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best online master's in forensic accounting degrees

best online master's in forensic accounting degrees

      


    best online master's in forensic accounting degrees

    A master's degree in forensic accounting equips you with the financial knowledge and investigation skills to hunt down financial fraud.

    A forensic accounting degree explores accounting principles and practices, investigatory tools and techniques, and rules and regulations that apply to financial transactions. Career opportunities look promising: The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly 100,000 new accounting positions by 2030.


    Forensic accountants assess financial data to identify financial fraud. Forensic accountants also work to prevent fraud by detecting risks and potential weaknesses within financial practices. 


    Forensic accounting is an exciting field that blends analytical skills, research abilities, and a sense of mystery and investigation. To find the right master's degree in forensic accounting for you, take a look at the rankings below.

    The best online master's in forensic accounting degrees

    Finding the right online forensic accounting master's degree requires considering many factors. ZDNet's ranking methodology weighs top forensic accounting degrees' cost, convenience, and characteristics.


    Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.


    1. University of North Carolina at Pembroke

    Pembroke, North Carolina

    About the program: UNCP's online MBA in forensic accounting includes concentration coursework in fraud examination, forensic accounting, and legal issues for managers.


    Acceptance rate: 85%

    Graduation rate: 44%

    Avg. annual net price: $10,228

    Time to completion: One to two years

    GRE/GMAT: GMAT or GRE, waiver available

    Minimum GPA: 2.5

    Enrollment periods per year: Three

    Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

    Accreditation: The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


    2. West Virginia University

    Morgantown, West Virginia

    About the program: WVU's 30-credit online master's degree in forensic and fraud examination includes two practical engagement requirements.


    Acceptance rate: 84%

    Graduation rate: 59%

    Avg. annual net price: $12,983

    Time to completion: One to two years

    GRE/GMAT: Not required

    Minimum GPA: 2.9

    Enrollment periods per year: Three

    Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

    Accreditation: West Virginia University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).


    3. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

    Utica, New York

    About the program: Completing SUNY Poly's online master's in financial crime and compliance management leads to professional certification as a CipherTrace Certified Examiner (CTCE).


    Acceptance rate: 69%

    Graduation rate: 55%

    Avg. annual net price: $13,809

    Time to completion: Two years

    GRE/GMAT: Not required

    Minimum GPA: 3.0

    Enrollment periods per year: Three

    Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

    Accreditation: SUNY Polytechnic is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

    4. Southern New Hampshire University

    Manchester, New Hampshire

    About the program: SNHU's 36-credit online master's in accounting with a concentration in forensic accounting emphasizes prevention, detection, and investigation of financial offenses.


    Acceptance rate: 88%

    Graduation rate: 47%

    Avg. annual net price: $41,095

    Time to completion: One to two years

    GRE/GMAT: Not required

    Minimum GPA: 2.75

    Enrollment periods per year: Five

    Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

    Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).


    5. Pfeiffer University

    Misenheimer, North Carolina

    About the program: Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Pfeiffer offers an online master's degree in financial fraud and investigations with optional specializations in business and leadership.


    Acceptance rate: 64%

    Graduation rate: 51%

    Avg. annual net price: $33,465

    Time to completion: One to two years

    GRE/GMAT: Not required

    Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

    Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

    Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

    Accreditation: Pfeiffer University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


    6. Carlow University

    Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

    About the program: Carlow's online master's degree in forensic accounting and fraud investigation includes an optional specialization in cyber threat research and analytics.


    Acceptance rate: 92%

    Graduation rate: 58%

    Avg. annual net price: $20,002

    Time to completion: One to two years

    GRE/GMAT: Not required

    Minimum GPA: 3.0

    Enrollment periods per year: Three

    Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

    Accreditation: Carlow University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).


    7. New England College

    Henniker, New Hampshire

    About the program: NEC's online master's degree in accounting with a concentration in forensic accounting emphasizes internal audit and risk management, business crime and ethical behavior, and fraud risk management and interrogation.


    Acceptance rate: 100%

    Graduation rate: 44%

    Avg. annual net price: $29,082

    Time to completion: One to two years

    GRE/GMAT: Not publicly available

    Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

    Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

    Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

    Accreditation: New England College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).


    What to expect in an online master's in forensic accounting degree program

    A master's in forensic accounting includes two years of coursework. Core coursework emphasizes accounting fundamentals, while advanced and elective classes cover topics related to forensics and fraud. 


    Classes in a forensic accounting master's degree integrate individual learning with collaborative activities and projects. Some train students to use software used to investigate and detect fraud through laboratory assignments and practical-learning exercises.


    Some forensic accounting master's degrees culminate in a capstone requirement such as a project or a thesis. Others require students to complete a cumulative exam, although some degrees may include both. 


    Students who actively participate and engage in class will have a more fulfilling experience. Earning a master's in forensic accounting requires dedication and time management.


    MASTER'S IN FORENSIC ACCOUNTING COURSES

    Forensic accounting classes emphasize detecting and preventing cybercrime, money laundering, and other money-related offenses.


    Students study accounting ethics, fraud investigation, and fraud prevention and protection alongside accounting and auditing technologies. Additional courses may include investigation and analysis in taxation, litigation theory and practice, and financial statement examination.


    Here are some classes you're likely to see in a master's in forensic accounting curriculum.


    Fundamentals of fraud investigation


    This class introduces students to the basics of fraud investigation: Types of fraud, financial analytics, and tools and techniques of financial cybercrime. Additional topics include internal controls, evidence collection, and interview and interrogation methods.


    Accounting ethics


    Accounting ethics courses focus on decision-making and reason in the accounting profession, plus codes of conduct, regulations, and laws that apply to accounting practices. Topics include external and internal stakeholders, legal compliance, and corporate governance. 


    Financial statement examination


    Students examine different types of financial statements. Learners assess documents such as credit reports, profit statements, leases and pensions, and corporate investments.


    Auditing and accounting information technology


    This course emphasizes theories and practices of auditing and accounting using computer-based controls and systems. Topics include computer-assisted auditing tools, auditing operating systems and networks, and security over database systems.


    Forensic accounting degree levels

    Individuals looking to enter forensic accounting may benefit from an undergraduate degree in the field. 


    Practicing accountants can advance by earning a master's or doctoral degree. Graduate certificates build upon existing knowledge of accounting and emphasize specific forensics and fraud topics.


    CERTIFICATE IN FORENSIC ACCOUNTING

    Length: One year


    Cost: $3,000-$8,000


    Post-grad careers: Forensic accountant, fraud investigator, law enforcement officer


    Though not a degree, an undergraduate certificate in forensic accounting emphasizes the practices and principles of forensics and fraud detection and prevention for practicing accountants. 


    Learners hone their analytical skills through specialized classes in detecting and preventing fraud, assessing financial statements, and interviewing techniques for fraud investigation. 


    Classes also train students to use technologies associated with forensic accounting and fraud investigation.


    BACHELOR'S IN FORENSIC ACCOUNTING

    Length: Four years


    Cost: $18,000-$90,000


    Post-grad careers: Tax examiner, auditor, fraud investigator, forensic accountant


    A bachelor's degree in forensic accounting includes four years of coursework. Students complete general education requirements alongside major coursework in accounting fundamentals, finance, and economics. 


    A forensics accounting degree may function as a stand-alone program or a concentration within an accounting major. In both, earners complete coursework in fraud investigation, forensic accounting essentials, and tools and technologies of financial crime. 


    Classes in accountant laws, regulations, and codes of conduct accompany practical learning exercises and internship requirements. 


    MASTER'S IN FORENSIC ACCOUNTING

    Length: Two years


    Cost: $22,000-$80,000


    Post-grad careers: Forensic accounting, senior fraud investigator, financial forensic analyst


    A master's degree in forensic accounting emphasizes advanced accounting investigation and financial auditing practices. Learners may complete a master's in forensic accounting, an MBA with an accounting concentration, or a master's in accounting specializing in forensics and fraud investigation. 


    All programs train accounting professionals to assess risk, implement control systems, identify fraud, and report financial misconduct. 


    With a master's in forensics accounting, learners possess the expertise to work within financial institutions, with government agencies, or as independent consultants. Forensic accounting master's degrees also facilitate career advancement within an individual's current accounting role.


    DOCTORATE IN FORENSIC ACCOUNTING

    Length: 3-5 years


    Cost: $25,000-$120,000


    Post-grad careers: Chief financial officer, accounting professor, senior financial accountant


    With a doctorate in forensic accounting, learners can advance to the top of the field. Advanced coursework in fraud investigation and detection, risk management, and forensic accounting practices equips individuals to work as chief financial officers or as leaders within the accounting profession. 


    A Ph.D. in forensic accounting emphasizes research and theory in the discipline. Coursework in cyber forensics, accounting techniques, fraud investigation, and accounting ethics integrates case studies and real-world learning exercises. 


    Students complete research methods classes in anticipation of undertaking an advanced research project. 


    In conclusion

    If exploring accounting through an investigatory lens appeals to you, consider pursuing a degree in forensic accounting.


    Whether you want to enter the accounting profession or hone your existing skills, there's a master's in forensic accounting program that fits your goals. Take a look at the information above to determine which forensic accounting program is right for you. 

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