Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA)

A cutting-edge degree from an accounting powerhouse, completely online.

The University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business, consistently ranked among the nation's top three accounting programs, now offers a full Master of Science in Accountancy program with Coursera. Earn the same degree as on-campus students, 100% online, on your schedule.

The accounting industry is undergoing rapid change. As automation and advancements in technology upend every sector of the economy, accounting students need to learn much more than a CPA’s traditional skill set. In particular, new accountants need to know how to apply the cutting-edge analytics that are reshaping the industry. They need to become proficient with Python, statistical data analysis, and the basics of data visualization.

The iMSA meets these needs with instruction from some of the very best accountancy faculty in the world. Graduates from our program are in high-demand because they possess the most sought-after skills. Our alumni have gone on to become world-renowned founders of businesses, CEOs, CFOs, world leaders, and more.

Learn more about the Illinois iMSA

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Who is this degree for:

The iMSA is open to students of all academic backgrounds. It is suited for people who are early-to-mid-career accounting and finance professionals, as well as those who aspire to become a Chief Financial Officer or another type of C-level executive.

Tuition:

Tuition is $850 per credit hour for accountancy courses and $250 for non-accounting electives. Depending on elective course choices the total cost (tuition and fees) ranges between $22,050 and $27,170.

Office hours or live event information:

DayHours
Tuesdays:16:00-17:00CT
Thursdays:09:00-10:00CT

Please click on the link below to log into our live online office hours via video at the times listed above: Office Hours.

You can also reach us for any questions by email or phone: 217-244-0009.

AT A GLANCE

  • 18-36 months
  • 16 eight-week courses
  • $22,050 – $27,170 depending on elective course choices
  • Completely online

Start your application

The next cohort starts on August 26th, 2019.

Early Admission Deadline:

Round 1: February 1st, 2019

Round 2: March 15th, 2019

Round 3: April 26th, 2019

Benefits of applying earlier:

  • Time to get all application materials submitted on time
  • Gain feedback earlier
  • Start the program early, get access to exclusive material and get ahead

Final Deadline:

June 14th, 2019

The iMSA is offered in Fall (Aug.-Dec.), Spring (Jan-May), and Summer sessions (June-July). Cohort start dates are in August and January of each year.

Want to learn more before applying?

After answering a few short questions, we’ll be able to help you find out if you’re qualified to apply and give you more information about the degree program.

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Academics

Courses are delivered in two segments: The first segment, a self-paced MOOC from Coursera, is via video lectures, with readings and quizzes. It features the same faculty you’ll work with if you move to the second segment, which consists of weekly live global classrooms that are engaging, interactive, and practice-oriented. You’ll work with accounting professionals and fellow students, create presentations, and practice and discuss what you learn.

  • 16 eight-week courses
  • 4 projects
  • 18-36 months

Some of the projects you'll do...

Financial Reporting

Learners will assess the validity and completeness of a publicly-traded corporation’s financial statements and disclosures of key risks, and analyze the corporation’s potential for future financial success.

Managerial Accounting and Control

Learners will role-play as managers and identify relevant information, analyze costs and profits, and use information management tools to make a strategic business decision involving uncertainty.

Corporate Tax Strategy

Learners will identify a publicly-traded, global corporation and assess its organizational structure’s effectiveness in minimizing domestic and global tax obligations.

Business Analytics

Learners will apply a multi-faceted analytics approach to assess a company’s strategic and operational risk, and identify, measure, and quantify the impact of instances of manager fraud.

The degree experience is...

ONLINE LEARNING
ONLINE LEARNING

The same courses you’ll find on campus, with the flexibility to learn when and where you want.

INTERACTIVE
INTERACTIVE

Collaborate with a global network of industry leading classmates, instructors, and alumni.

ENGAGING
ENGAGING

Innovative courses with lectures from some of the world’s best instructors and hands-on projects.

CAREER-FOCUSED
CAREER-FOCUSED

Practical courses designed to help you master skills that you can start applying to your career right away.

When you graduate, you’ll be

  • Success

    A highly sought-after candidate in the field

  • Success

    Proficient and knowledgeable in audit, financial reporting, tax, and in managing and analyzing data

  • Success

    Valued for your skills in data analytics, communications, and teamwork

  • Success

    Poised for a successful career in accountancy

Admissions

Requirements

Applicants for the degree program must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in any academic discipline from an accredited institution in the United States or the international equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum academic background in business, with one course in business management and at least one in principles of accounting.
  • The recommended undergraduate GPA is 3.0/4.0, or the US equivalent, from the final two years of undergraduate study.
  • GMAT or GRE scores are required, but may be waived. To apply for a waiver, please submit the form at the bottom of the page on this link. You may be eligible for a GMAT/GRE waiver if you meet one of the following conditions:
  • three years of relevant, full-time professional experience with demonstrated career progression, or
  • a graduate degree from an accredited institution, or
  • via iMSA faculty and administrator assessments of completed coursework performance. You must complete two 4-credit hour courses within the iMSA program as a non-degree student before application or admission to the degree program.
  • All applicants whose native language is not English must take the Internet-Based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. For information on the university English proficiency requirement, go to www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04c. International applicants must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score to the Illinois iMSA. You may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if you meet one of the criteria listed here: http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply/exemptcountries

Application Process

Applicants to the iMSA program use a main University of Illinois online form, but admission decisions are made by the iMSA team. Please contact us if you have questions, get stuck, or otherwise want to discuss your application.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to the University of Illinois’ Graduate College Admissions website.
  2. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  3. Select Accountancy as the program and Accountancy MS (online)–iMSA as the degree.

Detailed application instructions and FAQs are provided at the Graduate College website. Please carefully review the application checklist before you start the online application.

When we receive all application materials consider them to be acceptable, we will review your application and make an admission decision.

Start your application

The next cohort starts on August 26th, 2019.

Early Admission Deadline:

Round 1: February 1st, 2019

Round 2: March 15th, 2019

Round 3: April 26th, 2019

Benefits of applying earlier:

  • Time to get all application materials submitted on time
  • Gain feedback earlier
  • Start the program early, get access to exclusive material and get ahead

Final Deadline:

June 14th, 2019

The iMSA is offered in Fall (Aug.-Dec.), Spring (Jan-May), and Summer sessions (June-July). Cohort start dates are in August and January of each year.

About University of Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an accounting powerhouse. Our alumni have gone on to become world-renowned founders of businesses, CEOs, CFOs, world leaders, and more.

We have more than 60,000 living alumni worldwide in the College of Business, and over 450,000 influential University of Illinois alumni across the globe, enabling you to network and leverage career opportunities globally.

The Department of Accountancy, home of the iMSA, has been ranked #1 by both the BYU’s Accounting Faculty Research Rankings and UT Dallas Top Business Schools based on Research Contributions Rankings.

23

Nobel Prize Winners

425K

Global Alumni Network

#1

Ranked on Times Magazine

Faculty

Ready to start your application?

The next cohort starts on August 26th, 2019

Early Admission Deadline:

Round 1: February 1st, 2019

Round 2: March 15th, 2019

Round 3: April 26th, 2019

Benefits of applying earlier:

  • Time to get all application materials submitted on time
  • Gain feedback earlier
  • Start the program early, get access to exclusive material and get ahead

Final Deadline:

June 14th, 2019

Want to learn more before applying?

Preguntas Frecuentes

  • Please refer to the requirements here.

  • If you are missing any prerequisites for the full degree, you can complete Coursera courses to demonstrate readiness and strengthen your application for the iMSA:

    The three courses below, in combination, will satisfy the principles of accounting prerequisite.

    For the business management course prerequisite we offer a course titled Business Strategy.

    You will want to make sure that you earn a course completion certificate for each course so you can prove your successful completion of the courses.

  • To enroll in credit-bearing courses and earn the accredited iMSA degree, you must be admitted as a degree-seeking student through the University of Illinois Graduate College.

    Apply now here. You'll first create an account if you don't already have one. After accessing the ApplyYourself system, simply select Accountancy as the program and Accountancy MS (online)–iMSA as the degree program to begin. For more information about the admission process and requirements, visit the University of Illinois iMSA website or request more information. When submitting your application, select Online Master of Science In Accountancy as your Program of Interest.

  • GMAT or GRE scores are required, but may be waived if you demonstrate sufficient relevant work experience. To apply for a waiver, please submit the form at the bottom of the page on this link. https://onlinemsa.illinois.edu/admissions/degree/request-waiver/. We will evaluate if the standards for a waiver have been met. Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee a waiver will be granted. You can submit this form at any point during the application process, including prior to starting an application.

  • Domestic, degree-seeking students may qualify for student aid. To learn more and to apply for financial aid please visit http://www.osfa.illinois.edu/. Coursera financial aid is available for the open courses components of the iMSA. To learn more please visit this page. The iMSA program at Illinois is a self-funded program and does not offer teaching or research assistantships to students enrolled in the program.

  • We do not offer options to apply credit toward the iMSA degree requirements. All iMSA degree requirements must be satisfied through courses offered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Yes, but this can wait until you receive an admissions decision from the iMSA admissions team. We can complete a review of your application based on unofficial copies of these documents uploaded in your online application. If you have been admitted to the iMSA program, you have to request that the educational institution which issued those transcripts and degree certificates mail your official and original transcripts and degree certificates in a sealed envelope directly to us.

  • Earning a Master of Accounting such as the iMSA will help you meet the education requirement, which includes extensive course work in accounting. While the CPA exam is the same no matter where you take it, every state/jurisdiction has its own set of education and experience requirements that individuals must meet in order to be licensed by a state board of accountancy. We highly recommended that you review these requirements issued by each state’s Board of Accountancy prior to applying to the online program.

  • On successful completion of the program, you will earn a full master’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois, the same degree you would earn if you attended classes on campus.

  • No, your diploma will not designate that you completed an online degree. It will simply state that you earned a Master of Science in Accountancy degree from the University of Illinois.

  • Yes, each open course is available separately, with or without the enhanced courses that accompany it.

  • Yes, you can enroll as a non-degree student at the University of Illinois to earn official university credit through relevant online for-credit enhanced courses while completing open online courses on Coursera. To request approval to enroll as a for-credit, non-degree student, go to https://onlinemsa.illinois.edu/admissions/credit/

  • If you don’t meet the GPA requirement but are still very interested in applying you may consider taking a course for-credit through the university as a non-degree seeking student. This will enhance your academic credentials and admissions will take your performance in these courses into account in making its decision. More information is available at https://onlinemsa.illinois.edu/admissions/credit/.
    You may also consider submitting a GMAT or GRE score.

  • No. You need to pay tuition when you enroll in each individual course ($850 per credit hour for accountancy courses and $250 for non-accounting electives). That means you’ll only pay for your courses as you take them.

  • Yes, you can get started with these Specializations and courses on Coursera to try out the degree program works before you apply. If you apply and are accepted to the program, your work counts towards your degree learning.