Online Master's of Accounting (iMSA)

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

1,670 ratings*
*Ratings are for courses within the degree that are open to everyone

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

Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is consistently ranked among the nation's top three accounting programs and is, a revered destination for accounting education globally.

The online Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA) provides students with skills in analytical thinking, data mining, and strategic accounting. This 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 like; 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.

  • Tuition
    $20,684 – $27,200 USD

    Depending on elective course choices

  • Program length
    1.5 – 3 years
  • Brief overview
    32 hours of graduate coursework
  • Method of study
    Completely online

Application Deadlines

Applications for the Spring 2022 cohort are due on December 2, 2021! Classes will start on January 18, 2022.

GRE / GMAT scores are not required.

Benefits of Applying Earlier

  • Option to begin coursework early
  • Option to connect with an academic support specialist early

Start Dates

The program has three official start dates throughout the year, in January, May, and August. Non-degree students can start at any time.

Have questions?

Please contact Gies College of Business at

Upcoming Events

The full Gies Online Events Calendar can be found here.

  • November 30: Student Ambassador Office Hours | Register now
  • December 1: Gies Online Applicant Office Hours | Register now
  • December 13: Supercharge your Post-Pandemic Earning Potential with a Graduate Degree | Register now

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 Accountancy program welcomes students from various backgrounds with a bachelor’s degree in any academic discipline. 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.

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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 you a head start on the material. You can also skip the open course and simply apply directly to the iMSA program.

Learn more about how to get started



Final application deadline for the January 2022 cohort


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.