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FAQs - Admission

Who can help me with questions about admission to the MST program?

Suzanne Youngberg is the MST advisor. Her office is located at 345Y Barsema Hall. You can contact her by phone at 815-753-6099 or email at youngberg@niu.edu.

What are the criteria to be admitted to the MST program?

Admission to the MST Program is limited to those students who demonstrate high promise of success in a graduate business degree program. To be admitted, you must have:

  • a baccalaureate degree or a master's degree from an accredited institution with at least 15 hours of accounting, including an introductory federal income tax course or department approval (prior work experience will be given consideration); the accounting course requirement is waived for applicants with a law degree from an institution accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA); AND
  • if you don't have a law degree from an ABA-accredited institution or a graduate business degree from an AACSB-accredited institution, you must have:
    • a minimum GPA of 2.75 [on a 4.0 scale] in the last 60 hours of your baccalaureate program or a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 [on a 4.0 scale] at your baccalaureate institution; and
    • you must present satisfactory scores [verbal, quantitative, and total] on the GMAT or LSAT [this requirement can be waived if you have successfully passed all parts of the CPA exam].

When the undergraduate GPA and the GMAT score factor into the admission decision, you must have a composite score of 1100 or higher. The composite score is the sum of ([your cumulative GPA x 200] + your GMAT score).

When should I apply?

If you want to be admitted to the program for:

then submit your application and all supporting documents to the NIU Grad School no later than:

International Students Deadline

Summer Semester [May - July]

April 1st

_____*

Fall Semester [Aug-Dec]

July 15th

May 1st

Spring Semester [Jan-May]

December 10th

October 1st

* International students can not apply for summer term.

May I take classes before I am admitted to the program?

While students formerly were permitted to take up to 9 hours of MST coursework before being admitted to the Program as "students-at-large" [SALs], that is no longer the case. NIU is currently restructuring the student billing system. One characteristic of the revised system will be that graduate tuition rates are program-specific. Since SALs are not officially part of any graduate program, their tuition rate will not be the same as the MST tuition rate. To ensure that all students in MST courses are incurring equal costs, SALs will no longer be permitted to take MST classes starting in Fall 2015. If you are currently an SAL, please contact Prof. Youngberg for assistance in converting from SAL status to degree-seeking status.

When will I know if I'm admitted?

After the Graduate School has received and processed all of your documents, it will ask Prof. Youngberg for an admission decision. The Graduate School and Prof. Youngberg will notify you of their decision.

Where do I get an application for Graduate School?

The Graduate School prefers that admission applications be submitted online.

Where do I get information about the GMAT?

You may request information about the GMAT by phone (1-800-462-8669), mail, or web site www.gmac.com. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test that is available year-round at test centers throughout the United States. The fee to take this exam is $250. It is possible to schedule your test within a few days of registering, but popular dates (weekends, especially) book quickly. Consider admission deadlines, then call early to increase your chances of getting your preferred test date at the center most convenient to you. Check the web site for specific locations.

When should I take the GMAT?

Since the GMAT does not test you on your accounting and business knowledge, you should take the GMAT at least seven to twelve months before the start of Graduate School. By taking the exam early, you will have time to retake the exam if necessary. GMAT requires you to wait one month between test dates. If you take the test more than once, your highest score will be used.

Should I take a review course for the GMAT?

Whether to take a review course or not is up to you. The NIU College of Business now offers a comprehensive 24-hour GMAT preparation course. Or, you can study on your own with review manuals you can purchase from Kaplan and Princeton. In addition to practice questions and tips for taking the exam, these manuals contain CDs that provide you with a simulated exam.

Advising

If you have questions about the admission process or your program of study, contact Suzanne Youngberg. As the Advisor for the MST program, Suzanne evaluates applications to the program, advises students concerning their programs of study, and answers questions about the program. You can contact Suzanne by phone at 815-753-6099 or email at youngberg@niu.edu.


FAQs - Scheduling

Where is the program offered?

Courses meet on weekday evenings at the NIU Hoffman Estates campus (directions to NIU Hoffman Estates). We consciously designed the program in this way to meet the needs of working professionals who want to earn this degree while continuing to work full-time.

Are courses offered only in Hoffman Estates?

Yes. Yes. The MST program is offered exclusively at NIU-Hoffman Estates. In past semesters, MST students were permitted to register for graduate tax courses offered at the DeKalb campus in the MAS program. This opportunity no longer exists due to the growth of the MAS program.

What are the tentative course offerings in future semesters?

Check out our tentative course offerings for future semesters.

Can I start the program at any time?

Yes.


FAQs - Curriculum

What are the program requirements?

To earn the MST degree, you must complete the program requirements within six consecutive years with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. In addition, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to remain in good standing within the program.

The following five required courses [15 semester hours] provide a common foundation of technical tax knowledge and professional skills:

ACCY 645 Professional Tax Research
ACCY 647 Corporate Taxation
ACCY 649 Partnership Taxation
ACCY 651 Federal Estate and Gift Taxation
ACCY 656 Tax Concepts and Property Transactions

To complete your degree, you will choose five electives [15 semester hours] to tailor the program to your career goals. The MST electives are:

ACCY 605 Independent Study in Taxation
ACCY 646 Tax Administration and Practice
ACCY 648 Advanced Corporate Taxation
ACCY 652 Taxation of Estates and Trusts
ACCY 653 Accounting for Income Taxes
ACCY 654 Special Tax Topics
ACCY 655 International Taxation
ACCY 657 Taxation of Compensation & Benefits
ACCY 658 State and Local Taxation
ACCY 659 Tax Accounting Methods and Periods
ACCY 660 Advanced Partnership Taxation
ACCY 661 Advanced State and Local Taxation
ACCY 673 Internship in Accounting

Course descriptions can be viewed in the online course catalog.

What does ACCY 605 Independent Study in Taxation entail?

This course is for those students who want to engage in the comprehensive study of a topic or topics that are not part of our regular course offerings (or are covered only briefly in our courses). The study normally requires between 125 to 150 hours of work and results in a paper of 60 to 75 pages. The hours and work product guidelines are set to equate this experience to a 3 semester hour class - 42 hours of class time and about 2 hours of study outside of class for each hour in class. The study needs to be approved by the MST Advisor or Director and must be supervised by a professor with expertise in the student's area of interest.

Where can I get more information about the curriculum?

Obtain additional information about the MST program by emailing Suzanne Youngberg or calling her at (815)753-6099 (please provide a mailing address when you email or call). In addition, detailed program information (including course descriptions) is available in the Graduate Catalog.

You can complete the program for a reasonable cost. Scholarships and graduate assistantships are available to assist students financially.

Program Costs - Fall 2015
Starting in Fall 2015, you will be billed a single MST tuition rate that includes both instructional charges [formerly called tuition] and non-instructional charges [formerly called fees]. The single tuition rate should make it easier for you to more effectively budget for the completion of your degree. In addition, the single tuition rate will better serve students whose employers cover their education costs yet limit reimbursements to ‘tuition’ only. The NIU Graduate School provides detailed information about program-level tuitions at http://grad.niu.edu/grad/funding/tuition.shtml.


2015-2016
Academic Year2
In-State Out-of-State
Total Cost $2,456 / 3 credits $3,527 / 3 credits

2All amounts are rounded. Amounts are effective Fall 2015 through Summer 2016. Tuition is subject to change by the Board of Trustees at any time without notice. Program cost does not include textbook, ancillary expenses, and specific course fees.

Our MST Program has a national reputation for quality and excellence, yet it is priced lower than other highly-ranked MST programs in Illinois.

Graduate Accountancy Program

2015-2016 Cost*

NIU

$24,557

University of Illinois - MS Tax in Chicago

$38,200

DePaul University - MST

$45,668

* ‘2015-2016 Cost’ includes in-state tuition/tuition & fees and assumes the entire program is completed in one year. The U of I Program is an executive-style program, the cost of which also includes required textbooks.

MST and CPE Credit

NIU is an approved provider of Continuing Professional Education credit through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. If you are a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Illinois, you can earn CPE credit for your completed MST courses.


FAQs - Graduation

Do I need to apply for graduation?

Yes, the Graduate School has fixed deadlines to apply for graduation and attendance at commencement ceremonies.

A student who intends to graduate at the end of a particular term must apply for graduation through MyNIU by the graduation-application deadline. Note, NIU does not hold a Summer commencement ceremony. If you graduate in August, the Graduate School will invite you to be part of the commencement ceremony in the succeeding December. If you prefer to be part of the commencement ceremony in the preceding May, apply for August graduation AND email Dana Hughes at dhughes@niu.edu, communicating your wish to participate in May commencement.

The Application for graduation is on MyNIU: Navigate to Student Center > Academics > Apply for Graduation.

A $35.00 graduation fee will automatically be billed to your student account.

Where and when are the commencement ceremonies?

All NIU commencement ceremonies occur in the Convocation Center on the DeKalb campus. Ceremonies are scheduled at the end of the fall and spring semesters. The ceremony for graduate degree-recipients occurs the day before the undergraduate commencement ceremonies. There is no commencement ceremony at the conclusion of the summer semester. For more information, please see the NIU Commencement website.