Freeman School on the ascent amid big recent wins

Fueled by its new strategic plan and a revitalized MBA curriculum, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business is riding a wave of momentum led by the renewal of its accreditation by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.

On April 3, AACSB International, the world’s leading accrediting body for university business education, announced that Freeman has been reaccredited through 2029, culminating an extensive, multiyear review that evaluated almost all aspects of the school’s programs and operations.

AACSB accreditation is awarded to only 6% of the world’s schools offering business degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, indicating the highest level of excellence in business education. As part of the process, the Freeman School underwent an extensive review that included an in-depth assessment of internal and external activities, mentorship with an AACSB advisor, and a peer-reviewed evaluation focused on continuous improvement.

"This acknowledgment is a testament to the hard work, dedication and innovative spirit of our faculty and staff and their unwavering commitment to excellence in business education.”

Dean Paulo Goes

Then, on April 9, U.S. News & World Report released its latest ranking of full-time MBA programs, with the Freeman School climbing 19 spots to its highest U.S. News ranking since 2015.

“It’s a coincidence that these two pieces of news were announced in the same week, but they’re not unrelated,” said Paulo Goes, Freeman School. “Transforming the full-time MBA experience and positioning Freeman as a leader in graduate business education was a central component of our recently completed five-year strategic plan, and I’m happy to say, based on both the feedback we received from our AACSB review team and the results of this latest survey, that we are well on our way to achieving that goal.

“The team from AACSB left us with glowing feedback, recognizing the substantial progress we’ve made over the past few years,” added Goes. “This acknowledgment is a testament to the hard work, dedication and innovative spirit of our faculty and staff and their unwavering commitment to excellence in business education.”

Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the largest business education network connecting students, educators, and businesses worldwide, and the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools. Tulane is one of the 17 original founding members of the organization.

“AACSB congratulates each institution on achieving AACSB accreditation,” said Stephanie Bryant, executive vice president and global chief accreditation officer at AACSB. “The commitment to earning accreditation is a true reflection of each school’s dedication—not only to its students, alumni network, and greater business community—but to society as a whole.”

The AACSB’s review team praised Freeman’s ambitious strategic plan, the school’s increased faculty research output and recent curriculum changes that include innovations in the areas of data literacy and analytics, sustainability and social impact, and emerging technologies. They also commended the redesigned MBA curriculum, which was announced last spring and introduced to incoming students in fall 2023.

While the U.S. News survey did not reflect the impact of the new curriculum, it did reflect improvements in employment outcomes, student quality and institutional reputation.

“The full-time MBA program has been one our primary areas of focus for the last two years, so it’s very gratifying to see that our efforts are starting to yield objective results,” said Goes. “With the launch of the new curriculum, I’m confident that we’ll continue to see improvements in reputational surveys, students’ quality, employment outcomes and, ultimately, rankings.”