Higher Education: financial fraud programs in colleges and universities

Financial fraud, white collar crime, and forensic accounting are all topics of interest to many students entering college. These topics are also of interest to many employers seeking to recruit students. Employers want employees that understand how to prevent and detect financial fraud and other forms of fraud so that they can minimize their exposure to such crimes.

Forensic accountants, external and internal auditors, and loss prevention associates are only a small example of the professions that benefit from college level financial fraud programs. Let’s take a look at four college programs that offer extensive financial fraud prevention curriculum.

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University has a Master’s in Forensic Accounting program. The best part of this program is that anyone, anywhere can participate. This forensic accounting program is offered in live classes, streaming online video, and via DVD. Tuition is all-inclusive, and the program sends its distance learning students their books. FAU’s School of Business is AACSB accredited, which is the gold standard for business schools. Tuition information is not listed on the website, so students interested in this program should contact the school for more information.

Utica College

Utica College offers an online Bachelor’s degree in Economic Crime Investigation. This program prepares students for the CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) examination through the ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners). This program is not as accounting-intensive as some forensic accounting programs. Students interested in obtaining CPA license should review the curriculum and compare it to their state’s minimum requirements to sit for the CPA certification. Utica College is not AACSB accredited, but it is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Carlow University

Carlow University is one of the few universities that offer a forensic accounting major. It is unique from the FAU program because it is an undergraduate – not graduate – program. Students that have already earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but still want to receive forensic accounting training can take 12 hours of coursework to receive a certificate in forensic accounting. This is the perfect option for someone who wished they had a little more anti-fraud training, but is not ready to pursue a master’s degree.

The Carlow University program should prepare students for both the CPA and CFE certifications. As always, students interested in obtaining a CPA license need to check with their State Board of Public Accountancy for minimum accounting coursework required. Carlow University is a women-centered university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Courses are offered on their campus. They are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Franklin University

Franklin University offers several degrees in forensic accounting. One of the most interesting programs offered by Franklin is the Joint Programs of Study: B.S. in Forensic Accounting/ MBA. Students interested in obtaining a CPA license will like this program because it will give them the minimum 150 hours of college credit necessary to sit for the exam. Students still need to be aware of necessary accounting coursework required by their state, as not all accounting programs provide students with every course necessary to sit the exam. The program should also prepare students to sit for the CFE examination. Courses are offered online, and Franklin is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Students interested in financial fraud examination and fraud prevention careers should consider obtaining a specialized degree in forensic accounting or economic crimes investigation. Students should also do their research and make sure that the program they commit to will meet their long term needs.

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