The best online forensic accounting degrees offer comprehensive courses, multiple start dates, and accreditations for this degree field. Forensic Accounting is one of the most sought out career paths for today’s students entering the job market. There are many job descriptions for a forensic accountant. Some work alongside law enforcement or lawyers, while others may have a private practice.
To Become a forensic accountant, most students will need to obtain either a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business. Some BS degree programs offer the forensic accountant track as a concentration or specialty. While other degrees specifically offer the BS in Forensic Accountant program as the main program.
Below are 15 of the best online forensic accounting degree programs in the nation. Each one offers the best comprehensive courses, multiple start dates, top rankings, and accreditations for this degree field. Some do provide other incentives, such as great community involvement, participation with clubs and organizations on campus, accelerated course formats, and small student-to-faculty ratios. Most are a total of 120 credit hours, yet some may offer up to 180 credits if there is a master’s degree that is part of the completed program. Almost all of the programs listed provide the student an opportunity to take the CPA examination to go along with the BS degree in forensic accounting. All 15 are available online; however, some may also offer the campus program option as well.
1. Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global offers a 180-credit, BS in Accounting, specializing in Auditing and Forensic Accounting. The program is available completely online and with several start dates for students to choose from. Course lengths may vary; from 15 to 18 hours per week, with an average of 10-Week Terms. Students in the BS in Accounting program will learn core skills that each employer is searching for in this high-demand field. The curriculum will provide a background in economics, finance, management, law, information systems, quantitative methods, and taxation. Choosing the forensic accounting concentration can also provide students with an accelerated CPA track option, allowing them to finish the BS degree faster.
Purdue Global’s business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), along with the HLC agency. Students with a business major may apply the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to their business applications. Purdue is among the best online forensic accounting degree programs offered nationwide.
2. University of Alabama Birmingham
The University of Alabama Birmingham offers a Forensic Accounting track for its bachelor’s degree in accounting. The program is fully online and provides the necessary skills to become a successful forensic accountant. Students have the option to choose from other concentrations as well. The university also offers an accelerated plan to help students graduate even faster and put students on the road to becoming successful CPA. Internship opportunities also are available through this BS in Accounting degree.
Students will also receive real-world experience which will help them advance in the field after graduation. The complete 120-credit program is self-paced with an accelerated master’s degree option to complement the BS in Forensic Accounting. UAB’s bachelor’s degrees are accredited through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), with several scholarship options to eligible undergraduates. 16 of their degree programs are on the top 25 list for the “Best Graduate Schools.”
3. University of Minnesota – Crookston
The University of Minnesota at Crookston offers an accounting degree with a Forensic Accounting track that is available online. The B.S. degree teaches students the knowledge and skills of advanced techniques and methods needed for the accounting field. Exceptional communication and technology skills are also taught in the program. Students often find careers in Financial Analysis, Public Accounting, Management Accounting, Banking, Taxation, or Finance with a BS in Forensic Accounting degree.
A CPA examination is available to students upon graduation. The forensic accounting degree at UMC holds accreditation with the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). UMC offers small classroom sizes, which is convenient for students to get that one-on-one interaction with professors. There are four other campuses available for students applying for the BS degree in accounting. Other degree programs at UMC are Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Health Management, Sport and Recreation Management, and Software Engineering.
4. Misericordia University
Misericordia University’s Forensic Accounting degree prepares students for a type of “holistic and integrated approach to learning” program for working professionals and undergrads. The BS degree, designed to provide the necessary skills to become an effective leader in the forensic accounting industry, is available online and on campus. Students will learn communication, critical thinking, and technical and analytical skills to become professional accountants. Business writing and presentation skills are also presented and useful to learn for students in the program.
Misericordia University’s BS in Accounting is a minor course program, providing students with skills that will extend their knowledge of the field and help give each student satisfaction in their career. The BS in Forensic Accounting is accredited by the AICPA. Click the AICPA link for more information. The University also offers a low student-to-faculty ratio, affordable tuition, and over 40 clubs or organizations for community involvement.
5. Indiana State University
Indiana State University’s Bachelor’s degree in accounting serves as an exceptional choice for those who desire to become licensed certified public accountants. The BS degree offers a forensic accounting track option, perfect for students wanting to enhance their career in accounting as a major. Some students also move on to an M.B.A. or a master’s in accounting. The complete program is online and includes 120 credits, focusing on areas such as accounting information systems, auditing, financial and management accounting, nonprofit accounting, and taxation.
Skills taught in the program will enhance students’ learning abilities and open more doors upon graduation. Skills include critical thinking, leadership, interpersonal, and communication. This degree is also an effective choice for business major students as well. Other courses of interest may cover finance, insurance, and risk management. Students may also be eligible for either full-time or part-time study options. Transfer credit may be accepted.
6. Maryville University
Maryville University’s bachelor’s in accounting offers an online program, specifically for those with a desire to develop skills, gain experience, and build on the expertise to analyze and become financially sufficient within the accounting industry. There is no SAT or ACT required to enroll in the program. The degree also prepares students for the certified public accountant exam. While taking this program, students can also prepare for any current changes or demands within the industry. Despite prior experience in the accounting field, Maryville’s BS in accounting degree will enlighten students who have an analytical and ethical mindset. The degree will also help students advance their skills beyond their current level of knowledge. Maryville is ACBSP-accredited.
Students may have an option to choose a specialization for the BS degree. A master’s degree in accounting is also available through Maryville University. This degree is also one of the best online forensic accounting degree programs in the northeast regions.
7. Eastern Oregon University
The BS/BA in Accounting with a Forensic Accounting track is available online at Eastern Oregon University. Students will gain career-ready skills while receiving high-quality education and learn strong business ethics. Courses will focus on financial fraud and the professional tools needed to utilize them. Courses include fraud, bankruptcy, digital forensics, matrimonial disputes, financial statement misrepresentations, damages, and valuation. This 180-credit program is a military-friendly, affordable, four-year degree.
The IACBE Accredited program also offers an expert faculty staff, a diverse student body, and provides the CPA prep exam. Eastern Oregon University also offers over 20 online programs, providing flexible class scheduling and in-person interaction. Graduates of the online forensic accounting program will be well-prepared for careers such as an Internal auditor, Budget analyst, or financial analyst. Eastern Oregon University is among the best online forensic accounting degree programs in the Nation.
8. Utica College
Utica College offers an online BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation, available for working professionals and students interested in preventing fraudulent activity. This program teaches students how to discover fraud, document the activity, and find the best way to prevent financial crimes from occurring again. Students can also prepare for the ACFE certification while enrolled in the program.
The concentration in Financial Investigation also instructs students and adult learners in how to become successful investigators. Students will learn skills such as persistence, concentration, interviewing, and interrogation. The BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation program is 120 credits and takes between 2 to 4 years to complete. It is also one of the most affordable programs offered in the nation, focused on financial crime. Students can also have the option to transfer up to 90 credits.
9. Franklin University
The B.S. in Forensic Accounting is an online program, designed for undergraduates, focused on accounting principles with a white-collar crime incentive. With this forensic accounting degree, students will learn how to prevent and investigate corporate fraud. The course will show how to track terrorist funding, including exposing money laundering, tax evasion, and embezzlement from a variety of organizations. This forensic accounting degree offers hands-on learning and is IACBE Accredited. The program also offers the academic foundations needed to take the CFE, CPA, and CIA certifications.
Franklin University provides self-paced learning formats, allowing students to learn at their own pace. The complete program is 124 semester hours and takes about two years to complete. In addition, students with a major in accounting, business administration, or business forensics will fit right into this forensic accounting degree. Franklin is also among the few institutions offering a Forensic Accounting bachelor’s degree.
10. Point University
Point University’s BS in Accounting degree is an online program, focused on the topic of Forensics and Fraud. Students in the program will learn to articulate, interpret, and apply financial management and accounting concepts, including the fundamentals of the “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” (GAAP). The program also provides strategies and tools to detect and deter fraud. This also includes knowledge of the fraud triangle, internal controls, and techniques used in investigating fraud and criminal intent. The forensic accounting degree is 100% online and can be taken anytime, anywhere. Classes in the program provide a low student-to-faculty ratio as well. Students may also have the option to transfer up to 90 credits of required coursework, as long as they come from an accredited institution.
Point University’s bs in accounting is among the best online forensic accounting degree programs and ranks as the #9 Best Online Christian College for 2021, and among the Best Online Colleges in the Nation.
11. Point Park University
Point Park University’s online BS in Accounting degree is designed for working professionals and students interested in the fundamentals of accounting. This degree can lead to a very lucrative career path. Students will gain skills needed for an exciting accounting career while putting them on a path to becoming a financial professional. The program is created by professionals, for professionals. Courses may include macroeconomics, business law, and the application of computers to accounting. They also focus on preparing students for a lifetime accounting career. Instructors provide real-world experience while gaining the knowledge needed for entry-level roles. There are multiple start dates for this degree; the next start date is on January 9, 2022.
The full course curriculum offers 42 credits of Thematic Core Courses, 34 credits of General Requirements, 33 credits of Major Requirements, and 12 credits of Electives. The online BS in Accounting degree holds accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education while complying with the Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations.
12. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University’s BS in Accounting with a Forensic concentration is available online, for those wanting to learn more on investigative principles of fraud. Students will learn to analyze and apply accounting regulations, prepare tax returns, and effectively communicate accounting information for clients. Students will not only learn traditional accounting knowledge. They will also explore the auditing process, and gain key investigative skills to help identify, document, and prevent fraud and cyber-crime.
This program is one of the most affordable degrees in the Northeast region, and students can transfer up to 90 credits, if eligible. BS Programs are accredited by ACBSP. Students can also prepare for the fraud examiner certification when taking this course program. SNHU holds accreditations by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and several other accrediting agencies. SNHU’s bachelor’s degree in accounting programs is among the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
13. Davenport University
Davenport University offers working professionals who want to get into the accounting field, a BBA in Accounting in Fraud Investigation program. The program is available both online and on campus. Courses will teach students how to become certified fraud examiners as well. Students will gain the skills and experience needed to conduct financial fraud investigations and the knowledge to utilize accounting principles, information systems, and auditing practices.
The accounting fraud investigation program is 120 credit hours, with flexible class scheduling for students to learn at their own pace. Davenport University provides its students with expert professionals in the accounting industry while offering real-world experiences to all graduates. With this IACBE-accredited bachelor’s in accounting fraud investigation degree program, graduates will be career-ready and prepared for a successful forensic accountant position. Located in Grand Rapids, MI, Davenport University offers many career-focused programs with a success-oriented education.
14. Champlain College
Champlain’s online bachelor’s degree in economic crime investigation was created for individuals interested in building a career bringing to justice criminals of white-collar crime. Students will be exposing crimes including fraud, money laundering, and embezzlement. This degree educates students on critical issues that fraud examiners and investigators face every day in the field. The program’s focus will be a hands-on approach learning style, designed to differentiate each student in their specific field of study, whether it be in accounting, law enforcement, or risk management.
With Champlain’s economic crime investigation program, students will expand upon critical thinking and problem-solving skills and create a foundation that will help them in both the public and private sectors. Completing this program will also prepare students for both the Certified Fraud Examiners test, as well as the CAMS examination. This 120-credit program is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Students can transfer up to 90 credits, if eligible.
15. New England College/Dallas College
New England College has compiled a complete all-encompassing degree program, teaching all students the necessary skills to achieve success. This BS in Forensic Accounting also prepares students for a wide range of settings. As forensic accountants, graduates could find employment in a variety of companies. These include accounting firms, law offices, consulting firms, law enforcement agencies, government organizations, and financial institutions. This degree will also prepare a student to serve as an expert witness.
Skills needed for this program will help students in detecting, interpreting, evaluating, and presenting matters of both financial and also business in nature. In this BS forensic program, there are a total of 74 credits needed to graduate. Business core classes and electives are also part of the program, equaling 120 credits. The BS in Forensic Accounting is also a hybrid program, offering students courses on campus and online. NEC provides students with small class sizes, affordable tuition, and many types of degree options to choose from.
Will Employers Trust an Online Accounting Degree?
Most employers accept online degrees today more than they have in the past, according to experts. One reason is that most well-respected Accredited Colleges offer the online class option. In the past, students had to go to a physical school and classroom. Online schooling did not exist until roughly ten to fifteen years ago. Now, online course options are mainstream and could be the norm one day in the future. So, getting an online accounting degree may have been difficult to earn in the past. Since the pandemic of 2019, online is now in more demand, not only in college but also in the K-12 settings.
There has been some hesitation with online schooling at one time. One main reason is the lack of peer involvement in the classroom. However, the pros can outweigh the cons when it comes to online school. For example, students can learn at their own pace, which allows them to get things in a timely matter. But, the best part of online classes is that information is at their fingertips.
Are Forensic Accountants in Demand?
The job growth of the forensic accountant is one of the most popular career paths to take, that is if you earn a degree to go along with it. With an online forensic accounting degree, graduates can also find work in a variety of settings. These may include accounting firms, insurance companies, law offices, and also governmental agencies. So, most forensic accountants study Business, Law, Finance, Marketing, Human Relations, and Strategic Management in college. Below are the top career paths with descriptions for a forensic accounting degree graduate.
- Public accountant: Perform accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting tasks for clients such as corporations, government agencies, and individuals.
- Management accountant: Record, document, and analyze financial information for organizations, businesses, and individuals.
- External auditor: correctly prepare and report a client’s financial statements.
- Internal auditor: Checking for misuse or mismanagement of an organization’s funds and identifying ways to improve the processes for finding and eliminating waste and fraud.
- Financial examiner: Ensure there is compliance between laws governing financial institutions and transactions. This also includes reviewing balance sheets, evaluating risky loans, and assessing bank management.
How Much Does a Forensic Accountant Make?
A person just out of college with a forensic accounting degree can expect to earn an average of $60,000 dollars, depending on the location of the job. It could also be more or less, depending on demographics. As the years go by, the pay may rise as you earn experience, and earn around $65,000. Additionally, expertise in forensic accounting and years of experience can ultimately allow a graduate a six-figure salary.
Government jobs might not pay as well as independent or private sector corporate jobs would pay. However, it really just depends on the agency and the individual’s career goals. For some people, the fulfillment of just putting the bad guys away behind bars can outweigh how much they earn. For others, it could also be all about the Benjamins.
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