What are the criteria for choosing a business school?

You want to join a business school next year. You have already met some schools but you find it difficult to assess their real quality and to identify the elements that distinguish them from one another.

You have appreciated the welcome you received during the Open Days and the atmosphere you felt when visiting the campuses. But you would like to have tangible elements to guide your choice. We suggest that together we analyse various indicators that could help you find your future Business School.

Labels awarded to institutions

State recognition

The best Business Schools in France are recognised by the State: an assurance of the seriousness of these institutions - the quality of their degree courses - their teaching staff. 

When the State grants recognition to a higher education institution - many criteria are evaluated - including: the content of the programmes offered - the facilities and premises - the teaching staff - the integration of graduates - the financial management of the School of Management - etc.

The qualification "Établissement d'Enseignement Supérieur Privé d'Intérêt Général" (EESPIG) - created in 2013 - aims to bring together private not-for-profit higher education establishments that have signed a contract with the State - including certain Schools of Engineering and Schools of Management and Business. 

EM Normandie received its first recognition by the State in 1890 and now holds the EESPIG label awarded by the Ministry of Higher Education - Research and Innovation.

International accreditations

These prestigious labels guarantee the quality of Business Schools with regard to international standards. There are four of them: 

  • EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System). This European label awarded by the EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development) distinguishes schools for their teaching methods - the quality of their teaching - their capacity for innovation - their research - their links with the world of work - their international dimension. Less than 200 universities and business schools in the world hold EQUIS. 
  • AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). This American label awarded to Grandes Écoles guarantees the quality of teaching - a high level of supervision for students - a highly qualified teaching staff. 
  • AMBA (Association of MBAs). A British label: a guarantee of quality for the best MBAs (Masters of Business Administration). It can also be used for MBMs (Masters in Business and Management) and DBAs (Doctorate of Business Administration). 
  • EFMD Accredited. A new label from the EFMD (EFMD Programme Accreditation System) launched in August 2019: it allows an EQUIS-accredited institution to focus on one of its programmes that it considers particularly strategic. 

EM Normandie is triple accredited with EQUIS - AACSB - AMBA. Less than 1% of the world's business schools hold this triple crown.


At the national level: membership of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (CGE)

This very closed circle of associations is reserved for schools that award a 5-year degree conferring the Master's degree and meet specific criteria: selectivity - research and exchange policy - quality of the teaching staff - governance - professional integration of graduates - etc. 

EM Normandie is a member of the Chapter of Management Schools of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (CGE) - a highly selective circle which includes 38 of the 400 Grandes Écoles de Management in France.

Labels awarded to degrees

The visas and grades are issued by the Commission d'Evaluation des Formations et Diplômes de Gestion (CEFDG) - the only national body competent to evaluate courses in this field. They guarantee the quality of the training provided and provide graduates with an official title enabling them to validate their training anywhere in Europe. 

The visa

The visa is issued for a period of 1 to 5 years by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research to programmes that meet the conditions and only if the school providing it has obtained state recognition. 

The visa guarantees the pedagogical quality of the proposed programme. When it obtains the State's visa a Bachelor's programme is said to be "visé Bac+3" or "visé Bac+4" and a Master in Management programme is "visé Bac+5". 

Within the framework of the visa - some thirty points are evaluated - including the training process - governance - human - material and financial resources - academic resources in terms of permanent professors - research activities - suitability for the job market - international openness - etc.

Bachelor's and Master's degrees

The Master's degree - awarded for a period of 1 to 5 years - is a higher education title recognised at European level. Different from the Master's degree awarded exclusively by public institutions the Master's degree officially establishes the level of training and makes it possible to facilitate the European mobility of students and to compare degrees between European countries on an equal footing. It can be awarded by schools (Grandes Écoles de commerce - Écoles d'Ingénieur - d'Architecture - etc.) or by a public institution. 

Appreciated by companies for the professional experience they offer and for their international outlook Master's degrees meet high standards. In order to obtain a degree the criteria associated with the visa must first be met to which additional criteria are added: international partnerships - research activities - etc.