The Graduate School of the Ateneo de Manila was first established in 1948, with Master of Arts programs in Education and English as its initial offerings. Over time, other fields of study were introduced, among them Sociology, Economics, Philosophy, and Business Administration.
As its offerings grew in size and complexity, the Graduate School eventually found it necessary to split into two separate entities, and in 1960 the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration were born.
The Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration initially offered only two part-time evening programs: a Master of Arts in Economics, and a Master in Business Administration. A full-time MBA was added to its program portfolio in 1964. Two years later, the Master of Arts in Economics was transferred to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the school was reorganized into the present-day Ateneo Graduate School of Business, or AGSB.
In 1968, the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle College, the Ford Foundation, and Harvard University collaborated to set up the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), with the agreement that AIM was to concentrate on offering full-time MBA programs, while Ateneo and La Salle would focus exclusively on part-time programs. As a result of this collaboration, AGSB seconded many of its faculty to the AIM, and discontinued its full-time MBA program. Now focused exclusively on working students, and wishing to move closer to its target clientele, AGSB moved to a new campus on H.V. de la Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati, in 1977.
The 1990s were a period of rapid growth and revitalization for AGSB under the leadership of its new Dean, former Secretary of Health, Dr. Alfredo R.A. Bengzon, who took its helm in 1993. The period was characterized by the introduction of many innovative new degree as well as non-degree programs, and a boom in student enrollment.
Under his leadership, the AGSB continued its special focus on health care management and public health. The Master in Hospital Administration, launched in 1978, was reinvented as the Master in Health Service Administration in 1998, and eventually, in 2002, renamed the MBA in Health. Many new non-degree programs were launched, including the award-winning Leaders for Health program.
In 1998, the Ateneo Professional Schools, made up of AGSB and the Ateneo Law School, moved to its new state-of-the-art campus at the Rockwell Center, in Makati City. The Ateneo-Regis MBA program was launched that same year, in partnership with Regis University (Denver, Colorado), a pioneer and leader in adult and workplace-based learning.
In 2003, the Commission on Higher Education granted AGSB full autonomy status, in recognition of its pace-setting innovations in management training and leadership development, and its continuous commitment to quality education. In 2004, CHED rated AGSB as the number one business school in the country out of the 199 schools it evaluated that year. In August, 2010, the school received full accreditation from the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, College and Universities, or PAASCU.
To make its brand of business education more accessible to a wider public, the AGSB operates satellite campuses all over the country, including in Santa Rosa, Laguna; Clark Field, Pampanga; Cebu City, and Iloilo City.
Staying true to the Jesuit tradition of magis and excellence in service to others, and constantly spurred by its passionate desire to provide its students with the best quality education in the service of the nation, the AGSB today remains ever more committed to its value proposition that business is not only for profit but also for nation building, and that “our country is our business”.