Online Digital Forensics Graduate Certificate
The online Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) is designed to develop proficiency in digital crime scene investigation.
The fundamental role of digital systems in business—from computers and networks to all manner of smart devices—brings serious security challenges. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), more than $10 billion in losses have been reported since 2015, much of that as a result of hackers, criminals, and other “bad actors” attacking organizations through schemes such as business email compromise (BEC), ransomware, phishing, extortion, and personal data breaches (to name just a few).
To mitigate such risks to valuable information, it is important for IT specialists to obtain a comprehensive overview of digital forensics. The specialized BU MET online certificate program in Digital Forensics provides you with a comprehensive knowledge of digital crime scene investigation and introduces topics such as forensic analysis policy and procedures, forensic analysis tools, data recovery, and investigation, among others.
Students who complete the Online Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics will be able to demonstrate:
- Advanced knowledge of the computer and mobile forensics tools necessary to launch a complete and successful digital forensics investigation in civil, criminal, or administrative cases.
- Proficiency in conducting network forensics analysis, including determining how a perpetrator or an attacker gained access to a network and transmitted felonious digital data.
- Competence sufficient to conduct a comprehensive “digital crime scene investigation” and mastery of skills pertaining to acquisition of digital evidence, conducting analysis, presenting a report, and being an expert witness in a court.
Why Choose BU’s Online Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics?
- Four-course certificate program comprises courses shared by the MS in Computer Information Systems, ranked #8 among the nation’s Best Online Master's in Computer Information Technology Programs (U.S. News & World Report 2021).
- Students benefit from a supportive online network, with courses developed and taught by PhD-level full-time faculty and professionals with hands-on expertise in the industry.
- Small course sections ensure that students get the attention they need, while case studies and real-world projects ensure that they gain in-depth, practical experience with the latest technologies.
Information Security Analysts
31% increase in jobs through 2029
$99,730 median annual pay in 2019
Police and Detectives
5% increase in jobs through 2029
$65,170 median annual pay in 2019
Forensic Science Technicians
14% increase in jobs through 2029
$59,150 median annual pay in 2019
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, September 2020
Internet Crime: A Growing Concern
A total of 4,883,231 complaints have been reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) since its inception in 2000. From 2015 to 2019, the IC3 has received an average of 340,000 complaints per year. In 2019 alone, the Center received a total of 467,361 complaints with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion—the highest number of complaints and the highest dollar losses reported since the center was established.
2019 Internet Crime Report, FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
Best Technology Jobs, 2021 U.S. News & World Report
- #1 Software Developer
- #2 Data Scientist
- #3 IT Manager
- #4 Information Security Analyst
- #5 Computer Systems Analyst
- #6 Computer Network Architect
- #7 Database Administrator
- #8 Web Developer
- #9 Computer Systems Administrator
- #10 Computer Support Specialist
- #11 Computer Programmer
Boston University Metropolitan College (MET) offers competitive tuition rates that meet the needs of part-time students seeking an affordable education. These rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education. To learn more about current tuition rates, visit the MET website.
Comprehensive financial assistance services are available at MET, including scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans. There is no cost to apply for financial assistance, and you may qualify for a student loan regardless of your income. Learn more.
Boston University’s Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics consists of four required online courses (16 credits).
Academic credits earned toward the online Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics may be transferred to the Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems.
(Four courses/16 credits)
METCS625 Business Data Communication and Networks
This course presents the foundations of data communications and takes a bottom-up approach to computer networks. The course concludes with an overview of basic network security and management concepts. Prereq: MET CS 200, or instructor's consent. This course may not be taken in conjunction with MET CS 425 (undergraduate) or MET CS 535. Only one of these courses can be counted towards degree requirements. [4 credits]
METCS693 Digital Forensics and Investigations
Provides a comprehensive understanding of digital forensics and investigation tools and techniques. Learn what computer forensics and investigation is as a profession and gain an understanding of the overall investigative process. Operating system architectures and disk structures are discussed. Studies how to set up an investigator's office and laboratory, as well as what computer forensic hardware and software tools are available. Other topics covered include importance of digital evidence controls and how to process crime and incident scenes, details of data acquisition, computer forensic analysis, e-mail investigations, image file recovery, investigative report writing, and expert witness requirements. Provides a range of laboratory and hands-on assignments either in solo or in teams. With rapid growth of computer systems and digital data this area has grown in importance. Prereq: Working knowledge of windows computers, including installing and removing software. Access to a PC meeting the minimum system requirements defined in the course syllabus. [4 credits]
METCS694 Mobile Forensics and Security
Overview of mobile forensics investigation techniques and tools. Topics include mobile forensics procedures and principles, related legal issues, mobile platform internals, bypassing passcode, rooting or jailbreaking process, logical and physical acquisition, data recovery and analysis, and reporting. Provides in-depth coverage of both iOS and Android platforms. Laboratory and hands-on exercises using current tools are provided and required. [4 credits]
Plus one of the following:
METCS690 Network Security
This course will cover advanced network security issues and solutions. The main focus on the first part of the course will be on Security basics, i.e. security services, access controls, vulnerabilities, threats and risk, network architectures and attacks. In the second part of the course, particular focus and emphasis will be given to network security capabilities and mechanisms (Access Control on wire-line and wireless networks), IPsec, Firewalls, Deep Packet Inspection and Transport security. The final portion of the course will address Network Application security (Email, Ad-hoc, XML/SAML and Services Oriented Architecture security. As part of our course review we will explore a number of Network Use Cases. Prereq: MET CS 535 or MET CS 625; Familiarity with OSI and TCP/IP protocol stack; Background-familiarity with binary numbers, prime numbers, binary- hexadecimal-decimal conversions, etc; Familiarity with computer programming concepts; or instructor's consent. [4 credits]
METCS695 Enterprise Cyber Security
This course introduces fundamental concepts, principles of cybersecurity and their use in the development of security mechanisms and policies. Topics include basic risk assessment and management; basic legal and ethics issues, various cyber attacks, defense methods and tools; security principles, models and components; different crypto protocols, techniques and tools, including symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms, hashing, public key infrastructure, and how they can be used; security threats and defense to hardware, operating systems, networks and applications in modern computing environments. Hands-on labs using current tools are provided and required. Prerequisite: METCS535 or METCS625 or instructor's consent. [4 credits]
METCS703 Network Forensics
This course provides a comprehensive understanding of network forensic analysis principles. Within the context of forensics security, network infrastructures, topologies, and protocols are introduced. Students understand the relationship between network forensic analysis and network security technologies. Students will learn to identify network security incidents and potential sources of digital evidence and demonstrate the ability to perform basic network data acquisition and analysis using computer based applications and utilities. Students will also identify potential applications for the integration of network forensic technologies and demonstrate the ability to accurately document network forensic processes and analysis. Prereq: MET CS 625 and MET CS 695; or instructor's consent. [4 credits]
Admission & Prerequisite Information
MET prioritizes the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in the rolling admission process. You are encouraged to submit your application as soon as possible and no later than the priority application deadlines for each term.
Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree, in any field of study, from a regionally accredited college/university (or the international equivalent) prior to enrollment at Metropolitan College. The following materials are required for a complete application:
- Completed Application for Graduate Admission and application fee
- All college transcripts
- Personal statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official English proficiency exam results (International students)
Applicants are not required to have a degree in computer science for entry to a program within the Department of Computer Science. Upon review of your application, the department will determine if the completion of prerequisite coursework will be required, based on your academic and professional background.
A maximum of two graduate-level courses (8 credits) taken at Metropolitan College before acceptance into the program may be applied towards the certificate.
Associate Professor and Director of Digital Learning, Computer Science
PhD, Columbia University; MS, University of Miami; MS, University of Illinois; BS, University of Natal (South Africa)
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Associate Professor, Computer Science; Director, Health Informatics and Health Sciences
PhD, Boston University; MS, Medical College of Virginia; MS, BS, University of Belgrade
Lecturer, Computer Science
MSEE, BSEE, University of Illinois
Lecturer, Computer Science
MS, Southern Connecticut State University; BS, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Director, Analytics
PhD, Brandeis University; MS, Indian Institute of Technology; BS, Regional Engineering College (Warangal, India)
Vijay Kanabar, PMP
Associate Professor, Computer Science and Administrative Sciences; Director, Project Management
PhD, University of Manitoba (Canada); MS, Florida Institute of Technology; MBA, Webber College; BS, University of Madras (India)
Jae Young Lee
Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Coordinator, Databases
PhD, MS, University of Texas at Arlington; BS, Seoul National University (Korea)
Associate Professor Emeritus, Computer Science
PhD, MS, University of Rochester; BA, University of California San Diego
Associate Professor Emeritus, Computer Science
PhD, Leningrad Aluminum Institute (Russia); MS, Leningrad Institute of Technology; MBA, Boston University
Assistant Professor and Chair, Computer Science
PhD, Kazan University (Russia); MS, Moscow University
Associate Professor, Computer Science; Coordinator, Health Informatics
PhD, MEng, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; BS, Luoyang Institute of Technology
Assistant Professor, Computer Science; Coordinator, Information Security
PhD, Boston University; MS, BS University of Science and Technology Beijing
Dean, Metropolitan College; Professor of the Practice, Computer Science and Education; Director, Information Security
PhD, Dresden University of Technology (Germany); MS, Dresden University of Technology; BS, Dresden University of Technology
To learn more or to contact an enrollment advisor before you get started, request information using the button below and tell us a little about yourself. Someone will be in touch to answer any questions you may have about the program and detail the next steps in earning your degree. You can also start your application or register for a course at Metropolitan College.