Center for Continuing and Professional Education

Forensic Accounting

Program Description

Corporate fraud is an inevitable aspect of business.  Moreover, fraud is becoming more prevalent and damaging to corporations and organizations worldwide.  The 2013/2014 Global Fraud Report by Kroll, a corporate security firm, and the Economic Intelligence Unit highlighted that the level of fraud increased by every measure in the past 12 months. Overall, 70% of companies reported suffering from at least one type of fraud in the past year, up from 61% in the previous poll. Individual businesses also faced a more diverse range of threats: on average, those hit in the past year suffered 2.3 different types of fraud each, compared with 1.9 in 2012. Finally, the economic cost of these crimes mounted, increasing from an average of 0.9% of revenue to 1.4%, with one in 10 businesses reporting a cost of more than 4% of revenue.

The Certificate in Forensic Accounting program is designed to help accounting and security professionals develop expertise and competency in the area of forensic accounting examinations. The certificate will concentrate on the core skills required to identify, detect, and prevent fraud. Courses survey fraud schemes and address fraudulent financial reporting, misappropriation of assets, and corruption. Participants will learn how to develop evidence to support a fraud case through litigation support and expert testimony techniques.

Georgetown University is an education member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Participants who are Certified Government Financial Managers (CGFM) may earn continuing professional education credits to maintain their CGFM credential. The Certificate in Forensic Accounting has also been recognized as one of the top six graduate certificate programs by the Institute for Fraud Prevention.

Program Objectives

Program participants will:

  • Develop skills to identify and detect fraud
  • Understand common fraud schemes and fraudulent financial reporting
  • Recognize misappropriation of assets
  • Develop evidence to support a fraud case through litigation support and expert testimony techniques
  • Design internal systems that minimize or mitigate the potential for fraud

Designed For

  • Internal auditors
  • Accountants
  • Human resource professionals
  • Fraud investigators
  • Loss prevention professionals
  • Attorneys
  • Ethics officers
  • Information security officers

Career & Industry Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 13% (as fast as average) through 2022 while demand for management analysts will grow 19% (faster than average) through 2022. In general, employment growth of accountants, auditors, and analysts is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, demand for accounting, auditing, and business professionals will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records.

Certificate Requirements

To receive the Certificate in Forensic Accounting from Georgetown University, students must successfully complete the eight (8) required courses for a total of 7.20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which is equivalent to 72.0 contact hours. Students must complete the program within a two-year time period.

Program Prerequisites

Participants must have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent. A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Any requests for exceptions to these requirements must be made in writing to the program director at CCPE.

Program Format & Schedule

Most courses meet on Saturdays. Occasionally, courses may meet on weekdays during the day or evening. Generally, all courses are offered each semester, though some courses may be available in the spring or fall semester only. Refer to individual course pages below for schedules.

Courses may be completed in any order, though students are strongly encouraged to take the foundational course Principles of Forensic Accounting Examinations first.

Program Materials

Most program materials are included. Students are strongly encouraged to purchase or rent the most recent edition of Principles of Fraud Examination by Joseph T. Wells as a reference guide throughout the program. The book is available in print or e-book formats through online booksellers or textbook rental providers.

Course materials will be distributed in digital format and accessible through Blackboard, Georgetown's learning management system. Students must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.

Program Registration

This certificate is an open enrollment program. No application is required and registration is available by clicking the course links below. Current students must register with their Georgetown NetID and password. New students must first create an account and password through the Student Portal prior to registration. After your account is created, you will receive a Georgetown NetID via email. When you have your Georgetown NetID and password, continue registration by clicking "Add to Cart" on the course registration page, logging in, and following the steps to complete checkout. Course registration is complete when payment is processed and you receive a confirmation email.

Program Tuition

Tuition for each course is $700.00. Total program tuition for all eight courses is $5,600.00. Tuition is due at time of registration. Students may register for all eight courses at once or register for courses separately. Students who register for all eight courses in one transaction receive a 10% tuition discount, which is equivalent to $70.00 per course. Withdrawals and refunds are processed based on the Withdrawal and Refund PolicyThis program also qualifies for Veterans Affairs Benefits for eligible students.

Tuition Payment Considerations

While non-credit professional certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, prospective students should consider the following for tuition payment:

  • Seek employer funding or reimbursement
  • Enroll in our interest-free payment plan
  • Use Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits/ GI Bill
  • Apply for a private education loan
  • Register for individual courses over multiple semesters

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Information for Accountants

Georgetown University Center for Continuing and Professional Education is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors.State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Web site:

The National Registry of CPE Sponsors is a program offered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to recognize CPE program sponsors who provide continuing professional education (CPE) programs in accordance with nationally recognized standards.

International Students

Non-credit professional certificate programs are classified as part-time education programs. As a result, Georgetown University cannot sponsor international students for student visas (F-1) to enroll in certificate programs. However, prospective international students who enter the U.S. on a valid visa are eligible to enroll in courses. For more about travel visas, please see the section on international students under Frequently Asked Questions.

More Information

For more information or to speak with a program advisor, please complete the Request More Information Form, send an email to, or call (202) 687-7000. Interested students are also encouraged to RSVP for an upcoming information session.


Program Schedule

Course Name Semester Dates Schedule Tuition
Principles of Forensic Accounting Examination Fall 2014 Sept 13 Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM $700.00
Fraud Examination: Detecting Misappropriation Fall 2014 Sept 20 Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Fraudulent Financial Reporting Fall 2014 Sept 27 Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM $700.00
Advanced Forensic Technique Fall 2014 Oct 4 Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM $700.00
Internal Controls: Proper Design and Detection Fall 2014 Oct 11 & 18 Sat 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM $700.00
Fraud in the Governmental Environment Fall 2014 Nov 8 & 15 Sat 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM $700.00
Criminal Investigative Techniques Fall 2014 Nov 22 Sat 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM $700.00
Digital Forensic Analysis Fall 2014 Dec 6 Sat 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM $700.00

Minimum Required:  8.0  Courses
    XCPD-560   Principles of Forensic Accounting Examinations
    XCPD-561   Advanced Forensic Techniques
    XCPD-562   Internal Controls: Proper Design and Detection
    XCPD-563   Fraud Examination: Detecting Misappropriation
    XCPD-564   Fraudulent Financial Reporting
    XCPD-565   Fraud in the Governmental Environment
    XCPD-566   Criminal Investigative Techniques
    XCPD-567   Digital Forensic Analysis

Certificate Programs Information Sessions

October 1, 2014 6:00 PM Details

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