WPI Maintains Prestigious Business Accreditation

AACSB Cites the University's Interdisciplinary and Project-based Curriculum
April 11, 2013

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the oldest global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.

The hallmark of excellence in business education, AACSB accreditation has been earned by less than five percent of the world's business programs; 672 business schools in nearly 50 countries and territories are currently accredited.. In addition,, 178 institutions maintain a specialized AACSB accreditation for their accounting programs.

"In 2010, WPI made a strategic commitment to advancing business education in the context of a technological university by transitioning its Management Department into a School of Business, and by hiring an inaugural Dean. In less than three years we have dramatically expanded enrollment in our graduate programs, and increased the number of business credit hours delivered to non-business students," said Business School Dean Mark P. Rice. "Our major innovations have been the development of a blended learning education delivery model (part classroom-based and part web-based) and the launch of our virtual incubator – the Tech Advisers Network. The accreditation review process has recognized the quality of our programs and our commitment to continuous improvement, innovation, impact, and engagement."


"It takes a great deal of commitment and determination to earn and maintain AACSB accreditation," said Robert D. Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. "Business schools must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty, and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students."

To achieve accreditation, business programs must satisfy the expectations of a wide range of quality standards relating to strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students in the educational process, and achievement of learning goals in degree programs. These standards are mission-linked. During the accreditation process, WPI was visited and evaluated by business school deans with detailed knowledge of management education, applying accreditation standards that are widely accepted in the educational community.

In granting accreditation, the AACSB board commended several aspects of WPI's business programs, including its identification of a unique mission and strategic focus; its interdisciplinary and project-based curriculum, which includes "capstone" experiences; its distance education option for graduate students; and its linkages to the business community, especially through the WPI Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Tech Advisers Network.

Rooted in the university's strengths in technology, engineering, and science, WPI's School of Business is known for developing innovative and entrepreneurial leaders for a global technological world. WPI is ranked second in New England and 14th in the nation for online graduate business education in U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Education Program rankings. The Princeton Review said WPI's School of Business "is one of the best institutions a student could attend to earn an MBA," in its Best 296 Business Schools: 2013 edition. WPI's part-time MBA program was ranked No.1 in the Northeast and No. 8 in the United States by Businessweek.

About AACSB International

AACSB's mission is to advance quality management education worldwide through accreditation, thought leadership, and value-added services. As the premier accreditation body for institutions offering undergraduate, master's, and doctorate degrees in business and accounting, the association also conducts a wide array of conferences and seminar programs at locations throughout the world. AACSB's global headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida, and its Asia Pacific headquarters is located in Singapore.