Corporate and financial fraud is on the rise. The only hero fit for the job? Forensic accountants. Earn an online Master’s in Forensic Accounting and tackle fraud right and left.

Before the early 2000s, forensic accounting didn’t really exist. But with efforts like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the field took off. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act essentially holds CEOs of companies personally responsible for all financial accuracies. It comes down hard on financial fraud and makes it easier to sniff out not-so-legal business dealings.

Forensic accountants are the men and women who keep those businesses accountable. Not all crime looks the same. Not all crime-stoppers look the same, either. If you earn an online Master’s in Forensic Accounting, you’ll be a superhero with a calculator.

What is an Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accountants are the unsung heroes of the criminal justice system. They aren’t flashing badges or chasing down criminals on foot. Very much the contrary, in fact. They are poring over spreadsheets and piecing together money trails. They are uncovering wire fraud and spotting illegal financial loopholes.

Forensic accounting brings together a mix of a few different careers: criminal justice, accounting, business, ethics, and more. Wondering if this field is right for you? Basically, you need to possess both a meticulous eye for detail and a big-picture perspective.

The curriculum in the Master’s in Financial Accounting degree will be highly specialized. These programs assume you already have a handle on foundational accounting practices. Now you’re ready for the good stuff.

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

By earning an advanced degree in the field of forensic accounting, you’re securing access to a lucrative salary. With specialized knowledge comes higher pay—that’s just a given.

The average forensic accountant can make around $91,000 per year. But that number could be much higher, depending on where and how long you work. For example, right now a forensic accountant working at the FBI makes closer to $99,000 per year.

More good news: the demand for forensic accountants will only increase. As of now, accountants are expected to see a 10 percent increase in job outlook.

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

Online learning makes a Master’s in Forensic Accounting accessible and affordable. Most of these programs can be completed in just one year, start to finish. While you’re in the application process, here are a few admissions requirements you may encounter:

  • GRE / GMAT scores
  • GPA minimum (between 3.0 and 4.0)
  • At least 1 year work experience
  • Application fees

If you’re worried about a few of these requirements, don’t end your search! They range wildly from school to school. Some don’t require GRE & GMAT scores. Others waive the application fee. Even others are open to students without any accounting experience! Take a look at each school and see what fits with your specific situation.

One thing you can count on with each program is around 30-40 total credits to graduate. Some programs include Forensic Accounting as a concentration, while others feature it as a full degree. Regardless, at each of these ten schools you’re guaranteed a quality education.

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

We’ve crunched some numbers here at OSR and came up with the 10 best online Master’s Degrees in Forensic Accounting. We use a methodology that factors in core data for higher education: tuition rates, program reputation, retention rates, early salaries of graduates, and more.

For each of the 10 programs, you’ll find our overall OSR score, a short description of the program highlights, and a list of three Pros and three Cons for the degree. We’ve done the legwork for you—all that’s left for you to do is pick your dream program!

  1. Liberty University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $38,178/$38,178
    Acceptance71
    Earnings Potential73
    Online Presence4
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention86
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation89
    Pros
    • Degree can be completed in 1 year
    • Generous transfer policy (up to 50% of credits)
    • Flat-rate $250/credit tuition for military students
    Cons
    • Very conservative school conduct policy
    • $199 technology fee applied per term
    • Higher per credit rate for part-time students
    100%OSR Score

    A giant of online education, Liberty University leaps to the front for its online MS in Accounting. Students can specialize in Forensic Accounting and take four related specialty courses within the 30-credit degree. Some course examples include Fraud Examination and Financial Fraudulent Reporting.

  2. New England College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $51,904/$51,904
    Acceptance75
    Earnings Potential56
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention78
    Student Satisfaction80
    Reputation86
    Pros
    • Awarded a “Top Military-Friendly” designation
    • Program can be completed in 1-2 years
    • No additional online fees
    Cons
    • More credits required than other programs (40)
    • Only 8 transfer credits accepted
    • $100 application fee for international students
    90%OSR Score

    The MS in Accounting – Forensic Accounting at New England College is a fully online, 40-credit program. The curriculum covers everything from Fraud Risk Management to Litigation Services. Additionally, the coursework covers the 150-hour preparation requirement for the CPA exam.

  3. Bay Path University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $40,557/$40,557
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention90
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • Possible to complete the degree in 8-9 months
    • No GRE or GMAT is required for admission
    • Curriculum can be tailored for state CPA requirements
    Cons
    • Higher per-credit tuition than others ($855/credit)
    • No scholarships specific to this program
    • GPA minimum requirement of 3.0
    89%OSR Score

    Forensic Accounting is one of three career-focused tracks that Bay Path University offers within the online MS in Accounting program. The degree incorporates ten total courses – seven core classes and three electives.

  4. Florida Atlantic University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,021/$36,466
    Acceptance64
    Earnings Potential65
    Online Presence3
    Online Program Quality88
    Retention84
    Student Satisfaction72
    Reputation91
    Pros
    • Highly international program and diverse student body
    • Student-run accounting organizations within the program
    • Curriculum is specific to Forensic Accounting
    Cons
    • Somewhat stricter admission rate (35% acceptance)
    • Out-of-state tuition rate is three times that of in-state
    • Admissions requirements change on a case-by-case basis
    87%OSR Score

    Florida Atlantic University offers up an impressive Executive Master of Accounting program that includes a Forensic Accounting concentration. This is a two-year degree that is fully deliverable online; however, students have the option of attending courses on-campus as well.

  5. Southern New Hampshire University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $50,266/$50,266
    Acceptance62
    Earnings Potential67
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention89
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation97
    Pros
    • No GRE or GMAT required for admission
    • 25% tuition discount for military students & spouses
    • Courses divided into accelerated 10-week segments
    Cons
    • $40 application fee
    • Little to no graduate transfer credits accepted
    • International students must clear language requirements
    85%OSR Score

    The online MS in Accounting with a concentration in Forensic Accounting is made up of 12-13 total courses. This 36-credit program covers both the foundational business materials, but also dives deeper into courses like Financial Reporting and Legal Aspects of Fraud. You can finish this degree in around 15 months.

  6. West Virginia University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $20,236/$35,476
    Acceptance90
    Earnings Potential61
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention87
    Student Satisfaction83
    Reputation74
    Pros
    • Same in- and out-of-state tuition rates
    • 6 out of the 10 total courses devoted to Forensic Accounting
    • GMAT waived if you have work experience
    Cons
    • 4 prerequisite courses required before admission
    • Higher per-credit tuition rates than some ($1,038)
    • Residencies make program not 100% online
    76%OSR Score

    West Virginia University will more than prepare you for an accounting career with its online MS in Forensic & Fraud Examination degree. This program stands out for its experiential learning component and two two-day residencies. The curriculum specializes in forensics and offers key courses in business.

  7. Western New England University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $50,075/$50,075
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential41
    Online Presence2
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention75
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation75
    Pros
    • Program can be completed in just 1 year
    • No readmission charges if you take a term off
    • Undergraduate accounting degree not required
    Cons
    • GRE / GMAT is required for admission
    • Only 3 courses in Forensic Accounting
    • $50 application fee required
    74%OSR Score

    The MS in Accounting at Western New England University can be completed in as little as one year. This is a 30-credit-hour online program that features a Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation concentration. This concentration encompasses 9 of the 30 total credits.

  8. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,518/$35,168
    Acceptance85
    Earnings Potential55
    Online Presence7
    Online Program Quality57
    Retention75
    Student Satisfaction72
    Reputation73
    Pros
    • Application fee waived for military and SUNY graduates
    • Program accommodates both full-time and part-time students
    • Certificate courses can substitute for MS courses
    Cons
    • Additional 4-course certificate rather than degree
    • $60 non-refundable application fee
    • Prerequisites required for non-accounting students
    73%OSR Score

    SUNY Polytechnic Institute delivers a viable option for both part-time and full-time MS in Accountancy students. This online degree covers 11 core classes that ultimately prepare you for the CPA exam. Additionally, students can earn a four-course online Advanced Certificate in Forensic Accounting and Valuation.

  9. Carlow University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $43,186/$43,186
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention78
    Student Satisfaction90
    Reputation72
    Pros
    • No GRE / GMAT scores required
    • Cyber Threat Research & Analytics certificate offered
    • Online application fee waived
    Cons
    • Minimum GPA requirement of 3.0
    • One year of work experience in accounting required
    • Higher per-credit cost than others ($850/credit)
    73%OSR Score

    Offered fully online, Carlow University delivers an MS in Fraud and Forensics. This is one of the few programs on this list that is fully devoted to Forensic Accounting (rather than a concentration). The 30-credit program can be finished in one year.

  10. Strayer University-Alabama

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $28,626/$28,626
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention25
    Student Satisfaction57
    Reputation76
    Pros
    • Generous transfer policy and transfer partnerships
    • More lenient GPA minimum requirement (2.5 rather than 3.0)
    • Military students benefit from Yellow Ribbon program
    Cons
    • Only a concentration with the MS degree
    • $65 technology fee applied per term
    • International students pay additional fees
    68%OSR Score

    Students will earn an online MS in Accounting at Strayer University with the opportunity to also earn a concentration in Forensic Accounting. This concentration includes three career-specific courses, including Emerging Auditing Technologies and Fraud Prevention & Detection. Overall, the degree covers 12 courses.