For students starting the program in the Fall 2020 semester and later, the MAC program will be 100% online.
Master of Accountancy (MAC)
If you have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than accounting, our fully online Master of Accountancy program is designed for you. This nationally ranked program will prepare you for success in the accounting field and qualify you to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in Illinois.
As tax laws continue to evolve, accounting is a consistently high-demand field — 1.4 million jobs and growing — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When you graduate from the 100% online Master of Accountancy (MAC) program from Northern Illinois University (NIU), you'll have an enhanced understanding of the accountancy field and be qualified to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in Illinois.* This part-time program is designed for working commitments.
*Out-of-state students will have a master's degree that fulfills requirements to take exam in most states. Check your state's requirements for details.
- 100% online program
- The NIU College of Business is among an elite 4% of business schools worldwide to hold AACSB International accreditation at all levels.
- Two years to degree completion when taking two courses per semester
- Courses taught by nationally ranked faculty who bring real-world experience to the classroom and are among the top professionals in the Chicago area.
- NIU's 2017 first-time National Association of State Boards of Accountancy CPA exam pass rate for graduate students was 63%, well above the national average.
- At $820.72 per credit hour, students benefit from a competitive tuition.
- Graduate in two years part-time.
- NIU's undergraduate and graduate accountancy programs are ranked among the top 25 best in the nation.
- Access to recruiters from over 50 firms at our NIU Accountancy Career Fairs
The courses in this program are designed to provide graduate students with foundational knowledge for success in the accounting field. No matter what you studied as an undergraduate, the MAC will help you develop industry-standard skill sets and enhance your understanding of accounting's role in successful organizations. The curriculum was created alongside expert faculty to help students meet CPA exam requirements.
Most of our faculty practiced accounting before coming to NIU, making them uniquely qualified to bring real-world accounting skills into the classroom. They have a firsthand understanding of what it's like to work as a professional accountant, and they bring that practical experience — in the form of technical skills, interpersonal communication, time management and more — to their teaching.
Core Courses (24 Credits)
- ACCY 510 - Accounting Information Systems
- ACCY 622 - Managerial Accounting Information Systems
- ACCY 531 - Financial Reporting I
- ACCY 532 - Financial Reporting II
- ACCY 550 - Principles of Taxation
- ACCY 560 - Assurance Services
- ACCY 633 - Advanced Financial Reporting
- ACCY 650 - Advanced Issues in Taxation
Electives (9 credits)
- ACCY 664 - Financial Statement Auditing
- ACCY 670 - Accounting Research
- ACCY 675 - Data Analytics and Decision Making in Accounting
- Three Accountancy or College of Business Elective Hours
- ACCY 679 - Seminar in Accountancy
By the time you graduate, you'll be qualified to sit for the CPA exam and pursue licensure in the state of Illinois and beyond. Check your specific state's requirements for details.
The online program is part-time with students enrolling in 3-6 hours per semester.
The MAC degree is 33 hours, intended to be completed in 2 years if students follow the two courses per semester design of the online mode. However, a student can extend beyond the 2-year plan as needed or desired (for example, enroll in one course each semester, and complete the program in 4 years. The initial 3 semesters (6 courses/18 hours) taken are primarily sequential and are to be completed prior to the majority of the final 3 semesters (6 courses /18 hours). A student should work with an academic advisor to develop a course plan if deviating from the standard 2-year plan.
Yes, completion of the degree fulfills the requirements to be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) examination in Illinois.
Due to the sequential aspect of the initial courses, the MAC program can presently only be started in a fall semester.
No, the MAC is specifically for those that have a non-accountancy undergraduate degree. Since the MAC program incorporates both foundational and advanced accountancy coursework, a student already possessing an accountancy degree will have already completed a large amount of the content in their undergraduate program. The Master of Accounting Science (MAS) degree offered at the DeKalb campus is geared to students that have earned an undergraduate degree in accounting, or wish to pursue their graduate accounting degree in our traditional face-to-face weekday program.
A two-course Principles of Accounting (financial and managerial) sequence and general business courses in finance, statistics and economics should be completed prior to the start of the MAC program. These requirements can be fulfilled with a C or better in a corresponding undergraduate course, or a B or better in an equivalent graduate course, and may have been previously completed through undergraduate degree coursework. If the accounting principles courses were not completed recently, it is strongly recommended these are taken again, or a comprehensive review is completed prior to starting the MAC courses. These requirements may be met by completing courses at a university, community college or select online providers.
Visit the NIU Catalog to see the degree requirements.
Yes, MAC students are eligible and encouraged to attend the Accountancy Career Fairs held each fall and spring semester on the DeKalb campus. These fairs are held specifically for accountancy majors with firms recruiting for both full-time and internship positions. Additionally, students can utilize NIU Career Services Huskies Get Hired to search for jobs and internships
Admission to the graduate program in Accountancy is limited to those applicants who can demonstrate high promise of success in a graduate business degree program. Admission is competitive. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must demonstrate that they possess the following minimum qualifications:
For applicants with a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited U.S. college or university:
- Strong record of academic achievement demonstrated by cumulative GPA. The NIU Graduate School requires applicants to have a minimum 2.75 overall GPA in their baccalaureate program, or a 3.2 or higher GPA in graduate-level coursework (15 or more hours completed). The MAC program seeks applicants with a strong academic record, typically seeking a 3.0 or better cumulative undergraduate GPA, and evaluates all required application material to arrive at an admission decision. Note: The GMAT is no longer required but may be submitted to supplement the academic record if GPA does not fully demonstrate academic ability.
- Positive recommendations, preferably from an academic source.
For applicants without a baccalaureate or higher degree from a U.S. college or university:
- Strong record of academic potential demonstrated by GMAT score.
- Command of both oral and written English - those for whom English is not their first language must submit a minimum TOEFL (IBT) score of 80 or IELTS score of 6.5. Possession of a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution may serve in lieu of the TOEFL score.
- Positive recommendations, preferably from an academic source.
To be considered for admission you must submit the following documents to the Graduate School:
- Online Application and Application Fee
- Two Letter of Recommendation Letters
- Career Goal Statement - The goal statement should be two to three paragraphs explaining how the MAC program will help you meet your career goals.
- Unofficial Transcripts – When applying, only unofficial transcripts are required. Once accepted, you will need to submit official transcripts to the Graduate School. NIU students do not need to submit transcripts. Transfer students must submit an official transcript from each school attended. International students should submit both English and native language copies of their transcripts.
- Official Test Scores –
- GMAT Score - GMAT required only for those without an undergraduate or graduate degree from a U.S. institution. Allow 2-5 weeks for the official score to reach NIU.
- TOEFL or IELTS score for international applicants .
Online applications are available at least six months prior to the start of the term. The Admissions Committee will begin admitting students on a rolling-basis after March 1. Applications will be accepted until August 15.
Current tuition and fees can be found under Program Costs.
We offer a nationally ranked program for a competitive price - less than the cost of other Illinois graduate accounting programs. Costs presented below are for in-state students.
|Graduate Accountancy Programs||2018-2019 Cost**|
|NIU Master of Accountancy (MAC) (36 credit hours)||$29,580|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||$33,504|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MSA)||$46,925|
** These rates are for comparison purposes only and are not reflective of current rates at any institution.
To determine individual semester calculations, including calculations for out-of-state costs, use the NIU Planning and Cost Estimator.
General Business CoursesIf you have not completed all of the general business courses, we offer interactive, self-paced, online noncredit courses for $750 per course.
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Fundamentals of Economics (FINA 500)
Understanding Corporate Finance (FINA 505)
Business Math & Statistics (OMIS 524)
If you prefer, earn college credit by taking the these courses at NIU or a local community college.
Contact UsDepartment of Accountancy
740 Garden Road
DeKalb, IL 60115