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[Gies College of Business] Master of Science in Accounting

The University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business, consistently ranked among the top three accounting programmes in the US, now offers a full Master of Science in Accounting program that allows you to earn the same degree as on-campus students, 100 percent 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 Master of Science in Accounting (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.

Course Duration

1.5 – 3 years
8 sixteen-week courses, completely online

Course Schedule

The iMSA has three official start dates throughout the year, in January, May, and August. Students can begin as non-degree students at any time throughout the year.

There is no application fee or enrollment deposits. GRE/GMAT scores are not required

Course Content

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.

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

Business Analytics
You 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.

Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in any academic discipline from an accredited institution in the US 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 or financial accounting.
  • The recommended undergraduate GPA is 3.0/4.0, or the US equivalent, from the final two years of undergraduate study.
  • 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.

How to Apply

Applicants to the iMSA program use a main University of Illinois online form, but admission decisions are made by the iMSA team.

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