Apply now

Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA)

The University of Illinois

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

Master’s Degree in Accounting
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.

Who is the Master’s of Accounting 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.

Prepare to Become a CPA
Almost every state asks students to have at least 150 credit hours of study in order to sit for the exam and become a licensed CPA. Most students are granted 120 hours from their traditional bachelor’s. A master’s degree like the iMSA program can be used to both fill the remaining credit hours and to help prepare students for the CPA licensure exam.

Once you’ve fulfilled the educational requirements, a CPA candidate must:
1) apply to take the CPA exam,
2) fulfill their state’s work experience requirements, and
3) pay licensure and membership fees regularly.

Admission requirements

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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 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:

Apply now
  • Provider: The University of Illinois
  • Cost: $20,564 USD
  • Effort: 9 - 16 hours per week
  • Duration: 1.5 - 3 years
  • Language: English


  • ACCY 501 Accounting Analysis I
  • ACCY 502 Accounting Analysis II
  • ACCY 503 Managerial Accounting
  • ACCY 504 Auditing
  • ACCY 505 Federal Taxation