Who should pursue an MSM?

The iMSM is designed for learners ready to add business to their skill set. The program is ideal for those who have already begun their careers and seek to add a business education through a part-time program, or for those who would ultimately like to pursue an MBA, but don’t currently possess the work experience needed for admission. Through their iMSM coursework, learners can lay the foundation for future enrollment in an MBA program.

Once you’ve completed your degree, you’ll be eligible to fully stack your Master’s in Management into the iMBA program from Gies College of Business. This means if you choose to continue on to your MBA – either immediately afterward or years down the road – you’ll instantly be halfway done with your degree. Learn more.

Benefits of applying for a priority deadline:

  • No application fee
  • Apply for scholarship consideration
  • Priority registration for courses
  • Early access to Coursera for Illinois
  • Begin engaging with classmates via Illinois' networking platforms

Program start dates:

Program cohorts begin in January, March, August, and October of each year. Open courses are available to start throughout the year.

Fall 2023 Cohort Deadlines

RoundApplication Deadline
Priority 1 DeadlineMay 4, 2023 (PAT included)
Priority 2 DeadlineJune 1, 2023 (PAT included)
Final Deadline (August Start)July 6, 2023 (PAT included)
Final Deadline (October Start)September 7, 2023 (PAT included)

Application Requirements

It’s simple to apply online for the online management master's program. To speed up the process, a list of the items you’ll need and what you’ll need to do are listed below. Download our checklist.

Minimum Requirements for the iMSM Program

You must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent degree from an accredited institution in a foreign country. If you earned your degree(s) from a school located outside of the United States, please see the University of Illinois Graduate College's list of eligible degrees.

A grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for the last two years of undergraduate study is recommended. Applications are reviewed holistically; work experience, positive references, and a strong personal statement are considered indicators of success that can outweigh a lower GPA.

Required Application Materials

Applicants must upload their academic credentials (transcripts, marksheets, certificates of degree, etc.) as required by the Graduate College. For the application review process, applicants do not need to submit official academic credentials; unofficial or scanned credentials are acceptable. If admitted, however, you will be required to submit official academic credentials.

When uploading your academic credentials, please keep the following in mind:

  • Credential evaluations (such as WES or ECE) are not accepted.
  • Uploaded credentials must include applicant’s name, institution name, and a transcript legend, grade scale, or grade criteria.
  • For domestic degrees, your transcript must have your degree awarded information and the date your degree was conferred.
  • For international degrees, you must include the certificate of degree. If the credentials were originally in a language other than English, credentials in both your native language and English must be uploaded.
  • If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree at the time of application, we will review your materials based on the in-progress unofficial transcripts you have uploaded.

Your professional resume should include personal information, educational background, work experience (start and end dates for each position and a brief description of responsibilities), internship experience, educational training, professional associations, and leadership experiences. Technical resumes are not required. Please limit your resume to two pages.

Please address the following in a 750-1,000 word essay:

  • How do your personal and professional goals fit within Gies’ commitments?
  • How will completing a Gies iMBA degree help you achieve those goals?

Two professional references are required, at least one should be from a current or former supervisor. Once you enter their information into the online application, your recommenders will be notified to submit a letter of reference or complete a brief online information form. Letters of reference can be received after an application is submitted. Letters must come directly from the recommender; letters submitted by the applicant are not accepted.

If you are a non-native English speaker or do not meet one of the University of Illinois Graduate College’s exemptions, you will need to upload TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores directly to your application. If you do not have scores and do not meet an exemption, you may also upload an essay requesting an exemption. Please note that if your test scores fall within the limited status range, you may be admitted to the Performance-based Admissions Track (PAT) program to satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

Optional Materials

The GMAT or GRE is not required for the application, but you are welcome to submit scores to supplement your application. Unofficial scores can be loaded into your application, but your official GMAT scores must be sent directly to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Institution Code – 1836.

You can use this to address any concerns you may have with your application profile. Additionally, if there is something you would like to highlight that you have been unable to discuss in other areas of the application, you can do so in this essay.

Gies College of Business and Coursera scholarship essay Gies College of Business and Coursera have partnered to offer a limited number of need-based scholarships covering 70 percent of tuition for qualified students. All applicants are eligible to apply. Recipients will be selected based on need, academic standing, and essay submissions. To apply, indicate your interest in the application and upload your essay with your application. Essay submissions must be received with the application for full consideration for the scholarship.

Forte Scholarship application essay Gies College of Business has partnered with the Forte Foundation to provide the Forte Foundation Scholarship to one newly admitted female iMBA student per enrollment cycle. The scholarship is $20,000, awarded throughout the duration of the program. To apply, indicate your interest in the application and upload your essay with your application. Essay submissions must be received with the application for full consideration for the scholarship.

Requests for transfer credits will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed even if the following criteria are met. A maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred. Transfer requests must be submitted with the application.

  • School must be an AACSB accredited institution.
  • Course(s) must have been completed within the past 4 years.
  • Course(s) must not have been used towards any other degree.
  • Course(s) must have been taken at the graduate level.
  • Student must have earned an A- or better.

Ready to start your application?

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 iMSM program.

What is the PAT? Gies College of Business offers the PAT program for applicants who feel their profile may not be strong enough to gain direct admission to the degree program. As a PAT student, you will be able to take a set of 3 iMSM courses and get a feel for the aacademic rigor of the program. You will attend live sessions, complete assignments, and work on group projects just like a regular MSM student.

If you earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, including a B or better in at least 2 courses, you will be automatically admitted to the iMSM program as a degree-seeking student. The credits earned in those three courses will also be transferred toward your MSM degree. All students admitted to the PAT will be assigned an academic advisor and will have support throughout the program. Learn more about the curriculum.

How do I apply to the PAT? If you’re interested, you simply apply using the iMSA application link, 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.

The benefits of the PAT include:

  • Free application
  • No enrollment deposit
  • Opportunity to experience iMSM courses and earn academic credit
  • Assigned academic advisor

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

  • Do not meet minimum undergraduate GPA requirement (3.0)
  • 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 MSM

International Applicants

International students can find admissions requirements including minimum GPA, required materials, and accepted official transcripts for their country listed here. Minimum required scores, accepted test types, and waiver information for the English proficiency requirement can be found here.

Application Deadlines

Applications for the Fall 2023 cohort are now open! Students can start classes in August or Ocotber 2023.

  • Priority 1 Deadline: May 4, 2023
  • Priority 2 Deadline: June 1, 2023
  • Final Deadline (August Start): July 6, 2023
  • Final Deadline (October Start): September 7, 2023

Have questions?

Please contact Gies College of Business at giesonline@illinois.edu.

Upcoming Events

The full Gies Online Events Calendar can be found here.

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.

Have questions?

If you have questions about the application process or eligibility, please send us an email at giesonline@illinois.edu