Explore Economic Crime Investigation (B.S.)
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 a specialization of your choice.
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 among the top MBA programs by Abound/Colleges of Distinction
Pursue Your Economic Crime Investigation Career
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 2018 and 2028 (faster than the average for all occupations) and earn a median annual salary of over $80,000. Private investigators can also expect positive career growth, with careers in the field growing 8% between 2018 (also faster than average); these jobs earn a median annual salary of over $50,000.
*Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2019; job titles: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2019
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):
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Intermediate Accounting I (15-week course)
- Intermediate Accounting II (15-week course)
- Forensic Accounting
- Digital Forensic Investigation Techniques
- Digital Forensic Analysis
- White-Collar Crime
- Sr. Seminar in Digital Investigation (15-week course)
- Anti-Forensics & Network Forensics
- Networking Fundamentals
- Introduction to Python
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Law of Searching & Seizing Digital Evidence
- Introduction to Operating Systems
- Operating Systems Forensics
- Principles of Finance
- Foundations of Cybersecurity
General Education Courses (54 credits):
- Intro to Psychology or Intro to Sociology
- Critical Reading & Expository Writing I
- Critical Reading & Expository Writing II
- Intro to Statistics (15-week course)
- Interpersonal Communication
- Microeconomics OR Macroeconomics
- Intercultural Communication
- Critical Thinking
- Writing in the Workplace
- Ethics in the Professions
- Introduction to Forensic Science
- Hum/Sci/Math Elective (9 credits required)
- General Electives (11 credits required)
Economic Crime Investigation Course Descriptions:
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.
The course continues the study of the topics introduced in Financial Accounting but shifts the point of view to that of the provider of accounting information. It presents an in-depth and critical study of generally accepted accounting concepts and principles. Topics include a review of the accounting cycle, the conceptual framework of accounting, the income statement and statement of cash flows. Students examine in detail the balance sheet items of cash, receivables, inventories, and debt financing.
The study of generally accepted accounting concepts and principles continues. Topics include equity financing; property, plant and equipment; intangible assets; investments in debt and equity securities; employee compensation; special revenue recognition methods, lease accounting, statement of cash flow, and financial statement analysis.
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 embezzelment. 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.
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.
Develops the ability to use writing for learning, thinking, and communicating. Includes an emphasis on critical reading of various texts for meaning, form, and voice. In order to discover their writing voices so they may communicate at a college level, students write several short formal and informal papers in response to their reading. They react to and summarize texts, develop and organize ideas, incorporate the ideas of others, revise and edit.
In addition to building on the skills learned in the first semester, this second-semester course develops the ability to write essays with an emphasis on research, critical reading and thinking. Students continue to learn strategies for writing texts that are clear, coherent, comprehensive, creative, concise and correct for a specific audience and purpose.
How to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret data in order to make decisions about the world. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, discrete probability distributions, normal probability distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing with one sample, hypothesis testing with two samples, correlation, regression, chi square tests, and analysis of variance.
Students will study the basic concepts and theories of communication, and learn to apply this knowledge to improve their relationships with others through everyday communication. Specifically, students will learn how to interpret people's verbal and nonverbal behavior more accurately, and to be more aware of how others interpret communicative behavior. They will learn how to listen actively with empathy, and how to interact effectively and appropriately with others from different social and cultural backgrounds. Students will also explore how to use communication as a tool to develop their relationships and self-concepts, and how to manage conflict using specific communicative strategies.
Discusses the nature and method of economics with emphasis on microeconomic theory. Focus is on demand, supply, market equilibrium, elasticity, costs of production and resource pricing. Examines the market structures of pure competition, oligopoly and monopoly.
A general survey course that covers theories and applications of macroeconomics. Business firms, international economics, labor and government are included. Also examines monetary policy, taxes, public finances, economic output and growth, and international trade in the world economy.
This course builds on COM 130, but with an emphasis on how to develop skills for communicating competently in an increasingly diverse society. Students will explore how culture is communicated verbally and non-verbally, and how to interpret and understand culturally-specific communicative practices. They will also learn how to establish, develop and manage relationships with culturally different peoples, and how to recognize and overcome cultural stereotypes and prejudices.
Complete COMM-130 or COM-100.
Encourages the democratic art of thoughtful and tolerant discussion. The initial emphasis on critical reading focuses on argument identification, structure, and evaluation. Topics for study include the basic elements of deduction and induction, implication, causality, forming and testing hypotheses, evidence, problem solving and the evaluation of sources of information. Students will apply skills and principles learned to the oral and written presentation of their own arguments.
ENG-310 or ENGL-112 Must complete 60 credits before taking this course.
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
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.
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.
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.
Tuition & Costs
Continuing your education is an investment in your future. Learn more about our affordable tuition rates.
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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