Grad School Hub‘s 30 Best Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting teach cutting-edge skills to position students at the front lines of cybercrime combat.
The following programs examine cybersecurity, digital forensics, and information assurance. They teach a range of computer information technology skills including cryptography, ethical hacking, and cyber security architecture. While forensic accounting refers primarily to matters of economic fraud and embezzlement, cyber security degrees cover a variety of cyber crimes.
What can students do with a Forensic Accounting degree?
Information security analysts plan and execute computer security measures. Typical duties include the development of best security practices, network monitoring, network penetration testing, and software installation. Most information security analysts work in commercial settings – such as financial organizations – or for the government.
How much money does someone with a Forensic Accounting degree make?
In May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average annual wage for information security analysts was $95,510, or approximately $45.92 per hour. The cybersecurity field is experiencing a 28 percent job growth rate, which is much faster than the average growth rate across all industries. As online technology proliferates, cybercrime grows with it – and as does the need for skilled cybersecurity analysts.
Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting
The following list of the 30 Best Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting presents rankings based on affordability, educational quality, national reputation, postgraduate prospects, and student satisfaction of acclaimed institutions. Readers who are interested in learning about Grad School Hub’s ranking process are invited to visit our Methodology page.
Grad School Hub's #1 Best Online Masters' degree in Forensic Accounting tallies up to Purdue University, a historic institution nestled near the western bank of the Wabash River in West Lafayette, IN. Purdue was established in 1869 as a college of agriculture, science, and technology with a financial push from local businessman John Purdue. The public research university is ranked #56 in Best National Universities and #5 in Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
Purdue's Computer and Information Technology MS program offers a specialization in information security, cyberforensics, and homeland security. Specialized courses include Advanced Research Topics in Cyberforensics, Basic Computer Forensics, and Cyberforensics for Cloud and Virtual Environments. The university is home to ample onsite and online computing resources, including knowledgebases, and survey software.
The university has its own private research nonprofit, the Purdue Research Foundation, and so it's no surprise to see their "very high" research designation by the Carnegie Foundation. In 1961, the organization opened the Purdue Research Park. The Park provides an interactive research environment for businesses, Purdue researchers, and the tech industry. In 2004, Purdue was ranked #1 by the Association of University Research Parks.
The University of Central Florida is a publicly owned state space-grant university in Orlando, FL. UCF opened in 1968 as the Florida Technological University with the mission of educating its students for the growing U.S. space program. Today, it is one of the largest universities in the United States by enrollment. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the university as one with the "highest level of research activity." Microsoft founder Bill Gates has also recognized it as a leading institution.
UCF's Master of Science in Digital Forensics program is a collaboration between the school's Chemistry, Computer Science, and Legal Studies departments and the National Center for Forensic Science. The program aims to teach its students skills in computer technology, forensic examination, investigation, and problem-solving. U.S. News & World Report ranks UCF #82 nationally for Best Graduate Engineering Schools in Computer Science.
Established in 1876, Johns Hopkins University was named for its original benefactor, an American abolitionist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. The highly selective private university was the first research university in the United States. It is currently the leading recipient of NASA research and development funding. U.S. News & World Report ranks JHU #10 in Best National Universities and #5 in Best Online Graduate Schools in Computer Information Technology Programs.
Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity with track options of analysis, networks, or systems. The program teaches its students proficiency in cryptology and enterprise security risk assessment. The program's three re
Boston University is a private university with a main campus standing alongside the Charles River in Boston, MA. The campus features collegiate gothic, brownstone, brutalist, and contemporary structures – a combination which reflects the history and expansion of the university since its establishment in 1982. U.S. News & World Report ranks BU #42 in National Universities and #6 in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.
BU offers a well-rounded, interdisciplinary Master of Science in Computer Science. The Computer Science core addresses issues including cryptography, privacy and anonymity, and system security. Students can choose to specialize in Cyber Security, which focuses on practices in safe architectures, languages, and software. The curriculum offers courses in four subject areas, which include: Applications, Software, Systems, and Theory.
BU's Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering is home to two computer science research centers. Cyber Security students will work closely with the Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security, an interdisciplinary information security research center. The Software & Application Innovation Lab is a computer programming center serving BU faculty's tech needs.
Named after a founding father, George Mason University was founded in 1949 as a branch of the University of Virginia in Fairfax County. George Mason became an independent university in 1972, and since then has opened three additional Virginia campuses and a fifth in Songdo, South Korea. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university #136 in Best National Universities and #23 in Best Online Graduate Schools in Computer Information Technology Programs.
George Mason offers a Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Analysis. The program aims to prepare students for careers in academia, government, and the commercial sector. Prospective students should hold a Bachelor's degree, either in a STEM-related or relevant analytical field or in addition to adequate related work experience. Core course options include Digital Media Forensics; Information Security Theory and Practice; and Legal and Ethics in Information Technology.
The University of Arizona is unique for many reasons, beginning with its history as being one of the first universities to open in the Arizona Territory back in 1885. Today, the university is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a university with very high research activity. It is also the fourth most awarded public university by NASA for research. The university is a designated NSA/DHS Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research.
Arizona's Master of Science in Cybersecurity program is ideal for students with three or more years of experience in a related technical field. The program offers a choice between the Information Systems or Physical Systems track. Both tracks use analytical and interactive learning to help students plan and execute security measures against cyber attacks. Course topics include cyber warfare, data mining, and penetration testing.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Arizona #106 in National Universities and #8 in Best Online Graduate Schools in Computer Information Technology Programs. Arizona Online embraces technology including cinematic field lectures, interactive video discussion boards, and virtual lab kits.
Lewis University is a private Roman Catholic university in suburban Romeoville, IL. Adjacent to the Lewis University Airport, the school was shut down during World War II as a U.S. Navy pilot training site. Lewis continues to have a strong aviation program. It currently has a total enrollment of nearly 7,000 students and a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #20 in Best Regional Universities of the Midwest and #36 in Best Value Schools.
Lewis offers a Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. The research-based Computer Science program cumulates in an externally sponsored capstone thesis or project. Its Cyber Security concentration is based upon teaching students how to design networks, software, and tools to combat cyber attacks. Course offerings include Digital Forensics, Encryption and Authentication, and Wireless Security.
American Public University is a private, for-profit, online learning institution with corporate and academic offices in Charles Town, WV. Along with American Military University, the school is part of the American Public University System and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. APU is intended mainly for civilians interested in public service.
APU's Master of Science in Cybersecurity Studies is a 36-credit program which takes two full-time years to complete. The first half of the program provides a foundation in cybercrime, digital forensics, information assurance, and network security. The second half focuses on practices in private and public areas, such as criminal justice, emergency management, intelligence, and national security.
Founded in 1879 in Huntsville, TX, the public Sam Houston State University was named after a Texan soldier and politician and began as the first teacher-training school in the Southwestern region of the United States. Today, SHSU is a member of the Texas State University System and has an enrollment of more than 20,000 students. It is classified as a "community engaged" university by the Carnegie Foundation.
U.S. News & World Report ranks SHSU #16 in Best Online Graduate Schools in Computer Information Technology Programs. SHSU's Master of Science in Digital Forensics has been offered since 2004. The program trains students to administer cybersecurity and information assurance systems in commercial and public arenas. Its 36-credit curriculum includes courses in Cyber Law, Digital Security, and File System Forensics.
Syracuse University is a private university in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, NY. Its hilltop campus is an eclectic mix of nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival architecture, contemporary structures, and manicured walkways. The university's most popular majors are art, business, communications, engineering, and social sciences. The Carnegie Foundation recognizes Syracuse as a university with high-performing research activity.
Syracuse's College of Engineering and Computer Science offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity. The program emphasizes learning objectives relating to the design of new systems, malware detection and analysis, and systems assurance. Core courses include Assurance Foundations, Computer and Internet Security, and Design and Analysis of Algorithms. The online learning experience incorporates collaborative exercises, interactive coursework, and live discussions.
Syracuse is a designated NSA/DHS Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university #62 in Best Online Graduate Schools in Engineering Programs and #53 in Best National Universities.
The University of Texas at San Antonio was established back in 1969 as a state school with four campuses throughout San Antonio. Since then UTSA has been named one of the best universities under 50 years old by Times Higher Education and is recognized by The Carnegie Foundation for its "High Research Activity," and community engagement.
UTSA offers an online Master of Science in Information Technology with a Cyber Security concentration. The program's coursework examines areas including computer forensics, data mining, and secure software design. Graduates of the program have been recruited for companies including Amazon, Google, and the National Security Agency.
The San Antonian school is no stranger to institutional recognition either. The Cyber Security program at UTSA has been recognized by the NSA and DHS as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense, Information Assurance Education, and Information Assurance Research. The program was also named the "#1 Cybersecurity Program in The Nation" in a Ponemon Institute survey.
Western Governors University is a private, fully online university based in Salt Lake City, UT. The university uses a competency-based model, meaning it focuses on teaching concrete skills rather than abstract theory. As of November 2018, WGU has a global enrollment of more than 110,000 students. It is ranked #10 in Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
WGU's Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance was designed with input from cybersecurity experts and is closely aligned with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Students can move through material at their own pace, with most completing the program within six to 20 months. Areas of study include cyberlaw, disaster recovery, and hacking.
Along with an MS degree, students who complete the program's coursework will earn the E-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator certifications.
Southern Arkansas University is a public university nestled in the quiet city of Magnolia, AR. Founded in 1909 as the Third District Agricultural School, SAU evolved first into a junior college called Magnolia A&M and then into the four-year Southern State College. Renamed Southern Arkansas University in 1976, the school now hosts more than 4,000 students.
Like many of SAU's masters' degrees, the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science can be completed either partially or entirely online. The degree program offers a Cyber Security and Privacy option, which focuses on cyber defense, privacy compliance, and security analytics. Familiarity with computer applications and systems is a requirement to pursue this option. The university lists key career prospects as a forensic specialist, security and privacy architect, and compliance specialist.
Established in Utica, NY by Syracuse University of 1946, Utica College became an independent institution in 1995. The private university is a designated NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. It was also appointed a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence by the Defense Cyber Crime Center. Utica has affiliations with many private and public Cybersecurity organizations.
Utica's Master of Science in Cybersecurity offers a specialization in Computer Forensics. The specialized program teaches its students the forensic analysis, methods, and tools used to investigate online incidents including drug smuggling, tax evasion, and fraud scams. Required Cybersecurity courses include Critical National Infrastructures and National Security, Cyber Intelligence, and Principles of Cybercrime Investigations.
Originally called Williamsburg Institute, University of the Cumberlands is a private Baptist university in Williamsburg, KY. Its 150-acre rural campus has an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students, with postgraduates outnumbering undergrads. The university is a designated NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.
University of the Cumberlands' Information Systems Security program is designed for those already working in the Information Technology field. The program aims to prepare its students to develop and implement security policies, manage compliance with security regulations, create disaster prevention and recovery plans, and recognize and prevent system problems.
Dakota State University is a public state university in Madison, SD. Founded in 1881 as a normal school, DSU has a heritage mission of education and a more recent signature mission of technology. The school now specializes in computer information systems, computer management, and related programs.
DSU is a designated NSA/DHS Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education. Its Master of Science in Cyber Defense involves classes in computer forensics, data privacy, hacking, and intrusion detection. Core courses include Cryptography, Incident Response, and Offensive Security.
DSU has an information security team which competes in competitions including the National Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. As of January 2018, the university finalized plans to build Madison Cyber Labs, or MadLabs, a cyber research, and development facility. The university's president said the facility's construction would create jobs and hopefully "draw DSU alumni back to the state."
Kentucky State University is a historically Black public state university in Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky. Founded in 1886 as the Kentucky State Normal School for Colored Persons, the school experienced multiple name changes before becoming Kentucky State College in 1952 and gaining university status in 1972. U.S. News & World Report ranks KSU #4 in Top Public Schools in the South.
KSU's Master of Science in Computer Science offers a Cybersecurity and Information Engineering program options. Either option can be completed on a thesis or non-thesis track. Computer Science core courses include Advanced Programming & Data Structures, Information Security, and Software Engineering. The Cybersecurity option focuses on cryptography, enterprise management, and information and network security.
The Pennsylvania State University is a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant university with campuses throughout Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest universities in the United States by enrollment. In addition, Penn State has been named one of the "Public Ivies," as a publicly funded university with an educational quality comparable to an Ivy League institution. U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State at #59 in Best National Universities and #30 in Best Graduate Schools in Computer Science.
Penn State offers an Information Security and Forensics option within its Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security. The program aims to build students' understanding of cyber threat defense, information security, and privacy protection. Penn State's MPS includes three required courses: Policies and Programs, Social and Ethical Issues, and Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency.
Penn State has a long history of providing distance education. It was one of the first U.S. universities to offer a mail correspondence course to remote farmers as early as 1892. Today, its online distance learning program, Penn State World Campus, serves nearly 20,000 students all over the world.
Champlain College is a private college overlooking the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT. The college has additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Champlain generously on its list of Most Innovative Schools for four consecutive years. The college is also a designated NSA/DHS Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
Champlain offers a flexible Master of Science in Digital Forensics which can be completed in as few as 12 months. The virtual program grants students access to a range of commercial and open source software. Core courses include Digital Forensic Science, Mobile Device Analysis, and Operating System Analysis. The program cumulates in a capstone research project.
Stevenson University is a private, independent university located in the Greenspring Valley of suburban Baltimore County, MD. The school has three campuses in the area; one in Stevenson, and two in Owings. The university focuses on liberal arts, science, and technology and holds career building as a central mission.
Stevenson's online Cyber Forensics degree occupies a "virtual lab" environment with state-of-the-art forensic technology. The program uses educational exercises based on real-world cyber crimes. Course offerings include Cyber Warfare and Cyber Terrorism, Mock Intrusion and Response, and Windows Forensic Examinations.
Capitol Technology University is a private university occupying 52 acres of South Laurel, Prince George's County, MD. Originally called the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute, the university was founded in 1927 by a former U.S. Navy Radioman. It now specializes in business, computer science, engineering, and information technology.
Capitol was one of the first schools to be designated a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. Its Cyber and Information Security MS courses are offered in eight-week terms beginning each summer. The program's required courses include Malicious Software, Perimeter Protection, and Vulnerability Mitigation. Elections include Cryptography, Design of Cloud Networks & Services, and Project Management.
Graduates of Capitol's Cyber and Information Security program have gone on to work for companies including Goldman Sachs, Motorola, and NASA. The university's listed graduate career prospects include Chief Scientist, Risk Assessor, and Security Manager.
The private Nova Southeastern University offers online students an opportunity to earn their Masters of Science with an emphasis on medicine and the sciences. NSU is classified as a university with high research activity and community engagement by The Carnegie Foundation and is ranked #191 in National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
NSU offers two Master of Science programs relating to Cybersecurity. The Information Assurance & Cybersecurity program focuses on network security engineering. Its required courses include Applied Cryptography, Database Security, and Operating Systems. The Cybersecurity Management program focuses on security policy development and compliance from a management perspective. Its required courses include Human-Computer Interaction, Database Management and Applications, and Telecommunications and Computer Networking.
Nova Southeastern's online programs make room for frequent student interaction with teachers and fellow students. Its features include threaded discussion forums, audiovisual presentations, and an online resource directory.
Drexel University is a private institution located within Philadelphia's University City neighborhood. Drexel is a designated NSA/DHS Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #102 in Best National Universities and #10 in Best Online Graduate Schools in Computer Information Technology Programs.
Drexel's Master of Science in Cybersecurity program was designed for students with backgrounds in computer science or technical engineering. The program is organized into 10 four-week courses per academic year. Core courses are Information Ethics, Information Policy, Principles of Cybersecurity, and Security Engineering.
Drexel University Online has been recognized with a 2008 United States Distance Learning Association Best Practices Award and a 2010 Sloan Consortium Award. Drexel is also a leader in experiential learning through its co-op program, which offers students opportunities to gain paid work experience relating to their field.
The University of Maryland at University College is an accredited public university and a member of the University System of Maryland. While it is based in Adelphi, MD – Prince George's County – the university has satellite campuses worldwide. UMUC is one of the largest distance-learning institutions in the world, serving over 90,000 students globally.
UMUC's Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation is a 36-credit online program. Core courses include Communicating, Problem Solving, and Leading in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensic Response and Analysis. Past coursework projects have included analyzing artifacts to identify malicious activity and conducting mobile incident investigations based on classroom scenarios.
UMUC was a pioneer in distance education. Prior to the birth of the World Wide Web, the university offered courses through dial-up access to its WebTycho interface. Its distance learning program now embraces websites, digital resources, e-books, and interactive exercises.
Founded in 1821, The George Washington University is one of only five U.S. universities with a Congressional charter. The private university's location in Washington, D.C. makes it an ideal choice for students hoping to work in national government cybersecurity. U.S. News & World Report ranks GW at #63 in Best National Universities.
GW's Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management can be completed in as few as 16 months. The program was designed in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, the Integrated Justice Systems Institute, and other field experts and organizations. Course offerings include Cyber Defense Strategies and Enterprise Architecture and Standards.
GW has been recognized among NSA/DHS National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research. The university is also home to the National Security Archive, a research and archival institute housing the most extensive collection of declassified U.S. documents outside the federal government.
National University is a private institution located in San Diego and headquartered in La Jolla, CA. The school has 28 campuses: several throughout California, one in Nevada, and online. National is a designated NSA/DHS Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
NU offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Core courses include Ethical Issues, Net Defense & Cloud Security, and Toolkit Utilization. In addition, NU provides students with specialization opportunities in either Ethical Hacking and Pen Testing or Information Assurance and Security Policy.
National has participated in online learning since 1996 and currently offers more than 1,500 courses online. These interactive online programs feature live discussions, multimedia materials, and video components.
In 1866, a Union Army veteran returned to Michigan from the Civil War and opened the Grand Rapids Business College. The college went on to operate under different names in various locations throughout Grand Rapids. Today, Davenport University has campuses throughout Michigan and online and is focused on business, health, and technology.
Davenport offers a Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cyber Security. The 34-credit hour MS includes nine core courses, two electives, and a thesis. Foundational course topics include application security, cryptography, and network security. Elective topics additionally include financial security, health care security, and wireless security.
Wilmington University resides in the historic New Castle, DE with six additional campuses in Delaware, and five locations in New Jersey. The private university was honored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education.
"Cybercrime never takes a break," reads Wilmington's MS in Cybersecurity web page. "You can learn to lead the counterattackâ€¦" The online Cybersecurity program involves 12 courses which can be completed in as little as one year. Students can choose a concentration in SCADA Cybersecurity – which addresses supervisory control and data acquisition networks, or Cyber Terrorism.
Wilmington's Cybersecurity core courses include Cyberthreat Intelligence, Network Security, and Vulnerability Assessment. The university's list of typical Cybersecurity job titles includes Cryptographer, Ethical Hacker, and Vulnerability Assessor. Wilmington's list of affiliate Cybersecurity employers include banks, government agencies, and the e-commerce sector.
The University of Detroit Mercy is a private Roman Catholic university in Detroit, MI. The university has an emphasis on community outreach, and its Institute for Leadership and Service gives students opportunities to help create social change. U.S. News & World Report ranks University of Detroit Mercy #25 in Regional Universities Midwest.
The University of Detroit Mercy is a recognized NSA/DHS Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Its 30-credit online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance can be completed in one academic year. Specialty courses are offered in areas including digital forensics, ethical hacking, and incident response.
Multiple Cybersecurity program alumni have gone on to work for the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. Other alumni have become private contractors and college professors. The university's listed career prospects include Cyber Security Threat Analyst, Strategic Cybersecurity Architecture Designer, and Supply Chain Risk Management.
Colorado Technical University is a for-profit, primarily online university with onsite programs in Aurora and Colorado Springs, CO. Its degree programs focus on business, management, and technology. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school #40-#52 in Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs. CTU is recognized by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
Students pursuing CTU's Master of Science in Computer Science are expected to enter the program with a solid computer science background. The 48-credit program has a computer science core curriculum including Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Modern Operating Systems, and System Engineering Methods. The Cybersecurity Engineering concentration includes courses in Digital Forensics, Network Security, and Security Management.