Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) Admissions

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. 

Summer 2024 Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for the Summer 2024 cohort have passed. We will start accepting applications for the Summer 2025 term in October 2024.

If you wish, we can send you a reminder once applications are open.

Application reminder ›
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Application Checklist

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

Please write a statement that answers the following questions in 500 words or fewer.

  1. How has your academic and professional background, including any professional training, prepared you for graduate study?
  2. How will our program help you achieve your intellectual and professional goals?
  3. What are your academic interests, and why do you wish to pursue graduate studies in this specific program?
6. Answer your personal statement questions

Please write a personal statement that address the following points in 250 words or fewer. Points 1 and 2 are required, while 3 and 4 are optional to include.

  1. [Required] Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development.
  2. [Required] Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively. 
  3. [Optional] Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware. 
  4. [Optional] If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here. 
7. 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. 

8. Submit your GMAT or GRE score

Official scores should be sent directly to Institution Code 1836. We will waive the GMAT/GRE requirement for applicants completing all four years of undergraduate study in the US and for applicants who have completed a 2+ year master’s degree in the US. We also waive the GMAT/GRE for applicants with at least two years of work experience (not including internships).

Unofficial GRE/GMAT score reports should be uploaded with your application to expedite the review process.

9. 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). 

10. 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.

Talk to an MSA Advisor!

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.