Computer forensics is a subdivision of forensic science that deals with legal evidence found on computers and related technology. A degree in computer forensics provides the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue employment opportunities that involve gathering evidence on people who are suspected of committing an illegal action. Here are the top five institutions that offer computer forensics degrees
1. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida is a major public university that strives to provide an inclusive academic environment that includes teaching, service, and research. It offers a Master of Science degree in digital forensics with a thesis and non-thesis option that prepares students to work as examiners in the field. The program requires 30 credit hours after a bachelor’s degree, which includes 12 credit hours of required courses and 12 credit hours of electives in a specialty area such as computing, criminal justice, or forensic science and legal studies. The required courses include topics in forensic science, practice of digital forensics, seizure and examination of computer systems, and network security, intrusion detection, and forensic analysis. Internship and fellowship opportunities are available within the program. The University of Florida also offers a graduate certificate program in computer forensics for current professionals in law related fields. The program requires 15 credit hours after a bachelor’s degree, including 12 credits of required courses and three credits of elective courses.
2. George Mason University
George Mason University is a public research institution that is committed to educating a new generation of leaders who have the ability to shape the world with revelation, clearness, and honesty. It offers a Master of Science degree in computer forensics that prepares students to pursue careers in law enforcement, corporate sectors like banking and finance, and other related areas. The program requires the completion of at least 30 graduate credits, including 16 credits of core courses, 12 credits of electives, and a mandatory three-credit capstone course. The core courses include information security essentials, information security theory and practice, digital media forensics, network forensics, advanced computer forensics, and legal and ethical issues in information technology. The elective courses serve to provide students with more specialized graduate studies. The capstone course cannot be taken until students have completed a minimum of 18 credit hours in the program. Students must complete no more than six credits hours with a grade of a C.
3. Kent State University
Kent State University is a public research institution that is committed to the discovery, development, application, and sharing of knowledge. It also strives to promote compassionate and ethical values in serving the state of Ohio and the world as a whole. It offers a computer forensics and information security certificate that provides and overview of information security, forensic preparation, and recovering and evaluating data. The program requires the completion of at least 23 credits with a GPA of 2.50 or above for graduation. The core courses include introduction to operating systems and networking technology, computer forensics, computer assembly and configuration, issues in law and society, network setup and configuration, and local area network security fundamentals.
4. University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public research university that is committed to enhancing the intellectual and social aspects of the people of Alabama by offering quality teaching, service, and research opportunities. It offers a Master of Science degree in computer forensics that is designed to educate students for jobs in security audits and investigation of cyber crime. The program requires 36 semester hours that include core courses and courses from the computer forensics and cyber crime investigation specialty track. The core courses include computer security, network security, introduction to computer forensics, cyber crime and forensics, and investigating online crime. The University of Alabama also offers a certificate program in computer forensics.
5. Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University is a public university that is dedicated to engaging students in rigorous academic offerings that provide personalized attention and experiential components to encourage them to become productive individuals and lifelong learners. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science with emphasis on forensic science. The program requires 129 total credits, including 36 credits of general education requirements, 36 credits of computer science core courses, 12 credits of criminal justice core courses, 33-34 credits of computer forensics core courses, and three credits of forensic electives. The computer forensics core courses include computer forensics, Internet forensics and cyber security, and advanced computer architecture, applications of microprocessors, and probability and statistics. Students must also complete three credits of experiential education.