Schools and Colleges with Forensic Auditing Programs

Dec 08, 2019

Programs in forensic auditing, also called forensic accounting, train students to examine the books and financial histories of businesses for acts of fraud or misconduct. Certificate programs and bachelor's and master's degrees are available in the field.

Forensic accountants and auditors investigate corporate misconduct and financial scandal, combining the skills of accountants and investigators. Many schools offer forensic accounting courses or minors within an accounting field of study, though a few include undergraduate majors and graduate-level programs specifically in forensic accounting.

Top Accounting Schools

Accounting programs are available at several reputable postsecondary institutions.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: In-state $10,610; Out-of-state $37,580; Graduate: In-state $11,742; Out-of state $22,564
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $55,584; Graduate $38,630
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: In-state $15,054; Out-of-state $31,664; Graduate: In-state $18,126; Out-of state $31,279
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Master's Graduate: In-state $23,456; Out-of state $47,006
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral Graduate $51,354
Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $5,620; Graduate $7,080
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Undergraduate $51,828; Graduate $45,426
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $56,225; Graduate $45,561
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Master's Graduate: In-state $12,212; Out-of state $29,423

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in forensic auditing programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Some schools seek to prepare students to become Certified Public Accountants and for the widely recognized Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) credential offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
  • To provide practical experience, some programs stage mock trials and investigations, offer internships, or provide opportunities to work on consulting projects through school-sponsored activities.
  • Students should evaluate their career goals to determine the level of broad or explicit training they desire.
  • Not all programs offer forensic accounting as a major, and those interested in entering this field may wish to select a school with a forensic accounting major.

Certificate in Forensic Accounting

Professionals in legal or accounting fields can enroll in a continuing education or graduate certificate program in forensic accounting. Some programs require a bachelor's degree and allow credit to be applied toward graduate studies. Courses cover topics in:

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Accounting

Bachelor's degree programs include four years of study that introduce basic accounting principles with fraud investigation techniques. Some schools offer a dual-degree option, allowing students to earn a bachelor's and master's degree simultaneously. Often, undergraduate studies and programs focus on or include a broad foundational knowledge base in accounting with supplemental instruction in forensic auditing.

Master of Science in Forensic Accounting

Applicants to a master's degree program in forensic accounting, sometimes offered as a Master of Business Administration degree with a forensic accounting concentration, usually must have a bachelor's degree in an accounting field. Graduates of a master's degree program usually satisfy the necessary education and practical experience requirements mandated by the state to take the Certified Public Accountant exam.

Since forensic accounting is not available as a major or specific program focus in all accounting programs, those interested in a career in this field make sure the program they select has a strong concentration of coursework in forensic accounting. It is also possible to pursue graduate studies, and some graduate programs focus specifically on forensic accounting.

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