The need for accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting programs has grown in the past few years; this may be due to the high number of financial crimes being reported in the country or because it is now easier than ever to try to hack into personal and business financial accounts. Now companies and employers are looking for dedicated and properly trained forensic accountants to help them sort out their financial issues. Whether a professional wants to be an accountant, working for the United States Secret Service, or help the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are several options available in this industry.

To reach the highest levels of forensic accounting, however, professionals will need to earn a master’s degree in the field. This can be a difficult situation as most do not have the ability to study on campus, especially as full-time students. They need degrees that work for them, providing them with a flexible and affordable education that can see them graduate in two years or less.

Methodology

This ranking was built to provide students with a quick summary on accelerated online programs that are also flexible and affordable. A good amount of research was needed in order to accomplish this, and the information was found through the National Center for Education Statistics and the College Navigator database, both of which are free and available to the public. An initial pool of 20 schools was created by searching for online programs in forensic accounting. From there, all schools were reviewed for features such as tuition rates and degree plan timelines. The final 15 schools, which are listed below, were chosen based on their total graduate program in-state tuition rate.

Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Forensic Accounting

15. Utica College

Utica, New York

Online Executive Master of Science in Financial Crime and Compliance Management

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online Executive MS in Financial Crime and Compliance Management from Utica. College is a cohort program.

Website

Tuition: $31,680

Utica College provides students with an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that was built for professionals already established in the field of economic crime. Students will note that a minimum of three years of fraud or financial investigation work experience is required to be admitted. This program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. This is a low-residency, cohort two-year plan of study; students will study part-time and progress as a group through the curriculum. Students complete their degree through the school’s online learning management system and will only to visit campus one time for a four-day residency. All courses are delivered synchronously and are held in terms that last 16 weeks. Students will complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a professional project or thesis, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Advanced Fraud Analysis, The Manager in a Global Environment, and Legal Concepts of Criminal Fraud.

14. Carlow University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

MBA in Fraud and Forensics Concentration Online

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MBA in Fraud and Forensics from Carlow University has no campus residency requirement.

Website

Tuition: $30,600

Students attending Carlow University will have the opportunity to graduate with an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting, a degree that can be completed in two years. This degree does not lead to certification in this field. As a Master of Business Administration degree, students will combine business concepts and theories with the investigative skills necessary to become financial fraud investigators. This degree is offered 100 percent online and has no campus residency requirements. Students will instead complete all of their coursework requirements through the school’s virtual portal; sessions are asynchronous or synchronous and last for 16 weeks. Students will be required to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written or oral exit exam. Sample courses include Business Analytics, Decision Making for Leaders, and Managing Organizational Change and Innovation.

13. LaSalle University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Economic Crime Forensics from LaSalle University offers two degree tracks.

Website

Tuition: $30,600

LaSalle University provides students the chance to complete a one-year Master’s in Forensic Accounting online. This program, which is available 100 percent online, comes with two tracks: Corporate Fraud or Network Security. The curriculum focuses on economic crime investigation rather than accounting, so students who do not have a background in the field are encouraged to take foundational courses prior to beginning their degree plan. Students will complete all of their coursework in a synchronous format through the school’s learning management system; sessions run for eight weeks. With six terms a year, students who choose to study two courses per term can complete this degree in just under a year. This degree requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include White Collar Crime, Occupational Fraud, and Computer Digital Forensics.

12. West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

MS in Forensic and Fraud Examination Online

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Forensic and Fraud Examination from West Virginia University requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $29,790

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that is offered by West Virginia University is a leader in the education of the country’s leading investigators in the field. This program was developed on behalf of the National Institute of Justice, a branch of the United States Department of Justice. This program holds accreditation by the Association to Accredit Collegiate Schools of Business. Students will find that this is a low-residency program; students will be required to complete two separate two-day residencies on campus for team examinations and projects. All other coursework can be completed online through the school’s learning management system; courses are offered asynchronously or synchronously and are held in 16-week sessions. Students who study two courses per term and take one summer term will complete this degree in two years or less. Degree requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework, team projects, and two oral exams. Sample courses include Forensic and Fraud Examination Skills, Fraud Data Analysis, and Advanced Fraud Investigation.

11. Bay Path University

Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Online Master of Science in Accounting, Concentration in Forensic Accounting Concentration

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018

Website

Tuition: $24,900

Bay Path University offers students the chance to complete an affordable accredited Master’s in Forensic Accounting that can see a part-time student graduate within two years. This degree was designed for working and pre-service professionals; successful completion of the program will satisfy the educational requirement for professionals seeking to become licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. The program is fairly straightforward and blends advanced accounting courses with forensic and economic investigation courses. All courses are offered entirely online through the school’s virtual portal and are held in 16-week sessions. Students who take two courses per term and take advantage of the summer term will graduate within two years. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone seminar, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Advanced Cost Accounting, Legal Issues in Accounting: Including Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, and Forensics Accounting and Systems.

10. Western New England University

Springfield, Massachusetts

Online Master of Science in Accounting, Concentration in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Accounting in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation from Western New England University delivers courses in both asynchronous and synchronous formats.

Website

Tuition: $24,720

Students at Western New England University confers an accelerated online master’s in forensic accounting that is nestled within an accounting degree. Students who complete this degree are not eligible for certification as a Certified Public Accountant and there are no endorsements available. This is a 100 percent online program that can be completed in two years when students choose a part-time plan of study. The curriculum is delivered through asynchronous and synchronous sessions through the school’s learning management system; courses run for 16 weeks. Courses focus on the various aspects of accounting as well as the investigation and law processes of economic and financial crime. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Fundamentals of Corporate and Partnership Tax, Law for Accountants, and Fraud Examination.

9. Stevenson University

Owings Mills, Maryland

Online Master of Science in Forensic Accounting, Concentration in Fraud Examiner and Internal Auditor

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Forensic Accounting in Fraud Examination and Internal Auditing from Stevenson University requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $24,720

Stevenson University is home to an exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that is offered as a two-year plan of study. The degree is offered 100 percent online; students with a master’s degree can also opt to complete the graduate certificate in Forensic Accounting that can also be completed entirely online. Students will find that all coursework can be submitted and graded through the school’s virtual portal through the use of asynchronous and synchronous coursework; all courses are held in the traditional 16-week academic term format. Other features of the virtual portal include small class sizes, live chatrooms, online office hours, and an online bookstore. Students will be expected to complete the Mock Trial Capstone, a project that simulates a real court case in a courtroom setting. Other requirements for this degree include 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive oral exit exam. Sample courses include Foundations of Justice, White Collar Crimes, and Forensic Journal Research and Review.

8. New England College

Henniker, New Hampshire

Online Master of Science in Accounting, Concentration in Forensic Accounting

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Accounting in Forensic Accounting from New England College requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $23,020

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting available from New England College was built to be completed entirely online and in two years. The program features rolling admissions, small class sizes, interactive online courses, and a faculty staffed with experienced professionals in the field. This degree is conferred online through the school’s learning management system; courses are delivered in either the asynchronous or synchronous format. Sessions last just seven weeks long. This degree was built to be completed as a part-time plan of study; students will be limited to taking one course per term until the completion of the degree requirements. Graduation requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Students are encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions officer in order to learn more about course offerings.

7. Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Online Master of Science in Accounting, Concentration in Forensic Accounting

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Accounting in Forensic Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $22,572

Southern New Hampshire University has built an accelerated online master’s in forensic accounting that is perfect for working professionals who are interested in graduating within 15 months. This program features rolling admissions, making it possible for students to choose one of five start dates for their degree. All coursework is offered online through asynchronous courses that are held in 10-week sessions. Students are taught by professionals with real-world experience in the field and benefit from small class sizes and a state-of-the-art online learning environment. This degree was built to be a part-time plan of study, so students are limited to taking two courses for each term; full-time study is only possible with approval from the department. Students will be required to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Introduction to Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, Tax Research Methodology, and Federal Income Tax of Corporations and Partnerships.

6. Davenport University

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Online Master of Accountancy, Specialization in Fraud Exam and Auditing

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MA in Fraud Examination and Auditing from Davenport University is available 100 percent online.

Website

Tuition: $22,230

Students enrolled at Davenport University will be able to graduate with an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that can be completed in two years. This degree also prepares students for several certification exams, including Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Public Accountant, and Certified Fraud Examiner. This is a 100 percent online courses of study that has no residency requirements. Students will instead complete their coursework through asynchronous and synchronous 16-week courses that are delivered through the school’s learning management system. Students who complete two courses per term, including one summer term, will comfortably graduate within two years. Degree requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework, an experience that takes place in their community, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Fraud Examinations and Fraud Schemes, Forensic Accounting, and Accounting Research and Financial Analytics.

5. Pfeiffer University

Richfield, North Carolina

Online Master of Science in Financial Fraud Investigations

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Financial Fraud Investigations from Pfeiffer University offers three degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: $20,370

Pfeiffer University is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that is perfect for working and pre-service professionals. The degree comes with three concentrations: Computer Forensics and Cybercrime, Law Enforcement, and Civil Litigation. Students will also be prepared to sit for certifications such as the Certified Fraud Examiner Certification and Certified Forensic Accountant; Certified Public Accountants can opt to sit for the Certified Financial Forensics advanced certification. All coursework for this degree is available online and is completed through the school’s virtual portal; courses are delivered either in the asynchronous or synchronous format and are held in 16-week sessions. Students who take two courses per term and take one summer term will graduate within two years; full-time study is also available. This degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Contemporary Issues in Forensic Accounting Theory, Advanced Topics in Fraud Examination, and Legal Elements of Fraud and Litigation Support.

4. Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online Master of Science in Accounting, Concentration in Forensic Accounting

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Accounting in Forensic Accounting from Liberty University offers six start dates throughout the year.

Website

Tuition: $16,950

The one-year online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that is conferred by Liberty University was designed for in-service and pre-service professionals who are interested in moving or advancing in the field. This degree is delivered 100 percent online and can help professionals meet the educational requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam. This degree holds full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students will complete the entirety of their coursework online through the school’s learning management system; courses are asynchronous or synchronous and run in eight-week sessions. With six start dates a year, students who take just two courses every term will be able to graduate with their degree in one year. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Advanced Business Law for Accountants, Advanced Financial Accounting Theory, and Corporate Governance and Fraudulent Financial Reporting.

3. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Albany, New York

Master of Science in Accounting, Concentration in Forensic Accounting

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Accounting in Forensic Accounting from SUNY Polytechnic Institute requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $14,949

SUNY Polytechnic Institute confers an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that prepares students to become leaders in this exciting field. This degree is offered 100 percent online and is available as a full-time or part-time plan of study. The program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students who successfully complete this degree will be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant and the Certified Management Accountant certifications. Students may also choose to complete the Advanced Certificate in Forensic Accounting and Valuation if they already hold a master’s degree in accounting. Students who opt for this degree will complete all of their coursework online through the use of the school’s virtual portal; features include a choice of asynchronous or synchronous courses, sessions that run 16 weeks long, online chat rooms, small class sizes, and more. Students who take two courses per term and participate in one summer term will be able to graduate within two years. Degree requirements include 33 credit hours of coursework, a capstone course, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Financial Statement Investigations, Accounting Information Systems and Data Analytics, and Introduction to Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination.

2. Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, North Carolina

Online Master of Accountancy, Concentration in Forensic

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online Master of Accountancy from Gardner-Webb University requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $14,450

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that is available from Gardner-Webb University was designed to provide working professionals to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam as well as move into the field as qualified professionals. This is a 100 percent online course of study that has no residency requirements. The school’s learning management system serves as the hub for all of a student’s educational activities; all lectures, asynchronous or synchronous, are shared there as well as any assignments or projects that a student is required to complete. Courses run in 16-week sessions and those who take two courses per term will graduate within two years. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Advanced Accounting Information Systems, Internal Auditing, and Forensic Accounting and the Legal Environment.

1. The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

Online Master of Science in Accounting, Concentration in Forensic Accounting

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Accounting Online for 2018
The online MS in Accounting in Forensic Accounting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $13,110

The University of Alabama at Birmingham confers an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting that can be completed in two years. This degree is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is consistently nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The curriculum is offered 100 percent online and students are never required to attend campus. This degree’s coursework can be found through the school’s virtual portal; courses last 16 weeks and are delivered asynchronously or synchronously. Students who study part-time will find that it is possible for them to graduate within two years, providing them with a flexible degree that focuses on accounting and fraud investigation. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Business Law for Accountants, Current Topics in Forensic Accounting, and Advanced Auditing and Attestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting Degree?

  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Certified Fraud Examiner
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Fraud Financial Examiner
  • Senior Forensic Accountant
  • Senior Tax Manager
  • Certified Fraud Specialist
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Financial Special Agent
  • Internal Revenue Service Auditor
  • Forensic Staff Accountant
  • Team Leader for Fraud Investigation
  • External Fraud Investigations Team Lead
  • Senior Payments and Fraud Analyst
  • Forensic Accounting and Advisory Service Managing Director
  • Director of Forensic Accounting and Litigation Support
  • Personal Financial Advisors
  • Budget Analyst
  • Tax Revenue Agents

How Much Can You Earn in this Field?

The salary range for forensic accounting professionals is between $68,000 to $150,000. Professionals will find that the range includes positions that require additional endorsements or professional training past the graduate level. Metropolitan cities and financial hubs, such as Washington D.C. and New York City also tend to have the highest salaries for professionals in this field. Public sector jobs tend to pay less but come with additional benefits

What are the Various Disciplines of Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accounting is considered an interdisciplinary field that is firmly rooted in accounting and financial analysis. Since the field is about the investigation of financial records and statements, the field consists of more than just those two disciplines.

Disciplines included in this field include public policy, civil or private law, business, auditing, economy, and finance. Professionals will have to incorporate these disciplines with their investigative and analytical skills. They will also be expected to have excellent interpersonal, conflict management, and resolution skills.

The forensic accounting field is complex and challenging but is also a great option for professionals who are interested in financial crime and want to be at the forefront of stopping this type of crime. Most professionals in the field will have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but graduate education is needed to really be a viable candidate for leadership positions in this industry. An accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Accounting is a great flexible program that will help professionals reach the heights of their career.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Forensic Accounting Online.