Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity

Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity

DIGITAL FORENSICS AND CYBERSECURITY PROGRAMSJohn Jay College of Criminal Justice meets the challenges of fighting cybercrime by providing professional science education in digital forensic science and cybersecurity with concern for justice. D4CS, the Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity Program, offers a Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity degree and two advanced certificate programs.

The Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity degree program offers a balance of practice and theory through study in computer science, law and criminal justice. The program produces professionals qualified as digital forensic scientists who can apply and sustain their expertise as new technological and societal challenges emerge, who understand the scientific, legal and criminal justice context of high technology crime, and who can effectively communicate their knowledge to others.

Advanced certificates offered:

 

Who We Are

  • D4CS Program Director: Professor Douglas Salane
  • D4CS faculty are full-time professors who are computer scientists, legal scholars or social scientists with a supporting cast of adjuncts who are working professionals.
  • We are small selective program with a mix of mid-career and sworn personnel with recent graduates, who attend both full and part time. They are from New York and beyond with most working in IT or other fields, all dedicated to beginning a career in digital forensics and cybersecurity.
  • All courses are offered on-campus, typically on Monday through Thursday evenings to accommodate working students.
  • Small classes enable students to build strong ties with each other and faculty.
  • Students often work with faculty on research projects.
  • Courses move from theory to practice with hands on lab work.
  • Internships and cooperative education are key elements of the program.

 

Who We Seek

  • Computer science graduates who are interested in combining the study of forensic computer science with criminal justice.
  • Public and private sector practitioners who wish to upgrade their expertise by studying the science beneath the tools they use in their work. (Up to six equivalency credits are available to practitioners.)
  • Law enforcement personnel and veterans who seek to move into cyber investigations and digital forensics.
  • Experienced information technology specialists or those from related fields who wish to make a career shift.

 

What Our Graduates Do

Equipped with their multi-faceted education in forensics, computer science, law and criminal justice, our versatile graduates pursue a variety of career paths in digital forensics, cybersecurity and information assurance, such as:

  • cyber investigators
  • special agents with federal agencies
  • digital forensic analysts
  • eDiscovery specialists
  • lab managers
  • educators
  • information security (INFOSEC) specialists
  • cyber incident analyst responders
  • cybersecurity analysts
  • computer security
  • network security analysts
  • information assurance consultants
  • forensic computing product research and development
  • doctoral training in related fields

 

Admission to the Program

Academic Preparation for the MS Degree 
Admission to the Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity degree program requires knowledge of core computer science and the capacity to be successful in graduate courses in computer science, law, and criminal justice. Computer science or related majors are preferred; however, the minimal computer science background required consists of the following undergraduate courses: two courses in programming, and courses in data structures, algorithms, operating systems, computer networks, and discrete math. Applicants should also have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, GRE verbal and math scores above the median, a GRE analytical writing score of 4.0 or higher. All applicants are required to submit a resume. Applicants who hold advanced graduate or professional degrees from an English-language-based program are advised but not required to submit GRE’s.

Those who need to refresh the required computer science background may do so through CSIBridge, our graduate advanced certificate preparatory program.

What We Look For

 

Admission decisions for all D4CS programs are based on a holistic assessment of an applicant's evident potential to succeed in graduate computer science, law and criminal justice coursework. In addition to the college's general admissions requirements, the following guidelines and required materials apply to applicants to D4CS programs:

 

Applicants with a Bachelor's Degree

  • Transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended.
  • GRE verbal and math scores above the median, and a GRE analytical writing score of 4.0 or better. 

 

Applicants with a Graduate or Professional Degree

  • Transcripts from the undergraduate degree granting institution and from all graduate or professional work.
  • Either GRE scores or a substantial written product from graduate work and evidence of a capacity to succeed in graduate computer science coureses.  

 

For All Applicants

  • An earned bachelor’s degree, from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution or an international equivalent, is required for admission. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is expected for all graduate programs.
  • Three letters of reference and a personal statement.
  • Applicants who have been enrolled in college or graduate courses within the past two years are expected to submit academic references.
  • CSIBridge candidates should show potential to succeed in computer science courses through such assets as math GRE scores or prior success in math and science courses.
  • Practitioners and other mid-career applicants should submit a resume with their application.
  • Applicants who lack one or more of the factors favoring admission but who have other mitigating assets may be admitted with conditions. 

 

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity
Requirements for the degree program consist of 33 total credits for students who do a thesis and/or attain the CAD4SCI (Certificate in Applied Digital Forensic Science). Alternatively, 39 total credits are required with the six additional credits selected from the designated Forensic and Security or Criminal Justice electives .

See College Bulletin for course descriptions.

Required Courses                 Subtotal: 15 credits

FCM 710 Architecture of Secure Operating Systems
FCM 742 Network Security
CRJ/FCM 752 Law and High Technology Crime
FCM 753 Digital Forensics Applications
FCM 760 Forensic Management of Digital Evidence

Forensic and Security Electives (Take at least three)         Subtotal: 9 credits

FCM 700 Theoretical Foundations of Computing Security
FCM/FOS 705 Mathematical Statistics for Forensic Science
FCM 740 Data Communications and Forensics Security
FCM 745 Network Forensics

Criminal Justice Electives (Take at least one)                    Subtotal: 3 credits

CRJ 708 Law, Evidence and Ethics
CRJ/FCM 727 Cybercriminology
CRJ 733 Constitutional Law
CRJ/PAD 750 Security of Information and Technology

Graduate Elective           Subtotal: 3 credits

Any course in the graduate catalog
(except for FCM 708 or FCM 709)
to include the above electives.
or
FCM 787/788/789 Cooperative Education (1-3 credits)

Capstone Options (Choose at least one)            Subtotal: 3 credits

Capstone Fieldwork + CAD4SCI
Capstone Fieldwork

Total: 33 credits
Total: 39 credits*

       FCM 780 Capstone Seminar and Fieldwork

Applied Research Project + CAD4SCI
Applied Research Project

Total: 33 credits
Total: 39 credits*

       FCM 791 FCM Prospectus Seminar

Thesis

Total: 33 credits

       FCM 791 FCM Prospectus Seminar

* Requires six additional credits from Forensic and Security or Criminal Justice electives.

Applied Digital Forensic Science Certification Exam
The Applied Digital Forensic Science Certification Exam balances the role of theory and practice in the program of study by challenging students to prove their capacity to use computer science to address practical problems in digital forensics and cybersecurity. The exam is optional for degree students but is required to qualify for the Capstone Fieldwork Option and the CAD4SCI. A grade of Low Pass or better is required to qualify for Capstone Fieldwork. A grade of Pass or better is required to qualify for the CAD4SCI. Students in the degree program may take the exam upon completion of FCM 710, FCM 742 and FCM 760, although is it advisable to wait until completion of FCM 745. The exam is administered by the faculty and usually offered twice a year. Students have two chances to be graded on the exam but may withdraw once before grading.