Why This Matters

  • 12% OF FRAUD AND FINANCIAL EXAMINERS RECOMMEND A MASTER’S DEGREE

    According to O*NET, 12% of fraud and financial examiners surveyed said that a master’s degree is required to work in this profession.

  • 7% MORE FRAUD AND FINANCIAL EXAMINERS ARE NEEDED BY 2029

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has forecasted a 7% growth in the need for trained professionals in this occupation by the year 2029.

  • POTENTIAL TO EARN MORE THAN $159,120

    While the BLS reports an average median wage of $81,430 per year for those in this profession, the top 10% of earners made more than $159,120 per year as of May 2020.

Our Research

This list is focused on programs that offer online master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs in forensic accounting. While each of the programs featured in this guide is offered online, some may require you to work synchronously with other students in your program.

There are several organizations that oversee curriculum and ensure the quality of education provided by these programs. That includes the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the Higher Learning Commission. Accreditation from these organizations ensures that credits earned are transferable and degrees are recognized by employers as well as other institutions.

  • 67 hours to write this article
  • 96 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 161 education programs we compared

The Top 10 Best Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Programs

University of Scranton Online

Intelligent Pick

University of Scranton’s Master of Accountancy with a Forensic Accounting Concentration program consists of 30 credits, takes 12 to 18 months to complete, and prepares you for CPA licensure and the CFE exam. Your courses are taught by faculty who are CPA-certified industry experts and experienced field practitioners. The Master of Accountancy core curriculum consists of foundation courses, advanced electives, and a capstone course, whereas the forensic accounting specialization includes classes like Advanced Auditing and Occupational Fraud & Abuse. Students with a nonaccounting bachelor’s degree can enroll in an accounting bridge sequence to prepare for the Master of Accountancy program. As a Jesuit university, University of Scranton is guided by the principles of integrity and ethics.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $895
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 77%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 866-373-9547

Learn more

West Virginia University Online

Best Advisors

West Virginia University Online’s Master of Science in Forensic and Fraud Examination program has played a leading role in developing the national curriculum for fraud and forensic accounting programs on behalf of the National Institute of Justice. The program is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on business, law, cost accounting, taxation, and data technology to prepare you for a career in fraud and financial crime examination. During the program, you develop real-world skills by performing seven forensic accounting investigations, presenting the results of those investigations to IRS fraud representatives, and testifying in front of a real practicing attorney for 3.5 hours. This kind of hands-on experience is invaluable not only for your learning process, but also for your job market viability. West Virginia University Online also has a strong advising department for online students.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $820
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 59%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 800-253-2762

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SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Best in the Northeast

SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Master of Science in Accountancy program allows you to choose a concentration in forensic accounting and valuation. Through a selection of electives, you gain specialized knowledge in fraud detection and prevention, investigative auditing and financial statement analysis, specialized accounting data analytics, and forensic asset valuation. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you will need to take a sequence of prerequisite courses before beginning master’s-level classes. In order to gain admission to the program, you need a total of 1,000 points based on the following formula: 200 x undergraduate GPA + GMAT Score. The minimum GMAT score required for admission consideration is 400. If you are local to Utica, New York, you may be eligible for a graduate assistantship to gain work experience and offset the cost of tuition.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $471 (in-state); $565 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 33
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 55%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 315-792-7347

Learn more

Carlow University Online

Best for Cohort Learning Model

Carlow University Online’s Master in Forensic Accounting & Fraud Investigation program was one of the first of its kind in the nation and is consistently ranked as one of the top forensic accounting programs. The 30-credit degree takes 14 months to complete and enables you to earn 150 hours toward the CPA exam. Furthermore, the curriculum includes CFE exam preparation, and no GMAT or GRE scores are required for admission. You have the option to pursue a ​​cyber threat research and analytics track, which teaches you to evaluate and investigate digital financial threats. Carlow has antifraud educational partnerships with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and the National Cyber Forensics Training Alliance (NCFTA), and faculty are experts in the field. The cohort learning model means that you will take all your courses with the same group of peers, allowing you to forge connections that last beyond the classroom.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $800
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 58%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 855-511-6450

Learn more

Stevenson University

Best Employer Partnerships

Stevenson University’s Master of Science in Forensic Accounting program is a highly career-focused program that is geared toward the needs of working adults. Classes are taught by practicing forensic accountants, and the curriculum focuses on synthesizing accounting, auditing, computer, and investigative analyses into coherent, defensible conclusions. You graduate with the tools and knowledge needed to appear as expert witnesses at legal proceedings. The program belongs to the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA) Academic Alliance and is unique owing to its extensive employer partnerships. Through the partnership program, employers at a wide range of companies and organizations subsidize the cost of a degree with the potential to advance your career.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $695
  • Credits required to graduate: 33
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 54%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 877-531-7118

Learn more

Bay Path University

Most Innovative Curriculum

Bay Path University’s Master of Science in Accounting program with a concentration in Forensic Accounting has been singled out as one of the best forensic accounting programs in the country by OnlineSchoolsReport.com and BestColleges.com. The program is designed for students with a background in accounting who want to take their skills and career potential to the next level by becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner and/or earning required credit hours toward CPA licensure. The curriculum includes classes like Fraud Examination, Forensics Accounting Systems, and Advanced Auditing. Bay Path offers multiple ways to complete your degree, including a highly accelerated track that takes just 7 or 9 months. You also have the option to have no classes during the traditional busy season for accountants, ensuring that you are able to balance your work life with your education.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $855
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 57%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 413-565-1332

Learn more

New England College

Best for Veterans

New England College’s Master of Science in Forensic Accounting program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that pairs accounting theory with ​​auditing and investigator tactics and skills. The program consists of a 24-credit accounting core and a 16-credit forensic accounting concentration, where you take courses like Business Crime and Ethical Behavior, Internal Audit and Risk Management, and Litigation Services, the Role of the Accountant as an Expert. Additionally, New England College has a long history of supporting members of the military and their families. The university was founded after World War II to meet the desire for servicemen and women to continue their education. Today, New England College offers a generous transfer policy that considers your experience, training, and prior coursework and offers discounts for active duty service members, veterans, and their spouses.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $576
  • Credits required to graduate: 40
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 44%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 603-428-2252

Learn more

Florida Atlantic University, School of Accounting

Best in the Southeast

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) School of Accounting’s Master of Accounting program is a two-year, fully online program designed with busy professionals in mind. If you are in the Boca Raton, Florida, area and want to incorporate some in-person learning into your degree, you have the option to attend live lectures held on Saturday mornings in the state-of-the-art Davie West building on the FAU Davie Campus. Whether online or on campus, you get to learn from faculty who have real-world expertise and experience in expert witness testimony and active investigative work. FAU goes out of its way to make its programs and courses welcoming and well-supported, offering you academic advising assistance and IT technical support as needed.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $371.82 (in-state); $1,026.81 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Graduation rate: 61%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 561-297-3002

Learn more

Rider University

Best Student Organizations

Rider University’s Master of Accountancy program is geared toward professionals with a background in accounting who want to pursue additional career credentials like CPA licensure and other related certifications. Rider is one of only two schools in New Jersey with AACSB accreditation in accounting. Courses are all offered online in an asynchronous format, so you can work your education into the rest of your responsibilities. As a student in the Master of Accountancy program, you will choose one of five specializations: business analytics, finance, information systems, sport management, or forensic accounting.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $990
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Six start dates in fall, spring, or summer
  • Graduation rate: 68%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 609-896-5170

Learn more

Liberty University

Best Christian Institution

Liberty University’s Master of Science in Accounting program with a concentration in Forensic Accounting offers flexible, eight-week courses that equip you with the tools needed for a career in forensic accounting. You can transfer up to 50% of the credits required for the degree, so you could potentially complete the program in less than the average time of a year. As a Christian university, Liberty is committed to helping you become a knowledgeable, ethical, and value-driven accounting professional who combines faith and practice. Liberty’s School of Business is among only 3% of business schools worldwide to earn ACBSP accreditation.

Things to consider:

  • Cost per credit: $565
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: eight-week courses
  • Graduation rate: 36%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 434-582-3000

Learn more

Other Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting Programs to Consider

Best Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Programs Badge
01
Intelligent Pick
Florida Atlantic University
01
Best Catholic Institution
Carlow University
01
Best Private Institution
Bay Path University
01
Best Focus on Financial Fraud
Pfeiffer University
01
Best One-Year Program
Liberty University
01
Best Faculty Mentors
West Virginia University
01
Best for Working Professionals
Stevenson University
01
Best CPA Exam Preparation
Southern New Hampshire University
01
Best Interdisciplinary Program
New England College
01
Bset Student Experience
Strayer University
01
Best Synchronous Program
La Salle University
01

Pfeiffer University
01

Southern New Hampshire University
01
Best In-State Tuition Rate
Suny Polytechnic Institute
01
Best for Part-Time Students
Rider University
01

Strayer University
01

La Salle University
01
Best Public Institution
West Virginia University College of Business and Economics
01
Most Affordable
Missouri State University
01

Missouri State University
01
Best Faculty
New England Institute of Business and Finance
01

New England Institute of Business and Finance
01
Best Two-Year Program
Utica College
01

Utica College
01

Seton Hill University School of Business
01
Most Recognized Faculty
Seton Hill University School of Business
01
Best in New England
Western New England University
01

Western New England University
01
Most Flexible Admissions
Saint Xavier University
01

Saint Xavier University
01
Most Diverse Institution
Roosevelt University
01

Roosevelt University
01
Best Hybrid Program
Sacred Heart University
01

Sacred Heart University
01
Best Leadership Training
Regis University
01

Regis University
01
Best for CFE Certification
University of Scranton

What You Should Know About This Degree

There are several forensic-based master’s degree programs that you might want to consider. While an online master’s in forensic accounting prepares you for high-level work in fraud detection and financial compliance, a master’s in forensic science prepares you to investigate other crimes and crime scenes.

Before you begin researching programs, it’s important to understand what accreditation means and how to determine if a program has valid accreditation. You can learn more and determine the accreditation status of postsecondary institutions using the accreditation database, which is provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education.

Once you’ve obtained your master’s in forensic accounting, there are several career paths you might want to consider. Most financial institutions, government agencies, and law enforcement agencies work with forensic accountants to detect fraud and money laundering.

While a master’s degree will provide you with all the education you need to pursue a career in this industry, it’s important to note that most organizations will require you to have some level of security clearance before working in this type of role.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online master’s in forensic accounting programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? To gain acceptance into a forensic accounting master’s program, most schools require you to have a bachelor’s degree, as well as some real-world experience, in a similar field of study.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? While most forensic accounting jobs don’t require you to have any special licenses or certification, you can obtain credentials, such as certified fraud examiner. Additionally, nearly every forensic accountant is required to obtain security clearances or pass criminal background checks prior to working with an organization’s finances.

While researching online master’s in forensic accounting programs, be sure to take note of application deadlines and procedures. It’s also important to consider whether you’ll require financial aid. If you plan to obtain financial assistance, keep track of financial aid application deadlines, as well as any scholarships or grants that may be able to help you obtain your master’s degree.