In the digital forensics and cyber investigation graduate certificate program, you'll examine the foundations of digital forensics and become familiar with industry-standard tools and procedures that are used in conducting forensics investigations related to cybersecurity. You'll learn how to secure and validate digital evidence, recover and analyze digital artifacts, and report and present findings in legal settings.

About the Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation Graduate Certificate

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Refine your communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and leadership skills
  • Apply cyber methodologies to cyber architectures, services, protocols, algorithms, hardware and software components, and programming languages
  • Employ rigorous procedures to enable forensic results that can withstand scrutiny in a court of law

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Create an investigation plan for a digital forensics incident
  • Conduct a Linux/Windows/Mac machine image investigation using industry standard tools
  • Conduct a digital forensics investigation in a challenging environment

Industry Certification

This program can help prepare you for the following certification exam(s):

Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation Graduate Certificate Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Required Courses

  • CBR 600
  • DFC 610
  • DFC 620

Course Rules and Program Progression

  • All courses must be taken in the order listed. 
  • You must complete each course with a grade of B or better to advance to the next course. The grade of C is not available for these courses. 
  • The courses in this program will have seven-day and 60-day options for the grade of Incomplete.

Vertical Pathway

If you completed your undergraduate degree at UMGC with a major in computer networks and cybersecurity, a vertical pathway between UMGC's graduate and undergraduate degree programs in that field allows you to reduce your total coursework for this program by up to 6 credits.

Overall Certificate Requirements

Initial Requirements

  • CBR 600 or DCL 600
  • CBR 600 or DCL 600 must be taken as the first course for the certificate.
  • The required initial course is listed as part of the certificate required classes.
  • You must be admitted as a UMGC student.
  • You may pursue a degree and certificate simultaneously or pursue a degree after completing the certificate.
  • No more than 6 credits may be earned through transfer from other schools.
  • You must satisfy all required prerequisites for certificate courses. You may need to fulfill some prerequisites before beginning certificate coursework.
  • You must complete all required coursework with a minimum grade of B (3.0) in all courses.
  • Certificate courses may not be taken pass/fail.
  • Graduate students may only complete certificates at the graduate level.

Time Limits for Graduate Certificates

You must complete the requirements for a graduate certificate within five consecutive years. The time limit is calculated from the term in which you successfully complete the first credit course that applies to the program. It does not include the introductory courses DCL 600 and CBR 600 but does include courses transferred from other institutions.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help you prepare for a career as a cybersecurity first responder or cybercrime analyst.

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Additional Information

Technology Requirements

This program's curriculum requires that you use a computer with the following:

  • Microphone and speakers or headset with microphone or equivalent device
  • 5 GB of free hard drive space
  • 4 GB RAM or higher
  • A high-speed internet connection
  • Computer processor (Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64) running at speeds of at least 1 GHz
  • Windows 8.1 or Mac OS X 10.6 or higher for an operating system (Linux operating systems can also be used but require more technical knowledge from the user)

Note: The higher the processor speed of your computer (e.g., 2.4–3.4 GHz), the larger the amount of available memory (e.g., 4–12 GB), and the larger the amount of available hard drive space (e.g., 5–20 GB), the better your computer will perform and the smoother your experience will be.