Best Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting Programs
Our experts at BestColleges created this ranking of the best online master's in forensic accounting programs to help you find the right fit. Learn more about top programs today and start your path forward.
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Accountants can find employment opportunities in many industries. Completing a master's in forensic accounting prepares learners to capitalize on those opportunities. According to a study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, certified fraud examiners earn 31% more than other accountants.
In general, the accounting field looks promising for new graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data projects 4% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2019 and 2029, and reports that these professionals earned a median annual salary of $71,550 in 2019.
This guide covers admission requirements for master's in forensic accounting programs, common courses found in these programs, and career paths for forensic accounting graduates.
For additional information, check out our master's in forensic accounting program guide.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|#1||West Virginia University Morgantown, WV|
|#2||Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL|
|#3||Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA|
|#4||Carlow University Pittsburgh, PA|
|#5||Liberty University Lynchburg, VA|
|#6||Utica College Utica, NY|
|#7||Stevenson University Stevenson, MD|
|#8||Pfeiffer University Misenheimer, NC|
|#9||Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH|
|#10||New England College Henniker, NH|
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Best Accredited Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Programs
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What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Program?
Most schools award a master of accountancy (MAcc) degree, with forensic accounting offered as a concentration.
Master's programs in accounting build on students' already established foundation in legal and financial topics relevant to accounting, delving into more advanced topics than in an associate or bachelor's program. To succeed, learners need strong communication, analytical, organizational, and mathematical skills. Most programs require 30-45 credits, and students can graduate in 18-24 months.
Most schools award a master of accountancy (MAcc) degree, with forensic accounting offered as a concentration. In programs without concentrations available, aspiring forensic accountants can load up on related courses and choose an internship or research focus with a forensic accounting angle.
Some schools offer additional tracks depending on a student's experience and career goals. Professional tracks, for example, can help experienced professionals with a bachelor's degree in accounting advance their career. Another track may serve students with no previous accounting training who want a career change.
Prospective students should consider whether programs will prepare them for professional certifications. Many master's in forensic accounting programs prepare graduates to take the certified public accountant (CPA) examination from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Learners with a specific certification in mind should ensure their program helps them meet requirements.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Programs
Most online master's in forensic accounting programs require a bachelor's degree for admission. Some competitive programs may require an accounting degree, a minimum undergraduate GPA, and GMAT or GRE scores that meet a certain threshold.
Applicants usually submit professional recommendations, and some programs also require statements of purpose and interviews. Professional programs may also require applicants to possess a certain level of professional experience.
Find more information in the Graduate Admissions Guide.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Program?
Courses offered in an online master's in forensic accounting differ by school, but most programs cover the same core topics. The following list highlights five of the more popular courses at the master's level.
Fraud prevention courses examine the leading types of fraud and the motivations behind them. Students learn how to identify and investigate fraud. Degree-seekers also learn how to evaluate an organization's accounting system to detect vulnerabilities, and how to put preventative measures in place to thwart future fraud attempts.
In this course, students learn how to comply with ethical and legal guidelines while conducting a fraud investigation. Learners explore the various avenues for reporting crimes, and how to identify and collect evidence properly.
Forensic investigation courses cover how to investigate fraud and recover lost or stolen assets. Students learn how to develop an investigative plan, prepare necessary evidence, and use various investigative techniques. Learners also look at methods for tracing and recovering assets before they are lost entirely.
In this course, learners explore the various types of cybercrime and study the best ways to prevent cybercrime from occuring. Students explore the motivations of cybercriminals and the leading technologies used to defend against attacks and detect security vulnerabilities.
In loss quantification courses, students learn how to accurately assess the damage or financial loss caused by fraud. Coursework may also delve into recovery processes and how professionals identify recovery potential. Learners also look at required documentation and evidence for investigative and insurance purposes.
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Forensic Accounting Degree?
The accounting field closely follows the ebbs and flows of the economy. The BLS projects 4% job growth for accountants between 2019 and 2029, equalling the average growth rate across all occupations. However, earning a master's in forensic accounting often makes graduates more competitive in the job market.
While many basic accounting duties have been automated, professionals who provide analytical services, including forensic accountants, should not see their jobs impacted nearly as much by this change.
See where a master's in forensic accounting can take you. Learn more about accounting careers.
Accountants handle financial documents for organizations, checking for accuracy, efficiency, and compliance. These professionals also analyze data to identify financial risks and opportunities.
Financial managers oversee the finances of organizations, helping them make decisions on investments, performing financial health analyses, and evaluating financial data to spot potential issues. These professionals may also manage insurance, credit, and budget activities.
Budget analysts help organizations improve their financial health by assessing expenses and suggesting more effective alternatives. Analysts need a solid understanding of financial regulations, along with strong communication and business skills.
Management analysts assess organizational performances and develop improvement strategies. They may evaluate financial data, operational processes, employee performance, and organizational culture.
Financial analysts help people and organizations make better financial decisions. These professionals work with investments, look for weaknesses in financial portfolios, and analyze the market for new opportunities.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Forensic Accounting Programs
Yes. After finishing a master's in forensic accounting, graduates can access promising careers in the business and financial world. In addition to qualifying for some of the best accounting careers, they can obtain management and consulting roles that possess strong projected growth rates and high median annual salaries.
Accounting professionals with a master's in forensic accounting can pursue traditional accounting positions, as well as related business and leadership roles. Graduates may also earn industry certifications and continue their studies in a doctoral program.
While it may be possible to obtain a forensic accountant position without a degree, it is not very likely. According to the BLS, most accountants need at least a bachelor's degree. Accountants who wish to earn the CPA credential need to complete a minimum of 150 credits, or more than a traditional bachelor's degree.
Salary potential depends on employer, experience, and location. According to the BLS, accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $71,550 in 2019, but the top 10% of earners made over $124,450.
The highest paying job for master's in forensic accounting graduates is financial manager. According to the BLS, financial managers earned a median annual salary of $129,890 in 2019, and the top 10% of these professionals made over $208,000.
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