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.

  • 100% online program
  • Nationally ranked AACSB-accredited program offered at competitive tuition rates
  • Two years to degree completion when taking two courses per semester
  • Courses taught by nationally-ranked faculty leading to CPA exam eligibility
  • Access to recruiters from over 50 firms at our NIU Accountancy Career Fairs
Where are courses offered?

For students starting the program in the Fall 2020 semester and later, the MAC program will be 100% online.

Is the program part-time or full-time?

The online program is part-time with students enrolling in 3-6 hours per semester.

How long will it take to complete the degree?

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 academic advisor to develop a course plan if deviating from the standard 2-year plan.

Does completing the MAC degree qualify one to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam?

Yes, completion of the degree fulfills the requirements to be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) examination in Illinois.

Can the program be started in any semester?

Due to the sequential aspect of the initial courses, the MAC program can presently only be started in a fall semester.

Can a student pursue the MAC degree if they have earned an undergraduate degree in accountancy?

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.

Are there prerequisites to start the 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.

What courses are required to complete the MAC degree?

Visit the NIU Catalog to see the degree requirements.

Can MAC students attend Accountancy and NIU career fairs?

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

What are the admission requirements?

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.
What is the application process?

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 .
What is the application deadline?

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.

What is the cost of the program?

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
DePaul University $49,920

** 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 Courses

If you have not completed all of the general business courses, we offer interactive, self-paced, online noncredit courses for $750 per course.
Required Student Information

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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.

Department Resources

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