MAC and NIU Honors guarantee admission

NIU honors students can secure a fantastic launch to their careers by enrolling in the Master of Accountancy (MAC).  Their admission is guaranteed, thanks to an agreement between University Honors and the Department of Accountancy.  Honors students pursuing a bachelor degree in any discipline other than accounting are eligible.

“When students elect to pursue University Honors distinction at NIU, they make a commitment to themselves about their academic aptitude,” says Todd Gilson, NIU’s Director of University Honors.  “Likewise, it’s the responsibility of the University Honors Program to make an equal commitment in terms of finding innovative opportunities for students to advance their professional careers.”

Gilson has collaborated with faculty across the university to build a portfolio of value-added program offerings for Honors students.  These offerings accomplish two related goals.  One is to position Honors students for productive futures.  The other objective is to open up avenues for them to embark upon entirely new career paths.

Cross Boundaries to a World of Career Opportunities

The MAC program aligns with these goals perfectly.  NIU’s nationally-ranked Department of Accountancy intentionally created the MAC to meet increased demand from individuals who wish to pursue a career in accounting but who lack the corresponding undergraduate credentials.  Surprisingly, earning the degree takes less time than one might think.  MAC students can complete the program in just two years by carrying a course load of two classes each semester, including summer.  All classes meet on NIU’s beautiful Naperville campus, and all classes are taught by nationally-ranked NIU accountancy faculty.

Brad Cripe, Assistant Chair of the Department of Accountancy and the Gaylen and Joanne Larson Professor of Accountancy, couldn’t be happier about partnering with university Honors.  “The MAC degree is the perfect choice for students who have a baccalaureate degree in something other than accounting and have realized the value of the Master’s degree in obtaining the Certified Public Accountant licensure,” he explains.  “It’s perfect for the professional who sees an advanced accounting degree as providing faster upward mobility in their current job.  It’s also perfect for the recent graduate who is looking for a master’s program that will allow them to work or stay home during the day, and attend class and study at night.”

Real-World Benefits

MAC students also gain a professional edge because of the real-world benefits the program provides.  One of the most impressive is the opportunity to interact with recruiters from more than 50 firms, all of which actively participate in the NIU Accountancy Career Fairs.  When MAC students graduate, they are thoroughly prepared for a career in accounting in any type of organization, and they are fully eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in Illinois.

NIU’s MAC is offered out of the nationally-ranked and accredited Department of Accountancy, housed in the NIU College of Business.  The college has held full AACSB International accreditation since 1969, just eight years after its founding.  Both the Department of Accountancy and the NIU College of Business have been ranked nationally for several decades, respectively.  Both have a distinguished tradition of crossing the boundaries of knowledge generation and learning by creating innovative programs that prepare graduates for long-term success in their careers and their communities.

Program Quality

“Accounting is the language of business, and NIU Accountancy knows that language very well,” adds Cripe.  “Our faculty are recognized nationally and internationally as experts in their field.  We have an innovative, cutting edge curriculum that now includes graduate study in data analytics.  And we continue to expand upon our decades-long tradition of close partnerships with international, national and regional corporations, accounting and advisory firms in the Chicago area.”

NIU’s College of Business proudly counts more than 60,000 of its graduates as alumni.  Many hold C-suite executive positions in companies of all sizes, located in the Chicago metropolitan area and around the world.

“Our collaborations across the university help create outstanding futures for our students.  The MAC program illustrates this particularly well,” says Gilson.  “The guaranteed admission partnership with the MAC provides a clear and frictionless path for students to be prepared for the career they actively seek now – as well as the career opportunity that very likely will present itself in 5-10 years.”


Interested students are encouraged to contact NIU Accountancy (815-753-1637) or the NIU Honors Program (815-753-0694) to learn more about the MAC program and to enroll.


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