Exterior of Holmes Hall

Freeman College Earns AACSB Accreditation Extension

February 15, 2024

by Matt Jones

Holmes Hall is home to the Freeman College of Management. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

Bucknell University's Freeman College of Management has earned an extension of its accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB accreditation is the longest-standing, most-renowned form of specialized accreditation that business programs can receive. It signifies the Freeman College of Management’s ongoing commitment to student success, strategic management, societal impact, thought leadership and innovation.

"The extension of our accreditation by AACSB underscores the high quality of our faculty and staff and the academic programs and experiential activities they provide for students," says Cynthia P. Guthrie, interim dean of the Freeman College of Management. "We prepared for the team’s visit last academic year and over the summer. Though we were never in doubt about the quality of a management education at Bucknell, this accreditation provides an important external validation of the efficacy of our student-focused, experienced-based approach. This is an accomplishment to be celebrated by all."

Bucknell's management programs were initially accredited by AACSB in 2013, when courses were offered within the School of Management. The accreditation was extended in 2018 following the establishment of the Freeman College of Management. Since its inception, the Freeman College has expanded offerings of new majors and minors, constructed a state-of-the-art facility, created immersive experiential learning opportunities and earned recognition among the top undergraduate business programs in the country.

Since its last accreditation, the college has methodically and strategically refined its curriculum to include new majors and minors that allow students more flexibility to craft custom academic paths and that center the interdisciplinary, collaborative experiences that are the hallmarks of a liberal arts education. In addition to business school mainstays such as accounting and finance, the Freeman College has added business analytics and management and organizations programs in the last five years and responded to student interest in forming minors that allow all students at Bucknell to explore the business curriculum.

The college has also cultivated a variety of mentorship programs and experiential learning initiatives designed to strengthen the Bucknell community, both for students and alumni. The college’s alumni mentoring program, launched in 2019, connects students with advisers at leading investment, accounting and consulting firms, many of which only recruit from AACSB-accredited business schools. Immersive experiential learning opportunities, including Pre-Orientation and summer study abroad programs, ensure that management students can meet potential employers and gain professional training through internships.

Along with the development of new majors, minors and mentorship programs, the college has expanded its physical facilities. In 2021, Bucknell opened Holmes Hall, a 78,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility outfitted with cutting-edge technology and creative spaces. The building, which is shared with the Department of Art & Art History, serves as a hub for innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The Student Management Investment Fund lab houses Bloomberg terminals, which display foreign exchange and commodities in real-time, and the analytics classroom features wall-spanning touchscreens and projectors that allow students to model and work through big data sets in a group setting.

The diversification of curricular offerings, in concert with the strategic growth of the college's faculty, have earned the Freeman College of Management recognition among the top undergraduate business programs in the country. For the third consecutive year, the college was ranked as a Top 20 Undergraduate Business School by Poets&Quants, a leading news website devoted to the coverage of undergraduate business education. The ranking is based on the quality of incoming classes, student satisfaction with the Bucknell experience, and graduates' success in obtaining careers in their chosen fields. The college was also recently recognized as a United Nations Principles for Responsible Management (UNPRME) Champion, a distinction awarded to only three U.S. colleges. The PRME accolade reflects the college's alignment with the vision of the United Nations Global Compact in completing actions toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Freeman College of Management's most recent AACSB accreditation extension reaffirms the college's dedication to providing a distinctive educational experience that prepares students for success in the business world and beyond.