The Master of Science in digital forensics and cyber investigation at University of Maryland Global Campus is designed to prepare you to meet the growing demand for investigative, leadership, and executive skill in evaluating and managing complex cybersecurity incidents and threats. Learn how to determine whether a digital system has been attacked or compromised, and master reliable methods to identify, preserve, analyze, and present evidence for legal prosecution, administrative proceedings, and business purposes.

In this program, you can develop investigative problem-solving skills, contribute to important team deliverables, analyze complex data scenarios, examine digital media for evidentiary artifacts, and write detailed digital forensic examination reports. The applied knowledge and skills you acquire can help government, business, and law enforcement organizations in detecting data breaches, mitigating cyber attacks, identifying responsible parties, and evaluating evidence of digital crime.

UMGC was named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

These requirements are for students who enroll in the 2020–2021 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit our catalog archive.

About the Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation Master's Degree

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.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Design procedures at a suspected crime scene to ensure that the digital evidence obtained is not corrupted
  • Conduct hands-on forensic searches to identify intrusion methods
  • Employ rigorous procedures to enable forensic results that can withstand scrutiny in a court of law
  • Explain the operation of digital components
  • Seize, image, deconstruct, and analyze digital media for evidence
  • Prepare professional reports
  • Present digital forensics results in a court of law as an expert witness

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Create an investigation plan for a digital forensics incident
  • Conduct a mobile incident response and investigation based on a classroom scenario
  • Use appropriate tools and procedures to check for the use of anti-forensics techniques
  • Conduct a Linux/Windows/Mac machine image investigation using industry-standard tools
  • Identify malicious software, network activity, suspect traffic, and intrusion artifacts through a review and analysis of artifacts
  • Conduct a digital forensic investigation in a challenging environment

Industry Certification

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

Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation Master's Degree 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.

Master's Courses

Introductory Course

  • CBR 600

Core Courses

  • DFC 610
  • DFC 620
  • DFC 630
  • DFC 640
  • CYB 670

Core Rules & Recommendations

  • 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.

 

Other Requirements

  • You must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at all times.
  • All degree requirements must be fulfilled within five consecutive years.
  • Any transfer credits must have been earned within the five-year time frame to be applied toward a graduate degree.

Please review our overview of overall master's degree requirements for additional considerations.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for work in government organizations, the private sector, and law enforcement agencies in the areas of computer and digital crime.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

We recommend a background in computing and programming. If you need to improve your computing skills, we recommend you take ASC 605. If you have not taken programming courses, we recommend you take ASC 609. We recommend ASC 601 if you'd like to improve your graduate writing skills.

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