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Application Process & Requirements

The MSA program welcomes students with a bachelor’s degree in any academic discipline, subject to certain business background prerequisites specified under Admission Requirements.

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 a minimum academic background in business.  This background requirement can be satisfied by completing courses from universities or from online providers such as Coursera, Udacity or EdX.  Note that we generally require a certificate of completion for courses taken from the online providers noted above.  In general, we expect students to have completed courses in finance, business management, statistics, and economics. We also require students to complete a one or two course sequence in Principles of Accounting.

A GMAT or GRE test is also required.

In addition, all applicants whose native language is not English must take the Internet-Based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. However, we will waive this requirement if you meet one of the exemption criteria included on the Graduate College website.

Admission to the MSA program is highly competitive. 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.  

Application deadlines for June 2020 admission:

  • Application opens November 1, 2019
  • Final deadline for international students: February 1, 2020
  • Final deadline for domestic students: March 1, 2020

*Notification is sent approximately 30 days after all materials are received. Subject to change due to volume of applications

Application Materials

It’s simple to apply online for the MSA program. 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 MSA as 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 an offer of admission is made, the Official Transcript(s) are required to be submitted upon arrival to campus. If you've 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 FormThe 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.

4. Submit your GMAT or GRE score: All applicants, domestic or international, are required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). 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. 

5. Send us your English proficiency scores (international students only): If you are a non-native English speaker, you’ll 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).

6. Upload your resume: Your professional resume 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 resume to one page only.

7. Upload your personal statement: Your personal statement should briefly describe your reasons for pursuing the MSA degree and your personal & professional goals.  Please limit your personal statement to one page. 

8. Choose your references: Please choose three references from academic and/or professional sources. Academic references should be from professors whose course(s) you’ve 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. 

9. Provide proof of funding and Declaration and Certification of Finances Form (international students only): In order for your visa eligibility document to be issued, we will need appropriate funding documents uploaded directly into your online application. This is not required for application review, but will be needed if you are offered admission.  International students are required to show proof of funding for living expenses in addition to all tuition and fees.

10. Upload a copy of your passport (international students only): In order for your visa eligibility documents to be issued, we will need a copy of your passport information and photo, including dependents, if applicable. You can upload these directly into your online application. This is not required for application review, but will be needed if you are offered admission.  

11. 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.

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