Best Online Master’s in Computer Forensics Degrees

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Tens of millions of credit card numbers and pieces of personal information were compromised through Facebook, Target, and Yahoo in only the past year.

Hackers continue to develop new techniques for trying to steal important information through digital platforms, and it takes well-trained professionals, such as those in computer forensics, to help prevent these individuals from getting away with these crimes.

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Forensics Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Boston University Boston, MA
2 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
3 Purdue University Hammond, IN
4 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
6 Champlain College Burlington, VT
7 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
8 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
9 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
10 George Washington University Washington, DC

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What Is Computer Forensics?

Computer Forensics is the forensic science of examining evidence contained in computers and digital storage media. This evidence can help to trace the pack of hackers who have violated the system’s integrity.

It can also show when digital elements have been deleted or who they were deleted by. It is the digital equivalent of classic detective work.

Many of the schools featured on this list also appear on our Best Online Colleges and Universities master ranking.

How Much Money Can I Earn Working in Computer Forensics?

Because of the high demand for technical professionals in the modern workforce, computer forensics is a lucrative job market to enter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts earn a median salary of $95,510.

This is on top of job growth of 28 percent, which translates to more than 29,000 new job openings over the next 10 years!

Why Choose An Online Master’s in Computer Forensics?

Traditional graduate programs can constrain students. Professionals already engaged in education or students looking to start a family need programs that will work with them when it comes to courses and schoolwork.

Online programs give students the ability to raise a family or continue pursuing a career while they are in school. Classes are available wherever and whenever students need them to be. And the experience that students gain with technology through online learning gives them even more skills to use in the classroom.

What Are the 30 Best Online Master’s in Computer Forensics?

Best Online Master's in Computer Forensics Badge

College Choice considers a multitude of factors including institutional success, student well-being, and financial return to develop rankings.

Institutional success combines metrics such as endowment, graduation rates and student-to-faculty ratios to measure each school’s ability to provide exemplary and practical education for each student. Student well-being measures how satisfied current and former students felt with the services and programs offered at their school. And finally, financial return looks at the monetary benefits students are likely to receive from each school’s education, balanced against the costs of attendance, namely tuition and student loans.

In the end, we believe these are the 30 best online masters in computer forensics.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, MA. BU is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but defines itself as nonsectarian. Boston U has almost 33,000 students and 4,000 faculty members, and offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees.

    Program Features

    Boston offers a Master of Science degree in Computer Science with a specialization in cyber security. The degree requires completion of 8 credits/32 credits, which include the following sample courses:Complexity Theory Compilers Advanced Cryptography Artificial Intelligence

    Students must take a series of core courses, before then selecting three elective courses in consultation with their academic advisor. Students must achieve a minimum grade of B- to receive graduate credit for courses.

    Notables

    Students may take courses that help give them a broader perspective beyond simply CS Security courses. These other options include courses at Metropolitan College, the ECE Department in the College of Engineering, and the School of Management. This is intended to give students the most well-rounded education in computer security possible.

  2. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Johns Hopkins University is a private research university located in Baltimore, MD. JHU is considered the first research university in the United States, having adopted the concept of graduate study from Heidelberg University in Germany. Johns Hopkins has an overall student population of around 20,000 students, almost 75 percent of which are postgraduates.

    Program Features

    Johns Hopkins offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity. Students may choose between online, hybrid, or on-site programs. Students are required to complete a series of 10 courses within five years. These courses include three foundation courses, five courses from the Cybersecurity program, and two electives. Sample coursework includes:Foundations of Algorithms Cryptology Network Security Operating Systems

    Students choose a track from the following list: analysis, networks, systems, and independent study.

    Notables

    To enter the program, students must present prerequisites including a year of calculus, as well as courses in computer programming and data structures. Graduates from the program are eligible to complete a Post-Masters certificate in Cybersecurity, which includes a further six courses within three years.

  3. Purdue University
    Location

    Hammond, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Purdue University is a public research university located in West Lafayette, IN. Purdue offers more than 200 undergraduate programs, along with over 69 masters and doctoral programs, as well as professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. At around 40,000 students, Purdue has the second largest student population in the state of Indiana.

    Program Features

    Purdue offers a Master of Science in Computer and Information Technology. Degree plans are divided between the Primary Area (foundation courses) and the Related Area of Study (specialization) and also tend to include a thesis or directed project. A sample plan of study includes:Graduate-level statistics Primary Area selective Related Area elective Research Methods and Writing Selective

    The degree is intended to be highly flexible, to allow each student to mold the degree to their own professional and research interests.

    Notables

    To be admitted to the program, applicants are required to have a baccalaureate degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering, information systems or another computer-related field of study. GRE scores are required for unconditional admission, with specific focus on the quantitative score. There are availabilities for both on-campus programs, as well as online professional programs.

  4. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Pennsylvania State University is a public doctoral university with its main campus being located in University Park, PA. Penn State is often dubbed to be one of the Public Ivies, as being as public school that offers a quality of education comparable to an Ivy-League institution. Penn State maintains a student population of almost 100,000, including almost 15,000 postgraduate students.

    Program Features

    Penn State offers a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security, with an option in Information Security and Forensics. The program is offered through Penn States fully online World Campus. Students complete a series of 33 credits, which includes core courses and a capstone project. Course options include:Computer and Cyber Forensics Information Security Management Network Management and Security Foundations of Information Security and Assurance

    Courses intend to balance theories and technologies associated with cyber and network security with practical skills for the job market.

    Notables

    Applicants to the program are required to hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the international equivalent. The degree is considered interdisciplinary, so students from many academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. However, the technical nature of the degree means that applicants with technical degrees or work experience are preferred.

  5. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Central Florida is a public university located in Orlando, FL. It is the largest university in the United States by enrollment, with more than 66,000 students. The school originally opened in 1968 as the Florida Technological University. The school has connections with NASA Space programs and has around 2,600 academic staff members.

    Program Features

    UCF offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics. The degree program is offered fully online through the schools UCF online service. It is a collaborative effort between a number of UCF departments and the National Center for Forensic Science. The NCFS is based in the UCF College of Science, which is located in Orlandos Research Park.

    The program may be completed fully online; however, not all elective options or program prerequisites are necessarily offered online. Students who enroll fully-online may apply for a reduction in campus-based fees.

    Notables

    Graduates of the program are able to pursue a diverse range of career options, which include chief information security officer, cyber investigator, digital forensics analyst, or information security analyst. UCF emphasizes their core values through the program, which are access, innovation, and impact.

  6. Champlain College
    Location

    Burlington, VT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Champlain College is a private, co-educational college located in the city of Burlington, VT. The school was founded in 1878, and today offers undergraduate degrees, masters degrees, and online certificates in more than 80 disciplines. Champlain has a student body of more than 2,000 students. Their motto is, Let Us Dare.

    Program Features

    Champlain College offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics. The degree is offered fully online. Completion of the degree requires 30 credit-hours, through 8-week courses. Sample courses include:Mobile Device Analysis Operating System Analysis Capstone Research Thesis Digital Forensic Science

    Champlain intends for the program to be completed in 12 months, with enrollment in two classes per semester, with three semesters offered per year.

    Notables

    The program utilizes a virtual learning environment and combines commercial and open source software. Through these avenues, students are presented with challenges comparable to those that they would face in the real world. Students are not required to submit GMAT or GRE scores to apply.

  7. Lewis University
    Location

    Romeoville, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Lewis University is a private university located in Romeoville, IL, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs for its 6,800 students. The school has an association with both the Roman Catholic tradition, as well as with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as the Lasallian Brothers

    Program Features

    Lewis University offers a Master of Science in Computer Science with a Cyber Security concentration. The program is offered fully online. Students pursue a total of 15 credit-hours to complete the cyber security concentration, with courses including:Securing Linux Cyber Security Essentials Advanced Cyber Security Communications and Networking

    The coursework includes four core courses and one elective course. Based on this coursework, students may pursue special projects during their studies.

    Notables

    Example special projects include study in intrusion detection, reverse engineering of malware, penetration testing, operating system and network forensics, defense-in-depth technologies, and other assignments relevant to keeping data systems safe. Upon graduation, students possess the skills to mitigate cyber attacks and specify tools and architecture to help secure information systems.

  8. Syracuse University
    Location

    Syracuse, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Syracuse University is a private, research university located in Syracuse, NY. The school maintains a relationship with the United Methodist Church, but has identified itself as nonsectarian since 1920. Syracuse has around 1,500 academic staff members and 22,000 total students.

    Program Features

    Syracuse offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity. Students in the program are required to complete 30 credit-hours of study, which can be done either online or on-campus. Students can typically complete the program in around 15 months. During their course of study students will take classes including:Computer Security Internet Security Assurance Foundations Machine Learning

    Syracuse also emphasizes immersion strategies, which allow students to meet and collaborate with their peers. Immersions are on-campus opportunities, but are open to online students.

    Notables

    Some students may be required to complete preparatory courses, which help to prepare students for the rigor of online programs from the College of Engineering and Computer Science. There are two courses offered which emphasize the foundational knowledge and competencies necessary for success in the programs.

  9. Stevenson University
    Location

    Stevenson, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Stevenson University is a private university located in Stevenson, MD. Steven was previously a Roman Catholic, one-year secretary training school known as Villa Julie College. In 1967, the school became independent of the church and now has a student body of around 4,000 students.

    Program Features

    Stevenson offers a Master of Science degree in Cyber Forensics through their online learning service. This degree program is intended for experienced information technology professionals interested in the analysis of forensic collection and acquired digital evidence. Example courses from the program include:Incident Response and Evidence Collection Windows Forensic Examination E-Systems Security Cyber Warfare and Cyber Terrorism

    Students have the option of pursuing this degree on campus. They may also choose to pursue a hybrid version of the degree, utilizing both on-campus instruction and Stevensons unique digital learning environment.

    Notables

    For admission into the program, students must have a bachelors degree in a related field of study, such as Information Assurance or Network Administration. Students with relevant degrees should also have at least two years of work experience. Students with a bachelors in an unrelated field should possess at least five years of relevant work experience.

  10. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    George Washington University is a private university located in Washington DC. GWU has 14 colleges and schools, including the School of Engineering Applied Science, which houses its computer science department. The school was founded to fulfill the wishes of the universitys namesake, George Washington, for a national university in the nations capital.

    Program Features

    George Washington offers a Master of Professional Studies degree in Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management. The program is offered fully online through the schools online learning service. Students may enter the program in Summer, Spring, or Fall. Sample courses from the program include:Cybersecurity Law and Policy Cyber Defense Strategies Applied Technology to Data Analytics Strategic IT Investment and Performance Management

    The program involves 36 credit-hours of study and can usually be completed within 16 months.

    Notables

    The school also offers an MPS degree in Homeland Security, which includes the same number of credit-hours and takes a similar amount of time to complete. Students applying to the program should have relevant work experience, and should be able to submit a letter of recommendation from a past or current supervisor.

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