Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

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CIAs perform assurance and consulting services for their organizations, engaging with all levels of the organization from the Board of Directors to line level operations. CIAs are uniquely qualified in risk management, including Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), risk response of internal controls, and data analysis/analytics of risk measures.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers the CIA Certification. The IIA was established in 1941, and CIAs number over 170,000 in over 170 countries. The CIA Certification provides professional credibility and leads to an average $38,000 increased compensation over non-CIAs. For more details about CIAs, see About-the-Profession.

KSU is home to the Internal Audit Center (IAC). The IAC is a Center of Excellence in the Internal Audit Educational Partnership (IAEP) of the IIA. As an IAEP program, the KSU-IAC supports education to prepare students for the Internal Auditing Profession. KSU Students can earn an Internal Auditing Education Partnership (IAEP) certificate by completing either: 

  • A set of three (3) undergraduate courses
    • Internal Auditing (ACCT 4152)
    • Fraud and Forensic Accounting (ACCT 4800)
    • Data Analytics (ACCT 4550)

  • The Audit/Advisory track of the Master of Accounting program.

For more information about the IAC and IAEP Certificate, see IAC.

CIA Requirements

Requirements for CIA certification:

  1. Apply to become a candidate by submitting three (3) items:
    • An application
    • A character reference
    • Academic transcripts
  2. Pass a three-part exam including:
    • Part 1 – Essentials of Internal Auditing
      • A candidate who passes Part 1 may be eligible for the “CIA Practitioner” designation while they complete the remaining two parts of the exam.
    • Part 2 – Practice of Internal Auditing
    • Part 3 – Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing
  3. Have a combination of education and work experience to become certified
    • The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has established a scale allowing more education to supplement part of the experience requirement.

Once certified, CIAs are required to participate in Continuing Professional Education (CPE) in order to maintain their credentials. For more information see CIA-Certification and CIA-Eligibility-Requirements for more specific information regarding education and experience requirements.

Students are encouraged to talk to the Director of the Internal Audit Center while pursuing their CIA.


Frequently asked questions about the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification.

  • No. Many CIAs have earned degrees in other business and non-business degree programs.
  • The courses in the IAEP program are aligned with the IIA’s model curriculum focusing on relevant knowledge for both the CIA exam and a successful career in internal audit.  Additionally, the IAEP Certificate informs potential employers that the student has readied themselves for a career in internal audit.
  • Yes, the IIA offers student memberships at NO cost, and a membership provides many benefits, such as reduced costs to professional meetings and discounts at the IIA bookstore. It also includes a subscription to the IA Magazine to keep the student apprised of current issues in the profession. Finally, it alerts potential employers that a student is serious about entering the IA profession.
  • The KSU Master of Accounting program’s Audit/Advisory (MAcc) track is a professional program preparing students for a career as an auditor. The topical coverage of the courses does relate to national exam topics (i.e., CPA and CIA exams), but the graduate program includes many components that will launch the graduate as a leader beyond the staff level.
  • In addition to your accounting major field requirements (ACCT 3300 – Accounting Information Systems and ACCT 4550 – Data Analytics), you should take:

    • ACCT 4152 – Internal Auditing
    • ACCT 4800 – Fraud and Forensic Accounting

    Alternatively, you can enroll in the Audit/Advisory track of the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program at KSU.  You will earn an IAEP certificate upon graduation from the MAcc!