Finding accredited accounting degree programs in Illinois is simple thanks to the Prairie State’s ample selection of top-tier universities, and students hoping to find careers here upon graduation will appreciate the opportunities awaiting them.

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In 2014, Chicago was ranked 6th on Accounting Principles’s list of the top 10 cities to land a job in financial services due to the city’s relatively low unemployment rate and diverse range of successful businesses. For those hoping to attend college to boost their existing careers in finance, the following schools offer comprehensive, master’s-level programs that are designed to set graduates apart from the competition. To see more accredited accounting degree programs in Illinois, visit Master of Accounting Degree Programs in Illinois (Q-Z).

Bradley University

Foster College of Business

Bradley University offers a number of benefits to students who attend, including a 93 percent placement rate, 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and high ranking among similar Midwest colleges according to U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1897, the school has evolved into a campus that serves more than 5,000 undergraduates and 700 graduates each year. The university also makes Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the best values within the private school sector. In terms of accounting programs, Bradley offers a master’s degree in the subject through its Foster College of Business, an accredited program designed with career professionals in mind.

Master of Science in Accounting

With a Master of Science in Accounting from Bradley University, students will obtain the 150 hours needed to earn their designation as a Certified Public Accountant. The program can be completed in as little as one year provided that students enroll with a finished bachelor’s degree and pursue the M.S. full time. For part-time students, the program takes about two years to complete. Scheduling is flexible. Students can enroll at three different times during the year and take courses in the afternoons and evenings, making it an ideal program for those who already work. The program requires completion of 30 credit hours. Of these, at least 15 must come from major-specific courses. No more than 15 credit hours can come from electives. Relatively small, balanced classes allow students to engage more fully in the curriculum, and students who study here also gain access to benefits such as the Graduate Student Association and job search support.

Accreditations

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact

Bradley University
Foster College of Business
1501 W Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
Phone: (309) 677-2253
Email:
Website: http://www.bradley.edu/msa/

DePaul University

Kellstadt Graduate School of Business

As of 2013, DePaul University ranked as the largest Catholic university as well as the 12th largest private school in the country. Four times, The Princeton Review has also designated DePaul students as some of the happiest on its list of the “Best Colleges.” Enrollment exceeds 23,000 students annually, and the university comprises 10 colleges and schools that offer a combined 300 undergraduate and graduate programs between them. Students interested in studying accounting at the graduate level at DePaul will appreciate the options offered via the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business: a Master of Accountancy and a Master of Science in Accountancy.

Master of Accountancy

Designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, those with an MBA or those pursuing MBAs, DePaul’s Master of Accountancy program “focuses on major technical, conceptual and management issues in accountancy” according to the school’s website. Students who pursue this program will learn valuable skills that push them into managerial and supervisory roles within the accounting industry, including internal auditing and big data analysis. Graduate students will be able to interact with some of the industry’s top players since the school’s location affords ample opportunity for networking. The program requires that students complete 12 courses at minimum. Of the 12, eight are specifically designated by the school while the remaining four can come from an approved list of electives. The electives are centered in business topics. Students must also adhere to residency requirements in order to earn the degree, and the total number of hours required for graduation is 45.

Master of Science in Accountancy

The Master of Science in Accountancy was created for students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in accounting. This nationally ranked program affords students a wide array of benefits, including classes taught by recognized industry leaders and access to competitive internship programs due to the location of the campus. Students have the option to complete the program on campus in Chicago or entirely online. To apply, prospective students will need to submit an application that includes official transcripts and answers to at least one essay question. Letters of recommendation are not required for M.S. students, but the website notes that including these letters may be of benefit. Students who complete the program will be eligible to sit for the CPA exam. Courses cover topics such as accounting and financial theory, economics, ethics and information systems. At minimum, students need to complete 12 courses in order to earn the master’s degree.

Accreditations

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact

DePaul University
Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
1 East Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: (312) 362-8810
Email:
Website: http://kellstadt.depaul.edu/academics/ms-programs/Pages/default.aspx

Dominican University

Brennan School of Business

Established as a college for women in 1901, Dominican University was originally located in Wisconsin. Over the course of its evolution, the school became a more inclusive university dedicated to educating students in the Catholic tradition while welcoming a broader population. Five graduate schools offer more than 25 master’s degree programs here. Students have several options for earning an accredited accounting degree at Dominican. Under the direction of the Brennan School of Business, graduate students can pursue an MBA in Accounting or a Master of Science in Accounting, and each program can be tailored to meet individual needs and scheduling demands.

MBA in Accounting

Dominican University’s MBA in Accounting seeks to achieve three goals with its graduates: to help them critically analyze issues, to make them effective communicators and to provide them with the knowledge needed to handle business challenges with integrity. The program requires completion of between 12 and 18 courses. The exact number depends on a variety of factors, including the student’s test scores and previous academic work. All students in the MBA program must complete six foundation courses and nine core courses. Classes within the accounting concentration cover topics such as taxation, advanced accounting, and auditing. In terms of scheduling, Dominican offers a flexible program designed with the needs of working students in mind. While all classes are offered on campus on weekday evenings, students have the option to complete the program in person, online or in hybrid format. Students can also enroll three times per year in the fall, spring and summer sessions.

Master of Science in Accounting

For students who want to enter the accounting profession but who lack an undergraduate accounting degree, Dominican offers the Master of Science in Accounting program. This graduate-level, accredited program provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to enter the workforce as accountants. Upon completion of the program, students have the option to take a prep course for the CPA exam, but it’s not required for graduation. Students who graduate with the M.S. will be eligible to sit for the exam regardless of whether they take the prep course. The M.S. program requires between 10 and 17 hours for completion depending on a student’s previous academic history and test scores. Students will complete six foundation courses, nine core courses and four elective courses. The elective courses cover a broad range of topics, including marketing, managerial communications and corporate social responsibility. Unlike the MBA program, the M.S. program is only offered on campus.

Accreditations

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact

Dominican University
Brennan School of Business
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
Phone: (708) 524-6810
Email:
Website: http://business.dom.edu/academics

Eastern Illinois University

Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences

Founded in 1895, eastern Illinois University enrolls nearly 9,000 students at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. Seven colleges offer 49 undergraduate degree programs, 29 graduate-level programs and nine post-baccalaureate programs for professional students. The school prides itself on environmental contributions and has earned recognition for its efforts in clean, sustainable energy. Alumni report a 98 percent satisfaction rate within a year of graduation as well as a 99 percent satisfaction rate after nine years. Students looking for an accredited master’s degree in accounting program will find solid opportunity with guidance from the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences.

MBA in Accountancy

Eastern Illinois University’s Master of Business Administration allows students to pursue several concentrations, including accounting. According to the school’s website, the primary benefits of the program are “flexibility, unique programming, networking and professional development,” and affordability. In terms of flexibility, students can attend school at the main campus in Charleston or its satellite location in Champagne. Students can also enroll as part-time or full-time candidates. Full-time candidates typically complete the degree in 18 to 36 months, but students can take up to six years to finish the program. Of the 33-hour requirement for earning the degree, 18 credits come from core classes that all MBA candidates share while the remaining 15 come from major-specific courses. Eastern Illinois gives students the option to complete a traditional or creative thesis depending on interests and career goals. Regarding networking, students have access to a diverse range of industry professionals and will take courses geared toward professional development.

Accreditations

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact

Eastern Illinois University
Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Phone: (217) 581-3028
Email:
Website: http://www.eiu.edu/mba/

Illinois State University

College of Business

As of the fall semester in 2014, Illinois State University enrolled 20,615 students, and nearly all of these students attended on campus. The school was founded as a teaching college and the first higher education institution in the state in 1857 but has since evolved to award a wide range of degrees in various academic subjects. Located within a major hub of transportation, the school offers students the chance to easily connect with local businesses and commute to major nearby cities such as Chicago. Students who want to pursue a master’s degree in accounting can do so under the school’s College of Business.

Master of Science in Accountancy

As stated on its website, the College of Business seeks to provide graduate students in accounting with a program that offers “greater breadth and depth in accounting education than is possible in a baccalaureate or Master of Business Administration program.” With a Master of Science in Accountancy, students will be able to enter the professional world of accounting with significant coursework and practical experience that enables them to pursue a wide range of career objectives. The program emphasizes strong communication skills, and as such, class sizes are small to encourage better student-to-faculty and peer-to-peer interactions. Students will complete a minimum of 30 semester hours, half of which come from accounting courses. The remaining 15 hours must be drawn from approved electives. At least six credit hours need to be taken from outside of the accounting discipline, and all courses taken for the degree must be approved by the director of the program.

Accreditations

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact

Illinois State University
College of Business
Campus Box 5500
Normal, IL 61790-5500
Phone: (309) 438-2251
Email:
Website: http://business.illinoisstate.edu/ms_accountancy/program/

Loyola University of Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Loyola University of Chicago is a private Catholic college that follows the Jesuit tradition. Established in 1870, the school now boasts an enrollment of nearly 16,000 students and is one of the largest Jesuit colleges in the United States. At the Quinlan School of Business, students have access to an MBA program that has been ranked among the top three in Chicago according to U.S. News and World Report. Accounting students can pursue one of three options for earning a master’s degree: the Master of Science in Accountancy, the MBA with a concentration in accounting and a dual MBA/MSA program.

Master of Science in Accountancy

The Master of Science in Accountancy program at Loyola attracts students from a diverse range of educational backgrounds, but it’s designed for students who want to switch careers from business into accounting. With access to some of the world’s largest and most prestigious accounting firms, students who study at Loyola will enjoy ample networking opportunities. Applicants do not need to hold accounting degrees in order to pursue a master’s degree, but they will need to complete prerequisite coursework in business and accounting in order to progress through the program. The master’s degree requires completion of 12 courses, which are taught strictly in the evenings on a quarterly basis. The courses are designated as follows: six accounting classes, one business ethics class, two non-accounting MBA classes and three electives from the MBA or MSA curriculum. Students will enroll in courses covering a broad range of topics, including federal taxes and forensic accounting.

MBA/MSA Accounting

Within the MBA program, students at Loyola can choose one of two paths. The first option is the general Master of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. The second is a dual program that combines elements of both the MBA program and the Master of Science in Accountancy. For the MBA degree, students will complete a prerequisite course in quantitative methods, up to seven core courses, an ethics course, an analytics class, one class on global perspectives, four courses on advanced leadership and four classes in the accounting discipline. For the dual program, candidates complete course schedules that are similar to both the MBA and master’s programs, but they’ll finish faster because the dual program requires four fewer courses. Any student in the MBA program or M.S. program has the option to pursue the dual degree, but they need to declare their intentions and meet with an adviser early.

Accreditations

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact

Loyola University of Chicago
Quinlan School of Business
1032 W Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: (312) 915-6124
Email:
Website: http://www.luc.edu/quinlan/mba/

Northern Illinois University

College of Business

Opened as a teachers’ college in 1899, Northern Illinois University now comprises seven distinct colleges and ranks highly on educational publications throughout the country. U.S. News and World Report recognizes the school among the nation’s best, and Washington Monthly designates the university as a premier institution for social mobility, research and service. Students looking into accredited accounting programs will appreciate the fact that Northern Illinois’s College of Business is a nationally ranked college offering a diverse range of courses and programs. Among these programs is the Master of Accounting Science (Leadership), a unique approach to the traditional accounting graduate program.

Master of Accounting Science

According to the program website, the goal of the Master of Accounting Science (Leadership) is to help students “to develop the technical and career skills to be successful in today’s complex business environment.” The program combines elements of leadership with traditional accounting coursework to prepare students to lead within the field. Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible to take the CPA exam in order to become licensed professionals. With a bachelor’s in accounting, students who enter the MSA (Leadership) program may be able to complete the degree requirements within a year by completing 30 credits at the graduate level. Students without an accounting background will need to complete prerequisite business courses before being admitted into the full program. There are two tracks available: financial reporting and assurance, and taxation. Regardless of track, students pursuing a master’s degree must complete professional development requirements, which include activities such as paper presentations and mock interviews.

Accreditations

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact

Northern Illinois University
College of Business
1425 W Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-1637
Email:

In 2014, a survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council revealed that 45 percent of the employers surveyed were looking for accountants with a master’s degree, a figure that represented a 9-point jump from the previous year. The accounting profession offers job security, good pay and the chance to work in a variety of professional settings. Those who pursue accredited accounting degree programs in Illinois will stand out in this competitive industry.