Doctor of Philosophy in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science

Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science is designed to produce students of the digital forensics and cybersecurity realms with the technical skills, critical thinking ability, problem-solving skills, and advanced, discipline-specific knowledge to allow them to advance into leadership positions in business and industry and academia. This is accomplished by demonstrating the ability to perform independent and collaborative original research, the successful completion of academic coursework, hands-on experience in the laboratory, and collaboration with digital forensics and cyber-security agencies, institutes and partners. The program will provide students with the theoretical, conceptual, methodological, and computational skills needed to understand the role of digital and cyber forensic science in post technological societies. The program will allow students to explore the potential for forensically sound digital data capture and analysis, and to develop new tools and methods for handling digital and cyber forensic evidence. In doing so, this program has, as its primary focus, research into the computational and scientific basis for forensic and cyber technologies.

Admissions Requirements

The PhD in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science is a full-time, on campus program. Admission to the program requires devoting a significant amount of time to the program. Students are admitted as part of an annual cohort and have a fixed program of study in the first two years of the program.

Applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program in forensic science must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Graduate Admissions Application
  • Application Fee
  • Bachelor's degree conferred by a regionally accredited institution in computer science, digital forensics, or a closely related field
  • Official transcript(s) from degree granting institution(s)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Program Application
  • Personal statement, not to exceed 1000 words
  • Three letters of recommendation in addition to the Admission Recommendation Checklist. A minimum of two letters must be from faculty who are sufficiently acquainted with the student to comment on potential for success in the doctoral program
  • Current resume or vita
  • Official GRE scores. A minimum GRE score of 300 is required for acceptance into the program. The GRE score is calculated as Verbal * 0.5 + Quantitative * 1.5

In some instances, a personal interview may be requested.

Program Requirements

The program requires the completion of a minimum of eighty-five hours of graduate credit, as prescribed in the plan below.

Students must register full-time and maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all courses. In order to advance to candidacy students must have successfully completed forty-six graduate credit hours of coursework and internship, submit a portfolio for review, and pass Comprehensive Examinations. Once the doctoral program committee determines that the portfolio, proposal and comprehensive examinations are satisfactory, the student may enroll in dissertation credits.

A minimum of fifteen hours of dissertation credits are required and students must maintain continuous enrollment DFSC 8370, Dissertation until they graduate. Students must complete and defend a doctoral dissertation, which is the product of original scholarly research and is of sufficient publishable quality to represent a meaningful contribution to knowledge in the field of digital and cyber forensic science.

The PhD in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science requires the completion of 85 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Students complete:

Requirements

Core Coursework

52

Dissertation Research

15

Electives

Internship

12

6

Total Hours

85

The curriculum is designed to deliver an essential core curriculum in digital and cyber forensic science, together with specialized electives and intensive research in the area of interest. Students are expected to fulfill the requirements during four to five years of full-time study.

 Program Curriculum

Doctor of Philosophy in Forensic Science

Required Courses

FORS 6049

Criminalistics for Digital Forensics

3

DFSC 6410

Cyber Forensics Principles

4

FORS 5226

Law and Forensic Science

2

DFSC 7106

Seminar in Digital Forensics ( x 4 semesters)1

1

DFSC 7600

Internship

6

DFSC 5316

File System Forensics

3

DFSC 7300

E-Discovery

3

DFSC 7352

Network Forensic Analysis

3

DFSC 6340

DF Tools and Techniques

3

DFSC 7350

Operating System Forensics

3

DFSC 7320

Ethics for Digital Forensics

3

DFSC 7362

Computational Forensics

3

DFSC 7358

Live System & Memory Forensics

3

DFSC 7360

DF Research Methods

3

DFSC 7356

Mobile Device Forensics

3

 

 

 

Electives:

Select 12 hours from the following:

DFSC 7359

Social Network Forensics

3

COSC 5310

Cryptography and Steganography

3

DFSC 7357

Malware Forensic Analysis

3

DFSC 7341

DF Infrastructure

3

DFSC 6310

Cyber Warfare and Terrorism

3

DFSC 7351

Cloud Computing Forensics

3

DFSC 7353

RAID & Remote System Forensics

3

DFSC 7355

Intrusion Forensic Analysis

3

DFSC 7365

Commercial Tool Verification

3

 

DFSC 8370

Dissertation2

15

Total Hours

85

 

1

DFSC 7106 must be taken for a total of four credit hours.

2

Once enrolled in DFSC 8370, students must enroll in this course every semester until graduation.