Gies College of Business Building

Once you’ve completed your degree, you’ll be eligible to fully stack your Master’s in Management into the Gies iMBA. This means if you choose to continue on to your MBA – either immediately afterward or years down the road – you’ll instantly be halfway done with your degree.

  • All 36 credit hours of the MSM can be applied to your MBA degree (50% of the 72 hours) upon acceptance.
  • All MSM graduates (on-campus and online program) are eligible to apply.
  • You must still apply to the iMBA program and all admission requirements must be met. Your MSM GPA and group participation scores will also be considered within the holistic application review. Admission is not guaranteed.
  • Start your application with the Illinois Graduate College at

This is the first time in the history of the University of Illinois that a degree can stack into another degree, and it’s one of the very rare examples of this being done at any business school in the country.

Why do we do this? Because your time and money are your most valuable assets, and we want to ensure you’re making the most of both. Being able to take the credits you’ve earned and apply them toward another credential gives you a head start on achieving your next goal, and it means you won’t need to retake courses you’ve already completed or pay unnecessary tuition. It’s all part of our mission to make life-changing education affordable and accessible to learners of all ages, experiences, locations, and financial means.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is stackability?

No matter the goals of the learner, Gies has a path to success that suits their needs – whether that’s a full degree, a graduate certificate, or a single course. At Gies, learners can complete the MSM program, and then if they apply and are accepted into the iMBA program, they can take all 36 MSM credit hours and put them toward the 72-credit-hour MBA.

How do we do it?

Each degree is built in a modular way with courses that stack together to comprise the finished product. Courses are designed with a clear beginning, middle, and end – and learning objectives that bring all learners to a similar level of strength by the end. Because each course is specifically designed to be able to stand alone, we reduce the need for prerequisites and allow learners to take courses and specializations is almost any order so they can build the learning experience that best fits their personal life and professional needs.

How much of the MSM can be applied toward my iMBA?

All 36 credit hours of the MSM can be applied to your MBA degree (50% of the 72 hours) upon acceptance. You must work with a Student & Academic Success Specialist to determine which courses you should take during the iMBA program to ensure you meet all degree requirements. You will also be required to complete two specialization capstones and the Program Capstone as a part of the iMBA curriculum.

I already earned my Gies MBA degree. Do I also receive an MSM degree?

In order to earn both degrees, a learner must complete the MSM degree first and then apply for acceptance to the iMBA program. A learner who has already earned a Gies MBA is not eligible for the MSM program and cannot receive both degrees.

Am I guaranteed admission into the iMBA upon completion of the MSM?

No. Learners must submit a new application for the iMBA program, and an interview may be requested. A holistic review of your application materials will be completed by the admissions committee.

When I apply to the iMBA, will I be eligible to apply for the Coursera scholarship and the Forté Fellowship?

Yes, you will have the opportunity to apply for these scholarships based on the application deadlines for each admissions cycle.

I have already completed a Gies MSM degree – am I still eligible to stack it into the iMBA program?

Yes! If you have already received your Gies MSM degree and are interested in stacking it into the iMBA program, you can apply to the iMBA.

Is there a time limit for how long I have after completion of the MSM degree to apply to the iMBA program?

At this time, there is no time limit on when you can apply to the iMBA program after completing the MSM program. Significant curriculum changes may require additional courses to be completed depending on the length of time that has passed from completion of the MSM to admittance of the iMBA.

Will I have two separate five-year windows to complete each degree?

Yes – the Graduate College allows up to five years to complete each degree program.

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