W. Brooke Elliott
360 Wohlers Hall
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
PH: (217) 333-0857


Major: Accountancy
Degrees Offered: M.A.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Graduate Minor: Accountancy

Graduate Concentration: Accountancy; Data Analytics in Accountancy

Off Campus Program: Major: Taxation (not currently accepting applications; suspended effective Summer, 2018)
Degrees Offered: M.S.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Accountancy offers on campus graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Accounting Science (M.A.S.), Master of Science in Accountancy (M.S.A.), and Doctor of Philosophy in Accountancy. The M.A.S., M.S.A. and Ph.D. degrees are offered on the Urbana-Champaign campus.  The master's degree requirements can be completed in one year.  The Ph.D. degree takes approximately four to five years of full-time study and research.  The Department also offers a fully online program through the iMSA program.  The iMSA can be completed in 4 semesters (18 months) with an August start date or 6 semesters (24 months) with a January start date.


All applicants to the Master of Accounting Science program should refer to MAS program.

All applicants to the Master of Science in Accountancy program should refer to the MSA program.

All applicants to the online Master of Science in Accountancy program should refer to the iMSA program.

All applicants to the Accountancy doctoral program should refer to the PhD program.

Doctor of Philosophy

The student's doctoral program is determined in consultation with a faculty advisory committee. The student's evolving plans for the doctoral thesis serve as a guide in planning the program. Program coursework is comprised of two general categories: core studies and advanced studies within an area of specialization (i.e., a supporting field).  The latter coursework is tailored to facilitate the student's dissertation.

In addition, candidates must pass a written accountancy core examination and both oral preliminary and oral final examinations on the doctoral thesis. In the accountancy core examination, candidates must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of research methods and accounting theory; a general acquaintance with the subject matter of the variety addressed within accountancy doctoral core studies; and proficiency in the required areas of economic theory, quantitative methods, behavioral science and financial economics.

Graduate study, at least 16 hours of which are in a supporting field (e.g., economics, finance, psychology). 24
A two-course introduction to mathematical statistics and probability theory 8
Accountancy core doctoral seminars:16
Intro to ACCY Research
Constructs in Atg Research
Special Research Problems (section B)
Special Research Problems (section C)
ACCY 593Special Research Problems (section S)4
ACCY 594Doctoral Research Seminar (in area of specialization)4
Microeconomics at the graduate level (ECON 500), and another economics course at the graduate level from an approved listing 8
ACCY 599Thesis Research32
Total Hours96

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit: 56
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 60
Students must present a research paper at the Accountancy Research Forum in the beginning of their third year.
Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the accountancy Ph.D. program.
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? No
Qualifying Exam Required (Accountacy Core Examination) Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0

Graduate Minor in Accountancy

The minor in Accountancy seeks to develop business leaders who understand the role of accountancy and accounting in the conduct of business and the allocation of resources within society.

This minor requires twelve graduate hours of coursework. Admission to the minor requires an application to the Department and admission to one of the M.S. programs in the College of Business. Admission is limited and acceptance is on a competitive basis.

Note: Students within the major cannot minor in the same program.

ACCY 501Accounting Analysis I4
ACCY 502Accounting Analysis II4
ACCY 503Managerial Accounting4
or ACCY 517 Financial Statement Analysis
or substitute graduate accountancy courses approved by a program advisor
Total Hours12

Online Master of Science in Accountancy

The online Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA) is a fully online program. The highly-engaged delivery format and our world-renowned faculty provide students with a hands-on and practice-oriented learning experience. The iMSA prepares students for success in accounting careers and provides the academic prerequisites for candidates who wish to take the United States Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

The iMSA is designed for those already working in the accounting field looking to refresh their skill set and for those who intend to use the degree to enter the field for the first time. A mirror of the on-campus Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) curriculum, the online MSA (iMSA) uses a flexible program format. It allows students to balance academic life with other obligations. The shortest time to degree completion with an August start date is four semesters (18 months) and with a January start date 6 semesters (24 months).  Students can take as many as eight semesters (36 months) to complete the degree. 

The University of Illinois accountancy programs have consistently been ranked in the top three by the US News & World Report and the Public Accounting Report.