partner university".

Therefore, taking a closer look is a must for anyone aiming for an MBA degree. A full list of accredited universities can be found at http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/AccreditedMembers.asp.

Universities with AACSB accreditation (as of November 2012):

In the official list of AACSB International there are only nine accredited institutions in Germany:

  • University of Mannheim, Faculty of Business Administration, Mannheim Business School (03/2000)
  • Handeslhochschule Leipzig (04/2004)
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt / Main, Department of Economics (01/2005)
  • WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management Vallendar / Koblenz (12/2010)
  • University of Münster (04/2011)
  • RWTH Aachen University (04/2011)
  • Pforzheim University, Faculty of Economics and Law (08/2011)
  • ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Berlin (04/2012)
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (05/2014)

Eight other universities are members of the AACSB and some are in the accreditation process, which can take up to five years:

  • Berlin School of Economics and Law / HWR Berlin
  • EBS University of Economics and Law, Wiesbaden
  • German Graduate School of Management & Law (GGS), Heilbronn
  • Munich Business School
  • Reutlingen University / ESB Business School
  • University of Cologne Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences
  • Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Duisburg-Essen / Mercator School of Management


  • WU Vienna University of Economics and Business (2015)

Four universities in Switzerland were able to meet the requirements for AACSB accreditation:

  • University of St. Gallen (01/2004)
  • International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne (01/2004)
  • University of Zurich (08/2010)
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences, School of Management and Law (2015)

Eleven other universities are members of the AACSB and some are in the accreditation process, which can take up to five years.


EU = EQUAL / EQUIS / EPAS - European Quality Improvement System
EQUIS was introduced in 1997 by the European Foundation for Management Development (efmd) in Brussels. With this system, the institution as a whole is checked and not the individual MBA program. In December 2014, supplemented MBA guidelines were developed by EQUIS. EQUIS is not focused on MBA programs but on the entire field of economics. EPAS, on the other hand, accredits individual programs.

According to EQUIS, in Germany an accreditation:

  • EBS Business School, EBS University of Economics and Law (3 years)
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (3 years)
  • Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Cologne (3 years)
  • University of Mannheim Business School (5 years)
  • WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management (5 years)

In the Switzerland:

  • HEC Lausanne, Université de Lausanne (3 years)
  • IMD (5 years)
  • University of St. Gallen (5 years)
  • Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology, University of Zurich (3 years)

In Austria:

  • WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna University of Economics and Business (5 years)

A total of 120 institutions in 32 countries are accredited. The majority of EQUIS accreditations have programs in the UK, France and China. EQUIS thus represents around ten percent of the business schools. According to EQUIS, 30 applicants have failed so far, including some highly renowned universities. In Germany, this accreditation has not yet prevailed.

With EPAS, program accreditation was also taken up by efmd around 10 years ago.

EQUIS-accredited MBA providers:

  • Department of Business and Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law, BA International Business Management (3 years)
  • Professional School of Business and Technology, University of Applied Sciences Kempten, MBA in International Business Management and Leadership (3 years)
  • TUM School of Management, Technical University of Munich

In the Switzerland is accredited:

  • Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), MBA ETH in Supply Chain Management (3 years)

The EPAS accreditations are usually meaningless for the market in D-A-CH. Most universities use the accreditation as a "learning effect" for further procedures.


UK = AMBA - Association of MBAs
In contrast to AACSB and EQUIS, the English AMBA evaluates MBA programs in detail. AMBA's accreditation service is primarily aimed at those seeking MBA programs. Therefore, it should be ensured that the evaluation and accreditation process retains its independence and integrity, and thus remains as a quality guarantee for excellent management training. The evaluation is carried out through a so-called peer review, which is carried out by AMBA reviewers, who are mainly deans or MBA directors of accredited institutes.
The Association of MBAs was founded in 1967 by eight British graduates from Wharton, Harvard and Columbia Universities and has long been considered to represent the interests of British MBA graduates. The second mainstay was the granting of student loans. It still performs these functions today as a task alongside accreditation. The association currently consists of programs at over 200 accredited institutions in 70 countries and has a network of over 9,000 members who live and work in 88 countries.
Like the AACSB, AMBA relies on rapid international growth. Between 2010 and 2012 alone, programs at over 30 universities were newly accredited. Of the programs in Great Britain, only around 25 percent are still accredited by the AMBA. According to AMBA, the MBA programs of the following business schools have AMBA accreditation in German-speaking countries:



  • Berlin School of Economics and Law
  • ESMT European School of Management and Technology
  • GISMA Business School
  • Mannheim Business School


  • HEC Lausanne - University of Lausanne
  • EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
  • HEC, University of Geneva
  • International Institute for Management Development
  • Lorange Institute of Business Zurich

AMBA accredited MBA programs:


In Germany, the accreditations of MBA programs are mainly carried out by the agencies AHPGS, ASIIN, AQUIN, AQAS, FIBAA and ZEvA. Around 75 percent of all study programs in Germany are currently accredited with conditions that have to be removed within one year, otherwise the accreditation will expire.
All accreditation bodies accredited in Germany and the related links:

In the national area, the following ten agencies are currently authorized to award the quality seal of the Accreditation Council to degree programs accredited by them with the degrees Bachelor and Master:

  • ACQUIN (accreditation, certification and quality assurance institute)
  • AHPGS (accreditation agency for degree programs in the field of health and social affairs)
  • AKAST (Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Canonical Study Programs)
  • AQA (Austrian Quality Assurance Agency)
  • AQAS (Agency for Quality Assurance through Accreditation of Study Programs)
  • ASIIN (accreditation agency for courses in engineering, computer science, natural sciences and mathematics)
  • evalag (Evaluation Agency Baden-Württemberg)
  • FIBAA (Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation)
  • OAQ (body for accreditation and quality assurance of Swiss universities)
  • ZEvA (Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency Hanover)

According to current data from the Accreditation Council, there are over 18,000 study programs in Germany, around two thirds of which are accredited.