Ever want to be a crime-fighter but don’t feel cut out for the police force? Your solution might be earning an Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting!

Sometimes a criminal isn’t a person; it’s a corporation. Sometimes a crime isn’t what you’d suspect; it’s hidden in paperwork and secret accounts. Forensic accountants are low-key crime-fighters. They investigate businesses and financial institutions by following money trails, analyzing spreadsheets, and digging into business dealings that are not-so-legal.

Sound fun to you? Get started with an online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting. Who knew a math nerd could be a superhero too?   

What is an Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting?

What other field that you know of combines criminal justice, economics, and business? Forensic accounting is a dynamic career that holds businesses accountable to financial and legal boundaries.

If numbers have always been your thing, but you’re not interested in tax auditing for your career, then forensic accounting might be the perfect avenue for your skills. This field demands a meticulous eye for detail, but also a mind that can link together big-picture clues.

An online Bachelor’s in Financial Accounting degree will give you all the foundational accounting and business knowledge you need to take the CPA exam. But it will also take you one step further in letting you specialize in a much-needed sub-field.

How much can you earn with an Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting?

It just makes sense that a career revolving around money would yield a comfortable salary! Forensic accountants are specialists in an already lucrative field. This means they earn a pretty penny, and deservedly so!

The average accountant makes around $70,500 per year, and the average forensic accountant can make around $91,000 per year. As our economy becomes more and more encrypted, the demand for forensic accountants will only increase. As of now, accountants in general are expected to see a 10 percent increase in job outlook.

What is required for an Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting?

An online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting is the first crucial step in your journey to becoming a professional forensic accountant. Each of these degrees require around 120-180 total credits to graduate. Some include specialized areas of concentration such as Fraud Prevention or Financial Investigation.

Depending on the program, you’ll have to take a comprehensive exam, complete a final project, undertake a research paper, or participate in an internship.

This is still a fairly new field, so earning a bachelor’s degree in forensic accounting gives you a head start beyond everyone else. On the other hand, it is wise to earn an advanced degree in this field if you want to climb the professional ladder quickly.

What are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting degrees?

Are you convinced yet? Here at OSR, we have taken stock of all the online Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting degrees and selected the top five in the nation. Our methodology for this list considers some of the following factors: tuition rates, program reputation, retention rates, early salaries of graduates, and more.

Below you’ll find short descriptions of each program, along with a list of some helpful pros and cons. We’ve also crunched the numbers and listed our overall OSR score for each program. Who knew numbers could solve crime? Go get ‘em!

  1. University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $26,096/$36,800
    Acceptance81
    Earnings Potential50
    Online Presence22
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention76
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • Transfer policy allows for minimum GPA of 2.0
    • Access to HireABlazer, an online career management program
    • Collat School of Business ranked by Princeton Review
    Cons
    • Experiential requirement may include on campus attendance
    • $30 application fee
    • Steep requirements to qualify for an academic scholarship
    100%OSR Score

    You’ll be ahead of the curve by completing your online BS in Forensic Accounting at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The curriculum covers both core business and accounting credits, but also allows for a specialization. This is a 120-credit program that can be completed in four years.

  2. Indiana State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,402/$32,938
    Acceptance89
    Earnings Potential57
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention72
    Student Satisfaction93
    Reputation97
    Pros
    • Specialized focus in areas like Fraud and Criminal Law
    • SAT not required for students over 21 years old
    • Students from neighboring states pay in-state tuition
    Cons
    • A minor rather than a full major
    • $25 non-refundable application fee
    • Non-residents pay more for tuition
    96%OSR Score

    At Indiana State University, you can cover the basics with an accounting or business major, but still specialize with an online minor in Forensic Accounting. All of the six total courses are delivered online. The classes are divided between three core areas: Accounting, Business, and Criminology/Criminal Justice.

  3. Utica College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $35,014/$35,014
    Acceptance65
    Earnings Potential34
    Online Presence24
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention72
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation86
    Pros
    • Industry Certifications available within the program
    • Internship / Senior Project incorporated into curriculum
    • Degree can be completed in just over 3 years
    Cons
    • A.A. degree required for admission to program
    • $40 application fee required for admission
    • $70 distance learning fee applied per course
    85%OSR Score

    Utica College offers a robust Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation. The program goes even further to offer two concentrations: Financial Investigation and Fraud Prevention & Detection. This unique curriculum brings together accounting, economics, criminal justice, business, and more.

  4. University of Northwestern Ohio

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $23,600/$23,600
    Acceptance84
    Earnings Potential61
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention68
    Student Satisfaction57
    Reputation83
    Pros
    • Affordable tuition rates ($275/credit)
    • No out-of-state fees or additional tuition rates applied
    • 10% tuition discount for active military students
    Cons
    • More credits required than other programs (180)
    • $20 application fee (non-refundable)
    • Placement tests required upon admission
    94%OSR Score

    Within the BS in Accounting at the University of Northwestern Ohio, students can choose to specialize in Forensic Accounting. Overall, the degree includes 180 credits, 102 of which are devoted to Forensic Accounting. You’ll graduate with the skills to pass any certified fraud examiners exam.

  5. California College San Diego

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $33,960/$33,960
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence18
    Online Program Quality83
    Retention35
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation81
    Pros
    • Accelerated degree that can be finished in 3 years
    • Core classes offer specialized accounting skills
    • Up to 75% of transfer credits accepted
    Cons
    • Only 4 courses included in specialization
    • More credits required than other programs (180)
    • Online platform separate from California College
    92%OSR Score

    Students at California College can take the online BS in Accounting with an emphasis in Forensic Accounting. This is offered through an online partnership with Independence University. A huge benefit of this program is that the degree can be completed within three years.