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Solve crimes by following digital footprints and uncovering vital evidence.

Do you have a knack for technology and love solving mysteries? 鶹ý’ executive master’s program in digital forensics offers the best of both interests. Learn about crimes like electronic fraud, online scams, identity theft, and more. Digital forensics handles all forms of cybercrime, making it one of the most essential careers in the modern world. This executive graduate degree instills the critical thinking and application skills needed to address growing cyber security concerns in IT. With careers like forensic technicians and security analysts, experts in digital forensics play a vital role in the . As the world becomes more digital, the more related crimes will spike, and the more digital forensics will become essential.

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By the Numbers

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Designation
Anchor: Programs & Requirements
Programs & Requirements

Programs & Requirements

Executive Master of Science in Digital Forensics

If you’re looking for the technical skills to begin (or advance) your career in fighting cybercrime, we have the answer. Intended for those who have earned a baccalaureate degree and are working in the field, the executive master’s degree program in digital forensics at 鶹ý will help you enhance your credentials and accomplish your professional goals.

You will use forensics technology best practices to:

  • Investigate data lost to illegal activities
  • Take an active role in recovering lost data
  • Build the skills necessary for cyber forensics
  • Explore leadership roles in IT across many fields and industries

Course Requirements

Pursue one specialization to obtain your executive MSDF degree.
Core Courses - 30 Hours Required

*Capstone Required

Pursue one specialization to obtain your executive MSDF degree.
Core Courses – 18 Hours Required

Students are required to complete 12 credit hours from the following approved blocks by selecting two of the three blocks listed:

Block One

Block Two

Block Three

*Capstone Required

  • (1hr) OR INTR 599 – Applied Practical Learning approved substitution

*All online students who are seeking to earn this degree must take this course in lieu of INTR 599, in addition to meeting all program degree requirements. Executive format students can substitute the required INTR 599 course in lieu of MSDF 699 as part of their program degree requirements.

** Executive format programs have an applied learning component (internship or practicum) that is an integral and essential part of the established curriculum. Due to the applied learning component required for the degree program, Executive format students must enroll in INTR every term of enrollment.

Anchor: Executive Student Resources
Executive students walking toward graduation ceremony

Executive Student Resources

UC's Department of International Graduate Services enjoys providing support resources for our international students. Find tutorials and information regarding offices and policies for the International Graduate Students and programs.

Executive Program Format

Our Executive Programs include hybrid course days designedfor international graduate students studying in the U.S., or domestic students seeking a hybrid-format program. We strive to incorporate professional experience andreal-worldapplication of course curriculum into our programs to enhance the learning experience. Practical Training is an integral part of program coursework and available to all students. At the 鶹ý our degree programs focus on quality education at an affordable price.

Executive Program students take three (3) courses per semester. The program semester is based on the existing UC semester calendar, with three (3) annual semesters: fall, spring, and summer. Two of the courses each semester focus on the specific program content. Additionally, students will be required to attend an intensive residency weekend as part of their course enrollment each term. The third class includes an Applied Learning Practicum, in which students apply what they are learning in their other two courses to the real world via work or internship experiences.

Residency FAQs

Residency Session dates are determined by the course that you are registered for. It is very important that you make note of the class you registered for, as well as the designated residency weekend for that course as each coursewill only meet one weekend for the duration of the semester.

Even though we will only be meeting one weekend per semester, we will have the same number of contact hours with you. This will enable the instructors to make residency weekends much more valuable. This change will allow us to have meaningful projects on residency weekends.

You can view your semester schedule in your self-service portal in your Student Profile.Once you log into your MyUC account, click on 鶹ý, then click on Current Schedule. Your schedule details will indicate the date and location of your residency weekend.

You can find information on the residency site locations on our website.

Yes, all three days are mandatory, and requests to arrive late or leave early will not be approved. Should you not be in attendance for the full session, you will be counted absent for the entire session. Please plan travel accordingly!

Attendance to each executive residency class session is mandatory. Students may make up no more than one (1) residency session throughout the duration of their academic program. Missing a second residency will result in the student being dismissed from the university.

A missed session will result in the student attending a make-up session, and paying a $300 residency make-up fee.In addition, the student may be asked for documentation from the program department providing an explanation as to why the scheduled residency session was missed. Make-up sessions must be completed prior to the end of the term. Noncompliancewith this policy will result in dismissal fromtheexecutiveprogram.

Make-up residency sessions will be held at our campus in Williamsburg, KY. You will be contacted with the time and dates after your absence is reported. There will only be one (1) residency make-up session offered each semester. Failure to attend all days of the makeup session will result in receiving a failing grade for the course, as well as potential dismissal from the University, and SEVIS termination.

If you cannot be in attendance for all three days then you will be counted absent for the entire residency weekend and be required to attend the make-up residency and pay the $300 make-up fee.

The Department of International Graduate Services will contact you via your UC student email as registration for the next term approaches. Please remember that you are required to register for (one) main class, (one) online class, and Applied Learning Practicum each semester in order to maintain your F1 status– late registration will not be accepted and can result in the termination of your student status.

Once you register for a class you will want to make note of the residency weekend that your class is scheduled, as that is the only session for that class that will be scheduled for the semester. You will need to be sure to plan your travel accordingly to ensure that you are in attendance for the full residency session.

Registration is done on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once a course is full, there will not be additional seats added, as we cannot exceed classroom seating capacity; therefore, it is advised that you register for classes as much in advance as possible.As a reminder, students cannot register for future semesters until their current tuition balance is paid in full.

*Please note all times are in local time zone*

Friday

Facility will open at 4:00 p.m.

Saturday

Facility will open at 7:00 a.m.

Sunday

Facility will open at 7:00 a.m.

We ask that you please take note of the above-mentioned times and schedule your travel accordingly.

*These dates have been set; however, if any changes are made, they will be made prior to registration for that semester. Not all dates are available at each residency location.

Fall 2023 (August 28 – December 15)

  • September 29 – October 1
  • October 6 – 8
  • October 13 – 15
  • October 20 – 22
  • November 3 – 5
  • November 10 – 12
  • November 17 – 19

Spring 2024 (January 8th – April 26th)

  • February 9 – 11
  • February 16 – 18
  • February 23 – 25
  • March 1 – 3
  • March 8 – 10
  • March 15 – 17
  • March 22 – 24
  • April 5 – 7

Summer 2024 (May 6th – August 23rd)

  • May 31 – June 2
  • June 7 – 9
  • June 14 – 16
  • June 21 – 23
  • June 28 – 30
  • July 12 – 14
  • July 19 – 21
  • July 26 – 28
  • August 2 – 4

Fall 2024 (August 26th – December 13th)

  • September 27 – 29
  • October 4 – 6
  • October 11 – 13
  • October 18 – 20
  • October 25 – 27
  • November 1 – 3
  • November 8 – 10
  • November 15 – 17
  • November 22 – 24
Anchor: Mission & Goals

Mission & Goals

UC’s digital forensics program strives for excellence in creating, applying, and imparting knowledge in IT through comprehensive educational programs, research, dissemination, and service to professional societies, communities, states, and the nation.

Knowledge to properly secure facilities, equipment, and software.
Practice with proper techniques for implementing security plans that ensure compliance with various laws.
Ability to create and implement a plan to provide for disaster prevention and recovery.
Practice identifying and investigating breaches in compliance.
Confidence to address specific needs and challenges in the field of information security.
Anchor: Career Outcomes

Digital Forensics Careers & Outcomes

All stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Digital Forensics Technician: $61,930

Digital Forensics Technician: $61,930

Digital forensics technicians aid investigators by collecting and analyzing evidence from digital attacks and electronic resources.

Information Security Analyst: $102,600

Information Security Analyst: $102,600

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect from cyber-attacks and reduce risk of loss of data.

Forensic Science Technician: $61,930

Forensic Science Technician: $61,930

Forensic science technicians aid in investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence to find the culprit.

Information Research Scientist: $131,490

Information Research Scientist: $131,490

Computer and information research scientists research new and existing technology, design and test new technology, and create innovative use for new and existing technology.

Information Systems Manager: $159,010

Information Systems Manager: $159,010

Computer and information systems managers manage teams of other computer specialists in various roles to fulfill the needs of a company. They often organize, direct, and present projects.

Quality Assurance Analyzer: $109,020

Quality Assurance Analyzer: $109,020

Quality assurance analyzers identify issues with software applications in order to ensure safety and functionality of a given product.

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Common Questions

Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science that handles cybercrimes. Whereas traditional forensic science focuses on physical evidence, digital forensics involves recovering and investigating evidence left behind on digital devices. In order for evidence to be used in a court of law, investigators must follow a strict process. After an incident takes place, :

  1. Identify evidence of a cybercrime and where it is stored
  2. Preserve the digital data and ensure no one tampers with it
  3. Analyze the evidence and draw conclusions about the crime
  4. Document the data and recreate the cybercrime scene
  5. Summarize the data and present it along with a conclusion

Earning a degree in digital forensics could prepare you to uncover evidence of cyber threats and criminal activity across many settings and career paths. Consider the role of , which stands to grow 33 percent between 2021 and 2030. Security analysts conduct testing and document security breaches after an incident occurs. Just as importantly, they try to keep businesses’ IT systems safe in the first place. Earning a digital forensics degree at the master’s level could be one way to take your previous IT knowledge and experience in a new direction.

Also consider a career path. Technicians who work on computer crimes are known as forensic computer examiners or digital forensics analysts. Like their counterparts who analyze physical evidence such as DNA, digital forensics analysts uncover evidence at crime scenes—in the digital landscape, of course. As a whole, this profession should . That’s much faster than average for all occupations.

Many who pursue a forensic science technician career path earn a master’s degree. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that candidates who earn a master’s should have . In a master’s in Digital Forensics degree program such as ours at 鶹ý, you could build the skills you need to make an impact in the world of digital crime solving—or other fields that require expertise in this domain.

This degree is a 31-credit-hour degree, and each class is worth 3 hours, except for the final project, which is worth 1 hour. Each class is offered in an 8-week term format, and you will be able to take classes at your own pace. You are also required to attend residency weekends during the program. If you take 12 hours per semester (2 classes each bi-term – two bi-terms equals one full semester), and you attend all residencies, you could finish this degree in as little as 3 semesters!

All programs at 鶹ý are offered at some of the lowest rates in the nation – and we even include free textbooks through our One Price Promise! For more information on how affordable this program would be for you, visit our Financial Aid page.

A group of Graduate students entering during the processional at Commencement.

Executive Program Admission Requirements

All students in our executive programs are required to meet a standard set of admissions requirements for graduate students.

Anchor: Faculty

Faculty Experts

Learn more about our digital forensics professors.

Melissa Bundy

Melissa Bundy

Assistant Professor
Criminal Justice

Melissa Bundy

Contact Information

melissa.bundy [at] ucumberlands.edu
Faulkner Building
Dr. Harry Webster

Dr. Harry Webster

Adjunct Professor
Criminal Justice

Dr. Harry Webster

Contact Information

harry.webster [at] ucumberlands.edu
Remote
Dr. Elizabeth S. Marsal

Dr. Elizabeth S. Marsal

Adjunct Professor
Criminal Justice
Master in Criminal Justice

Dr. Elizabeth S. Marsal

Contact Information

elizabeth.marsal [at] ucumberlands.edu

Request Information

Ask us about our executive digital forensics degree program today!

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