Who is a Masters in Accounting degree for?

The iMSA program is open to students of various backgrounds, from non-accounting professionals looking to become accountants, to future CPAs, to early-mid career finance and accounting professionals, to C-suite executives. No accounting undergraduate degree is required for admission.

There are three access points for you to join our courses. Apply directly to the iMSA program, enroll in a for-credit course as a non-degree student, or sign up for a non-credit option.

*If you enroll in a for-credit course as a non-degree student, you can take both the asynchronous, self-paced component and the high engagement live class component of the iMSA without applying to the full degree.

*If you sign up for the non-credit option, you can try the asynchronous, self-paced component of an iMSA course. Learn how to enroll in a for-credit course as a non-degree student.

Program start dates:

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

Application Process

Applicants to the iMSA program use a main University of Illinois online form, but admission decisions are made by the iMSA team. The first step is to fill out the online application and attach all required materials (copies of transcripts for all higher education, resume, personal statement, and names with emails for your recommenders). After the admissions committee reviews your materials, you may be invited to an online interview. After the interview, the admissions committee will notify you with a decision. For admissions support, we offer online office hours, an admissions checklist, webinars, and email and phone support to answer your questions.

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 or financial 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 waived for the current cohort.
  • 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

Concerns about your application profile? Explore the Performance-based Admissions Track:

The Performance-based Admissions Track (PAT) is a first-of-its-kind pathway into the iMSA program.

How do I apply to the PAT? If you’re interested, you simply follow the regular iMSA admissions process, indicating that you would like to be considered for the PAT. You will undergo the same rigorous application review as a degree-seeking student, including a possible interview. If admitted into the PAT, you will take a set of two iMSA courses, and upon completion (cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, including a B or better in at least 2 courses) you will be automatically admitted to the iMSA program as a degree-seeking student. The credits earned in those two courses will also be transferred toward your MSA degree. All students admitted to the PAT will be assigned an academic advisor and will have support throughout the program.

The benefits of the PAT include:

  • Free application
  • No enrollment deposit
  • Opportunity to experience iMSA courses and earn academic credit

The PAT program could be the best fit for you, if you:

  • Do not meet minimum undergraduate GPA requirement
  • Have limited full-time or managerial work experience
  • Are unsure if an online program is right for you
  • Are uncertain about the time commitment needed to earn your MSA

Class Profile

It’s always expanding, but the iMSA program currently includes students living and working in 33 US states and 10 different countries.

Coursera does not grant credit, and does not represent that any institution other than the degree-granting institution will recognize the credit or credential awarded by the institution; the decision to grant, accept, or transfer credit is subject to the sole and absolute discretion of an educational institution.

We encourage you to investigate whether this degree meets your academic and/or professional needs before applying.