The MSA program begins in June each year with Summer Session II. The MSA degree requires 32 semester hours of graduate course work of which at least 20 hours are in graduate-level accounting courses, and at least 4 hours are in non-accountancy graduate courses.

The 20 accountancy hours required are ACCY 501 through ACCY 505 (each of the five courses awards 4 hours credit). With the approval of a program adviser, students that have an accountancy undergraduate degree with appropriate course work may substitute other graduate accountancy courses for some of ACCY 501 through ACCY 505 courses.

Required Courses
(or substitute graduate accountancy courses approved by a program adviser)
Required Hours
ACCY 501 Accounting Analysis I
Uses of accounting information; collection, processing, and communication of accounting information; measurement of assets, liabilities, equities, and income; and accounting system design.
ACCY 502 Accounting Analysis II
In-depth study of accounting valuation processes, accounting income measurement, and special reporting problems of multiple-entity organizations.
ACCY 503 Managerial Accounting
Introduction to management accounting as part of the firm’s information system, in terms of modern cost accounting and budgetary systems for planning and controlling business operations.
ACCY 504 Auditing
Introduction to conceptual and applied material in the field of auditing. Emphasizes the audit process, reporting, and professional responsibilities.
ACCY 505 Federal Taxation
Introduction to historical and conceptual as well as applied material in the accounting area of federal taxation; emphasizes the provisions of the tax law relevant to accounting measurement methods.
Graduate electives with at least 4 hours credit in a non-accountancy graduate course
Total Hours


Degree Requirements

  1. Students shall earn at least 24 of the 32 total graduate hours while enrolled in the Graduate College at Urbana-Champaign.
  2. Electives shall form a coherent program of study approved by a program advisor.
  3. At least 20 of the 32 graduate hours shall be at the 500-level.
  4. Minimum GPA, both by semester and cumulative, is 3.0.

In addition, students with TOEFL scores below 613 (paper-based), 257 (computer-based), or 103 (internet-based), or IELTS score below 7.0, are required to take the English Placement Test (EPT) when they arrive on campus. Depending on the results of the EPT, students may be required to take a Business English course (ESL 505). The language course does not count towards the 32 hour degree requirement.

CPA Review Included

MSA students may also enroll in the CPA Exam Preparation Course ACCY 398 at no additional cost. The Department of Accountancy has partnered with Yaeger CPA Review to offer an online CPA Preparation course. This course becomes available to MSA students during the spring semester. Although the credit hours do not count towards the degree, they do count towards full-time student status and may help meet the Illinois Board of Examiners requirement to take the CPA examination. The grade is reflected as part of the cumulative GPA that appears on the transcript.