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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. 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 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, Business Management, Finance, Statistics, and Economics. This background requirement can be satisfied by completing courses from universities or from online providers such as Coursera, Udacity or EdX. For options to complete the prerequisites through Coursera, please visit our MSA Common Questions page.

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 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 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 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. Submit your GMAT or GRE score: Due to COVID-19 and limitations on testing availability, the MSA program is currently waiving the GMAT/GRE for any applicant who completed a 4-year bachelor’s degree from a US based institution. You may still choose to submit your GMAT/GRE to strengthen your application, but it is not required. Your official GMAT scores may be sent directly to the Business Graduate Programs Office: Institution Code – 1836. If you did not complete 4 years of schooling at a US based institution, a valid GMAT/GRE score is required.

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. International students are required to show proof of funding for living expenses in addition to all tuition and fees. This is strongly recommended at the time of application – only conditional offers will be made without the required funding documents.

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.

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 U.S. 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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