Master of Science in Digital Forensics

The Master of Science in Digital Forensics is a thirty hour program that prepares students for service in a variety of public and commercial arenas such as digital forensics or as network security professionals. In particular, graduates from the Digital Forensics program will be able to effectively plan, establish, and administer security and information assurance systems in commercial settings and law enforcement. This program utilizes state-of-the-art facilities, like Sam Houston State University's Cyber Forensics Intelligence Center. The facility includes a Network Security Lab, accommodating training in data, network and cyber security intrusion detection, prevention and tracing, and a Data Recovery Lab that will provide training in the identification, recovery, and preservation of data for legal purposes.

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Digital Forensics must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript(s) of all previous college work
  4. Up-to-date Resume
  5. Two letters of recommendation that address the applicant's qualification for graduate study

This degree is accessible to students who have completed undergraduate Computer Science or Criminal Justice majors or minors and to those with baccalaureate degrees in technical fields with the equivalent of a Computer Science or Criminal Justice minor in formal coursework or professional experience. Applicants who do not possess the appropriate academic, technical, or experiential backgrounds may be required to take stem work courses. In addition, admission preference is given to applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or greater.

Stem Requirement 

At the minimum, students are expected to present a background comparable to that provided in the following courses as described in the Undergraduate Catalog of Sam Houston State University:

Prerequisite courses

Prerequisite Courses
COSC 2327Intro to Computer Networks3
COSC 3318Data Base Management Systems3
MATH 1420Calculus I4
STAT 3379Statistical Methds in Practice3

Students who have not fulfilled the prerequisites in formal coursework are required to take one or more of the graduate stem courses, in addition to the 30 semester credit hours required in the MS in Digital Forensics.

Graduate Stem Course Requirements

Graduate Stem Course Requirements
COSC 5301Quantitative Foundations of CS3
COSC 5302Computer Science Core Topics3

The degree requires a minimum of thirty hours of graduate credit. Students will be required to complete a written comprehensive examination in core subjects where they received a grade of B or lower, before graduation. Students may also be required to supplement their written responses in an oral examination. Students must be enrolled the semester in which they take comprehensive examinations.

The department chair assigns a committee advisor to each student at the time the student registers for DFSC 6347. The advisory committee consists of graduate faculty from the Department of Computer Science. Once enrolled in DFSC 6347, a student must be continually enrolled in each major semester until graduation.

Master of Science in Digital Forensics
Specified Courses
DFSC 5315Network and Cyber Security3
DFSC 5316File System Forensics3
DFSC 5317Digital Security3
DFSC 5318Cyber Law3
DFSC 5327Digital Forensics Investigatn3
DFSC 6347Directed Mgt & Development Prj 13
Electives
Select four graduate courses in DFSC or any approved COSC graduate courses 212
Total Hours30
1

Once enrolled in DFSC 6347, the student must enroll in this course until graduation.

2

COSC 5301 and COSC 5302 do not count towards the degree plan.

Stem Requirement

At the minimum, students are expected to present a background comparable to that provided in the following courses as described in the Undergraduate Catalog of Sam Houston State University:

Prerequisite courses

Prerequisite Courses
COSC 2327Intro to Computer Networks3
COSC 3318Data Base Management Systems3
MATH 1420Calculus I4
STAT 3379Statistical Methds in Practice3

Students who have not fulfilled the prerequisites in formal coursework are required to take one or more of the graduate stem courses, in addition to the 30 semester credit hours required in the MS in Digital Forensics.

Graduate Stem Course Requirements

Graduate Stem Course Requirements
COSC 5301Quantitative Foundations of CS3
COSC 5302Computer Science Core Topics3

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The MS in Digital Forensics is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Establish & operate an investigator’s lab and process digital evidence.
  • Develop plans to safeguard digital files against unauthorized modification and destruction.
  • Create plans and implement strategies for preventing attacks to a network.
  • Acquire a strong academic foundation in Cyber Security needed to pursue Doctoral level programs.