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Masters in Forensic Accounting: Degree Program Overviews

Forensic accountants work with law enforcement and attorneys to investigate and prosecute financial fraud and illegal activities. A M.S. in Forensic Accounting or Executive Master of Accounting with a concentration in forensic accounting is available.

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Essential Information

Master's degrees in forensic accounting cover principles in legal, business and accounting. In addition to coursework, forensic accounting programs include real-world exercises and hands-on simulations to help students put their newly acquired skills to use. Depending on the employer and job, forensic accounting graduates may also be required to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).

Applicants need a bachelor's degree preferably in accounting, business or finance. In addition to accounting experience, students will need the necessary graduate admissions test scores. These programs typically require 1-2 years to complete.


Master's Degrees in Forensic Accounting

In addition to simulation activities, courses may include:

  • Fraud examination
  • Financial statement examination procedures
  • Auditing
  • Management accounting
  • International business
  • Corporate accounting legal issues

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors are predicted to seen an overall 11% increase in the number of employment opportunities from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In January 2016, Payscale.com reported that forensic accountants earned a median of $64,939 annually.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of a master's degree program in forensic accounting may need to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA). According to the BLS, accountants must hold the CPA credential if they file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. States handle the management of CPA certification, so requirements can vary, but the general requirements include holding a college degree in accounting, having experience working as an accountant and passing the Uniform CPA Examination. Continuing education is usually required to maintain certification. Voluntary certification is also available from organizations like the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, which offers the Certified Fraud Examiner credential.

A master's degree in forensic accounting prepares students for accounting jobs in the business and legal settings. Graduates will often need to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).

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