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The Institute of Internal Auditors North AmericaBreadcrumb SeparatorAbout UsBreadcrumb SeparatorAbout the ProfessionBreadcrumb SeparatorAcademic Awareness Program


Academic Awareness Program

The IIA commends institutions of higher learning that promote internal audit awareness and education through their curricula. The IIA understands that schools require dedication and resources to support internal audit education. The IIA also understands that not all schools are able to devote the same commitment to teaching internal auditing. However, any commitment to building awareness of internal auditing, regardless of magnitude, can make a huge difference to a student searching for a career.

The IIA, the internationally recognized global voice for the profession and principal educator, has stepped forward to assist institutions of higher learning in this effort by providing a program to recognize the various degrees of commitment and effort schools are making to provide students with the information and skill sets necessary to be able to choose from a variety of career paths.

Here is a description of suggested curricula accepted in The IIA's Academic Awareness Program:

Awareness Building – acknowledges schools teaching internal auditing within an established (external) audit course or other course compatible to internal auditing such as ethics, governance, business, management, etc. Students are introduced to the concepts of internal auditing as well as a discussion of the similarities and differences between the two disciplines. A minimum of one classroom hour and one exam question on the topic of internal auditing are required for participation.

Introduction to the Profession – acknowledges schools teaching internal auditing as a standalone internal audit course such as Principles of Internal Auditing or Operational Auditing. This course provides students with an introduction to the profession and key activities of an entry-level internal auditor.

Internal Audit Diploma – acknowledges the importance of a non-degree learning environment such as a certificate or diploma program in internal auditing and is considered a post-baccalaureate program. Many individuals who have received their baccalaureate/bachelor degree in accounting or other disciplines may now work in the field of internal auditing. However, they may wish to learn more about internal auditing without enrolling in a Master’s or post-graduate degree program. They may prefer to study internal auditing at an institution of higher learning in the form of a diploma or certificate program. This type of certificate or diploma program is generally three to four courses in the specialized topic. The following is a list of courses that may be considered for the certificate/diploma program:

  • Advanced Auditing
  • Audit Data Analytics
  • Fraud Identification and Investigation Principles
  • IT Auditing
  • Principles of Internal Auditing

If you believe that your school qualifies for the Academic Awareness Program, please complete the Request for Recognition form:

Request for Recognition form

Benefits of Participating in the Program

There are many benefits of participating in the program:

  • Employers consult The IIA’s list of schools teaching internal auditing as they consider the degree of internal audit education they seek for their new hires.
  • Guest speakers may be provided upon request.
  • Institutions of higher learning participating in the program have access to various materials for use in the classroom.
  • There are enhanced opportunities to network with other educators teaching internal auditing to share ideas and materials.

Process for Recognition in the Program

For an academic institute to be recognized in the program, follow these steps:

External academic accreditation is required to participate in The IIA's Academic Awareness Program. In the U.S., that accreditation is The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Outside the US, the AACSB accreditation is preferred, but equivalent accreditations will be considered.

Match your existing syllabi with that suggested in The IIA's Global Model Internal Audit Curriculum.

The IIA's Global Model Internal Audit Curriculum

Contact your local IIA chapter or Institute, which may provide a good resource and be willing to assist you with the Request for Recognition form. If there is no local IIA chapter or Institute in your area, contact The IIA's Academic Relations Department at for assistance with steps four and five, below.

Complete the Request for Recognition form (linked on this page, above) and e-mail it to The IIA's Academic Relations Department at Acceptance to the program will be communicated to the school and local IIA chapter or Institute within 60 days of receipt of the request.

The school is required to periodically validate that the information provided in its initial request is still in conformance with the Awareness Program criteria. All changes should be included in the validation process. Only schools that continue to meet the criteria will continue to be listed on The IIA's website. The IIA reserves the right to periodically review the school's program for quality and conformance.

* Support of The IIA’s Academic Relations efforts is made possible through the Academic Fund.