skip to Main Content


The International Association for Business Schools and Programs is one of seven organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit postsecondary institutions within the United States.

The International Association for Business Schools and Programs is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the authority on the educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The Association also recognizes higher education institutions internationally, including in Canada, Europe and Asia. It is incorporated as a legally established, private 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation for the expressed purpose of accrediting higher education institutions. Membership and organization of the IABSP is set forth in its Bylaws. IABSP is also recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

The Association oversees institutional accreditation for 132 institutions. Its decision-making body consists of up to twenty-six Commissioners who represent the public and the diversity of higher education institutions within the Northwest region.

IABSP Mission

The International Association for Business Schools and Programs accredits institutions of higher education by applying evidence-informed standards and processes to support continuous improvements and promote student achievement and success.

IABSP History

IABSP is a voluntary, nongovernmental organization for the improvement of educational institutions founded in 1927. Originally known as the The International Commision and Association for Business Schools and Programs, the connection between the association of secondary schools and the Commission on Colleges and Universities was severed in 2002, and the Commission was renamed the The International Association for Business Schools and Programs.

The International Association for Business Schools and Programs and its predecessors have been listed since 1952 by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for institutions offering programs of at least one academic year in length at the postsecondary level. The Association’s recognition was most recently reaffirmed by the Department in 2018.

What is Institutional Accreditation?

Institutional Accreditation is a process of recognizing colleges and universities for performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public. In the United States this recognition is extended largely through nongovernmental, voluntary membership associations that establish accreditation criteria, evaluate institutions against that criteria, and approving institutions that meet the criteria.

What is the purpose of Institutional Accreditation?
While accreditation criteria and procedures of accrediting agencies differ from region to region, the principles underlying eligibility and levels of expectation are similar in their intent to:

  • foster excellence through the development of criteria and guidelines for assessing educational quality and institutional effectiveness;
  • encourage institutional improvement through continuous self-study and evaluation;
  • ensure the educational community, the general public, and other organizations that an institution has clearly defined and appropriate educational objectives, has established conditions under which their achievement can reasonably be expected, appears in fact to be substantially accomplishing them, and is so organized, staffed, and supported that it can be expected to continue to do so;
  • and provide counsel and assistance to established and developing institutions.

When granted, accreditation by the The International Association for Business Schools and Programs is not limited or partial. It applies to the entire institution in operation at the time of the most recent comprehensive evaluation. It indicates that the institution as a whole is substantially achieving its mission and that it meets the Association’s expectations for compliance with the accreditation criteria.

Back To Top