MBA in Fraud & Forensic Accounting

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While many corporate fraud scandals have shaken the world, recent technological advances have made financial crime easier to detect and prosecute. A degree in accounting can help individuals track the financial and operational health of a company, but a master of business administration (MBA) with a focus on forensic accounting can arm these professionals with the technological and analytical skills to tackle financial crime.

Fraud management programs provide students with data-driven decision-making skills, investigative techniques, and an in-depth understanding of how technology can prevent fraud. Students also gain advanced auditing and assurance skills in forensic auditing, ethics, assurance for IT and e-commerce, and legal liability. Outside of these programs’ focus on forensic accounting, an MBA more broadly strengthens a person’s knowledge of core business fundamentals such as economic principles, finance, marketing, and management.

These programs can open several avenues for students in the public and private sectors, including opportunities for auditing, research, litigation support, and dispute resolution. The holistic nature of these programs makes them ideal for candidates pursuing leadership positions in any industry. Additionally, a degree of this type, which covers various topics such as law, accounting, business processes, and fraud management, immediately sets candidates apart in a competitive job market.

Several industries are particularly susceptible to financial fraud and thus are more in need of qualified professionals. These industries include the banking, telecommunications, retail, insurance, and financial services sectors. However, students interested in the public sector can pursue roles in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the US Postal Service. Upon completing an MBA in this concentration, candidates may qualify for the Certified Fraud Examiner or Certified Public Accountant exams.

This guide explores several online MBA programs in fraud management and forensic accounting and three exceptional faculty members from their respective schools.

Featured Fraud & Forensic Accounting Programs
Southern New Hampshire University BS in Accounting - Forensic Accounting and Fraud ExaminationVisit Site
Southern New Hampshire University MS in Accounting - Forensic AccountingVisit Site
UNC Pembroke Online MBA - Forensic AccountingVisit Site
The University of Scranton Online Master of Accountancy - Forensic AccountingVisit Site
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Featured Online MBA Programs with Fraud & Forensic Accounting Specialties

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke School of Business offers an online master of business administration program with a concentration in forensic accounting, providing students with expertise in financial investigations and preparing them for exams needed for becoming certified fraud examiners. Students in this program will study all types of occupational fraud, the techniques for investigation and prevention, and litigation support services provided by forensic accountants. The curriculum will enable students to build their foundation in functional business areas like marketing, economics, strategic planning, and management.

Admission requirements to the program include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, a GPA of 2.5, a completed online application, official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, and GMAT or GRE scores (waived for 3.0 undergraduate GPA or completion of a master’s degree).

The program’s 36-credit curriculum includes eight core courses and four forensic accounting concentration courses. Some of the topics students will explore include International Business; Organizational Theory and Behavior; Marketing Planning and Strategy; Fraud Examination; Forensic Accounting; Legal Issues for Managers; and Forensic Analytics.

Location: Pembroke, NC
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
Estimated Tuition: In-state ($268.10 per credit); out-of-state ($965.54 per credit)

Seton Hill University at Greensburg, PA offers an online master of business administration program with a specialization in forensic accounting & fraud examination. The credits earned in this program will help students become licensed Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Additionally, they will be prepared for credentials such as the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Made up of 30 credits, the program includes courses such as risk management in a global economy; global supply chain management; forensic & fraud legalities; forensic & fraud investigation; fraud prevention & deterrence; global business strategy; business analytics; and financial transactions & schemes.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and official undergraduate transcripts from all institutions attended. Application requirements include a completed graduate study application form, one academic or professional letter of recommendation, a personal statement, and a current resume.

Location: Greensburg, PA
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $889 per credit

American University’s Kogod School of Business offers an online MBA program with a concentration in finance that lays the groundwork for students to take up essential roles in governance, corporate finance, and risk management. The online program starts in October, January, April, and July. GMAT and GRE scores are not required for admission.

The 48-credit curriculum includes many core business courses such as business law, ethics, and governance; managerial accounting and operations management; managerial economics; strategic thinking for decisions; and managerial statistics. Students who select finance as their concentration can opt for courses such as forensic accounting; financial statement analysis; business intelligence; and investment analysis and portfolio management.

A distinctive feature of this program is that students attend at least two immersions (three or four days each), one for each year of the program. In these immersions, students work closely with professors and classmates outside of the online environment. They also enjoy the opportunity to hear from business leaders and soak in the local culture of their host city.

Location: Washington DC
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online with two immersions
Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,866 per credit

This MBA program offered by Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas has a concentration in accounting and aims to prepare students for leadership and strategic positions. The 36-credit program is open for those who have completed intermediate coursework in accounting at the undergraduate level and can be completed in one year. Students are required to submit GMAT or GRE scores and a GPA of at least 3.0. GMAT scores may be waived for special cases.

The program has a strong emphasis on accounting, along with economics, organizational behavior, and operations management. The concentration portion of the program includes courses in forensic accounting; taxes and business strategy; advanced auditing and assurance services; and oil, gas, and energy accounting. Core courses include managerial economics; managerial finance; organizational behavior and theory; software-based business solutions; marketing management; and operations management.

Students learn methodologies and techniques for detecting occupational fraud, conducting investigations, and preparing investigation reports. They also get a complete education in fraud auditing, assurance services for IT and e-commerce, and basic principles of oil and gas accounting.

After the program, students can pursue careers in forensic accounting, auditing management, financial analysis, and financial reporting management. The course also prepares students for the CPA exam.

Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $15,679.32 for the full program

Carlow University offers a wealth of online MBA programs, including a concentration in fraud and forensics. Applicants do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores, but they must have at least two years of experience. Other admissions materials include a resume, a personal essay, two letters of recommendation, and a bachelor’s degree.

This unique online MBA program in fraud and forensics has instruction in business writing; advances in IT management; strategic analysis; decision-making; management organization and change; marketing management; business analytics; economics; and financial analysis and planning. Additionally, the concentration courses include white-collar crime; fraud prevention and ethics; and the legal elements of fraud.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for roles such as fraud prevention managers, fraud examiners, forensic audit experts, prevention analysts, financial services professionals, financial investigators, and forensic accountants.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $675 per credit

An MBA in accounting from Indiana Tech focuses on two fields: government/non-profit accounting and fraud examination. Prospective students with a GPA of at least 2.5 and two years of significant work experience can apply to this program. The accounting-specific courses include communication for accountants; fraud examination; and government and not-for-profit accounting. The program comprises 36 credits.

The program also includes six credits of CPA review from Becker Professional Education, preparing students for the exam. Students develop an in-depth understanding of forensic accounting procedures and learn how to detect and prevent specific types of fraud. In addition to preparing students to investigate fraud, the program also consists of core courses in executive leadership; economic decision-making for managers; accounting and finance decision-making for managers; marketing and innovation; statistical learning and analytics; and operations and technology management.

The program opens doors to leadership roles at the FBI or the US Postal Inspector Service. In addition, graduates will be prepared for numerous paths such as becoming Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) or Certified Government Auditing Professionals (CGAP).

Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC), International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Expected Time to Completion: 15 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $525 per credit

Professors to Know in Online MBA in Fraud & Forensic Accounting Programs

  • Gary J. Colbert, PhD, University of Colorado, Denver

    Dr. Gary Colbert is an associate professor of accounting, an MBA program director, and the discipline director of accounting at the University of Colorado in Denver. His expertise lies in auditing, financial reporting, entrepreneurship, and managerial accounting and control. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), although currently inactive. Some of the courses he teaches at the University of Colorado, Denver include entrepreneurship, advanced auditing theory, and intermediate financial accounting. He has received several grants for his research as well as many awards for his teaching excellence.



    Dr. Colbert earned his doctorate and master's degree in accounting from the University of Oregon and graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University. His research has appeared in prominent journals such as the Journal of Regulatory Economics and the Journal of Cost Management.

  • Zhixin "Richard" Kang, PhD, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

    Working as an associate professor of quantitative methods at the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences in the School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Dr. Kang teaches courses such as business statistics, spreadsheet and database management, data analytics, and quantitative methods.



    His research efforts are focused on applied statistics, financial econometrics, financial economics, real estate finance and economics, and time-series modeling and forecasting. His research has been published in prominent journals such as Statistics and Its Interface, Applied Financial Economics, and the Journal of Finance and Accountancy. Dr. Kang completed his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, MS and MBA from Kent State University, ME from Jiangsu University, and a BE from Xi'an Jiaotong University.

  • Mohan Rao, PhD, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

    Dr. Mohan Rao is a professor of decision sciences at Texas A&M University teaching courses such as operations management and business intelligence & analytics. Having more than 30 years of experience in academia, he has over 70 refereed journal publications and proceedings.



    His research interests include performance measurement, data analytics, management and improvement, expert systems, and decision support systems. His research has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Production Economics, the International Journal of Operations & Production Management, and Management Science. Dr. Rao earned his PhD from The University of Alabama, an MS in management sciences from the University of Waterloo, an MS in chemical plant engineering from the National Institute of Technology, and a BS in chemical engineering from Osmania University.

Farheen Gani
Farheen Gani
Writer

Farheen is a freelance writer, marketer, and researcher. She writes about technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).