Master of Accounting Science (MAS)

In our nationally ranked Master of Accounting Science (Leadership) program, you'll learn to integrate professional accounting knowledge with leadership and professional skills. Our graduate faculty members will prepare you for success in today's complex business environment.

The MAS program is a STEM-designated program. If you have an F-1 visa, this designation extends the time you can remain in the U.S. after graduation under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) benefit. Learn more about OPT and the OPT STEM extension.

The objective of the MAS (Leadership) program is to integrate professional accounting knowledge with the leadership and professional skills needed to be successful in a variety of career paths.  Our graduate faculty are dedicated to ensuring that your experience at Northern Illinois University will help you to develop the technical and career skills to be successful in today's complex business environment.


Where will the program be offered?

The MAS (Leadership) program is taught on the DeKalb campus only. Occasionally, it is possible that one or more of the business electives may need to be taken at an off-campus location. There is an additional off-campus fee added to tuition for off-campus courses.

When are courses going to be offered?

Most classes are offered during the day, while a few are offered in the early evening. Summer Phase II accountancy courses will begin one or two weeks after spring semester ends.

Can I start the program at any term?

Yes, students are admitted and begin taking classes in the summer, fall and spring terms.

Can I go part-time at NIU?

Contact Steve Kispert, MAS advisor, at for additional information.

Can I take 15 hours in the fall and 15 hours in the spring and be done?

Full-time status is nine hours per semester. A normal course load for a fall or spring semester is 12 hours, and a normal course load for summer is six hours. Contact Steve Kispert, MAS advisor, at for additional information.

Can I work and go to school full time?

A full-time master's program is very challenging and we recommend that you do not work.

CPA Exam

Can I take the CPA exam once I have earned 150 hours, even if I have not completed the MAS (Leadership) program?

Earning your MAS (Leadership) degree fulfills all educational requirements to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam as dictated by the Illinois Board of Examiners (IBOE).

As of July 1, 2013, you may begin sitting for the CPA exam during your last semester in the MAS (Leadership) program (in other words, in the semester during which you are going to earn your MAS (Leadership) degree). The Illinois Board of Examiners (IBOE) refers to this as "provisional" status - allowing you to count the semester hours in your final semester classes in order to meet their requirements even though you have not completed those courses. You may only request "provisional" status once and final transcripts documenting your successful completion of those courses must be received by the IBOE within 120 days after you sit for a section of the CPA exam.

The Ernst & Young Leadership and Professional Development Center offers workshops and events designed to enhance your leadership and professional skills. The professional development activities are required for graduation from the MAS (Leadership) program.

In addition to scheduled workshops, the center provides access to trained professionals who will help you work toward career success. The center is open most weekdays as a place for study groups and meetings. Contact us at

LPDC Fall Hours:

Study Hours

Monday: 8:00 am- 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am- 4:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am- 5:30 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am- 5:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 am- 4:00 pm

Consultation Hours

Monday: 9:00 am- 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am- 4:30 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am- 5:30 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am- 5:30 pm
Friday: 9:00 am- 1:00 pm

- To schedule an appointment please e-mail us at:

Services and Activities

  • Paper critiques
  • Presentation critiques and video feedback
  • Resume critiques
  • Self-awareness development
  • Mock interviews
  • Team building challenge
  • Communication and leadership workshops
  • The Second City Improvisational Workshop
  • Communication and leadership resource library

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 2016-2017 Cost**
Master of Accounting Science (MAS) (30 credit hours) $24,573
University of Illinois at Chicago $31,896
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MSA) $44,250
DePaul University $48,960

** 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.

Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships

Department Resources