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Higher education organizations join the IAHEA for two main reasons – They believe in the mission and goals of the IAHEA and they receive benefits from being a member.

The mission of the IAHEA is to advance academic quality in business programs through evidence-based accreditation that encourages institutions to build unique educational models to reflect their mission and vision.

A major benefit of IAHEA membership is the quality assurance process that can lead to business program accreditation for members who choose to pursue this option.

In addition, there are benefits that are available to all of our members, regardless of their accreditation status. These benefits are designed to promote and to support continuous quality improvement and the IAHEA mission.


The First Step Toward Accreditation. IAHEA members have the ability to apply for IAHEA Accreditation.

Accreditation Process

Accreditation is a quality assurance process in which an institution of higher education or an academic unit within the institution voluntarily undergoes an external and independent appraisal of its educational activities.

Programmatic accreditation by the International Association for Higher Education & Accreditation is mission-driven and outcomes-based, and involves an independent, external evaluation of the business programs offered by an institution’s academic business unit. The effectiveness of the academic business unit is evaluated by reviewing the educational processes related to teaching and learning in the institution, and by an assessment of the outcomes of the teaching-learning process.


The IAHEA accredits business programs that lead to degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels in institutions of higher education worldwide. All modes of delivery, campuses, locations, and instructional sites, as well as all business programs regardless of degree level, will normally be included in the IAHEA accreditation review.

The IAHEA expects business programs to be delivered by an established academic business unit. For the purpose of the accreditation of business programs by the IAHEA, an ‘academic business unit’ is defined to be an organizational unit that is responsible for the administration and delivery of the business programs of the institution. This unit can be a department, division, school, college, institute, academy, faculty, or other organizational structure. However, the IAHEA respects the differences that exist between institutions of higher education, and realizes that institutions may have valid reasons for offering some business programs through other academic units of the institution. In addition, it is expected that the academic business unit, and other academic units within the institution that offer business programs, will be led by doctorally- or professionally-qualified business educators.

Process of Accreditation

The process of accreditation by the IAHEA requires the academic business unit to prepare a comprehensive self-study in which it demonstrates the extent to which it complies with the IAHEA’s “Accreditation Principles,” which are its evaluation criteria for accreditation. In addition, the academic business unit must undergo a site visit by an independent team of professional peer reviewers. The academic business unit’s self-study, the site-visit team’s report of findings, and the academic business unit’s response to the report are then reviewed by the IAHEA’s Board of Commissioners, which determines the accreditation status of the institution’s business programs.

Specialized programmatic accreditation by the IAHEA is a means by which students, parents, the business community, and other stakeholders of the institution can be assured that the academic business unit complies with high principles of excellence and follows best practice in business education. Furthermore, accredited schools have demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement, excellence in business education, and advancing academic quality. Accreditation means that the academic business unit’s programs are sufficiently strong to be considered as high-quality programs, and that the academic business unit is functioning effectively (e.g., is producing excellent student learning and operational outcomes).

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