Cyber crimes are growing increasingly complex, and information increasingly vulnerable. Grad School Hub’s 10 Best Master’s Degrees in Forensic Accounting 2019 can advance graduates’ skills for combatting cybercrime combat.
Forensic Accounting programs may be referred to as Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, Information Technology, or Security Informatics programs. These programs typically incorporate aspects of engineering, science, and technology.
Program curricula may address areas of digital security including algorithms, digital hardware and software architecture, and hacking. Such courses generally aim to build skills in spotting, analyzing, and preventing suspicious cyber activity or compromised information.
Information security analysts generally work for businesses, consulting firms, financial companies, or tech companies. Typical duties include conducting penetration testing, developing and recommending security strategies, installing software, and monitoring networks.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the May 2017 median pay for information security analysts was $95,510 annually or $45.92 hourly. The field is experiencing a much faster growth rate than average, at 28 percent.
The following list presents Grad School Hub’s 10 Best Masters in Forensic Accounting. GSH considered accredited Forensic Accounting programs throughout the U.S. Each program was then evaluated based on factors such as career prospects, net tuition, and student satisfaction. More information on the ranking process is found on Grad School Hub’s Methodology page.
#10 – Missouri State University
Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Missouri State University is a public university with branch campuses located in West Plains, MO, and Dalian, China, as well as a fruit research station in Mountain Grove, MO, and a Department of Defense in Fairfax, VA. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university #32 among Top Public Schools in the country.
MO State’s Cybersecurity program makes use of hands-on exercises and laboratory environments. Degree requirements include courses in Cloud Computing, Hacker Techniques and Incident Response, and Management of Information Security.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,862
#9 – George Washington University
Master of Science Cybersecurity in Computer Science
George Washington University is a state research university in Washington, D.C. The university has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The campus’ location in the nucleus of national policy helps root GW’s forensic accounting program in cybersecurity policy as well as protective skills. The program’s core courses assess algorithm design and analysis, computer architectures, and software patterns. Students can choose to follow a thesis or non-thesis route. The program is completable within two full-time years, or three part-time years.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $39,562
#8 – Rochester Institute of Technology
Master of Science in Computing Security
Rochester Institute of Technology was born from a merger between the Rochester Athenaeum literary society and The Mechanics Institute. RIT’s Computing Security program emphasizes the importance of building security into computer hardware and software, rather than trying to add it later.
Computing Security students can choose a capstone course option, project option, or thesis option. The core of each option consists of courses in Computer System Security and Cryptography and Authentication along with research and advanced electives. Elective course offerings include Big Data Analytics, Information Security Risk Management, and Secure Coding.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $29,111
#7 – Boston University
Master of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in Cyber Security
Boston University is a private university in Boston, MA. It is classified within the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. BU is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks BU #42 for Best National Universities.
Students in BU’s Cyber Security program works closely with the university’s Center for Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security. They take wide-ranging courses in the realms of applications, software, systems, and theory. Course examples include Complexity Theory, Cryptography, and Programming Languages. Students must also complete a faculty-approved research project or thesis in Cyber Security.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $31,539
#6 – University of South Florida
Master of Science in Cybersecurity with a concentration in Digital Forensics
The University of South Florida is classified in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. In 2011, the Intellectual Property Owners Association ranked USF #10 among worldwide universities with the most U.S. patents granted.
The Digital Forensics concentration within USF’s Cybersecurity program builds skills in cybercrime investigation, network analysis, and digital evidence identification. Required core courses include Applied Cryptography and Decision Processes for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Students must also complete a directed independent study practicum experience. Upon completion of the program, students must submit a cumulative digital portfolio.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,398
#5 – George Mason University
Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Analysis
Fairfax County, VA
Founded initially as a branch of the University of Virginia, George Mason University now stands alone as a public research university. GMU is named after founding father George Mason, a planter and politician who authored the basis for the U.S. Bill of Rights. GMU’s Digital Forensics and Cyber Analysis program prepare graduates for careers in academia and government. Its core course options include Advanced Computer Forensics, Digital Media Forensics, and Advanced Computer Forensics. Students may also choose to take courses such as Mobile Device Forensics, Memory Forensics, and Pen Testing. The program cumulates in a capstone course.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,032
#4 – Carnegie Mellon University
Master of Engineering in Cyber Forensics and Incident Response
Carnegie Mellon University is a state research university in Pittsburgh, PA. It was founded in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Its Software Engineering Institute CERT Division is known for having the first cybersecurity incident response team, called CERT Coordination Center. The Information Network within CMU’s College of Engineering offers a Cyber Forensics and Incident Response Track.
The program emphasizes a skill-based curriculum and state-of-the-art software. The curriculum consists of four units: Applied Information Assurance, Cyber Forensics, and Incident Response Capstone, Host-Based Forensics, and Network Forensics. The coursework emphasizes skills in cyber problem-solving and puzzle deciphering.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $32,250
#3 – Michigan Technological University
Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Michigan Technological University is a research university found on a bluff overlooking Portage Lake in Houghton, MI. Established initially to train mining engineers to operate local copper mines, it now features business, forestry, science, and technology programs.
MTU’s Cybersecurity program incorporates cross-disciplinary studies in engineering, science, and technology. The program offers three specialized areas of interest: Critical Infrastructure Protection, Network Security Management, and Trusted Software Engineering. General degree requirements include courses in Cryptography and National Cybersecurity Policy and Law. Students can choose to complete a research thesis, an independent study project, or coursework only.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,107
#2 – Johns Hopkins University
Master of Science in Security Informatics
Johns Hopkins University is a private university located in Baltimore, MD. It is ranked #10 for Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. The university’s motto is “The Truth Shall Set You Free.” JHU’s Security Informatics curriculum covers four subject areas: Health, Management, Policy, and Technology.
Core courses include Cloud Computing Security, Leading Change, and Rights in the Digital Age. Elective offerings include Art and Practice of Intelligence and From Information Warfare to Information Power. The degree program cumulates in a team-structured capstone project sponsored by information security partners. Students document the project through a report and presentation.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,352
#1 – Purdue University
Master of Science in Computer and Information Technology
West Lafayette, IN
Purdue University is a public research university in West Lafayette, IN. It is ranked #9 among the best graduate programs in Computer Engineering by U.S. News & World Report—and #1 by Grad School Hub. Many students begin and conclude their time at Purdue by running through one of the five fountains on campus.
Purdue’s Computer and IT coursework is heavily research-oriented. Students can specialize in one of eight studies, including but not limited to: Autonomy Intelligence, and Robotics; Cyber Learning and Computational Thinking; and Information Security, Cyberforensics, and Homeland Security. All students must complete a Computer IT Research Seminar in their first or second semester, and a direct project or thesis to finish the program.