iMSA Admissions

Application deadlines and incentives

Apply today for our next cohort. View deadline benefits by clicking the drop down options below.

Spring Priority 1 Benefits: Thursday, October 3, 2024

Spring Priority 1 Deadline: Thursday, October 3, 2024

  • No Application Fee
  • Deadline to Apply for Scholarship Consideration
  • Priority Registration
  • Early Access to Illinois on Coursera
  • Begin Engaging with Classmates via our Networking Platforms
Spring Priority 2 Benefits: Thursday, November 7, 2024

Spring Priority 2 Deadline: Thursday, November 7, 2024

  • No Application Fee
  • Priority Registration
  • Early Access to Illinois on Coursera
  • Begin Engaging with Classmates via our Networking Platforms
Final Deadline (January Start): Monday, December 2, 2024

Final Deadline (January Start): Monday, December 2, 2024

  • Final Deadline to Start Courses in January
  • All completed applications will receive full consideration
October 3

Spring Priority 1 Deadline

The iMSA program is designed for both seasoned accounting professionals and those looking to develop skills in this essential area of business.

Our admissions team is looking for evidence of academic ability, as well as indications of past performance and future potential in your professional career.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent)*
  • All required application materials
  • Prerequisite coursework (see below)

*Though recommended, we do review applications holistically and consider work experience, positive references, and a strong personal statement as indicators of future success as well. If you feel your profile may not be strong enough for admittance, please consider the Performance-based Admissions Track (PAT).

Application Requirements

It's simple to apply online for the Gies iMSA program. All materials below will be submitted through the University of Illinois Graduate College application portal. 

Graduate College Application

All the steps below must be completed online through the University of Illinois Graduate College application.

Academic Credentials

Applicants must upload their academic credentials (transcripts, marksheets, certificates of degree, etc.) as required by the Graduate College. For the application review process, applicants do not need to submit official academic credentials; unofficial or scanned credentials are acceptable. If admitted, however, you will be required to submit official academic credentials. When uploading your academic credentials, please keep the following in mind:

  • Credential evaluations (such as WES or ECE) are not accepted.
  • Uploaded credentials must include applicant’s name, institution name, and a transcript legend, grade scale, or grade criteria.
  • For domestic degrees, your transcript must have your degree awarded information and the date your degree was conferred.
  • For international degrees, you must include the certificate of degree.
  • If the credentials were originally in a language other than English, credentials in native language and English must be uploaded.
  • 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.


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. Technical resumes are not required. Please limit your resume to two pages.

Essay Prompts

All degree applicants will be required to submit both an academic statement and a series of short answer personal statements. Exact essay prompts can be found within the graduate application.

  • Academic statement: A 300-500 word statement that addresses three questions noted in the application.
  • Short answer personal statements: A maximum of 250 words that address 2-4 questions noted in the application.
  • Stacking essay: Learners applying to stack their first Gies degree into the iMBA will not have to complete the academic or personal statement essay. They will only have to complete a stacking essay of 300-500 words.


Two references are required. Once contact information is entered into your application, an email is sent to your references where they will be asked to complete a short form describing their professional relationship with you. A letter of recommendation can also be submitted but is not required. It is preferred that at least one of your references is a current or former supervisor. Reference forms can be received after an application is submitted. Applicants cannot submit references on their own behalf.

English Proficiency Scores

(International applicants only) If you are a non-native English speaker or do not meet one of the Graduate College’s exemptions, you will need to upload your TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores directly to your application. If you do not have scores and do not meet an exemption, you may also upload an essay requesting an exemption. Please note that if your test scores fall within the limited status range, you will be admitted to the Performance-based Admissions Track (PAT) program to satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

Optional Materials

GMAT or GRE score (optional): The GMAT or GRE is not required for the application, but you are welcome to submit scores to supplement your application. 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.

Transfer Request Form: Requests for transfer credits will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed even if the following criteria are met. A maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred. Transfer requests must be submitted with the application.

  • Institution must be AACSB accredited 
  • Course(s) cannot have been previously applied toward a degree or other transcripted credential
  • Course(s) must have been taken at the graduate level
  • Course(s) must have been completed within the past 4 years
  • Student must have earned an A- or better
  • A maximum of 12 credit hours will be approved for transfer

Gies Online Coursera Scholarship application essay: At Gies College of Business, we are committed to breaking down barriers and making high-quality business education affordable and accessible to as many learners as possible. As part of this commitment, we are proud to offer, in partnership with Coursera, a limited number of scholarships covering 70% of the tuition for the program. These scholarships are focused on making our programs more accessible and impacting the global community of our students. This essay must be submitted with your application by the scholarship deadline for full consideration for this scholarship.

Prerequisite Coursework Form

The prerequisite coursework form is required for admissions. In general, we expect applicants to have completed a course in business management along with a one or two course sequence in principles of accounting or a course in financial accounting prior to admission. College course credit or a certificate of completion from a known online course provider is accepted. If you are missing an prerequisites, please visit our FAQ page to view a list of recommended courses.

Admissions Help Videos

Our admissions team has put together a few helpful videos to assist you as you work on your application. These videos address the most common questions regarding your essay, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and resume. 

View All Admission Help Videos ›
Do I have to take the GMAT or GRE to apply?

No, a GMAT or GRE are not required for admittance into the iMSA program. If you feel it strengthens your application, you are welcome to upload your test scores.

Is there a list of recommended courses I can take to meet the program prerequisites?

We offer online courses through Coursera to help prospective students satisfy the requirements.

For the principles of accounting course prerequisite, we offer the three courses below. The three courses, in combination, will satisfy the principles of accounting prerequisite.

For the business management course prerequisite we offer a course titled Business Strategy

You will want to make sure that you earn a course completion certificate for each course so you can prove your successful completion of the courses.

Can I use any of my past credits toward the iMSA degree requirements?

Requests for transfer credits will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed even if the following criteria are met. A maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred. Transfer requests must be submitted with the application.

  • School must be an AACSB accredited institution.
  • Course(s) must have been completed within the past 4 years.
  • Course(s) must not have been used towards any other degree.
  • Course(s) must have been taken at the graduate level.
  • Student must have earned an A- or better.

Apply to the iMSA Program Today