Top 5 Graduate Accounting Programs in Illinois

For students who have an undergraduate accounting degree, the next step would be to pursue a CPA certification. Most states require a 150 credit hours for those who want to pursue this certification. An advance degree in accounting will help meet this requirements, but this degree is not just for those who want a CPA. The return on investment for a Master of Accounting degree is high. Those who graduate with an MAcc degree will have better career growth potential, salary boost, job security, and job satisfaction. Most programs are one year to two years long.

To create the top 5 graduate accounting programs in Illinois, we gathered information from Public Accounting Report, Tax Talent and U.S. News and World Report. All the schools listed are accredited by the prestigious AACSB. We have included in state tuition rates, but this only an estimate. Please contact the school for more information about their rates and program details. 

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is a public research institution. They are founding members of the Big Ten conference and the flagship school of the University of Illinois system. They offer 150 programs under their 17 colleges. They were ranked #11 for public schools and #4 for their graduate accounting program by U.S. News and World Report.

The College of Business offers two master's of accounting programs. The Master of Accounting Science (MAS) program is designed for students with a undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Illinois. The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) is for both students with an undergraduate degree in accounting and non accounting areas. Both programs can be finished in one year. They offer a CPA exam preparation course to students at no additional cost. Both programs give students the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in all areas of accounting. Their College of Business is accredited by the AACSB, the world's leading business school accreditation.

Tuition: $44,250

Northwestern University is a private research institution founded in 1851. They are located in the suburb of Evanston about 12 miles north of Chicago. Their campus is located near Lake Michigan with breathtaking views. They also have a campus in Chicago and Doha, Qatar. U.S. News and World Report has ranked #12 for national universities. Northwestern offers 145 graduate and professional programs and 124 undergraduate programs from their 11 academic schools.

Kellogg School of Management is ranked in the top ten for business schools by U.S. News and World Report. Kellogg offers a one year MBA, two year MBA and a JD-MBA program. Each of these programs gives the students flexibility to choose a major & pathway. Depending on their career goals students will be able to carve out an unique academic experience. Students who wish to finish faster and dive back into the working world should choose the one year program. The two year program allows students to explore a range of disciplines and gain a global perspective. The JD-MBA program prepares students with a solid business foundation and legal expertise. This program allows students to finish in three years instead of the five years it would take to complete both degrees separately. Whichever program students choose they will receive a rigorous education that will help them succeed. Kellogg is accredited by the AACSB.

Tuition: $66,462

Located in Chicago, Illinois, the University of Chicago is a private research university. They were founded in 1890 as a secular institution by the American Baptist Education Society. Their school runs on a quarter system instead of a semester based system. They are consistently ranked in the top ten by international and national rankings.

The Booth School of Business was founded in 1898 and are the second oldest business school in the world. They have been consistently accredited by the AACSB since 1916. Their MBA program has been ranked in the top ten by multiple publications.

Booth offers a full time MBA, evening MBA and a weekend MBA program. Depending on the student's needs they are able to choose the program that best fits their schedule. All three MBA programs allows students to choose from 14 concentrations, one being accounting. The foundation courses will support the rest of their curriculum. Students in their program will need to take a leadership training course, where they will learn to negotiate, team build and give feedback, which are crucial management skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Their MBA programs flexible curriculum allows students to design the program to meet their specific career goals. Students also have the option to pursue a joint degree in another specialized field.

Tuition: $132,880

Northern Illinois is a public research university located in Dekalb, Illinois. They were founded in 1895 by the Governor John P. Altgeld. The university has seven colleges that offer over 60 undergraduate, 79, graduate, nine pre-professional, and 70 minors. Classified as a national university, they were ranked 177 out of 206 national universities ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2014.

The College of Business offers a Master of Accounting Science program that prepares students with leadership and professional skills along with a strong accounting foundation. Students without an accounting and/or business background will need to take phase 1 business courses and phase 1 accounting courses once they enter the MAS program. The program is 30 credit hours of graduate courses. Students may choose a focus area depending on their career goals. There are three focus areas offered, taxation, financial reporting, and data analytics. Students are required to take a series of workshops to help them develop their leadership, commutation, problem solving and teamwork skills along with their coursework. The NIU College of Business is accredited by the AACSB, the leading accreditation for business schools around the world.

Tuition: $24,573

Founded in 1856, Illinois State University is the oldest public university in the state. They are one of the top ten largest producers of teachers in the nation state by the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. Their campus is in Normal, Illinois about 137 miles southwest of Chicago. U.S. News and World Report ranked them 78 among 133 public national universities in 2016.

ISU College of Business offers a Master of Science in Accounting program. Students who wish to apply for the program must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent by an accredited school. Their programs builds upon the  undergraduate accounting degree framework. The graduate program focuses on critical thinking, cases studies, accounting theory, communication skills and accounting literature. The program is designed to give students a broader and deeper understanding of accounting that their undergraduate degree or MBA degree could give them. Students will take a comprehensive exam near the end of their final semester. Their College of Business is accredited by the AACSB, the golden standard for business schools worldwide.

Tuition: $14,623