Online Master's of Accounting (iMSA)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Become an analytics-minded professional with a fully online master’s from a top-ranked accounting powerhouse.

The University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business, consistently ranked among the nation's top three accounting programs, is a revered destination for accounting education globally.

The online Master of Science in Accounting (iMSA) provides students with skills in analytical thinking, data mining, and strategic accounting. The accounting degree is intentionally flexible to address the needs of today’s students: whether they seek to begin their career as an accountant, become a CPA, improve their standing in the accounting field and become a CFO, or want to leverage analytical skills in their existing non-accounting career.

Master's Degree in Accounting

The accounting industry is undergoing rapid change. New accountants need to become proficient in leading analytical techniques and tools; programming in Python and R, data mining, statistical analysis and regression. All of this on top of a traditional accounting education.

The iMSA meets these needs with instruction from some of the very best accounting 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, accounting firm partners, entrepreneurs, and other business leaders.

The iMSA is flexibly designed to meet the needs of the modern day student; whether you want to transition into accounting, sit for the CPA exam, become a CFO, or apply leading analytics skills into your existing career.

  • Tuition
    $20,564 – $27,200 depending on elective course choices.

    Total Cost

  • Program length
    18-36 months
  • Brief overview
    16 eight-week courses plus capstone projects
  • Method of study
    Completely Online

Application Deadlines

Spring 2021 cohort applications are now open!

Priority 1 Deadline: September 15, 2020 Priority 2 Deadline: October 15, 2020 Priority 3 Deadline: November 15, 2020

Benefits of Applying Earlier

  • No application fee
  • GRE / GMAT scores are not required (for specific deadline dates only)
  • Option to begin coursework early
  • Option to connect with an advisor early

Start Dates

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

Choose Your Path

Ready to give the iMSA a try? Get started on your application today, or start with an open course. With an open course, you can try a part of the program in advance. These courses feature degree instructors, video lectures, and readings.

Learn more about open MS in accounting courses on Coursera

About the Program



The online MS in accounting program welcomes students from various backgrounds with a bachelor’s degree in any academic discipline. GMAT waivers are available and no accounting undergraduate degree is required for admission.

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The iMSA was developed by top accounting faculty. Students build expertise in leading analytics methods, financial reporting, audit and control, and U.S. federal taxation. This master's in accounting degree will help prepare you to sit for the CPA exam.

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Accounting jobs are projected to grow 10 percent by 2026. Through the iMSA, you’ll build expertise in cutting-edge analytics methods while you develop a strong foundation in accounting fundamentals.

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Student Experience

Student Experience

Courses are interactive. The #1 ranked accounting faculty from Gies College of Business will engage with you personally. Working with classmates live via web-conferencing is routine. The iMSA includes both a live virtual classroom and a self-directed component.

Learn more about the student experience.
About University of Illinois

About University of Illinois

With the #1 accounting faculty in the nation, #2 undergraduate program, and #3 graduate program, Gies College of Business knows how to deliver a top-caliber education in accounting.

Learn more about University of Illinois
Get Started

Get Started

Try out an open course to see if the iMSA is right for you. If you decide to apply to the program, the completed preview course gives a head start to learning the material necessary in the degree. You can also skip the open course and simply apply directly to the iMSA program.

Learn more about how to get started



Mock Class - Teaming Effectively: The Power of Trust @ 11 am US CT | Register Now

Nov 10

Webinar @ 11 am US CT - How can Artificial Intelligence Effectively Augment Human Intelligence? | Register Now


Priority 3 Deadline @ 11:59 pm US Central Time | Apply now

Filled Play
Online MS in Accounting Testimonial Video

Online MS in Accounting Testimonial Video

Frequently Asked Questions

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.