Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination (FAFE) Overview

Forensic accountants in demand

The widespread growth in white-collar crime, litigation disputes, the illegal international movement of money and terrorism financing have greatly raised the demand for forensic accountants, fraud examiners and for professionals who possess those skills. Federal, state, and local governmental agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, The US Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security, Government Accounting Office and the Offices of Inspector General all need professionals with forensic accounting, fraud examination, litigation dispute and economic crime skills. In the private sector, legislation (e.g., Dodd-Frank of 2010, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) and auditing standards (Statement on Auditing Standard No. 99) require companies and their auditors to be more aggressive in detecting, preventing and deterring fraud.

Why WVU?

Many of our distinguished faculty have earned doctorates from leading business schools and are experts with extensive anti-fraud, forensic accounting, business and professional experience, enabling them to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Hallmarks of our on-line program include exposure to practicing professionals and experiential learning. Throughout the program, students have extensive exposure to world class practicing experts, in addition to our superior full-time faculty. The real-world expertise brought to the classroom in the areas of complex fraud and financial crime examination (e.g., organized criminal, drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism financing), interviewing, international issues (e.g., moving money around the world, money laundering, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), dispute serves and courtroom preparation yield students who not only know but have done what it takes to be successful in the real-world.

CFE Exam Prep Course: Included in your tuition is the ACFE Exam Prep Course, making you eligible and qualified to sit for the CFE Exam.

Further, our experiential learning, complex case assignments are designed to ensure that graduates can "hit the ground running" in their jobs.

A unique program to answer the need

The Department of Accounting has responded to this demand by developing an academic program designed to prepare students for careers in litigation support, forensic accounting and fraud examination. Although many schools offer a single fraud examination or forensic accounting course, very few offer a multi-course program. We have three options to allow you to develop to skills that will propel your career to the next level:

Each of the program options requires live (in-person) residencies (described as part of the program discussion)

Employment and Support for Job Placement

All FAFE students in any program are eligible to participate in all College of Business & Economic’s Center for Career Development (CCD) services. Even for on-campus interviews, on-line students not residing in Morgantown, WV can participate via phone call / via internet-based interviews! WVU typically has more than 25 employers visit campus each year seeking qualified accounting students, and 100s more seeking qualified business professionals from WVU’s many programmatic offerings, many of which also recruit students with FAFE credentials. Visit for more information.

WVU developed the National Curriculum

Dr. Richard Riley was one of the leaders of a national effort to develop curriculum guidelines for fraud and forensic accounting programs on behalf of the National Institute of Justice (Department of Justice). The effort set WVU apart as a thought leader in FAFE education and that leadership is reflected in your graduate certificate program.

WVU hosts the Institute for Fraud Prevention (IFP)

Executive Director, LaRue Williams and Dr. Richard Riley, Director of Research lead the IFP.  The Institute for Fraud Prevention is an industry/university cooperative research effort dedicated to multi-disciplinary research, education and prevention of fraud and corruption. The IFP's primary mission is to improve the ability of business and government to combat these crimes and to educate the general public on effective methods of recognizing and deterring them.  The IFP acts as an "honest broker", supporting a dialog across practicing professionals and academics as well as financial and data support for academic researchers examining the challenges and complexities of fraud, white collar and economic crimes.

Note: If you are interested in the PhD in Accounting with the Specialization in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, go to