MS Degree in Cyber Forensics & Security

Program Description

The Master of Science (MS) degree in Cyber Forensics & Security (CFS) provides students with advanced education and skills in cyber forensics and cybersecurity. This advanced, practitioner-focused program is intended to prepare students for the fast-moving and ever-­changing environment they will work in upon graduation. Students will learn advanced skills and techniques to solve investigative and cybersecurity problems using cutting-edge science and technology. The program will also prepare students to face sophisticated cybersecurity and investigative challenges and take a leadership role within their organization. The MS in CFS curriculum includes many challenging, hands-on exercises with realistic, real-world problems and opportunities for students to practice and refine their communication skills.

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Program Requirements

The MS degree requires 33 credit hours of graduate coursework. This includes 27 credit hours of required core coursework and 6 hours of technical electives.

Students will take 27 hours from the following list of core courses:

CFS 630 – Cyber Threat Intelligence – 3 hrs
CFS 640 – Advanced Cyber Forensics – 3hrs
CFS 650 – Advanced Cyber Defense – 3hrs
CFS 660 – Advanced Red Team Operations – 3 hrs
CFS 665 – Cybersecurity of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) – 3 hrs
CFS 670 – Practicum – 3-6 hrs or CFS 675 – Adv Research in CFS – 3-6 hrs
CFS 690 – Capstone – 3hrs
CYBR 530 – Cybersecurity Policies and Management – 3hrs
CYBR 542 – Cyber Operations – 3hrs

Students will choose 6 hours from the following list of technical elective courses:

CFS 500 – Intro to Digital Forensics, 3 hrs
CFS 505 – OSINT Practicum, 3 hrs
CFS 520 – Incident Response, 3 hrs
CFS 545 – Mobile & Web Pen Testing, 3 hrs
CFS 548 – Multimedia Forensics, 3 hrs
CFS 554 – Network Defense, 3 hrs
CFS 560 – Applied Digital Evidence, 3 hrs
CFS 561 – Cyber Warfare, 3 hrs
CFS 562 – Network Forensics, 3 hrs
CFS 564 – Network Security & Cyber Crime, 3 hrs
CFS 567 – Mobile Device Forensics, 3 hrs
CYBR 500– Computer Security Design
CYBR 615– Cyber Vulnerability Assessment

Prospective students will apply for the program at various stages of their careers. Some students will come straight into the program after completing their undergraduate degrees. Other students will be seeking to further their education after several years in the field. As such, there will be two paths into the program. Option A is for those students having recently graduated with an appropriate 4-year degree. Option B is for those applicants having significant work experience in the field. The details for each option are outlined below:

Option A

Option A is intended for applicants that are recent graduates and have less than three years work experience in digital forensics and/or information assurance.

  1. Baccalaureate Degree – Students admitted to the program must have an appropriate baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or U.S. equivalent.
  2. Grade Point Average – Students admitted must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. GRE Score – Applicants must take the GRE. The GRE will be evaluated in combination with the undergraduate GPA.
  4. Personal Statement – In the Personal Statement, the applicant will describe their background and goals as they relate to the study of digital forensics and information assurance. Successful applicants will articulate how their background has prepared them for success in the program as well as how their goals align with the program’s learning objectives.
  5. Letters of Recommendation – Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. The letters should attest to the applicant’s knowledge, skills, character, and work ethic.

Option B

Option B is intended for applicants that have been out of school for more than three years and have three or more years of documented work experience in cyber/digital forensics and/or information assurance/cybersecurity.

  1. Baccalaureate Degree – Students admitted to the program must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or U.S. equivalent.
  2. Grade Point Average – Students admitted must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Personal Statement – In the Personal Statement, the applicant will describe their background and goals as they relate to the study of digital forensics and information assurance. Successful applicants will articulate how their background and work experience has prepared them for success in the program as well as how their goals align with the program’s learning objectives.
  4. Letters of Recommendation – Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. The letters should attest to the applicant’s knowledge, skills, character, and work ethic.
  5. Current CV /Resume – An updated Resume or Curriculum Vitae that includes a detailed work history, education, training, certifications, awards, publications, professional memberships, etc.
  6. Professional Portfolio -The portfolio must include examples of the applicant’s work product and is intended to demonstrate their capacity to successfully complete graduate-level work in digital forensics and cybersecurity. The portfolio could include things such as:
  • Samples of professional writing (redacted reports, grants, SOPs, etc.)
  • Professional Publications (journals, books, articles, etc.)
  • Presentations (slide decks, conference proceedings, etc.)
  • Research
Click here for the current MS in CFS Plan of Study

Graduates of our MS program are successfully employed in a variety of fields

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation- Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL)
  • United States Army- Criminal Investigation Division (CID)
  • West Virginia State Police Digital Forensics Unit
  • Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences- Digital Evidence Laboratory
  • Expel Managed Security Services
  • Kroger Corporation- Threat Operations Team

Questions?

Contact: Josh Brunty, CFS Graduate Program Director, 304-691-8962, josh.brunty@marshall.edu

Additional Program Resources