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.

Enrolling in this program

Program eligibility requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree earned from a regionally accredited college/university with a GPA of 2.5 or better or with the ICS department consent. Students without a bachelor's degree are not eligible for pursuing this certificate.

Program requirements

There are four core courses with one from either ICS 140 or CFS 160, one from either CFS 262 or CFS 264, and CFS 280 and CFS 484. The two elective courses can be one from an upper division CFS courses and one from upper division CJS courses. 

Course requirements

Requirements (22-24 credits)

Course Overlapping

Students are allowed to have up to 8 credits overlapped with their current or previously completed majors or minors. If students have more than 8 credits overlapped, they are required to take additional coordinator-approved courses to cover the difference.

Core

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

Core

Choose one

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

Core

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: Group one

Choose one

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 210 Constitutional Law

3 credits

This course provides an overview and critical examination of constitutional law as it relates to criminal justice issues. A historical overview of the U.S. Constitution is covered along with how the Constitution works in the legal system including the role of the Supreme Court and constitutional interpretation. The first, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and fourteenth amendments are emphasized. The course also examines how the Constitution protects the rights of those charged as well as the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Full course description for Constitutional Law

Electives: Group two

Choose one. Note: LAW210/LAW210L need to be taken together.

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

CJS 367 Exploring Forensic Science

4 credits

This course will provide the student with a general overview and a better understanding of the wide range of disciplines found within the forensic sciences. Fundamental topics such as forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, forensic pathology, and forensic accounting will be discussed. In addition 'traditionally' recognized topics in forensic science such as DNA, Trace Evidence, Impression Evidence, Drugs, and Questioned Documents will be covered. The course instructor will utilize multi-media in a lecture format, utilizing case-studies, video supplements and expert guest speakers.

Full course description for Exploring Forensic Science

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