Are you fluent in the language of accounting? Are you a detective who can sleuth out odd numbers, snooping around for things that just doesn’t add up? Perhaps you’ve thought about applying your accounting and business background to the world of law enforcement?
Then a graduate degree in forensic accounting may be the next best step for you!
What kind of online Master’s in Forensic Accounting degree should you get?
There’s no one way to earn a Master’s in Forensic Accounting degree. While some programs are heavily steeped in theory, others emphasis application. Most offer something in between.
For example, at Florida Atlantic University you will focus primarily on the business end of accounting, only specializing in forensics and fraud. And for those who want less of a broad-based degree and want to allocate most of their time to forensic accounting, look no further than West Virginia University.
Whatever program works best for you, just know that each of these programs are offered fully online and at a fraction of the cost of “traditional” education.
Whether you’re just considering online options or you’re ready to enroll, be sure to check out College Choice’s Most Affordable Online Colleges and Universities for a Master’s Degree.
How much money do people make with a Master’s in Forensic Accounting degree?
With an advanced degree in forensic accounting you’ll find yourself in a lucrative, stable career industry.
For example, auditors and accountants make nearly $70,000 a year on average. And that’s not considering specialization! Forensic accountants, with graduate degrees and experience, can make upwards of $118,000 a year.
That’s not even all of the good news! CNN designated the forensic accountant as having one of the “Best Jobs in America,” noting that the demand is on the rise. It’s projected that the 10-year job growth is nearly 16 percent.
What can you do with a Master’s in Forensic Accounting?
A Master’s in Forensic Accounting degree is a fantastic way to diversify your portfolio. And it will lead to many career opportunities.
Whether you want to work alone, examining documents and files and looking for clues of fraud, or you want to be a part of a big legal team that takes down white-collar criminals, an MS in Forensic Accounting will help you get there.
Not only are the specific job opportunities many, but you can also find yourself in several settings, from government agencies to law groups, consulting offices, or corporate security and risk management firms.
What are the requirements for an online Master’s in Forensic Accounting degree?
When you start your first year in these two-year programs you will hit the ground running. These programs, though varying in emphasis and structure, build a business foundation for each of their students in the first two semesters. This includes classes on financial analysis, ethics, and accounting systems.
Once you’re in your second year you will get to specialize. Specializations take one of two forms. You can either enroll in a formal concentration track or you can collate electives in your areas of interest, depending on the program.
Either way, you can expect the opportunity to exhaustively explore areas such as: fraud investigation, financial data analysis, and criminal behavior.
What are the most affordable online Master’s in Forensic Accounting degrees?
Though some of these forensic accounting degrees are offered through business schools within elite research universities and others are through polytechnic colleges, all share one thing in common: they offer the most flexible and affordable entry into forensic accounting.
To find the most affordable online Master’s in Forensic Accounting degrees we first looked at every program in the nation that offers the degree online. From there we narrowed our list by tuition rates, financial resources, and scholarship opportunities. What we found are not only the five most affordable programs, but some of the best ranked too!
West Virginia University
Average Net Price: $10,814
One of the biggest research universities in the state, West Virginia University is based in Morgantown. Organized into 15 colleges and schools, WVU offers nearly 200 academic and professional programs across all degree levels. Almost 30,000 students attend WVU.
The College of Business and Economics at WVU offers an MS in Forensic and Fraud Examination degree. This is an accredited degree program that introduces you to financial analysis, business research methodology, legal issues and ethics, as well as forensic fundamentals. Indeed, classes include:
- Fraud Investigation
- Fraud Criminology and Legal Issues
- Advanced Analytical Techniques
- Forensic and Fraud Examination
WVU is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Washington Monthly.
It is also designated an “R1” research university by Carnegie. Meaning, it has some of the most active and vibrant research activity in the country.
Florida Atlantic University
Average Net Price: $11,303
With several campuses located throughout Florida, plus its primary location in Boca Raton and a huge online college, Florida Atlantic University is home to more than 30,000 students. FAU is comprised of ten schools and colleges through which it offers nearly 200 academic programs.
FAU’s School of Accounting offers an online Executive Master of Accounting degree with a concentration in Forensic Accounting. This is a two-year program that emphasizes fraud investigation and prevention, expert testimony, litigation support, and money-laundering. You will graduate an expert in criminal investigation. Graduates have gone on to become:
- Fraud Examiners
- Financial Forensic Specialists
- Security and Risk Management Consultants
Not only is FAU nationally ranked by the likes of U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, but many of its individual departments and schools are well-ranked too. For example, the psychology, business, and public affairs programs are all highly regarded. FAU also boasts solid grades in retention rates, graduation rates, and financial support.
SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome
Average Net Price: $14,410
This polytechnic campus within the broader State University System of New York is home to approximately 3,000 students. SUNY Poly offers around 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees across the STEM and business fields.
SUNY Poly offers an MS in Accounting degree that allows a specialization in forensics. This program will help you develop the skills and applications you’ll need in fraud detection, investigative auditing, and financial analysis. Some of the classes you can anticipate taking while at SUNY Poly include:
- Introduction to Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
- Financial Statement Investigations
- Accounting Information Systems and Data Analytics
- Business and Forensic Valuation
Since this University is a member of the prestigious SUNY system, it’s no surprise that it’s so well-ranked too. For example, U.S. News & World Report ranks it 15th nationally among all schools and universities located in the North. Equally, its online programs are renowned and it has a solid reputation for its service to active military and student vets.
Bay Path University
Average Net Price: $22,012
Bay Path University is located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. It is known for its all-women undergraduate programs, though its graduate degrees are co-ed. While Bay Path offers a diversity of degree programs, it uniquely integrates the arts, sciences, and professional studies.
While a student at Bay Path University, earning an accounting graduate degree with specialization in forensics, you will learn the full ethical framework comprising the accounting profession. You will not only learn how to apply research methods to auditing standards and tax issues, but you will gain confidence in analyzing and troubleshooting complex business problems. Bay Path courses include:
- Forensics Accounting/Systems
- Fraud Examination
- Government and Nonprofit Accounting
- Legal Issues in Accounting: Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
Bay Path’s commitment to promoting women is most visible through their WELL (Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders) program. Curriculums, therefore, include local and global perspectives on issues that affect women. Bay Path is well ranked by Forbes and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Average Net Price: $24,794
For those who desire a conservative, faith-based approach to education, Liberty University has you covered. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty is known for being one of the most religious campuses in the nation. However, its reputation extends beyond the pearly gates. Liberty has one of the biggest, most sophisticated, and best ranked global campuses in the world.
With classes starting every eight weeks you can jump into advanced study of forensic accounting right away! Classes go fast too, with each lasting only two months before you move on to the next. This gives you an expedited graduation date without skimping on academic depth. For example, the following are all courses you’ll be required to complete:
- Corporate Governance and Fraudulent Financial Reporting
- Fraud Examination
- Information Technology and Fraud
- Accounting Ethics
Niche and many others college ratings websites consistently rank Liberty among the “Most Conservative Colleges in America.” Again, Niche also ranks Liberty first among “Online Colleges in America.” Among its many online programs (and there are hundreds), its graduate criminal justice and business degrees are some of the best.