August 16, 2017
Next Start Date
Cost Per Credit Hour


The College of Business and Economics offers a specialized Master of Science in Forensic and Fraud Examination to meet the demand for forensic accountants who are needed to combat widespread growth in white collar crime, fraud, and the illegal international movement of money. There are multiple career opportunities in the public and private sectors for those who earn this degree. Federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the F.B.I. are seeking specialized accountants. Private firms who must comply with legislation such as the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Acts also need auditors who are skilled at detecting, preventing and deterring fraud. This program provides accountants with additional knowledge and skill in these areas.

This degree combines online learning with two campus visits. This blended approach allows students to have the convenience of web courses, and the benefit of face-to-face interaction with both faculty and peers.

U.S. News Best Online Programs 2017


West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition to accreditation by AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Department of Accounting holds an additional accreditation by AACSB making it one of the top programs in the country.


Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a GMAT score of 500 unless the applicant is a certified public accountant, has a law degree, admission to a law school, or two years of anti-fraud or fraud-related (auditing) experience. Any applicant with two or more years of professional work experience may request a waiver of the GMAT or GRE. To request a waiver, send your resume and waiver request to Given that the undergraduate grade point average will be heavily relied upon to evaluate academic ability, applicants may want to consider taking the GMAT or GRE if the G.P.A. is under 3.0.

Prerequisite Coursework: ACCT 201, 311, 322, 451

Application Requirements

  • Apply with the online Graduate Application
  • Pay graduate application fee
  • Upload current resume
  • Provide one to three references with their contact information for letters of recommendation
  • Upload statement of purpose (not to exceed one page)
  • Request GMAT scores and send directly to WVU
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and send to:

    WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
    One Waterfront Place
    PO Box 6510
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6510


    electronically sent to

Those seeking a graduate degree should use MAJOR CODE 2158. Those seeking the certificate will be admitted as a non-degree graduate students (MAJOR CODE 2199).


Tuition and Fees

for academic year 2016-2017


Per Credit Hour


Per Credit Hour

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.


The master’s program is 30 credit hours. Students will complete six courses devoted exclusively to forensic and fraud examination and four courses from the nationally ranked Executive M.B.A. program. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiner CFE Exam Prep Course is embedded in Accounting 583 making students eligible and qualified to sit for the Certified Fraud Examiner Exam.

View Curriculum

The curriculum consists of the following courses:

ACCT 580 Forensic and Fraud Examination (FFE) Skills:

Auditing, information technology, financial and managerial accounting and the interface with forensic and fraud examination. This course provides an introduction to forensic and fraud examination and explores the interface between traditional financial and accounting topics and forensic and fraud examinations.

ACCT 581 Fraud Investigation:

Types of fraud, sources of evidence, and analysis of internal and external fraud schemes with an emphasis on the skills needed to identify, investigate and litigate fraud and forensic accounting allegations.

ACCT 582 Fraud Data Analysis:

Digital prevention and deterrence, digital evidence, digital detection and investigation including data mining, digital presentation and reporting tools, cyber-crime and electronic case management tools.

ACCT 583 Fraud Criminology/Legal Issues:

The professional fraud examiner’s responsibility to detect fraud, investigative techniques, interviewing skills, legal concepts, evidence management, criminology, and ethics.

ACCT 584 Advanced Fraud Investigation:

Investigation of complex frauds and financial crimes and an emphasis on forensic and litigation support investigations, including international money laundering, organized criminal activities and terrorism financing. The course requires testimony of case investigative results in a moot court setting.

ACCT 585 Advance Analytical Techniques:

Development and mastering of litigation support, valuations as they apply to litigation and forensic accounting and fraud issues and financial statement fraud. Topics would be centered on civil litigation, valuation techniques and complex financial reporting frauds.

BADM 622 - Financial Statements Analysis:

Provides an overview of the current financial reporting process. Includes discussion of the respective reporting vehicles, financial statements, and the alternatives available which affect the reporting process.

BADM 621 - Business Research:

Develops skills in data-driven, fact-based decision making; develops the ability to critically evaluate research proposals and studies which rely on business research; provides a basic understanding of reading and conducting empirical research.

BADM 641 - Decision Analysis for Executives:

Applied mathematical course in solving business problems and decision making issues from a general managerial perspective with particular emphasis on the operations management area of the organization.

BADM 644 - Legal Environment and Ethics:

An overview of the legal system and the legal and ethical issues relevant to business decision-making, planning, and the interface between business, government, and society.

As part of the on-campus residencies, students participate in two in-class/online case investigations and two investigative engagements in a team format. Both require students to present and defend their work in front of practicing professionals as follows:

Residency 1: “Pitch to Prosecutor” Exercise

Students will complete one major case investigation (MCI) over the course of study in ACCT 581. The purpose is to provide students with experience in performing basic investigative tasks and analysis. These projects involve analyzing simulated case information based on actual frauds / financial crimes as well as related corporate and business records to determine if fraud has occurred, who did and how. Students mimic investigative processes used in conducting analytical reviews, soliciting information from clients, and reporting suspicious activity for a fictitious client / target company.

Residency 2 “Moot Court” Exercise

(Capstone Experience)

Supported by attorneys from the Internal Revenue Service and Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, this course includes an integrative capstone experience using simulated actual case material as a basis for conducting an investigation throughout the course. In order to complete the assignments, students must integrate and draw upon the knowledge and skills developed in the other three courses, including the use of digital tools and techniques, developed in fraud data analysis. Additionally, ACCT 581 and ACCT 582 must be completed before taking ACCT 584, Advanced Fraud Investigation.


The following undergraduate courses, or their equivalent in terms of course work or professional experience, are required:

ACCT 201 Principles of Accounting
ACCT 311 Intermediate Accounting
ACCT 322 Accounting Systems
ACCT 451 Auditing Theory

Additionally, ACCT 581 and ACCT 582 must be completed before taking ACCT 584, Advanced Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination.

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