Digital Evidence Discovery and Digital Evidence Investigation Certificates

Two certificates offer forensic training for students, providing the skills to locate, recover, and analyze digital evidence. These skills include but are not limited to:

  • Understanding how to identify and safely recover digital evidence from computers, cell phones and other end-user devices;
  • Conducting an analysis of data to determine evidentiary value;
  • Understanding the rules of evidence and applicable law necessary in the collection, preservation and presentation of digital evidence; and
  • Understanding the difference between computer crime and computer-related crime in today’s society.
  • Analyzing malware.

The proliferation and use of technology has changed the nature of crime and the methods of high-tech criminals. For example, fraud may no longer involve forging checks, but instead debit or credit card fraud. Organized scams over the internet are prevalent. Each of these areas requires a new skill set for practitioners in the field. It is common for those involved in criminal activity to have used social media, email, their smartphone or a combination of these while engaged in criminal activity. In addition, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, such as smart home appliances, Fitbits and the Echo capture vast amounts of digital evidence that can be used to prosecute or exonerate a suspect.

The certificates are geared towards the practice of digital forensics. The Digital Evidence Discovery Certificate contains curriculum that includes digital evidence recovery, preservation and collection of vital information from personal computers and networks. The field investigator or probation officer, for example, needs the basic know-how to collect digital evidence and follow approved procedures. The same is true for corporate IT professionals. The Digital Evidence Investigation Certificate provides investigators with a foundation for investigating digital data itself, in the lab.  Only one transfer course can be accepted for each certificate (total of two). The two certificates are designed to provide courses that most directly apply to the digital data field and lab investigators. Three of the twelve courses in the certificates are required in the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity (formerly Computer & Network Security).  Cybersecurity B.S. majors can earn both certificates by using seven of the twelve electives* available in the program for the remaining courses.  Note that Cybersecurity B.S. majors completing both Digital Forensics Certificates are eligible to declare a Digital Forensics Concentration.

*The Cybersecurity B.S. program includes 5 Free Electives, 1 College of Technology Elective and 5 Security Electives. In addition, students declaring the Digital Forensics Concentration may request a waiver of the Work Integrated Learning requirement in order to make an additional three credits available.

Minimum Grade Policy

Both digital forensics certificates have set a minimum passing grade of “C-” for each course. Students receiving a grade lower than “C-” in any of the specified courses must retake those courses.

Digital Evidence Discovery Certificate

LES 330 Cyberlaw

LES 331 Electronic Discovery

SEC 100 Introduction to Computer Hardware and Operation

SEC 230 Introduction to Linux

SEC 240 Foundations in Cyber Investigations

SEC 370 Computer Incident Response Course

Note: Students are held to all prerequisite requirements; some students may require more than six courses to complete the certificate.

Digital Evidence Investigation Certificate

SEC 235 Networks and Telecommunications

SEC 350 Introduction Computer Forensics

SEC 355 Mobile Device Security and Forensics

SEC 360 Advanced Mobile and IoT Forensics

SEC 375 Malware Analysis Techniques

SEC 440 Network Forensics

Note: Students are held to all prerequisite requirements; some students may require more than six courses to complete the certificate.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2023-2024 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2022 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.