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The 10 Best Online Forensic Accounting MBA Degree Programs

The field of forensic accounting marries financial analysis with fraud and investigation. Forensic Accountants must be able to not only read and understand financial statements but be able to look through them to find details and patterns to identify fraud. This exciting industry stretches from litigation, investigation, and insurance.

Now, in today’s ever-changing business world there are many advantages to earning an MBA degree. Because MBA’s have become the gold standard in business education, there are hundreds of programs available. There are many specializations within these programs for students to pursue in order to tailor their degree to their interests and future career goals. Specializations available include health care, hospitality, marketing, finance, information technology, and even forensic accounting.

Earning an online MBA degree in Forensic Accounting can qualify graduates for many advanced management positions in both business and the field of accounting, as well as the training needed for entrepreneurs in the forensic accounting world. Students holding this degree are often top choices for positions at forensic accounting firms, working within the insurance industry, as well as, legal, corporate, and public sectors. If you are taking the time to earn a graduate level degree, you should feel confident that the program chosen will represent the hard work you have completed.

It can be overwhelming to sort through options hoping to find a program with the curriculum focus, quality of education, prestige, tuition rates, and delivery method that you need. Looking for an online Forensic Accounting MBA adds the benefit of an online degree with the advantages of the MBA program. Students in this kind of program get to continue honing their accounting skills in a full-time professional environment while gaining the skills in these graduate level courses.

With over 500 online and hybrid MBA programs available in the US today, it is helpful to narrow down the list to find the right fit. This ranking list is designed to help you find an online MBA with a specialization in Forensic Accounting that will meet your academic needs while allowing you to maintain your many other responsibilities.

Methodology

Looking for an online MBA degree can be daunting, so MBA Central has ranked the online forensic accounting degrees in the US based on the areas of Affordability (33%), Support Services (33%), and Quality of Classes (33%) to help students find the degrees with the most value.

Every program has an Affordability Score. This score is given based on the total base tuition of the degree from data taken from each program or school website. Ranges in affordability are below.

Expensive: $50,000  $99,999
Above Average: $30,000 – $49,999
Very Expensive: over $100,000
Average: $20,000 – $29,999
Affordable: $15,000 – $19,999
Very Affordable: under $14,999

#1 University of South Florida St. Petersburg Kate Tiedemann College of Business – St. Petersburg, Florida


The Kate Tiedemann College of Business at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg offers an elite online MBA with an emphasis in Forensic Accounting. This program is highly accredited, nationally recognized, and very affordable.

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The University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s Forensic Accounting MBA program is offered entirely online, on-campus, and hybrid formats. Their MBA holds exceptional accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is currently ranked #30 on US News and World Report’s Best Online MBA ranking. Students may choose to complete their degree on a part-time or full-time basis, adding further flexibility to this 36 credit-hour program. The well-rounded degree plan includes courses such as Managerial Analysis, Organizational Behavior, Global Business Environment, and Financial Statement Analysis. Along with the base curriculum, students have an opportunity to select a focus track in nine areas including Forensic Accounting, Business Analytics, Information Systems Management, and many more. USF St. Pete offers this distinguished degree at the very affordable price point of less than $14,999. National recognition, elite business accreditations, and manageable tuition rates are just a few of the reasons that make the program an excellent choice for students at any stage of their life or career.

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg is a well-recognized member of the greater University of South Florida system. USFSP carries regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and educates a student body of fewer than 5,000 students each year. The Kate Tiedemann College of Business offers a very affordable Master’s of Business Administration degree program that is designed to be completed in two years on a full-time basis. Those interested in applying to this respected program will need a completed undergraduate degree from an accredited university, GMAT score of 500 or more, and a 2.5 GPA or higher in upper-level degree-seeking coursework.

Accreditation: AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Affordability Score: Very Affordable

#2 West Virginia University College of Business and Economics – Morgantown, West Virginia


West Virginia University offers an accredited online MBA in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination. This program stands out due to its flexible hybrid format and national recognition.

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Students at West Virginia University can earn an online MBA with an emphasis in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination Emphasis with esteemed accreditation through the AACSB. This program, offered through the College of Business and Economics, can be completed in 48 credit hours and costs between $30,000-$49,999. US News and World Report currently ranks WVU #47 in Best Online MBA programs, as well as, #22 in Best Online Programs for Veterans. West Virginia University’s MBA is a hybrid program with the majority of course work completed online. A few of the courses included within the well-rounded program are Business Research, Corporate Finance, Marketing Strategy, and Leadership. Students also have the ability to choose an area of emphasis in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination. In addition to the convenient online curriculum, students must attend four mandatory three to four-day residency experiences. The residencies are designed to promote critical thinking skills, relationship building, interaction with faculty, and occur once each semester.

West Virginia University was established in 1867 and has since grown to serve nearly 24,500 students each year. The University offers a variety bachelor’s through doctoral degrees and carries regional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. The College of Business and Economics includes an established hybrid Master’s of Business Administration program that can be completed in two years. In order to apply prospective students must have a minimum of two years work experience, a one-page statement of purpose, one to three letters of recommendation, current resume, official transcripts, and competitive GMAT/GRE scores.

Accreditation: AACSB, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Above Average

#3 Missouri State University College of Business – Springfield, Missouri


At Missouri State University online students can earn an accredited MBA degree. Certifications are offered in a variety of subjects including Forensic Accounting, Computer Information Systems, and Cybersecurity.

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The College of Business at Missouri State University offers an online MBA degree with a graduate certificate in Forensic Accounting that holds a highly accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. US News and World Report currently list this program at #131 on their Best Online MBA ranking. The program is 33-credits long and includes a variety of certification options that do not require additional coursework outside of the MBA curriculum. A few of the certificate options available include Data Analytics, Finance, Forensic Accounting, and Cybersecurity. Certificate options are a unique way for students to show their mastery of the subject areas without spending additional time or money outside of what is included in this comprehensive degree. Missouri State University’s online Master’s of Business Administration program is accredited, flexible, and also very affordable with tuition rates of less than $14,999.

Missouri State University is a four year, public, university that educates over 23,000 students each year. The University carries regional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission and offers both online and on-campus programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Individuals interested in completing a Master’s of Business Administration are encouraged to apply to the College of Business. This application will include official transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, and a current resume highlighting professional work experience. Students may qualify for a GMAT waiver if they have earned a minimum 3.25 GPA, finished at least 80 hours at the time of application, were admitted or graduated from a Missouri State College of Business business unit major within the past five years/graduated with a business degree from an AACSB-accredited university in the last five years, and met all English proficiency standards.

Accreditation: AACSB, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Very Affordable

#4 University of South Florida Muma College of Business – Tampa, Florida


The University of South Florida gives students the opportunity to earn an online MBA with concentrations in Compliance, Risk Management, and Anti-Money Laundering. This program is nationally ranked and highly accredited.

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Students of the University of South Florida can earn an online MBA with a concentration in Compliance, Risk Management & Anti-Money that holds an elite accreditation from the AACSB. This fast-paced degree can be completed in as little as four semesters on a full-time basis or part-time in three years. Students begin with seven business foundations courses. They will then move on to 17 credit hours of core courses in subjects such as communication skills for managers, financial analysis, and leadership/management concepts. Lastly, students will complete five graduate-level electives. Concentration options included include Cybersecurity, Data Analysis or Compliance, Risk and Anti-Money Laundering. The online MBA program at USF is currently mentioned among the Best Online MBA programs in the nation. The typical program cost falls between $30,000 and $49,999 and includes a three-day residency during students first and last semesters.

The University of South Florida is a four year, public, university that was established in 1956. They carry regional accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and serve over 43,000 students annually. The Muma College of Business is nationally recognized and offers an elite online Master’s of Business Administration with several concentration options within the field of Forensic Accounting. In order to apply strong candidates must have completed an undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA on the final 60 credit hours of coursework and submit GMAT/GRE scores. The average GMAT score of accepted students is a 570. However, students meeting specific criteria in work experience and GPA may qualify for a GMAT waiver.

Accreditation: AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Affordability Score: Above Average

#5 Rider University College of Business Administration – Lawrenceville, New Jersey


Students at Rider University have an opportunity to earn their MBA degree in a convenient online format. This MBA offers a unique perspective on Forensic Accounting.

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Rider University’s online program offerings include an MBA in Forensic Accounting with esteemed accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students will appreciate that the 33 credit-hour program can be completed in as little as 12 months on a full-time basis. A part-time option is also available for those who wish to complete their degree in 21 months to six years. Rider’s online MBA is currently mentioned among the Best Online MBA’s in the country by US News and World Report and is offered at a cost between $30,000 and $49,999. The fast-paced curriculum is geared towards working professionals seeking advancement and includes courses such as Managerial Economics, Applied Corporate Finance, Information Technology Management, and Strategic Management. Two elective courses will also be taken with a focus on Forensic Accounting. Frequent one on one interaction faculty plays a vital role in the Rider University online experience. This connection with professors, as well as, other students is sure to provide students with a support system for success.

Rider University is a four year, private, non-profit university located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. They offer a variety of on-campus and online degree options at both the undergraduate and graduate level to a student body of just less than 5,000 each year. The University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers an online Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Forensic Accounting through the College of Business Administration. Students applying to this well-rounded program must submit a completed bachelor’s degree, official transcripts, GMAT scores, and current resume. An undergraduate business degree is not required. However, those who wish to apply with experience from another discipline are required to complete ten business pre-requisite courses prior to enrollment.

Accreditation: AACSB, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Affordability Score: Above Average

#6 Southern New Hampshire University School of Business – Manchester, New Hampshire


Students at Southern New Hampshire University can earn an Online MBA in Forensic Accounting. This MBA stood out on our list for its affordability and prestigious accreditation.

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Southern New Hampshire University offers graduate students a flexible Online Forensic Accounting MBA through the School of Business. This highly acclaimed 36 credit hour program is prestigiously accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students can complete this convenient program in as little as 15 months, by enrolling in two classes per ten-week term. Graduate certificates are offered in numerous career-relevant areas, including Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination. These certificates not only provide students with useful knowledge but enhance resumes in a competitive pool. Educational credits are also awarded upon passing professional exams. Devoted career advisors, online tutoring, and tech support are just a few of the support services students will benefit from. Tuition for this program is considered average, with pricing between $20,000 and $29,999. Busy professionals will appreciate the convenience offered by the accelerated online MBA in Forensic Accounting at Southern New Hampshire University.

Southern New Hampshire University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit college, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. SNHU, founded in 1932, educates an astounding 91,000 students each year. Through a supportive, online community, students can choose from over 200 degree programs at an affordable rate. In fact, tuition prices have been frozen since 2012. According to U.S. News and World Report, SNHU is ranked #1 in Most Innovative Schools and #112 in Regional Universities-North. Locally, the New Hampshire Business Review consistently awards the School of Business distinctions for Best MBA and Best Online Degree Programs. Among the many prestigious degrees offered by the School of Business is the Online Master’s of Business Administration in Forensic Accounting. Candidates interested in this convenient, flexible program, should submit an application, undergraduate transcripts, and a resume. At least two years of experience with auditing and financial reporting analysis is required.

Accreditation: ACBSP, New England Commission of Higher Education
Affordability Score: Average

#7 Pfeiffer University Division of Business – Misenheimer, North Carolina


Pfeiffer University offers a prestigious Online MBA in Financial Fraud Investigations through the Division of Business. This program provides flexibility and convenience.

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The Division of Business at Pfeiffer University is well known for its outstanding online MBA in Financial Fraud Investigations degree. Pfeiffer’s MBA holds elite accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. This prestigious MBA program consists of 36 credit hours and is offered in a convenient online format. An optional concentration is provided in Human Resource Management. The MBA can also be combined with a Master’s of Science in Leadership or Master’s of Health Administration. Students set their own pace, and can generally complete this program in two years. All courses can be completed entirely online, allowing students to balance career, family, and education. Study abroad programs are offered in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Canada if students are interested in international business. In comparison to similar programs, tuition is average, with rates between $20,000 and $29,999. Pfeiffer University graduates of this unique online MBA program pursue a variety of management careers and command competitive salaries.

Pfeiffer University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Pfeiffer was established in 1885 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. A tight-knit community of just over 1,300 students attend Pfeiffer and benefit from a 12:1 student/faculty ratio. Students can choose from 30 undergraduate degree programs, 15 graduate programs, as well as professional certificates through four academic divisions. Many online programs are offered to allow students to achieve their educational goals while maintaining professional careers. Graduate students can earn an online MBA in Financial Fraud Investigations degree through the Division of Business. In order to apply for this program, students must submit a graduate application, official college transcripts for all universities attended, three letters of recommendation, and acceptable scores for either the MAT, GMAT, or GRE. Undergraduate prerequisites include Accounting I and II, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, and Statistics.

Accreditation: ACBSP, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Affordability Score: Average

#8 Seton Hill University School of Business – Greensburg, Pennsylvania


Students can earn a convenient Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination MBA. This exceptional program will advance your career in the accounting field in an online format.

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Seton Hill University features an online Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination MBA through their elite School of Business. This program is prestigiously accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Students enrolled in this 36-hour degree have the opportunity to complete courses designed to prepare them for the CPA, CFE, and CIA. All classes are offered entirely online, and students are taught by professors who hold professional certifications, academic credentials, and expertise in the forensic accounting field. Online students receive support every step of the way. Each student will participate in individualized online academic advising. Students also receive career support through the nationally recognized Career and Professional Development Center. Additionally, the Wukich Center CEO program offers assistance for students looking to start their own business. Tuition for this program is average, with rates between $20,000 and $29,999. In just one year, you could earn your MBA in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination!

Seton Hill University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit Catholic college, established in 1885, and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Just under 2,500 students attend Seton, and the university maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. A wide array of undergraduate degrees, as well as 12 graduate programs, are offered through six academic schools. Seton is the proud recipient of numerous awards and rankings, including designation as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinctions. In addition to this honor, The Princeton Review ranks Seton a Best Northeastern College. Seton has also been named an Apple Distinguished School for the fifth time for their use of MacBooks and iPads. Graduate Students may pursue a Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination MBA through Seton Hill University’s School of Business. Interested students are encouraged to submit an application, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a letter of intent.

Accreditation: IACBE, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Affordability Score: Average

#9 Davenport University Donald W. Maine College of Business – Grand Rapids, Michigan


The Donald W. Maine College of Business at Davenport University offers an MBA with a Forensic Accounting Graduate Certificate. This distinguished program was chosen for our ranking because of its flexible course scheduling and accelerated rate.

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The Donald W. Maine College of Business at Davenport University offers an MBA degree with a Forensic Accounting Graduate Certificate that is delivered in a convenient 100% online format. This MBA holds prestigious accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. The MBA itself consists of 30 credit hours, and the certificate is an additional 12 credit hours. Courses are offered in a fast-paced seven-week format, with a focus on strategic management. Students also have multiple experiential learning options, such as completing a study abroad program and an internship to gain hands-on experience. A capstone consisting of a business simulation challenge is a required component prior to graduation. Students enrolled in two courses during each seven-week session can complete this program in as little as 12 months. This MBA with Forensic Accounting Graduate Certificate is flexible and accelerated, opening doors to the competitive Forensic Accounting industry.

Davenport University is a four year, private, not-for-profit university, established in 1866, that is regionally accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. Davenport offers more than 50 programs in the latest career industries leading to associate through master’s degrees to a student body population of approximately 7,000 students. Students are able to retake courses for free through the Brush-Up program. Many online degrees are offered to accommodate for the varying schedules and personal needs of students. Students enrolled in online classes receive around-the-clock technical support and can access an extensive network of job postings. U.S. News and World Report ranks Davenport 122nd among its national universities category. Among the many flexible degrees offered at Davenport University is the Master’s of Business Administration with a Forensic Accounting Graduate Certificate. Prospective students must submit an application, official college transcripts, a current resume, a statement of purpose, and two professional letters of recommendation.

Accreditation: IACBE, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Above Average

#10 Saint Xavier University Graham School of Management – Chicago, Illinois


Graduate students can earn an accredited two different online MBA focused on forensic accounting at Saint Xavier University. This elite program has a reputation of excellence and distinguished accreditations.

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Graduate students at Saint Xavier University have the option of pursuing an online MBA in Financial Fraud Examination and Management or in Forensic and Investigative Accounting. Both of these degrees are offered through Graham School of Management and accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. These 39 credit hour programs consist of nine core courses and four concentration courses. All courses are offered in an accelerated eight-week online format. Students who enroll in two classes each session can complete this program in two years. Internship and mentorship opportunities give students the chance to gain hands-on experience that will prepare them for their future careers. Graduates of both of these programs will be ready to take the Certified Fraud Examiner certification, and those in the Accounting program can also take the CPA exam. These excellent programs lead to careers in business and occupational fraud, identity theft, computer fraud, and insurance and corporate financial fraud.

Saint Xavier University was established in 1846 and is a four-year, private, not-for-profit college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. SXU serves a diverse student body of just over 3,700 students annually and is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. Students can select from 61 undergraduate degree programs and 25 graduate degree programs through their three schools. Many top rankings systems have recognized the University for its high academic standards. U.S. News and World Report lists SXU among its “Best Value Schools,” and among top 10 for its “Campus Ethnic Diversity.” Additionally, SXU is a 2018-2019 College of Distinction in the areas of business, nursing, and education. Graduate students can earn an MBA in Financial Fraud Examination and Management or Forensic and Investigative Accounting through the Graham School of Management. Prospective students must submit a graduate student application, personal statement, resume, official college transcripts, and two completed recommendation forms.

Accreditation: AACSB, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Above Average

What do forensic accountants do?

If you have watched the shows White Collar, Quantico, or Ozark you have gotten a sneak peek into the diverse world of a forensic accountant. While a forensic accountant working for a small corporation may not be exactly what we see on the television, but this field is definitely one with a variety of applications. Students who choose to complete their Master’s of Business Administration in Forensic Accounting not only gain insight into the logistics and laws concerning accounting but are able to expand their training in communication, management, and leadership as well. Forensic accountants have specialized training that allows them to look at the financial statements of companies from a holistic angle. Traditional financial accounting includes the preparation of financial statements based on guidelines and rules set by the Financial Accounting Standard Board. The accountant then typically review’s the company’s data based on these regulations on an annual basis. Forensic accountants perform financial investigations. While they do follow many of the same guidelines and historical data points of the companies being investigated, forensic accountants use this information as a starting point to create a bigger picture of what is happening within the corporation. Often times the investigation will then move on to include interviews with company personnel, in-depth analysis of accounting and procedures, and general observations of the company’s logistics. Financial accounting is utilized on a routine basis, whereas forensic accountants are called in when fraudulent activity is suspected. Because of this they often work with legal teams and testify in court as expert witnesses. Job responsibilities for forensic accountants vary by specialization but may include investigating the financial history of criminals and terrorist, testifying as an expert witness in court, tracking funding and gathering evidence, and participating in interrogations of suspects of fraud.

What is the job outlook for forensic accountants?

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners recent research shows that typical corporations lose 5% of their annual revenue to fraud, with 23% of occupational fraud resulting in losses of at least one million dollars. With this high level of financial accountability at stake, it is no surprise that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a 13% growth rate for accounts and auditors by 2022, with some estimates for investigative auditors as high as 20% due to increased financial regulations.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary for forensic accountants falls between $45,179 and $104,663. Level of education and previous work experience play a significant role in the advancement to higher pay, with those in their late career earning 50% more than new employees in the field. Forensic accountants work in a wide range of specialty areas including everything from police forces and government agencies to insurance companies or owning their own practice. The area of employment chosen can also significantly affect the pay range with those focusing on auditing making 17% less than the national average for this line of work. In contrast, those with previous forensic accounting skills make 3% more than the national average of $67,000.

How do I become a forensic accountant?

There are a variety of entry-level positions available to those interested in forensic accounting. The majority of these require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. However, this is a field where additional certifications such as Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Certified in Financial Forensics Credentials along with a master’s degree can improve your earning potential by 25% or more.

Students who choose to complete their Master’s of Business Administration in Forensic Accounting not only gain insight into the logistics and laws concerning accounting but are able to expand their training in communication, management, and leadership as well. Many of the individuals pursuing this type of degree have high career aspirations. Because of this, it can be challenging to complete a traditional on-campus degree that would potentially interfere with current work obligations. Online MBA programs that offer concentrations in Forensic Accounting are an excellent option for driven professionals looking to take their goals to the next level. Fortunately, there are many online programs that offer the same quality, prestige, and rigor of traditional programs, but with the convenience of flexible deadlines and the ability to complete assignments from home, the office, or anywhere in between.