University of Illinois Gies College of Business

Accounting Foundations Graduate Certificate

In this for-credit program designed for beginning learners, you’ll build practical knowledge of accounting principles and learn industry-standard tools and techniques from the #3 ranked accounting faculty in the US as you prepare for an entry-level role in accounting or finance.

The priority deadline to enroll in the Spring A cohort is October 3, 2024

Secure your spot today. Classes will start in January.

Enroll by October 3, 2024

Class starts January 21, 2025

8 - 24 months

Minimum time to complete. May vary depending on course load and start date.

$8,188 - $10,200

Approximate depending on choice of electives.

100% online

Faculty teach live classes and offer weekly office hours.

Develop job-ready skills with the #3 accounting faculty in the nation in as little as eight months.

Hands-on practice

Gain professional experience and build your confidence via projects, exercises, and case studies based on real-world problems. You’ll grow your skills by applying industry methods, practices, and tools.

Top faculty

Learn from a team of world-class professionals who are consistently ranked #3 among US accounting faculty (BYU Accounting Faculty Research Rankings). Faculty teach live class sessions and offer weekly office hours, and teaching staff are available to provide support as needed.

Curated, stackable content

The Accounting Foundations Graduate Certificate stacks directly into the full Master of Business Administration (iMBA), Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA), and Master of Science in Management (iMSM) from the University of Illinois. Upon completion of the certificate program, you may apply 12 credit hours toward one of these degrees.

P9I4800 (1)

Program description

Gain in-demand technical knowledge and professional skills to launch a career in accounting or finance.


Prepare to become an accounting professional by learning how to record, report, and analyze the financial transactions of organizations. In this three-course program, you’ll develop practical knowledge of financial and managerial accounting while building in-demand skills like critical thinking, communication, leadership, and decision-making.

Led by top-ranked faculty in the field, you’ll study the principles, concepts, and methods that govern professional accounting. You can also apply what you’ve learned to real-world problems through experiential learning opportunities. Get the job-ready skills needed to start an entry-level accounting or finance role in less than a year.

The courses in this certificate program can be applied toward the education requirements for the Uniform CPA Examination®, and are fully stackable toward the full Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA), Master of Business Administration (iMBA), and Master of Science in Management (iMSM) degree programs at University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business.

Required background

A bachelor's degree is required and professional experience, skills, or knowledge related to business concepts is preferred.

Upcoming Events

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Skills you will gain

  • accounting
  • data preparation
  • financial statement preparation
  • cash flow statements
  • managerial accounting

Complete 2 required courses and 1 elective.

Course 1 of 5

Accounting Analysis I (Required)


This course focuses on accounting concepts, principles and theory with an emphasis on problems that arise in applying these concepts for external reporting purposes. Specific emphasis is placed on measurement of assets, liabilities, equities and income, as well as disclosure of additional information that may assist users to understand the financial reports.

Course 2 of 5

Accounting Analysis II (Required)


This course begins with a discussion of current liabilities and contingencies and continues with long-term debt and bonds. The course next explores the accounting model for leases, both lessees and lessors, and a discussion on deferred tax assets and liabilities.

Course 3 of 5

Accounting Measurement, Reporting, and Control


This course provides a managerial perspective of the nature and role of accounting in organizational measurement, reporting and control processes.

Course 4 of 5

Managerial Accounting


This course covers managerial accounting practices used inside organizations to facilitate and guide managers’ operational and strategic decisions.

Course 5 of 5

Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation


This course examines the tools and techniques of financial statement analysis and company valuation from the perspective of investors and creditors; emphasizes theoretical and empirical properties of financial ratios as well as valuation methods used in practice.

The certificate stacks directly into the full Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA) from the University of Illinois.

Take the next step in your education to boost your career. This Graduate Certificate is a building block that offers you a pathway to a degree while also providing job-relevant skills today.

University of Illinois Gies College of Business


Accounting Foundations Graduate Certificate

Accounting Foundations Graduate Certificate Certificate allows you to earn credit directly towards the:


Frequently asked questions

Coursera does not grant academic credit; the decision to grant, accept, or recognize academic credit, and the process for awarding such credit, is at the sole discretion of the academic institutions offering the Graduate Certificate program and/or other institutions that have determined that completion of the program may be worthy of academic credit. Completion of a Graduate Certificate program does not guarantee admission into the full Master’s program referenced herein, or any other degree program.