Making the decision to pursue a graduate degree is no small task, as there are typically a lot of variables at stake. When you enter a master’s program, you are committing to time away from your family, increased stress and responsibility, and expenses for tuition, fees, books, and other related items. While these challenges are only temporary, they can still have a lasting impact on your life. When you consider the overall cost of a graduate education, it is no surprise that accrediting entities exist with the sole purpose of evaluating programs and determining whether they meet the certain standards. As a student, it is crucial to ensure that you are going to maximize your return on investment. Accrediting organizations are instrumental in providing the transparency you need to make informed decisions.
While there are accrediting organizations for a wide variety of subjects and programs, Master’s in Marketing Analytics programs are certified by accrediting institutions specializing in business school. Below, we explain what accreditation means for a marketing analytics program, and why that label is important. We also explore the main business school accreditation organizations. Finally, we provide Noodle’s top selections for an in-person or online marketing analytics accredited master’s program.
Accreditation is a validation process conducted by an external authority that guarantees universities and degree programs meet certain standards of quality. While accreditation is voluntary, university leaders must actively make the choice to apply for accreditation and undergo a series of evaluations as part of the process. Accreditation is important because it verifies that a university or program is legitimate and worthwhile.
There is a reason universities continue to invest in campus tours. Campus tours allow prospective students to explore various programs and collect important information that will be valuable during their decision-making process. When students participate in these tours, they are essentially holding interviews to see which programs are the best fit. Like a hiring manager reviewing a job applicant’s LinkedIn page or calling their previous manager after an interview, prospective students should also obtain reliable third party references once their campus tours are complete. In an employment setting, references validate the self-expressed qualifications candidates provide during the interview process. In a school setting, accreditation serves essentially the same purpose. The accreditation process provides further clarification of program features and answers to critical questions. These questions include:
Taking it a step further, accreditation is especially essential for online programs. The web is overrun with phony online education programs; accreditation assists in weeding out those bad eggs. Unfortunately, when it comes to higher education, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some schools will even go so far as to mislead applicants regarding program credentials. If you are interested in a program that claims to be accredited, take a moment to search the listed accrediting agency’s website and verify that the program in question is listed. Importantly, accreditations are often program-specific. The existence of one accredited program at a school does not ensure that every part of the university shares the same status.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the most widely recognized business accreditation agency in the United States. It has provided higher education guidance since 1916, with the first standards for degree programs in business administration being established in 1919. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. They also aim to transform business training for the sake of global prosperity. AACSB represents over 800 accredited schools in over 100 different countries, and serves three million enrolled students.
AACSB members initiate the accreditation process for their programs by submitting an application. After a meticulous self-evaluation and peer-reviews have been completed, AACSB determines whether accreditation is warranted.
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) focuses on teaching quality, learning outcomes, and continuous improvement. It started accrediting business education programs in 1988. ACBSP aims to ensure that students’ educational investments result in skill improvements that will help them be successful in the workplace.
The ACBSP also uses an application process followed by self-evaluation. In addition, ACBSP’s process includes a site-visit as the last step before an accreditation decision is made.
The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) believes that in order to strengthen quality assurance, excellence should be results-driven based on a business program’s specific mission rather than on a standardized scale. Founded in 1997, IACBE was originally established as the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, with the intent of providing a mission-driven accreditation process. This goal continues today, and IACBE has grown to be a recognized accreditation agency with hundreds of member institutions worldwide.
Although a non-governmental association, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) provides quality assurance to the U.S. Department of Education and is a sounding board regarding accreditation to the general public, opinion leaders, students, and families. CHEA represents 3,000 colleges and universities, and currently recognizes 60 institutional and program-specific accrediting organizations. CHEA also certifies accrediting agencies and currently only recognizes AACSB, ACBSP, and IACBE as legitimate business school accrediting entities.
Below are Noodle’s top choices if you are pursuing an AACSB-accredited Master’s in Marketing Analytics program. The first section includes online marketing analytics accredited master’s programs, and the second section includes accredited programs that require some (if not all) time on-campus.
Claremont Graduate University
Cleveland State University
Georgia Tech University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Penn State University
University of Alabama
University of Colorado, Denver
University of North Texas
University of Texas, Arlington
Louisiana State University
University of Rochester
University of Maryland
This information should have given you some insight into the importance of program accreditation. Knowing that a program is accredited will provide the reassurance you need to make the important decision of continuing your education. And once you’ve graduated from an accredited program, you will be have one more (big) credit on your resume that will no doubt be recognized by potential employers.
Please always check the University website for the most up to date information.