Computer Forensics Post-baccalaureate UCERT

College of Sciences
Undergraduate certificate

About this program

The computer forensics certificate is a 24 credit program that is designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree and would like to re-shape their skills and knowledge in the field of computer forensics that prepares students with knowledge in computer forensics, digital incident investigation, cyberspace ethics, and computer laws.

Student outcomes

  • Knows how to collect evidence so that malicious acts can be discovered and recovered.
  • Knows how to preserve evidence so that it reflects all the pertinent information on the subject device when it was collected.
  • Is familiar with the computer security policies, electronic investigation procedures, cyber activity regulations, national and international digital transaction standards, and computer and information laws.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Gainful employment programs are those "that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." Public institutions are required to report this information for all undergraduate and graduate programs that are Title IV eligible and that lead to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates or specialist awards. Degree programs at all levels are not considered to be gainful employment programs.

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Enrolling in this program

Program eligibility requirements

To be eligible for acceptance to the Computer Forensics Post-baccalaureate certificate, students must submit a College of Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when the following has been completed:

  •  A bachelor’s degree earned from a regionally accredited college/university with a GPA of 2.5 or better.  

 

Official admission to this program and review of prior course credentials is done directly through the Computer Science and Cybersecurity (CSC) Department with the approval from the coordinator of the program. Students without a bachelor's degree are not eligible for admission for this certificate but advised to pursue the major or minor in Computer Forensics.

Program requirements

Each student must complete 24 credits in the certificate including at least 12 upper division credits and at least 10 credits from Metropolitan State University.  Students are allowed to have up to 8 credits overlapped with their current or transferred from their previously completed major or minors.    All prerequisite and required courses must be completed with grades of C- or above.

Course requirements

Certificate Requirements (24 credits)

Core (16 credits)

Computing Fundamentals (4 credits)

Choose one

CFS 160 Computer Forensics Fundamentals

4 credits

Computer forensics involves the activities in collecting, processing, preserving, analyzing and presenting computer-related evidence in court for criminal prosecutions or civil litigations. In this course, students will be exposed to those computer forensic activities through lectures, case studies, hands-on labs, and individual and group projects. Students will study the fundamental concepts and learn essential artifacts of computer operation, internet control, digital evidence collection, and computer crime investigation, and be able to recognize as well as understand how a computer related crime or incident is prosecuted or litigated in order to have a comprehensive view of the field of Computer Forensics. This course is designed for the first year of the students majoring in Computer Forensics or the students who are interested in knowing what Computer Forensics is about.

Full course description for Computer Forensics Fundamentals

ICS 140 Computational Thinking with Programming

4 credits

An introduction to the formulation of problems and developing and implementing solutions for them using a computer. Students analyze user requirements, design algorithms to solve them and translate these designs to computer programs. The course also provides an overview of major areas within the computing field. Topics include algorithm design, performance metrics, programming languages and paradigms, programming structures, number representation, Boolean algebra, computer system organization, data communications and networks, operating systems, compilers and interpreters, cloud computing, data analytics, mobile computing, internet of things, and artificial intelligence) database, internet, security, privacy, ethics, and other societal and legal issues. Lab work and homework assignments involving flow charting tools and programming using a language such as Python form an integral part of the course.

Full course description for Computational Thinking with Programming

Computer and Operating Systems (4 credits)

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CFS 262 Computer and Operating Systems Fundamentals I

4 credits

This course covers the fundamental concepts of a single user operating system. The topics discussed in the course are the basic concepts of computer organization and architecture, memory management, process handling, disk and file management and control, and peripherals operation. Students also have the opportunities to learn the techniques and procedures of system installation, configuration, administration, and trouble shooting. The operating systems illustrated in the course are MS Windows and/or Mac OS X.

Full course description for Computer and Operating Systems Fundamentals I

CFS 264 Computer and Operating Systems Fundamentals II

4 credits

This course covers the fundamental concepts of a multi-user operating system. The topics discussed in the course are conventional computer organization and architecture, memory management, process handling, disk and file management and control, and peripherals operation. Students also have the opportunities to learn the techniques and procedures of system installation, configuration, administration, and trouble shooting. The operating systems illustrated in the course are Linux and Unix.

Full course description for Computer and Operating Systems Fundamentals II

Computer Forensics and Law (8 credits)

CFS 280 Introduction to Computer Forensics

4 credits

In this course, students learn the fundamental principles and concepts in computer forensics. The topics include the classification of the digital evidence, the procedure of discovering and preserving evidence, types of computer and Internet crimes, and analysis of computer crime statistics and demographics. Students also learn how to search and retrieve information to find the evidence using some common tools. Related legal procedures, regulations, and laws are also discussed briefly.

Full course description for Introduction to Computer Forensics

CFS 484 Computer Laws

4 credits

In this course, students will learn the law relating to computer software, hardware, and the Internet. The areas of the law include intellectual property, cyberspace privacy, copyright, software licensing, hardware patent, and antitrust laws. Legislation and public policies on cyberspace technology, cryptographic method export controls, essential infrastructure protection and economic development are also discussed in class.

Full course description for Computer Laws

Electives (8 credits)

Computer Forensics and Security (4 credits)

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CFS 345 Electronic Discovery I

4 credits

In this course students learn the fundamental principles and concepts of electronic discovery including the collection, preservation, filtering, processing, review, and production of electronically stored information such as email messages, word processing documents, spreadsheets, and other computer files. Students also learn the relationship between digital evidence analysis and electronic discovery and its role in civil litigation, government regulatory proceedings, and internal corporate investigations. Unique issues involving electronic discovery that arise in international contexts are also addressed.

Full course description for Electronic Discovery I

CFS 380 Digital Evidence Analysis

4 credits

In this course, students continue not only to learn how to identify and collect digital evidence through forensics search tools, but also to study the emerging data mining techniques. The topics include how to design a plan for a computer crime investigation; how to select a computer software tool to perform the investigation; how to articulate the laws applying to the appropriation of computers for forensics analysis; how to verify the integrity of the evidence being obtained; how to prepare the evidence collected for the use in the court; and how to present the evidence as an expert eyewitness in court. Some hypothetical and real cases are also discussed in class.

Full course description for Digital Evidence Analysis

CFS 445 Electronic Discovery II

4 credits

In this course students learn advanced topics and concepts of electronic discovery, such as the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, Information Governance, Technology Assisted Review, Predictive Coding, electronic discovery of cloud data, electronic discovery of social media data, electronic discovery of mobile device data and instant messages, as well as the use of software technology in electronic discovery. The course will also compare and contrast international electronic discovery issues in a global context, including common law countries and codified civil law countries.

Full course description for Electronic Discovery II

CFS 485 Mobile Device Security and Forensics

4 credits

This course takes a hands-on approach to provide students with foundational concepts and practical skills in Mobile Device Forensics, which can be leveraged to perform forensically sound investigations against crimes involving the most complex mobile devices currently available in the market. Using modern tools and techniques, students will learn how to conduct a structured investigation process to determine the nature of the crime and to produce results that are useful in criminal proceedings. The course will provide walkthrough on various phases of the mobile forensics process for both Android and iOS based devices including forensically extracting, collecting, and analyzing, data and producing and disseminating reports. The course modules and labs will involve certain specialized hardware and software to perform data acquisition (including deleted data), and the analysis of extracted information.

Full course description for Mobile Device Security and Forensics

CYBR 332 Computer Security

4 credits

This course introduces principles of computer security with integrated hands-on labs. The course prepares students to effectively protect information assets by providing fundamental details about security threats, vulnerabilities, and their countermeasures ranging from a simple computer to enterprise computing. Topics include broad range of today's security challenges, common security threats and countermeasures, security management, access control mechanisms, applied cryptography, privacy issues, computer ethics, file system security, and network security. Overlap: ICS 382 Computer Security

Full course description for Computer Security

CYBR 412 Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing

4 credits

To properly secure any organization's information infrastructure and assets, a periodic assessment of its security posture at various levels of the organization is essential. One key area is the direct assessment of vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure, systems and applications, followed by targeting and exploitation of the same. This course covers the theoretical bases for cyber threats and vulnerabilities, and delves into selection and application of penetration testing methodologies ranging from reconnaissance to the exploitation of vulnerabilities by probing infrastructure, services and applications. The course places a strong emphasis on the use of these methodologies to demonstrate, document, report on, and provide a clear roadmap for remediation of exposed security issues.

Full course description for Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing

CYBR 445 Cyber Incident Response and Handling

4 credits

As cyber breaches and intrusions continue to increase, enterprises are now looking to hire professionals who can identify and respond to breaches and incidents before they have adverse impacts on information systems and data networks. This course provides an in-depth coverage of applying Digital Forensics and Incident Response methodologies and frameworks to address and manage the aftermath of security breaches or incidents with the goal of limiting the damages and reducing the recovery time and costs. The student will be able to identify, contain, eradicate and recover from an attack in an enterprise network. Topics include identifying threat actors and security breaches, analyzing artifacts and logs, restoring back the system, performing postmortem analysis, and implementing and/or modifying mitigating techniques. Overlap ICS 487

Full course description for Cyber Incident Response and Handling

CYBR 482 Malware Analysis

4 credits

Malware infections have reached epidemic proportions with over 600 million types of infection reported to date. Traditional antivirus techniques are not sufficient to stem the tide. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of malware analysis techniques which will allow them to recognize, analyze and remediate infections. Basic static analysis techniques using antivirus scanning, hashing, string searching and other automated analysis tools will be reviewed. Dynamic approaches using system and network monitoring will be employed to detect snooping and attempts to exfiltrate data. Students will set up virtual workspaces, download tools and malware and analyze software in a secure environment. Reverse engineering will be introduced.Overlap: ICS 486

Full course description for Malware Analysis

ICS 311 Database Management Systems

4 credits

Covers concepts and methods in the definition, creation and management of databases. Emphasis is placed on usage of appropriate methods and tools to design and implement databases to meet identified business needs. Topics include conceptual, logical and physical database design theories and techniques, such as use of Entity Relationship diagrams, query tools and SQL; responsibilities of data and database administrators; database integrity, security and privacy; and current and emerging trends. Use of database management systems such as MySQL. Coverage of HCI (Human Computer Interaction) topics. Development of GUI front ends to databases with application of HCI principles to provide a high level usability experience. Overlap: ICS 311T Database Management Systems.

Full course description for Database Management Systems

ICS 325 Internet Application Development

4 credits

This course focuses on how to design and establish information services over the Internet from the server side. Topics include advanced concepts and issues on Internet architecture, server-side design strategies, current technologies and Internet security. Through labs and programming projects, students learn how to use current scripting and markup languages to build nontrivial state-of-the-art applications.

Full course description for Internet Application Development

Law and Legal System (4 credits)

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BLAW 310 Business Law: UCC and Contracts

4 credits

This course reviews the purposes, philosophies and organization of the U.S. legal system. It provides an intensive study of the law which governs contracts for services, real estate, employment, insurance, trademark, patents and copyrights. Topics covered include legally binding contract requirements (offer and acceptance, legality of subject matter, capacity of parties and contractual consideration); circumstances which require a contract to be in writing; defenses for avoiding contractual liability; and legal remedies for breach of contract. It also focuses on the articles of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which govern the rights and obligations of parties to transactions involving the sale of goods (Article II), commercial paper such as checks, notes and drafts (Article II), and financing arrangements in which one party gives another a security interest in property (Article IX) and the effects of federal bankruptcy laws on these transactions.

Full course description for Business Law: UCC and Contracts

BLAW 320 Legal Environment of Organizations

4 credits

The behavior of organizations and people in organizations is influenced in a variety of ways by the Constitution, state and federal legislation, regulations by all levels of government, by judicial opinions and by ethical considerations. This course explores selected aspects of the legal environment, including antitrust and fair trade laws, the law of contracts, laws and regulations concerning the workplace and workplace behavior, environmental protections, and ethical standards. Issues relating to franchising and trading in securities are also addressed within the context of the law and ethics.

Full course description for Legal Environment of Organizations

CJS 305 The Criminal Court System

4 credits

This course is designed to expand students understanding of the role of criminal court at the federal, state, and local levels. As the intermediate step between law enforcement and corrections, courts are often criticized for providing a revolving door through which chronic offenders enter and exit without justice being served. We will explore the power and limitations of the judicial branch of government with regard to its role in the criminal justice system, as well as learn about the roles of various court professionals and develop a detailed understanding of the court process.

Full course description for The Criminal Court System

CJS 310 Introduction to Security Management

4 credits

This course explores the past, current and future trends in security management. The basic concepts, tools and practices that comprise security management are examined. Students learn how to identify and minimize risk in a private setting. They also learn the basics of physical security and access control as well as how to identify potential liability in the security field. In addition, this course examines various career opportunities in security management.

Full course description for Introduction to Security Management

CJS 320 Criminology and Public Policy

4 credits

This course focuses on theories, concepts, narratives, and myths of crime and delinquent behavior. Contemporary issues and controversies within the criminal justice field are explored in social, political, and economic context. Special emphasis is placed on the role of race, class, gender, and culture in relation to the etiology, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. This course is committed to general theoretical debate, examination of the interrelation between criminological theory and research, and empirical analyses of policy and practice.

Full course description for Criminology and Public Policy

CJS 387 White Collar Crime

4 credits

This course presents an overview of white collar crime. Students explore theories of white collar crime and corporate criminal liability. The investigation, prosecution and sentencing of white-collar offenders are examined. "Crime in the suites" is compared to "crime in the streets." Issues related to diversity are explored.

Full course description for White Collar Crime

CJS 366 The U.S. Intelligence Community

4 credits

This course provides an overview of the U.S. Intelligence Community and examines how the community supports national security, foreign policy, and homeland security. Students examine the intelligence cycle and the structure, constraints, and oversight of the agencies that comprise the intelligence community. Specific attention is given to collection operations, analysis, and dissemination of finished intelligence products to consumers, with emphasis on how global intelligence is used to protect and police local communities. How intelligence products build a common operational picture for national security management at top levels of government and how intelligence analysis also supports Homeland Security by assisting federal, state, and local political leaders and law enforcement officials is explored. Students also discuss such topics as human intelligence operations, counterintelligence, UAV (drone) operations, interrogation and detention, and the moral, ethical, and legal…

Full course description for The U.S. Intelligence Community

CJS 375 Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice

4 credits

Examines a range of moral dilemmas which criminal justice practitioners are likely to face in their duties. Using both moral theory and detailed case examples, students learn to apply moral principles and concepts to a given situation, recognize the relevance of moral principles and concepts, and apply their individual moral philosophy to resolving these situations in a satisfactory manner. This course meets corresponding learning objectives of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Full course description for Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice

PHIL 320 Business Ethics

4 credits

Do business firms have obligations besides making as much money as possible for their stockholders? What are their responsibilities, if any, to their employees, their customers, and the wider community? Is it enough to obey the law, or does the law sometimes allow people to do things that are wrong? Do employees have any right to privacy on the job? To 'living wages'? To 'decent' working conditions? Does a seller have any obligation to look out for the interests of the buyer? Isn't it necessary to put the best possible 'spin' on your product and let the buyer look out for him or herself? This course will examine questions like these in light of various theories of ethics and current theories of justice. In addition to considering how we might ideally like people to act, it will also consider the challenges to personal integrity and 'doing the right thing' posed by the real world of business and by the kind of large bureaucratic organizations that dominate it.

Full course description for Business Ethics

PHIL 325 Criminal Justice Ethics

4 credits

Do criminal justice professionals have to meet a higher moral standard in their behavior as professionals than that of ordinary persons? Is it ever right for a criminal justice professional to "give a break" to a fellow professional? Should criminal justice professionals report clear moral violations of their fellow professionals? This course examines a range of moral dilemmas that criminal justice professionals are likely to face as they attempt to perform the duties of their office. Using both moral theory and detailed case examples from the criminal justice system, students learn to apply moral principles and concepts in a given situation to resolve these situations in a satisfactory ethical manner.

Full course description for Criminal Justice Ethics

PHIL 327 Ethics in the Information Age

4 credits

This course explores a range of moral issues raised by the introduction of new technologies for the production, distribution and use of information -- issues about privacy, surveillance and data-mining, freedom of speech, copyright, computer crime and abuse, justice in access to information, the political and social significance of the Internet, and so on. The course is intended to be helpful not only to information technology professionals, who will encounter some of these issues in connection with their work, but also to anyone who has an interest in the way information technology is changing our lives. Students will study moral theory, professional codes of ethics and a variety of case studies.

Full course description for Ethics in the Information Age

General Guidelines

Cross-Listed Courses

Some courses are cross-listed as both CYBR and ICS courses. The following pairs of courses are the same: CYBR 332 = ICS 382; CYBR 412 = ICS 482; CYBR 432 = ICS 483; CYBR 362 = ICS 383; CYBR 442 = ICS 484; CYBR 445 = ICS 487; CYBR 482 = ICS 486.