George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting

The 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting Program provides an opportunity for students to acquire education in the emerging field of forensic accounting. Learn more about this growing field.

Students with a bachelor's degree in accounting can also use the certificate program as a means of obtaining the necessary 150 hours of academic credit to qualify for a CPA license.


In order to apply for the Forensic Accounting Program, applicants are required to have, at a minimum, a U.S. equivalent bachelor degree from an accredited college or university. The program is open to individuals holding degrees in any major although degrees in accounting are preferred.

Applying: Internal Candidates

Applying: External Candidates

  • Online application and application fee ($75)
  • Transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Each transcript needs to include course names, all grades received, cumulative GPA, and degree conferral information
  • Goals statement: In no more than 750 words, tell us why you believe that the Forensic Accounting graduate certificate program is the best fit for you. Include information about your personal qualities, academic background, professional experience, and career goals.
  • C.V. or resume indicating relevant work experience
  • Proof of English proficiency for students who have earned their degree outside of the United States (either TOEFL or IELTS)
    • Internet Based TOEFL (IBT) - 93 with no less than a 20 in any of the four sections
    • IELTS - minimum overall score of 7.0 with no less than a 7.0 in each section: listening, reading, writing, and speaking

Spring Application Deadline: December 1
Fall Application Deadline: July 1

Please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete, including all references, transcripts, the application fee, test scores, and international documentation if applicable. Please note that we will acknowledge documents which are posted/emailed to us when they are processed rather than when they are received. All documents are non-returnable.


Graduate tuition rates apply for the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting Program. Learn more about current tuition and fee rates. Please note that the graduate certificate in Forensic Accounting is not eligible for VA benefits.

Program Requirement

Candidates are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits to receive the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting. In-person classes are taught at both the Arlington and Fairfax campuses. Students who wish to pursue the program entirely at one campus should expect to take more time to complete the certificate due to the schedule of courses offered and classroom space availability. These credits can come from Mason's MS in Accounting program or Mason's MS in Computer Forensics program. Students admitted to the certificate program have four years to complete the certificate requirements.

Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in course work presented on the certificate application, which may include no more than 3 credits of C. (Grades of C+, C-, and D do not apply to graduate courses.) The GPA calculation excludes transfer credits.

Required Courses (9 credits)

  • ACCT 636 Fraud Detection or CFRS 770 – Fraud and Forensic Accounting
  • ACCT 737 Fraud and the Law
  • ACCT 738 Advanced Topics in Fraud

Elective Courses (3 credits)

  • ACCT 701 Business Valuation
  • ACCT 742 Corporate Governance and Ethics
  • CFRS 500 Intro to Technologies of Value to Forensics
  • CFRS 510 Digital Forensics Analysis

A maximum of 3 graduate credits taken at another institution can be transferred into a graduate certificate program. Replacement credits may be taken from the elective courses listed above.

For more information about Virginia's Uniform CPA Exam, contact the Virginia State Board of Accountancy. We encourage all students interested in sitting for the CPA to submit their academic transcripts to the BOA to determine how many accounting and business credits are needed to be eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.