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Schools for Becoming an Insurance Fraud Investigator: How to Choose

Dec 06, 2019

Certificate programs in investigation, associate and bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice, and bachelor's degree programs in insurance studies are available across the U.S. for aspiring insurance fraud investigators.

Students who want to become insurance fraud investigators can find appropriate programs at community colleges, technical schools and universities, or enroll in private, professional investigation certificate programs in order to gain experience in surveillance and conducting interviews. Associate and bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice may lead to positions in law enforcement.

Top 10 Schools with Criminology Programs

The following list includes a number of public schools that offer criminology, fraud investigation or criminal justice programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2018-2019)
University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $10,595; Out-of-state Undergraduate $35,216
University at Albany - SUNY Albany, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $10,011; Out-of-state Undergraduate $26,851
University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $11,000; Out-of-state Undergraduate $27,334
University of Missouri - St. Louis St. Louis, MO 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $9,792; Out-of-state Undergraduate $26,040
Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $18,454; Out-of-state Undergraduate $34,858
University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $13,700; Out-of-state Undergraduate $42,692
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $5,656; Out-of-state Undergraduate $18,786
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $14,460; Out-of-state Undergraduate $39,766
Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey - Newark Newark, NJ 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $14,409; Out-of-state Undergraduate $30,717
CUNY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificate In-state Undergraduate $7,270; Out-of-state Undergraduate $14,940

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most insurance companies would rather employ investigators who have been trained as either law enforcement officers, examiners, claims adjusters or private investigators (www.bls.gov). Investigation certificates may be completed as distance options by currently employed insurance workers or law enforcement officers in order to gain extra credentials. Students may also complete associate and bachelor's degree programs through online courses and lectures.

There are some key factors to consider when planning studies in this field.

  • Consider enrolling in bachelor's degree programs in risk management and insurance.
  • Consider choosing a criminal justice program that offers more insurance-based law courses.
  • Look for programs with educational tracks allowing a specifically-tailored academic experience.
  • Search for schools with distance education options.

Certificate in Investigation

Depending on the program, a certificate program in private or professional investigation may consist of a single course or it may take multiple semesters to complete.

Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

Associate degree programs in criminal justice can typically be completed in two years and could lead to employment in law enforcement, as well as insurance fraud investigation. General education courses are also commonly required, and an internship opportunity may be an option.

Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

A bachelor's degree program in criminal justice can be completed in four years and can prepare students for positions in law enforcement. General education courses are often required, as are internships.

Bachelor's Degree in Insurance

Bachelor's degree programs in insurance are usually combined with studies in risk management and take four years to complete. In many cases these programs include business-related courses in addition to courses in many areas of insurance. Internships may be required for the completion of a bachelor's degree program in insurance.

Individuals interested in a career as an insurance fraud investigator have many options to consider when pursuing postsecondary studies. Training is available at graduate and undergraduate levels, and can include general criminology studies or focused fraud investigation studies.

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