Business school is a popular choice. Seasoned workers may also choose to develop their knowledge and skills in business after working in the business world. Business degrees are versatile, flexible, and often include concentrations that are valuable in a variety of industries. However, it can be challenging to determine which online business school is worth your time and money. Let’s break down the top 10 online business schools with ACBSP accreditation and explore what this accreditation means for you.
For information on the benefits of obtaining a high-paying business degree, click here to read about the highest-paying jobs you can get with a business degree.
What is ACBSP Accreditation?
ACBSP accreditation means that the Accreditation Council approves a given program or college for Business Schools and Programs. This official organization provides accreditation services to college business programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels around the country.
Originally founded in 1989, the ACBSP provided a way to distinguish the superior business programs from the rest. Out of roughly 2,400 business schools, only 260 had specialized and professional certification to show their rigor and quality. It was difficult for students and employers to know whether a program was worthwhile and a good indicator of a job candidate’s value.
Like other accreditation organizations, the ACBSP serves a distinct purpose: to identify business schools and programs that provide students with the right skills from their educational investment. ACBSP accreditation is a primary factor to consider when choosing an online business school.
The ACBSP has certified nearly 600 colleges, with almost 500 in candidacy for accreditation in the near future. Given that there are thousands of business degree programs in the US, students must be discerning in their college choices, especially when pursuing an online business degree.
How Do Schools Receive ACBSP Accreditation?
How does an online business school receive an ACBSP accreditation? The process varies from place to place but essentially follows the same basic steps:
- First, a university receives an ACBSP roadmap that breaks down the standards and criteria that the ACBSP uses to determine accreditation worthiness. The university must meet all these criteria to acquire accreditation.
- The ACBSP requires business schools to commit themselves to excellence. Officials visit candidate universities, examining elements of programs such as teaching excellence, determining student learning outcomes, and verifying a continuous improvement model.
- The ACBSP also requires universities to demonstrate continuing quality over time. More than that, ACBSP-accredited schools have to showcase leading-edge management practices. In other words, schools accredited by the ACBSP don’t teach outdated business concepts. Instead, they are at the forefront of modern business philosophies and practices keeping pace with technology and analytics.
- The ACBSP also typically requires business schools to facilitate better communication and articulation agreements between associate and baccalaureate or graduate degree member campuses. This collaboration often results in the offering of accelerated programs or baccalaureate-master programs.
- Once a university achieves ACBSP accreditation, it receives worldwide recognition for its business programs that sets them apart from the competition. This global distinction helps the university attract future students due to its excellence in education.
Typically, once schools achieve ACBSP accreditation, they strive to retain that accreditation.
Why is ACBSP Accreditation Important?
ACBSP accreditation is important for two big reasons:
- It assures students that a given business school is worth their time and money. This can be hard to know if you are pursuing an online education as you are not able to visit a campus or speak to instructors personally.
- It gives greater student value. When business students graduate from an ACBSP-accredited university, they are more marketable. Employers will know that their degree conveys the knowledge and business skills valuable to the company.
The modern job marketplace is highly competitive, especially for those with business degrees or even MBAs. As one of the most common degrees in the college-educated workforce, business graduates need to set themselves apart from others. Receiving a degree from an ACBSP-accredited university is one way to do that.
Is a Business School Worthwhile Without ACBSP Accreditation?
A non-accredited program can be of value, but it’s not usually a wise choice if an online business degree program from an ACBSP school is available.
There are hundreds of programs from business schools that are available online right now. But there’s no guarantee that what they teach will be valuable in your future career. Nor is there a guarantee that a prospective employer will see your degree as competitive.
Remote students who want to acquire a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in business or related fields will fare better with a program accredited by the ACBSP. The degree will hold more value to employers and allow you to be more competitive in the job market.
Furthermore, the superior education gained through an ACBSP-accredited program will likely be more useful and pertinent to modern business practices and challenges. It is in your best interest to obtain your online business degree from an ACBSP-accredited school.
Why Choose an Online Business School?
Given the difficulties in choosing a business school that isn’t a waste of time and money, why bother pursuing an online business degree in the first place?
Online schooling has several significant advantages over brick-and-mortar campuses that require in-person attendance. These include:
- Schedule flexibility. You can complete coursework at your own pace and on your own schedule, allowing you to meet other commitments while completing a college education. Many online programs allow for asynchronous course completion allowing you to view the lessons on your schedule.
- Attendance from anywhere. Online universities offer educational opportunities regardless of your location. Therefore, it is possible to attend your dream school without leaving your hometown through remote learning.
- Cost differences. Some online schools or programs are relatively more affordable than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. As a result, online business school can be budget-friendly if you’re looking to get the best bang for your educational buck.
You can receive an excellent online business school education as long as you carefully research your university choices. As noted above, ACBSP accreditation is a great way to determine whether a school is worth looking into further and applying for admission.
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What if a School Loses ACBSP Accreditation While You Attend?
Some students complete online business school at a more relaxed, flexible pace. In such cases, it may take longer than four years to acquire a degree.
What if the worst comes to pass and, in the middle of your program, your chosen online business school with ACBSP accreditation loses its accreditation? In that case, you don’t need to worry. Suppose you start attending an accredited program, and later they lose their accreditation. In that case, protections are in place so you would still receive an accreditation mark on your degree when you graduate.
Therefore, you don’t need to worry about rushing through an online business school program if it is currently accredited. On top of that, losing accreditation is relatively rare. Most schools that acquire accreditation take good care of their business programs to retain their accreditation.
Remember, online business schools benefit from having ACBSP accreditation as it draws more students to their programs. They make more money which can be funneled into their business schools to maintain their accreditation standards.
The Top 10 Online Business Schools with ACBSP Accredited
Now let’s break down the 10 best online business schools with ACBSP accreditation.
Capella University offers several ACBSP-accredited online business programs from its centralized online school. These include a bachelor of science in business administration, a bachelor of science in project management for business, and several MBA degrees with varying concentrations, such as marketing, leadership, and even human resource management.
All of these degrees benefit from Capella’s “FlexPath” system. In a nutshell, many of Capella’s programs follow a self-paced schedule, allowing students to set their own deadlines and progress through course materials at a pace that works for them.
Furthermore, this online university allows you to pay per course and control your costs overall. Each class has an interactive setting. Students will benefit from learning support from tutors, detailed feedback, and even personalized planning and coaching depending on their needs.
The business programs are also reasonably accessible as there are no application requirements for GRE or GMAT scores. Check out this online school if you want a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate in business.
Grand Canyon University – Colangelo College of Business
Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business is another excellent choice for an online school. It offers both bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in various business disciplines. You can also opt for an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s degree combined program if you wish to earn both certifications simultaneously.
Furthermore, students can specialize in an MSN-MBA dual degree program. Available concentrations include accounting, applied business analytics, applied entrepreneurship, and more. GCU also offers other minor degree options and secondary specializations. At this online university, you are able to tailor your degrees to your specific interests or business needs.
This college is a Christian business school. While the school’s online courses are fully ACBSP-accredited, certain guiding pillars, from ethics to entrepreneurism to servant leadership, permeate class materials.
Ranked as an excellent school for business topics, GCU is 38th for most transfer-friendly institutions and one of the 25 best online entrepreneurship degree providers. This online university may additionally be a good choice for future business professionals who wish to practice conscious capitalism in keeping with their faith.
Purdue University Global
Purdue University’s online business programs are all ACBSP-accredited. Each is available through the university’s global or online campus rather than a specific subsidiary school. As a result, each degree may be completed 100% online and on a flexible, student-paced schedule.
Program highlights, regardless of concentration, include classes on negotiation, teamwork, working, marketing, economics, etc. Most of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees may provide their graduates with enhanced marketability by allowing students to study specialty areas including:
- Aviation management
- Business development
- Human resources
- Global marketing management
- Financial analysis
This online university is an excellent choice if you wish to specialize in a niche area of business management or a specific industry.
Furthermore, students may apply for an accelerated MBA option if they wish to earn their master’s degree at a faster than usual pace. Note that this online university is only available in most US states. Students may not take Purdue University’s Global Campus courses if they are from Indiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Utah, New Hampshire, and Wyoming.
The Robert P. Stiller School of Business at Champlain College offers a variety of business degrees at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The school’s bachelor of science in business administration is particularly well regarded. All business programs are ACBSP-accredited.
Most of the online programs feature accelerated courses; for example, many bachelor’s programs have each course run for just seven weeks. The demanding pace allows students to graduate faster than similar online programs. Each online course includes interactive discussions with peers and teachers and practical demonstrations or case studies of business skills.
Degree concentrations range from accounting to human resource management, project management, supply chain management, logistics, and more. Furthermore, each business program can be taken and completed 100% online without any in-person classes or requirements.
However, it is a relatively rigorous school to get into, requiring a 2.5 GPA or higher from each candidate.
Utica College’s online business programs are robust and well-rounded. Business degree programs offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. For example, Utica’s 30-credit hour online MBA is the school’s featured business program, designed for modern relevance in the ever-evolving business marketplace.
Most of the business programs from Utica are available in either 100% online or hybrid formats. In such cases, students can choose whether they wish to pursue an entirely online, asynchronous class schedule or visit campus from time to time.
The available online business programs can include specializations ranging from finance to accounting, insurance, and risk management, cybersecurity, resource procurement, and more. The MBA can also be pursued as a general degree, freeing students for a more flexible career path after graduation.
Students who wish to apply to this school should acquire a GPA of 2.7 or above to satisfy entry requirements.
Lindenwood University – Plaster College of Business and Entrepreneurship
Lindenwood University’s Plaster College of Business and Entrepreneurship has a variety of online business programs students can pursue, including programs in business administration, accounting, and more.
Each of these programs features broad and specialized course materials, therefore, each graduate receives a well-rounded business education along with taking specific courses tailored to their interests. For example, this school’s BS in Business Administration emphasizes global trends, how trade affects individual businesses, and similar subjects.
Students may choose concentrations like marketing, management, finance, and more.
Each program is 100% online with relatively accessible application requirements: just a high school transcript and/or GED without a firm GPA requirement.
Lindenwood’s business school is also considered dynamic due to networking and partnership opportunities with business organizations.
Rivier University offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business subjects. All programs of study are awarded as degrees in science instead of the arts. In addition to standard online programs, Rivier offers “4+1” program options. Such a program provides online bachelor’s degrees that are immediately followed by a master’s program, cutting down total school time by about one year.
Students benefit from an accelerated course format and earn their MBA or similar master’s degree faster than usual. These online programs are fully asynchronous and remote. Each includes coursework emphasizing critical thinking, communication, information literacy, and so on.
Several of the business programs offer specific concentrations such as:
- Organizational behavior
- Strategy and management
Rivier University does require a GPA of 2.0 or above to accept most students. Each program is ACBSP-accredited; you can rest assured that you will receive an education with the appropriate rigor and status necessary to succeed after graduation.
Alvernia University offers bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in business management, business administration, communications, and more. This school provides fewer business degrees and programs than many others, but that’s not necessarily bad for students who know what they wish to pursue.
The school demands a 2.0 GPA or higher for entrance. Once accepted, students benefit from an asynchronous schedule regardless of the program chosen. Each business program can be completed 100% online without any in-person requirements.
Furthermore, business courses typically include both practical business skill applications and management ethics. Depending on the degree path chosen, you can select a concentration or specialize in international business, small business challenges, human resource management, and other areas.
The University of West Alabama – College of Business and Technology
COBT offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, accounting, marketing, and so on. Many of these programs can be combined into a bachelor’s + master’s track, allowing students to complete their graduate degrees ahead of schedule.
Each business program is 100% online and accredited by the ACBSP. There is no set GPA for educational requirements, making this among the most accessible online business schools.
While the programs at the COBT provide the usual business topics and coursework to their students, the school is known for its emphasis on information technology and modern business practices. By educating their graduates to handle IT challenges and current technological analytics, COBT’s online programs prepare students for tomorrow’s problems.
Students also benefit from COBT’s Center for Entrepreneurial Services. The center is available to students and graduates who have a small business or wish to leap into entrepreneurship following graduation. The school’s Small Business Development Center is also an option for networking, resource acquisition, and further assistance.
New Mexico Highlands University
NMHU offers only two different master’s degrees in business: one in general business administration and another in business administration with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. The school’s flagship online program is the general online MBA degree, which is 100% ACBSP-accredited and designed for nontraditional or working adult students.
The MBA program covers topics such as management, finance, and leadership. Both programs offer one-on-one, individualized attention for remote students throughout the program’s duration. In-person requirements are nonexistent, and each program includes practical applications of business skills to hone specializations to assure a graduate’s relevance in today’s business world.
Note, however, that this university has a relatively high GPA requirement: 3.0 or higher for the MBAs mentioned above. In addition, the school doesn’t offer any online bachelor’s degrees in business topics, therefore, students will need to acquire such a degree from another university before transferring to NMHU.
As you can see, there are plenty of online business schools with ACBSP accreditation waiting for your application. Whether you need a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or even a doctorate in a business topic, there’s an ACBSP-accredited university waiting for you.
Even better, many of these schools have pages at GetEducated.com. You’ll find further breakdowns of specific programs, application tips and instructions, and other helpful information on those pages. Check out GetEducated today and get started on your path to an online business degree!