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What Is the Curriculum of a Forensic Accounting Degree Program?

The curriculum of a forensic accounting degree program prepares students to apply accounting techniques and methods to legal litigation and investigations. Students can pursue bachelor's and master's degrees in forensic accounting.

Forensic Accounting Overview

While a typical bachelor's degree program requires about 125 credit hours, a forensic accounting degree program may require up to 150 credit hours, so that students are qualified to take the exam to become a Certified Public Accountant upon completion of the degree program. Individuals must first be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to become a Certified Forensic Accountant (Cr. FA), according to the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.

If a college or university requires undergraduate students to complete only 125 credit hours toward a bachelor's degree in forensic accounting, then many students choose to earn a master's degree in order to further their education and fulfill the minimum credit hour requirements needed to take the CPA exam.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Possible Careers Auditor, government accountant, and accounting consultant
Online Availability Some programs are available online
Prerequisites for Certified Forensic Accountant Hold a CPA license, no felony convictions, and registered with the state board of accountancy
Degree/Certificate Levels Bachelor and master degrees programs available
Median Salary (2018)$70,500 (Accountants and Auditors)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)10% (Accountants and Auditors)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Bachelor's Degree Curriculum

Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Accounting take many of the same courses as students pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting. These core accounting classes include:

  • Accounting
  • Business law
  • Auditing
  • Finance
  • Ethics
  • Economics

Students earning their bachelor's degree in forensic accounting typically will complete additional classes in topics such as the following:

  • Forensic accounting
  • Introduction to the legal system
  • Fraud examination
  • Legal elements of fraud
  • Corporate governance

Undergraduate students earning their bachelor's degree in forensic accounting must also take general education courses such as these:

  • Art
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Sociology

Master's Degree Curriculum

A Master of Science in Accountancy with a concentration in forensic accounting requires students to take classes like those listed below:

  • Legal process and procedure
  • Advanced forensic accounting techniques
  • Financial management
  • Applied ethics