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AACSB Accreditation

AACSB logoThe NIU College of Business is among an elite 4% of business schools worldwide to hold AACSB accreditation at all levels. AACSB accreditation is the most respected and highest credential of excellence for business and accounting schools around the world. NIU Business and its Department of Accountancy have achieved continuous AACSB accreditation since 1969 and 1983, respectively.


Best Undergrad Business School

  • #4 Best Undergrad Business School in Chicago – College Choice (2016).  NIU Business is ranked #4 best undergrad business school in Chicago for its deep connections with Chicago’s business community, providing many opportunities for students to engage with CEOs, executives, and entrepreneurs in the Chicago area.  NIU Business brings more than 200 business professionals to the school each year to advise, mentor, and teach students.  College Choice is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college.

  • Top 15% and Among Nation’s Best for 9 years Businessweek (2016).  NIU’s College of Business continues to build on its strong reputation as one of the nation’s best undergraduate business programs. Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2016 survey of undergraduate programs places the college 79th best in the nation, out of the 550 U.S.-based AACSB-eligible business programs and up 30 spots from Bloomberg’s previous ranking period.  NIU is one of only three State of Illinois public universities to make this ranking, which is based on surveying nearly 30,000 students and recruiters at nearly 600 companies.  Starting salaries and internships are also considered.  NIU Business continues to excel in the area of student satisfaction (ranking No. 61) and also performed well in Businessweek’s newer ranking categories:  employer surveys, starting salaries, and internships.  The NIU College of Business has ranked among the nation’s best for each year of the Bloomberg Businessweek ranking period.
  • Among Nation’s Top 24% - US News & World Report (2016).  The NIU College of Business undergraduate program is ranked in the top quarter of best business schools out of nearly 550 eligible U.S.-based AACSB accredited business programs.  This ranking of best business schools is based entirely on AACSB Deans evaluation of program quality.  This year, the ranking given to NIU Business by business Deans across the country also makes NIU Business the top-ranked public business program in Illinois outside of the U of I system.  NIU Business has ranked among the nation’s best in all 30 U.S. News & World Report rankings, beginning with the launch of their annual survey.
  • Best Return on Investment in Illinois and Among Best in Nation - Businessweek (2013). The NIU College of Business undergraduate program generates the best return-on-investment when compared with all the other business schools in the state of Illinois. According to the Bloomberg Businessweek's "Top Undergraduate B-Schools for ROI" list, NIU ranks at No. 45 nationally with a return-on-investment of $4.74 in salary earned per annual tuition dollar spent.
  • Top 3 for 4 Consecutive Years. Building on a strong trend, NIU's College of Business ranks 3rd nationally for integrating ethics in the curriculum (Businessweek 2013 rankings). Since the start of its specialty rankings in 2010, Businessweek has ranked the college in the top 3 nationally for 4 consecutive years in the area of ethics education: 3rd in 2013, 2nd in 2012, 3rd in 2011, and 2nd in 2010.

Best MBA Program

  • CEO Magazine MBA Tier 1CEO Magazine EMBA Tier 1Evening MBA and EMBA Rank in Tier One of a Global MBA survey (2016).  The NIU College of Business evening MBA and its executive MBA formats were ranked in the top tier of their respective categories in CEO Magazine’s Global MBA Ranking.  This survey is designed to showcase schools that deliver exceptional quality along with outstanding return on investment.  The publication’s 2016 survey evaluated more than 300 business schools across North America, Europe and Australia.  The college’s MBA program has also been ranked on a consecutive multi-year basis as among the best by Crain’s Chicago Business and U.S. News & World Report, respectively.
  • #95 best out of 700 eligible AACSB-accredited programs – U.S. News (2018).  In its “2018 Best Business Schools” survey, U.S. News & World Report ranks NIU’s Part-Time MBA program #95 best nationally, up nearly 30 positions from last year.  To arrive at the ranking, U.S. News conducts its own peer assessment of B-school deans; surveys corporate recruiters, and; evaluates starting salaries and bonuses, among other metrics.  This is the fifth consecutive year NIU’s Part-Time MBA has ranked among the nation’s best.

Best Academic Programs

  • NIU’s Master of Accounting Science ranks 15th nationally in affordability – Accounting Degree Review (2016).
    The publication researched out-of-state tuition rates for AACSB-accredited graduate level accounting programs across the nation.
  • NIU’s Master of Accounting Science ranks 26th nationallyAccounting Degree Review (2016).
    Accounting Degree Review listed the college’s accountancy graduate program 26th best in the country for 2016.  The publication highlighted NIU’s Master of Accounting Science program, which incorporates accounting knowledge with leadership and professional skills.  Students with an undergraduate accounting degree can complete NIU’s MAS (leadership) program in one year.
  • Accountancy ranks among Top 25 Best Nationally - Public Accounting Report.
    NIU's undergraduate and graduate accountancy programs ranked among the Top 25 best in the nation according to the 2015 Annual Professors Survey conducted by Public Accounting Report (PAR). PAR's ranking places NIU’s undergraduate accounting program 19th best nationally and NIU’s master level accounting program 25th best nationally. Continuing a strong trend for more than two decades, NIU's accountancy program has ranked continuously among the very best programs in the country.
  • Top 20 CPA Exam pass rate (2010). NIU accountancy students’ performance on the CPA exam has ranked among the best in the nation for three decades. In 2010, NIU placed among the top 20 out of more than 900 institutions.
  • 6 Specialty Areas ranked among Nation’s Elite – Businessweek (2013). 2nd in ethics. 23rd in information systems. 24th in sustainability. 40th in marketing. 43rd in corporate strategy. 54th in accounting.


  • 89% SAP TERP10 exam pass rate (2016)
    Since the 2015 launch of the OM&IS Department SAP TERP10 workshop, participating students have far exceeded the national pass rate of 65% (per SAP University Alliances).  This year, NIU students achieved an 89% pass rate, up from an already outstanding 70% pass rate in the workshop’s first year.
  • NIU Business - a member of the SAP University Alliances Community Since 2011
    SAP is the dominant player in the Enterprise Resource Planning software market. Joining the SAP University Alliance Community permits NIU business faculty to use SAP software and have access to curricular materials that will allow them to introduce NIU business students to ERP systems. For this project, the college works with an advisory committee that includes business community partners from Vistex, Siemens Industry, Willis Computing, Allstate, Nalco, Alta Via, and Eby-Brown.
  • KPMG funds first endowed professorship at the university within the NIU College of Business (September 2009)
    The excellence of the Northern Illinois University College of Business and its Department of Accountancy has been recognized with the creation of the university's first-ever endowed professorship: the KPMG Endowed Professorship in Accountancy. Endowed professorships are the most prestigious faculty honor and support into perpetuity the outstanding excellence of specific university programs.
  • Northern Illinois University.  Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University is a comprehensive teaching and research institution with a diverse and international student body of about 20,000. Located near a vibrant research and development corridor, NIU’s main DeKalb campus is 65 miles west of Chicago. The university provides more than 60 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate- and doctoral- level programs in seven colleges: Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Law, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts.  The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more NIU accreditations and rankings, visit the university’s rankings and recognitions webpage.