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Apply to the MSA Program

The MSA program welcomes students with a bachelor’s degree in any academic discipline, subject to certain business background prerequisites specified under Application Materials. Decisions are based on the individual’s previous academic accomplishments, work experience, test scores, personal statement, resume, demonstrated potential for graduate and professional success, and references. Applications are processed on a rolling basis.

When you join the MSA at Gies, you are part career-driven program. In 2022, 100% of our domestic graduates and 91% of our international graduates found successful outcomes within six months of graduation.

Application Deadlines

We will begin accepting applications for our next cohort on October 1. Please fill out this form and we will notify you when the application cycle opens for Summer 2024

February 1: Deadline for international students seeking an initial visa

March 1: Deadline for all students

Application Materials

Applicants are required to have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. They should have earned a minimum grade average of “B,” or the equivalent, in the last two years of undergraduate study.

In addition, applicants must have completed an introductory course in financial accounting as well as business management. These requirements can be satisfied by completing courses from universities or from Coursera. For options to complete the prerequisites through Coursera, please visit our MSA Common Questions page.

Applying to the MSA program is relatively simple and is completed online. To speed up the process, here are the items you’ll need and what you’ll need to do:

1. Begin the Graduate College application: All of the steps below must be completed online through this Graduate College application. Be sure to select your program as Accountancy, then Accountancy-MS as the degree.

2. Upload your unofficial transcripts: The unofficial transcripts must include applicant's name, institution name, and a transcript legend, grade scale, or grade criteria. If you are an international candidate, you need to also include a copy of your certificate of degree or provisional certificate of degree, if this is offered by your institution. If an offer of admission is made, the official transcript(s) are required to be submitted upon arrival to campus. If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree at the time of application, we will review your application based on the in-progress unofficial transcripts you have uploaded.

3. Complete and upload MSA Coursework Form: The MSA Coursework Form includes a list of prerequisite coursework, additional accounting coursework, and any college or university level (undergraduate or graduate) courses in progress. Upload this form as a part of the online application. If you have taken ACCA courses or exams, please also upload your ACCA report within your online application.

4. Upload your résumé: Your professional résumé should include personal information (name, address, telephone number, and email address), 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. Please limit your résumé to one page only.

5. Upload your academic statement of purpose: Please use your academic statement of purpose to describe your academic background, your reasons for pursing the MSA program, your interest in sitting for the CPA exam, and your professional goals. Please limit your response to 1,000 words or less.  

6. Choose your references: Please choose two references from academic and/or professional sources. Academic references should be from professors whose course(s) you have taken, and professional references should come from your supervisors and/or mentors. Once you enter their information into the online application, they will be notified to submit a letter of reference on your behalf. All letters of reference should be signed and dated by the recommender. It is preferred for the letter to be on an institution or company letterhead. 

7. Submit your GMAT or GRE score: Scores should be sent directly to Institution Code 1836. We waive the GMAT/GRE requirement for applicants that complete all four years of undergraduate study at a US institution or have completed a 2+ year U.S. Master's degree. We also waive the GMAT/GRE for applicants with at least two years of work experience (not including internships).

8. Send us your English proficiency scores (international students only): If you are a non-native English speaker, you will need to upload your unofficial TOEFL or IELTS scores directly to your application. For IELTS scores, you should upload a copy of your official score card. TOEFL scores of 103 or greater or IELTS scores of 7.5 or greater are required for full-status admission. Review the Graduate College’s English proficiency requirements for more details on full-status versus limited-status admission. Request your official TOEFL scores to be sent electronically to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Institution Code – 1836). 

9. Pay your application fee: For domestic students there is a $70 non-refundable fee to apply, and for international students the non-refundable fee is $90. Applications received without payment of this fee cannot be processed. The application fee cannot be refunded.

CPA Licensure: New federal law requires University of Illinois to provide the following information to any program leading to a professional licensure: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Master of Science in Accountancy has determined that our curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the state of Illinois. We are unable to determine if the curriculum meets the educational requirements for any of the remaining US states and jurisdictions. Please go to to find your state’s requirements, resources and contact information. You are encouraged to contact the appropriate licensing agency for your location or wherever you desire to be licensed or certified to seek information and additional guidance. Please be aware that there may be licensure or certification requirements in addition to an academic program’s curriculum. This disclosure is being made in compliance with federal regulation 34 CFR §668.43 and the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements Manual.

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