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

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

Foundation Course

  • CBR 600

Core Courses

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

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.

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.

Facts & Figures

Student Clubs and Organizations

    Type: Student organization
    Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

    The Computing Club aims to create a dynamic environment where members can work collaboratively, share innovative ideas, enhance their career-readiness, and gain marketable experience in their respective fields.

    Type: Student organization
    Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

    The Cyber Competition Team represents UMGC at various cybersecurity events and highly competitive tournaments nationwide. Students hone their cybersecurity skills, learn to work effectively as a team, and network with other students, cyber professionals, and prospective employers.

    Type: Honor society
    Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

    Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the international honor society for the computing and information disciplines. Formed in 1967, the purpose of Upsilon Pi Epsilon is to promote the computing and information sciences and to encourage the enhancement of knowledge in the field. Upsilon Pi Epsilon is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a degree in the computing and information disciplines.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Program

What do I need to do to succeed in the Master of Science in digital forensics and cyber investigation? +

This program is open to anyone but some basic knowledge of IT is helpful. If you have no IT background, it is strongly recommended that you take the non-credit preparation course in IT prior to taking CYB 610.

Whom is the Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation geared toward? +

This program is designed for those who want to develop skills and competencies in the analysis of digital evidence. This may lead to positions tracking cyber intruders or digital evidence within government and private organizations as well as law enforcement.

What will I get from the Master of Science in digital forensics and cyber investigation? +

This program focuses on the investigation area of a cyber attack and collecting evidence from digital assets of other specific activity. It will help you develop your competencies in finding, accessing and analyzing digital evidence left on a variety of devices from computers to smartphones and tablets. The program will require that you become adept with network, computer, and digital analysis technologies at an intermediate level.