Forensic Studies Program Description

Forensic specialist describes an individual or expert in a particular field who examines evidence for the purpose of presenting findings in a court of law. Forensic specialists work throughout all areas of the business world, including public accounting firms, law firms, corporations, and the government. The accounting, criminalistics, information technology, investigations, interdisciplinary, and legal tracks in forensic studies are designed to provide both the knowledge and the skills required of forensic specialists and are a direct outgrowth of the University's undergraduate programs in accounting, criminal justice, information systems, and paralegal studies.

With the cost of U.S. economic crime growing dramatically—nearly doubling over the last decade to at least $200 billion annually—many accounting firms, law firms, and government agencies incorporate forensic teams into their practices. Members of forensic teams assist in merger and acquisition analyses, tax investigations, economic crime investigations, cyber crime investigations, white collar crime investigations, money laundering investigations, security fraud investigations, litigation support services, specialized audits, fraud prevention and detection, and anti-terror investigations. The forensics team often includes technical experts who maintain the chain of evidence, information technology professionals who analyze electronic data, field personnel who handle the investigative process, accountants, insurance fraud investigators, damage claims specialists, auditors, and computer forensics experts.

The forensic studies master's degree program prepares students for rewarding careers in accounting, criminalistics, information systems, investigations, law, and related forensics professions. Students develop marketable skills sought after by public and private sector employers and the justice system. Accomplished faculty with real-world experience and achievement ensure students demonstrate technical and core competencies, critical thinking, and effectively communicate both orally and in writing. Students and faculty are guided by principles of professionalism, ethics, integrity, and respect for the rule of law.