Explore Economic Crime Investigation
Created for those interested in building a career fighting white-collar crime and exposing fraud, Champlain's online bachelor's degree in economic crime investigation educates students about the critical issues faced by fraud examiners and investigators every day. With a focus on hands-on learning and designed with working adults in mind, this degree program will help you differentiate yourself in the fields of law enforcement, risk management, and accounting.
Build Your Career Future
Champlain's economic crime investigation program will provide you with key soft skills (such as critical thinking and problem solving) and a robust foundation in financial fraud investigation that can be applied in both the public and private sectors. You'll also have the opportunity to build your credentials as you go and differentiate your resume through a certificate in Forensic Accounting.
Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared for both the Certified Fraud Examiner test, as determined by ASIS International and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), as well as the CAMS examination that is required by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) for certification.
Academic Excellence and Recognition
Regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education
Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report
Designated as a Military Friendly School for our commitment to the military community
Named the Best Private Online College by Intelligent.com
What Can You Do With A Degree In Economic Crime Investigation?
Graduates of the economic crime bachelor's degree program are qualified to pursue a number of career paths in financial examination, fraud examination, and private investigation in a variety of industries, including insurance, finance, and the state and federal government.
Depending on the career path that graduates select, professionals in this field can anticipate consistent job growth over time. Financial examiner careers are expected to grow 7% between 2019 and 2029 (faster than the average for all occupations) and earn a median annual salary of $81,430.* Private investigators can also expect positive career growth, with careers in the field growing 8% between 2019 and 2029 (also faster than average); these jobs earn a median annual salary of $53,320.*
*Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2020; job titles: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2020
Top Jobs for Bachelor's in Economic Crime Investigation Graduates
- Fraud Analyst
- Fraud Examiner
- Loss Prevention Specialist
- Police Detective
- Private Investigator
Learn more about Champlain's 100% online economic crime investigation bachelor's degree, designed for working professionals.
Champlain's online economic crime investigation courses encompass the top skills needed by today's fraud examiner professionals. Graduates of the program are required to complete the following courses.
Professional Courses (66 credits)
General Education Courses (30 credits)
Science Literacy (4 credits)
Human Thought & Creative Expression (3 credits)
Human Behavior & Social Institutions (3 credits)
Historical Perspectives (3 credits)
General Electives (11 credits)
Note: Some of the courses in this program are available in 15-week terms only. Please contact your advisor for details.
Professional Courses (66 Credits):
Accounting is the language of business. This course introduces the student to accounting from the point of view of the user of financial reports and is appropriate for personal as well as business applications. Students explore the impact of transactions on the financial position and profitability of a business, and analyze financial reports of real-world corporations.
Managerial accounting focuses on the needs of management for accounting information to make informed decisions in the internal operations of a company. Topics include decision-making, accounting for planning and control, cost-volume-profit relationships, and budgeting.
In this first course of a two-part sequence focusing on financial reporting students will learn theory, concepts, principles and practices underlying preparation of external financial reports, particularly application of generally accepted accounting principles related to disclosure of current and noncurrent assets and principles of revenue recognition on the Balance sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Retained Earnings. Students will also consider broad issues like the environment of financial reporting, the role of financial reporting and the accounting standard-setting process.
Building on the knowledge and skills gained in Intermediate Accounting I, students will examine more intensively the application of generally accepted accounting principles for financial reporting and disclosure of current and noncurrent liabilities and stockholders' equity. Students will gain skills related to the advanced measurement, recognition and reporting of these select topics in financial accounting as well as the Statement of Cash Flows.
This course serves as an introduction to forensic (fraud) accounting. Topics include fraud examination techniques, interview techniques, rules of evidence relating to fraud, internal control methodology, asset misappropriation and financial statement misrepresentation. Students cover various fraud examination techniques. Students also learn rules of evidence as they relate to several different fraudulent activities including illegal activities such as wagering, money laundering, cash skimming and embezzlement. Course presentation assumes basic accounting knowledge and guides the student into specialized applied settings, indicative of forensic accounting.
An introduction to auditing theory and practice as governed by generally accepted auditing standards and accounting principles. Topical coverage includes the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Code of Professional Conduct, auditors' legal liability, planning an audit with emphasis on the study and evaluation of the internal control structure, audit evidence (what kind and how much), working papers, the various types of audit reports and a practical audit case.
Complete MATH-180. ACCT-231 is the required corequisite course.
This exciting course introduces students to the myriad software tools and best practices for handling digital evidence. Labs utilize Champlain College Online's Forensic VDI and challenge students to begin building their skills, from creating a hash value for a forensic copy with X-Ways Forensics and FTK Imager, to examining evidence with The Sleuth Kit (TSK), Autopsy and/or EnCase.
Complete CMIT-135 and CMIT-140
This course explores more advanced topics and methodologies for examining digital evidence. Topics taught in this class include File System Forensics, Computer Operating System Forensics and Mobile Device Forensics. Students are challenged to work individually and in groups to examine and prepare detailed reports showing the relevance of digital evidence to mock cases. This course presents a higher level of technical detail and will balance theory and hands-on aspects for conducting digital forensic examinations.
White collar crime investigations often require investigators and examiners to dig deep because the schemes to defraud are complex. In this course, students examine many different types of white-collar crime, including frauds (consumer, securities, corporate and fiduciary, and health care), environmental crimes, abuse of power (public officials and corruption), and computer crimes. Students are also asked to assume the role of forensic accountant in a scenario-based lab and determine what, if any, financial crimes have been committed.
Complete CFDI-240. Complete ACCT-130 or MGMT-230.
Investigations don't just happen. Sometimes victims allow investigators to examine their devices and other times search warrants are necessary. In this course, students work a case in a manner that closely resembles piecing together a puzzle. They examine the digital evidence that is provided with Autopsy and Axiom, and then, in the final week, conclude the investigation and submit a final investigative report that documents the evidence, details the analysis work, provides an accurate timeline, and takes into account the information and data from the victim and offender(s).
Opportunities to explore abound! Students typically write papers, complete hands-on projects and/or conduct original research in this course. Topics are selected in the first few weeks, and then students demonstrate progress throughout the 15-week course. In the final week, students present their work to the class and instructor.
Must complete 90 credits before taking this course.
Dig into network forensics and anti-forensics in this course, where students examine files for hidden messages and learn to use programs like MobileFish, OpenPuff and SilentEye to hide files in images and audio files, and Wireshark and NetworkMiner to analyze packet captures. Students also work with the Windows registry, practice locating Internet passwords from browsers using IE PassView and Google tools, and encrypt files/folders using AESCrypt and similar open source programs.
CFDI-240 and CMIT-130
This course provides students with an understanding of the many different devices and technologies, from historical to emerging, that are required to design and build networks. In a broad survey of concepts and terminology, students will learn about topology, communications, protocols, and security, and to diagram basic networks to specification.
From day one, students in this course are problem solving, first in terms of algorithmic design and then as early as week two via programming in the latest version of Python, using PyCharm. Students begin by writing a program to have a conversation, having strings and numbers as input, and advance, by week seven, to building a working password saver program, capable of looking up, adding (and encrypting), and storing passwords.
Provides a comprehensive analysis of the fundamentals of substantive criminal law. Students will learn the essential elements of crimes and the rationale underlying criminal law. The nature of jurisdiction, the criminal act, the criminal state of mind and matters affecting responsibility for criminal conduct are included.
This course focuses on the rules and procedures governing how the American criminal justice system must process individuals suspected, accused, and convicted of law violations.
Computer evidence (digital evidence) is being used every day in our country to convict criminals of crimes ranging from possession of child pornography to embezzlement to murder. Every competent, modern law enforcement officer understands the significance of digital evidence in every case submitted for prosecution. Students will be required to learn, and apply, legal principles that govern how this vital evidence is recovered (and used) to insure that it will be legally admissible in court.
CRIM-120, CFDI-240 and 60 completed credits or permission of the program director.
Use Windows? Want to know more about Linux and or Apple? In this course, students don't just read about other operating systems, they step out of their comfort zones and develop a working knowledge of their structure and functionality. As part of these activities, students also learn how to use VMware and, in the case of students without access to Apple hardware, resources offered in the cloud as a services. Students also survey/compare mobile device operating systems.
Business managers must have an understanding of how organizations are financed in order to make more informed decisions. Managers must also recognize and assess the role of investment to business operations. By exploring the Time Value of Money and applying this principle to borrowing and lending decisions, students will learn how certain financial, capital budgeting and resource allocation decisions are made. Students also will learn how business forecasting assists business managers in developing longer-term strategic plans.
This course will introduce foundation subject matter and technologies that are critical to the multidisciplinary landscape of cybersecurity.
Complete CMIT-130 and CMIT-135.
Building on the skills students have previously acquired, this course offers students the opportunity to deep dive into a case using X-Ways Forensics to examine the registry, understand "typical" user activities on the Internet (social media and search histories, for example), and create a timeline/events. Students also gain more experience with RegRipper along with an introduction to analyzing a memory dump using Volatility.
General Education Courses (30 Credits):
This course draws on fundamental concepts of contemporary communication research to help students identify and develop strategies to become effective and versatile communicators across media and settings. Students will examine and respond to a range of interpersonal situations through the critical evaluation of the three essential components of all communication: its purpose, audience, and context. Students will leave the course with the ability to reflect on and adapt their strategies to successfully and consistently communicate for a range of purposes across diverse settings.
This course draws on fundamental concepts of contemporary group communication research to help students identify and develop strategies to communicate effectively in small groups and teams for the cooperative purpose of advancing common goals. Students will draw on listening and responding strategies learned in COMM-130 Interpersonal Communication and apply them to communicating as a leader or member of a small group. They will also learn how to recognize and manage the types of conflicts that can arise in small groups. Prerequisite: COMM-130 Interpersonal Communication
Students will learn to navigate the rapidly changing nature of communication in the digital age, deeply engaging with tools such as instant messaging, social networks, blogs and collaborative spaces online, all the while applying specific communication theories in order to determine best practices. Through reading, discussion and intensive hands-on projects, students will work to overcome online communication barriers and gain critical understanding of which tools are effective in which situations. Students will be required to download, access and utilize various online communication tools.
COM-100 or COMM-130 and 30 completed credits or 60 completed credits
This course introduces students to the foundational concepts needed to communicate effectively in writing for academic study and professional development. Students will learn how to use the four stages of the writing process--prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing--to create written communication that meets its intended purpose for its intended audience. Students will also be introduced to rhetorical modes and their role in the development of written communication. A minimum grade of C is required for this course to meet a general education requirement.
This course builds on students' proficiency in the writing process and rhetorical modes to introduce the use of evidence from sources in written communication. Students will learn to determine the need for evidence from sources, identify types of information resources, develop effective search strategies, and incorporate evidence from sources in written communication legally and ethically. A minimum grade of C is required for this course to meet a general education requirement.
Complete ENGL-100 with a minimum grade of C or better
This course will introduce students to major streams of social justice thought, including historical social justice movements, theoretical problems having to do with social equality, personal freedom, marginalization, and stigmatization, and the ways in which civic and professional communities respond to these issues.
Mathematical reasoning, when applied to everyday and professional lives, has two dimensions: logic for deterministic situations and probabilities for non-deterministic situations. This course aims to help students develop these mathematical reasoning skills.
Accurate and appropriate visual data representation is increasingly critical in today's work environments. Students will develop skills in data organization, manipulation and interpretation in a way that supports data-driven decision-making and effective communication of numerical data
This course builds on students' proficiency in using evidence from sources to support their own prior knowledge to using evidence from sources to develop persuasive communication for a range of purposes, including solving problems and pursuing opportunities in the workplace, in addition to academic study. Students will learn to articulate effective inquiry questions, recognize errors in logic, interpret the validity of persuasive communication created by others, and develop effective persuasive communication of their own using evidence from sources. The role of accurate citation of sources in persuasive communication will also be addressed. A minimum grade of C is required for this course to meet a general education requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL-100 The Writing Process & ENGL-110 Introduction to Using Evidence from Sources in Writing.
Complete ENGL-100 and ENGL-110 with a minimum grade of C.
In this course, adult students demonstrate skills and knowledge from work and other life experiences in order to request credit for a specified degree requirement. Students use the conceptual framework of argumentation to make a logical case for credit in an e-portfolio. The portfolio will identify the context for the student's learning in the subject matter, trace its progression over time, and explain how the learning is equivalent to the specified CCO degree requirement. The student will then demonstrate proficiency in each course learning outcome and integrate the learning outcomes in a relevant case study. To achieve a course pass, the completed portfolio must demonstrate course outcome proficiency according to the framework and criteria described above. Portfolios meeting these criteria will be submitted to a faculty subject matter expert for evaluation.
Full admission into a CCO degree program, ENGL 111, ENGL 112, and approved PLA plan. Students within 12 credits of degree completion are not eligible to take CRIT 200.
Specific application of common tools for writing in the working world. Students will be instructed in rhetorical strategies of professional writing including style, report formats, editing, document design, and integration of visual aids. Students will complete a semester-long writing project; oral and written reports associated with the process of problem-solving within the project will be included.
ENGL-112 or COR-125
This course introduces students to the fundamental elements of technical writing (clear, concise, and targeted)that are common among seven forms of technical communication: email correspondence, editing,employment communication, proposals, long, formal reports,oral communication, and inventions. Through peer reviews and writing workshops, students develop the ability to write and edit text that precisely targets its audience. This course emphasizes deepening and broadening students' writing, speaking, and thinking abilities in a non-lecture-based, hands-on, discussion-centered classroom.
ENGL-112 or COR-125
Choose One Science Literacy Course (4 Credits):
Introduces students to the biochemistry and physiology of nutrition and exercise. Emphasis will be placed on human body systems such as musculoskeletal, digestive, respiratory and circulatory, and their relationship to nutrition and fitness. Students will also study the biochemistry of energy conversion as it relates to exercise physiology. Laboratory sessions are designed to reinforce, by a hands-on approach, the principles discussed in lecture. Course includes two laboratory hours per week.
Students learn the biology, genetics, chemistry, and physics involved in the forensic investigation of crimes. A wide range of topics are studied including DNA, entomology, fingerprinting, trace evidence, serology (blood, saliva, and semen), blood spatter, and chemical analysis of drugs, alcohol, and other compounds. Students apply their new knowledge of forensic science through the use of case studies and laboratories. This course includes two laboratory hours per week.
If you have taken FOR-110 you may not take this lab science course.
Choose One Human Thought & Creative Expression Course (3 Credits):
With pressure and release, a window opens and closes, recording light on a sensor. The simple action captures the instinct, judgement, and skill of the person behind the lens. This class will begin a study of the art and craft of photography. Students will develop their vision and their understanding of how to achieve it. Solid skills will be learned and many doors will be opened.
A survey of the continuing change experienced in art since the 15th century. Students will examine how an image is achieved as well as the significance of the subject represented. Individual inquiry concerning the nature of art is encouraged.
Students learn to appreciate films through the critical analysis of various elements of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound. The course introduces the conventions of classical Hollywood cinema, considers the work of one major director (auteur), and surveys selected international and independent films. Students view and discuss films each week.
Students will become familiar with arguments originating from the following schools of ethics: virtue ethics, deontology, and utilitarianism. Students will apply these ethical schools of thought to formulate arguments, practice deliberation and assess the implications of their decisions for various stakeholders in a professional context.
Must have 75 completed credits or permission of Program Director.
A study of fiction of various lengths, with an emphasis on plot techniques, character development, style, point of view, setting, structure, theme, and artistic unity. Continued emphasis is placed on the improvement of writing skills.
ENGL-112 OR COR-125
An introduction to the major literary genres: poetry, drama and fiction. Selections are chosen from American, European and non-Western literature. The emphasis of this course is on improving the student's ability to read perceptively and write effectively . A continued emphasis is placed on the improvement of writing skills.
ENG-110, ENGL-112 OR COR-125
Choose One Human Behavior & Social Institutions Course (3 Credits):
A survey of the science of psychology, including an overview of human behavior in various areas such as physiopsychology, development, learning social psychology, personality and abnormal behavior.
A study of human groups, culture, the self, and human interaction. The course focuses on contemporary American society and the influence of culture on our actions and beliefs, with the goal of fostering critical thinking about our social environment.
Historical Perspectives Course (3 Credits):
Students will study important themes in the social history of the United States since the Civil War. This course allows students to expand their critical thinking skills through an examination of primary and secondary sources. Themes might include: the evolving status of women; the immigrant experience; the concept of the American dream; the paradox of freedom vs. slavery; the minority experience; the tensions between social classes. Students will be evaluated primarily on writing assignments.
Graduates of the economic crime investigation bachelor's online program will demonstrate the following industry-specific skills, knowledge, and competencies:
- Demonstrate problem-solving skills by selecting appropriate evidence to support legal action.
- Create, interpret, and identify discrepancies in financial information.
- Develop investigative techniques through the principles of criminal and civil law to help discover and prosecute economic fraud.
- Evaluate and effectively use financial and investigative technologies to identify, gather, and communicate evidence of economic crimes.
- Use scientific methods to systematically and objectively gather, document, and analyze data in order to identify financial crimes.
- Integrate financial, legal, and forensic perspectives when conducting investigations and preparing for legal actions.
- Present and communicate complex information clearly and concisely.
- Acquire in-demand technical, analytical and soft skills employers want - such as communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration - in general education courses that are a part of this degree.
Learning outcomes for the B.S. in Economic Crime Investigation program are based on recommendations from ASIS International, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), and will prepare students to sit for both the CFE exam and certification exams through the International Compliance Association and the International Association of Financial Crime Investigators.
Champlain College Online's economic crime investigation faculty, led by Program Director Dr. Albert Orbinati, are expert practitioners in the field. Their industry expertise ensures that our curriculum is aligned with the needs of employers, and reflects the skills today’s economic crime investigation professionals need for success. Classes led by our seasoned experts will give you real-world insight into the field, and create a rich community of career-focused learning.
Students who have earned the CISSP Certification are eligible for transfer credits toward this degree. Please speak to an admission representative or your academic advisor for details.
Tuition & Costs
Continuing your education is an investment in your future. Learn more about our affordable tuition rates.
Upcoming Information Sessions
Undergraduate Overview Information Session
This engaging webinar will provide an overview of the online undergraduate experience. An admissions representative will discuss our undergraduate programs, the application process, who our students are, and end with a question and answer session.
Meet the Program Director
- Business (A.S., B.S., Certificates)
- Economic Crime Investigation (B.S.)
Albert Orbinati, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Program Director for the undergraduate business administration programs at Champlain College Online.
He has worked in various roles within the higher education and military arenas for over 15 years. Prior to Champlain, Dr. Orbinati's roles have included Assistant Vice President of Online Learning and Continuing Education at Medaille College in Buffalo, NY, Dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Education at The Sage Colleges in Albany, NY, and Director of Online and Non-Traditional Programs at Utica College in Utica, NY. He has also been an adjunct professor for the past eight years in Utica College's cybersecurity program.
In addition to his career in higher education, Dr. Orbinati is a member of the U.S. military, and currently holds the rank of Major in the Vermont Air National Guard and is the lead for marketing efforts in the State of Vermont.
Dr. Orbinati holds a B.A. in Urban Planning from Binghamton University, an M.A. in Adult Education from Central Michigan University, an M.B.A from Champlain College, and a Ph.D. in Adult Education from Capella University.
"I chose Champlain because it gave me the flexibility I needed. The accelerated format offers a great way to reach your goals faster, and makes earning your degree or certificate a realistic achievement that truly is obtainable."
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