The short answer is yes - accreditation does matter. But much of that depends on how the accreditation is established and how much you actually care about accrediting bodies (hint: you should care).
The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), of which we are an accredited member, highlights our own Dean Debra Ringold to explain the value of accreditation.
Here’s some additional expert insight into how MBA accreditation works from Dean Ringold (full version here):
If you are considering medicine, law, business and management, or public administration programs, ask the following questions suggested by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA):
- Does the operation allow accredited status to be purchased?
- Does the operation publish lists of institutions or programs they claim to have accredited without those institutions and programs knowing that they are listed or have been accredited?
- Does the operation claim that it is recognized (by USDE or CHEA) when it is not?
- Are few if any standards for quality published by the operation?
- Is a very short period of time required to achieve accredited status?
- Are accreditation reviews routinely confined to submitting documents and do not include site visits or interviews of key personnel by the accrediting organization?
- Is “permanent” accreditation granted without any requirement for subsequent periodic review, either by an external body or by the organization itself?
- Does the operation use organizational names similar to recognized accrediting organizations?
- Does the operation make claims in its publications for which there is no evidence?
If you answer “yes” to several of these questions, the accrediting organization and the institution and/or program you are considering may be “mills.”