Graduate Certificate in 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 accounting 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, and the Offices of Inspector General all need professionals with forensic accounting and fraud examination 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) 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 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. The 12-credit graduate Certificate Program in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination (FAFE) is offered via three options:

  • Option 1: Complete the four course stand-alone Graduate Certificate program curriculum during the summer, or
  • Option 2: Complete the four course stand-alone Graduate Certificate program curriculum on-line over two semesters. The on-line option requires two, 2-day on-campus residencies (described below) , or
  • Option 3: Complete the Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) on-campus degree plus complete two advanced FAFE certificate courses to earn the FAFE Graduate Certificate and the MPA over 11 months.

All MPA students are exposed to essentially all of the material covered in ACCT 581 and ACCT 582. Various fraud-related topics are covered in several MPA courses, but the primary overlap with ACCT 581 and ACCT 582 is in ACCT 556 Fraud Detection & Deterrence and ACCT 521 Information Technology Auditing, respectively. ACCT 556 is a required MPA course that responses to changing demands of the accounting profession. ACCT 521 covers data analysis techniques.

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

Employment Opportunity - Support for Job Placement

FAFE students are eligible to participate in all College of B&E'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, several 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.