The field of digital forensics is expanding at a rapid pace which has also translated into the need for more working professionals who have adequate training. The industry is always evolving, which means the top jobs are going to continue to go to those who have the latest training. There are ample ways to use a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Digital Forensics. This type of training can lead to a fruitful career at a number of positions. And with the demand continually on the rise, job security may be just a degree away.
Those who earn a digital forensics degree will be able to consider working at a number of different jobs. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in digital forensics could land a position as an information security officer, cryptographer, disaster recovery export, computer forensics investigator and much more. Now is truly an exciting time to get into this field as it is evolving and those with a degree can attain high-paying positions that also come with job security for years to come.
Not every university features graduate and even an undergraduate program in digital forensics. Some offer digital forensics specializations as part of one of their computer science or criminal justice majors. This is one more reason a digital forensics degree is so valuable as it is not something that an overwhelming amount of people hold. It is, however, a degree that can present a wealth of new opportunities.
There is also not going to be fallout when it comes to needing workers with educational training in digital forensics. This is a field that is unquestionably on the rise. Companies and businesses of all types are always on the lookout for new employees with a digital forensics degree. A bachelor’s or master’s degree can carry individuals to new professional heights in one of the more exciting professions that are in high demand.
How Do You Quantify “The Top 20”
Universities across the United States feature online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in digital forensics. When taking a look at the depth and merit of those programs, several factors are taken into consideration. The quality of those programs is not determined by a lone factor, but rather a meshing of important attributes. Tuition cost is considered but is not the main factor for placing programs in this top 20 list.
We have also opted to combine 15 of the top bachelor degree programs with five of the top master’s programs in digital forensics. As previously mentioned, this is not an online major that is commonplace in every university. Only a select number of universities feature these specializations, and that is why we look at overall value when putting together this list.
Another factor that is considered is the span of time it would take to complete the degree program. In many instances, students are looking for a quicker pathway to a degree and the online learning environment permits learners to go at their own pace. But speed alone is not the most telling factor as there still has to be quality in education. The creation of this list also looks into which programs combine adequate resources, retention rates, and student to faculty ratio. These factors are very telling at both the graduate and undergraduate level when it comes to online education at the undergraduate level.
The digital forensics degree programs on this list give students excellent value in their education. That value is determined by carefully weighting all the pertinent factors. Our aim is to highlight
Bachelor and Master Degree programs that equip students with the skills and ability to succeed in the field of cybersecurity and digital forensics. This list is intended to assist students in finding the right program for them while getting the most value for their money.
A college education is intended to help students evolve into valuable professionals. In the cyber field, there is a need for more professionals with digital forensic educational training. Those who work in this industry need to be capable of understanding the latest state-of-the-art technology and all its functions. Here is a list of the top 20 degree programs in Digital Forensics that can pave the way for a promising future in an exciting industry that is on the rise.
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $450
- No additional fees applied to credits combined with the acceptance of a high amount of transfer credits makes for a very affordable option.
- This program has a unique of courses that feature the latest in digital forensics.
One of the unique features regarding Stevenson’s pricing format is that it has eliminated additional fees that are typically piled on the per credit cost. That significantly reduces the overall cost as pretty much every college and university inflate tuition by adding several fees. There is also the option of transferring as many as 70 credits from a community college into this program. The course offerings in Stevenson’s program are state-of-the-art, which includes Advanced Windows Server Architecture and Administration, as well as Network Security-Firewalls, IDS, and Counter Measures. The computer science option at Stevenson is the most popular option among students and that has led to more resources devoted to that major. Stevenson is also a member of the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA) Academic Alliance. Based on Maryland, Stevenson does not alter its tuition costs for students who are not in-state residents.
American Intercontinental University
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Digital Investigations
Cost Per Credit: $325
- The digital investigations courses are available in great abundance while the program also features many core courses to provide a comprehensive educational experience.
- Flexible scheduling and low cost have made this program a top choice for adult learners and working professionals.
AIU presents a real-world curriculum that features the latest technologies and state of the art techniques used in digital investigations. The required coursework includes nine specialized digital investigation classes combined with 13 core computer courses. This is in addition to general course requirements and electives. Faculty members have logged valuable real-world experience in digital forensics and investigations. AIU accepts transfer credits, provides military discounts and also offers several financial aid and grant packages. Of all the students enrolled, an average of 93% receives some sort of aid. AIU has a 100% admissions rate and caters to online students. A closer look into all the course offerings is one of the advantages of this program as it provides a unique collection of classes specific to digital investigations.
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems with Computer Forensics Specialization
Cost Per Credit: $514
- Program comes with a lot of student benefits ranging from free equipment to waived costs for certification exams.
- There are a number of similar specializations offered, giving students a lot of options when choosing elective courses for this major.
This degree path has the potential to be completed in less than three years with year-round enrollment. DeVry also offers its own 2-in-1 design, which allows students to earn an associate degree while in the process of earning a bachelor’s degree. Students may also qualify for reimbursement for the cost of certain certification exams. The program is designed to provide student perks that enhance the overall experience from a financial and educational standpoint. New students receive a laptop, and a portable Internet of Things (IoT) kit. This program also offers a large amount of computer courses in this major as well as technology preparation courses. DeVry has campus locations throughout the U.S., in addition to offering distance learning options. DeVry has been in existence since 1931, providing technical education of high quality while offering affordable prices.
University of Advancing Technology
Bachelor of Science in Technology Forensics
Cost Per Semester: $6,500
- Large selection of courses relevant to this major as the curriculum is very specific to digital forensics.
- Bachelor’s Degree program equates to tuition costs that is 28% lower than the average of private university in The U.S.
The courses in this major are broken down into a very detailed format. The program requires 120 credits for completion. That includes a variety of computer courses to choose from in the conceptual classification, others under the skills development distinction and even more from the synthesis core category. That is combined with classes in the university core curriculum as well as general studies courses. UAT provides a unique learning experience that features accomplished faculty and small class size. There is also a lot of computer resources available to students as computer science is a popular area of study at UAT. There is a long list of online technology programs at UAT, indicating the emphasis on computer science at UAT.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics & Digital Investigations
Cost Per Credit: $318
- This program is part of one of the nation’s most esteemed colleges for cyber education.
- Low cost, high resources and a revered curriculum make Champlain one of the country’s top choices for a Digital forensics education.
Champlain has a long-standing history as being one of the nation’s leaders in cyber education. In 2006, it received the esteemed honor of being recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Other schools have since earned that same distinction, although Champlain was among the first group of colleges to earn that distinction. Each semester is comprised of two seven-week terms. That translates into three semesters per year, which allows students the opportunity to fast track their academic path towards a degree. Champlain has received high marks and rankings by numerous services and outlets as it has become an industry leader in cyber education. Champlain has also partnered with various community colleges to help facilitate the transfer process. The benefits are far and wide when choosing Champlain for a digital forensics education.
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Digital Forensics
Cost Per Semester: $8,292
- ECPI offers a low faculty to student ratio in a private university setting.
- Many human resources are available to students to assist during the overall academic experience.
The synchronous learning environment allows students to learn at their own pace. The per semester cost is the same for 12-18 credits. For students who choose the latter, there is the option of gaining a greater value for the overall cost of their education. Niche.com voted ECPI the No.8 university in the country for Information Technology. Students are able to obtain a private university education without having to pay the added expense of room and board. A small faculty to student ratio of 11:1 gives students plenty of individual attention in classes that are small in size. In addition to attention from faculty, students are assisted by their own student success coordinator, financial aid advisor and admissions advisor.
Bay Path University
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity: Digital Forensics & Incident Response
Cost Per Credit: $400
- Program is part of a women’s college that provides a vast number of resources and programs designed to assist and empower female students.
- Online program is unique to the university as it is designed to connect women learners to a host of resources while also building a network of support.
Bay Path offers this program through its online American Women’s College. This is geared towards women students. At Bay Path, students can participate in the Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders (WELL) program that assists in career direction and a variety of other areas. The Digital Forensic program is part of the Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL) program that incorporates innovative learning. This online format has been revered by many ranking services across the country. The design of SOUL aims to put the adult female student at the center of the college learning experience by connecting students to communities, educators and a host of other resources. The focus on building support provides a valuable component to this program and is a unique option for female learners.
Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics/Information Security
Cost Per Credit: $759
- Highly acclaimed, fully-online university that has lots of resources to offer students.
- Deep concentration on cyber forensics as it is at the root of this major and not a specialization or concentration to another major.
This program requires students to earn 60 upper-division credits that are specialized in cyber forensics and information security. Keiser was recently ranked the No.2 best online campus in the U.S. by Niche.com. The quality of the faculty at Keiser has played a major role in receiving those kinds of rankings, as countless online reviews laud Keiser for its excellent educational experience. Keiser also ranked No.8 in best colleges for the money in the state of Florida, per Money Magazine. Online students can hail from anywhere in the country as there are no additional charges for those living outside the state of Florida. Since Keiser is 100% online, it devotes all of its resources to online learning. That has proven to be an advantage as some colleges favor on-campus resources over ones primarily used for distance learning.
Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $519
- Nationally recognized digital forensics program that goes into tremendous depth while offering a top-quality education.
- Students receive extremely high value in terms of weighing the quality of education to cost.
Davenport has become a leader in universities offering cyber-related programs. Davenport was selected as one of just 15 colleges in the country to earn the designation of DoD Cyber Crime Center (DC3) as a Center of Academic Excellence in Digital Forensics. This speaks to the detail and level of education available in this program. Students are required to complete 120 credits and that includes a heavy dose of specific courses related to this major. Davenport also features a Cyber Defense Organization that is open to students. This group puts together regular challenges and is an excellent resource for students majoring in digital forensics. The faculty to student ratio of 15:1 helps to minimize class size as students are able to take advantage of quality instruction from a respected and accomplished faculty.
Oklahoma State Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Technology in Information Technologies – Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $185
- One of the cheapest options among state universities while also carrying a high level of credibility.
- Attending a technology-based institution offer students a wealth of choices when it comes to classes as well as a wealth of resources.
The OSUIT degree gives graduates a reputable credential from a Big Twelve university. That allows them to join an extensive alumni base while carrying a valued and respected credential into the working world. The OSU Institute of Technology was founded in 1946 and has grown to become a leader in technology education. The teaching facilities at OSUIT are also considered to be world class and online students have access to an abundance of resources not typically found in most universities. The fact that this is a university that specializes in technology separates OSUIT from other public universities. It also features a respected faculty who have real-world experience in the cybersecurity industry. This is one of the better choices for students looking to pursue a digital forensics bachelor’s degree online.
Bachelor of Science in Professional Technologies with Concentration in Computer Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $555
- The high amount of resources and quality of education make Pace’s online program one of the top overall values in this area of study.
- Offers a lot of outreach from various branches of the university staff that continues throughout the program.
This program is offered through the Pace University’s Seidenberg School which has been granted the distinction of being a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The program combines aspects of the criminal justice system and cybercrime. The curriculum is split into 20 IT foundation credits, 20 career focused credits, 16 required credits, 45 Arts & Sciences electives, 20 general electives and an online seminar. Pace University provides online students with access to its Career Services department which assists in the search for employment. Its low faculty to student ratio of 14:1, students are able to receive a lot of individual attention. Recently, Pace was rated as one of the 50 most underrated colleges in America, according to Business Insider.
Robert Morris University
Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics and Information Security
Cost Per Credit: $705
- Wide variety of campus and virtual resources available to online students.
- One of the highest quality digital forensic programs in the country as this degree provides graduates with immediate credibility in the search for employment.
The RMU Cyber Forensics program is part of its School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences. The school boasts an 81% retention rate which is above the national average and a telling sign on the overall perception of the university. The university is well respected as graduates have accumulated high success rates. That also extends to its Digital Forensics program, which is aided by a variety of resources. One of those resources is the RMU Center for Cyber Research and Training which provides workforce training options that can be customized. There are regular workshops as the university has made sizeable investments in its cyber majors and courses. RMU is a private university, although its tuition is below what most private universities charge on an annual basis.
University of the Potomac
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $217
- Cost-effective option that is one of the more economical digital forensic undergraduate programs available in an online capacity
- Small faculty to student ratio allows students to get a lot of individual attention
The Information Technology major at The University of Potomac has a host of concentrations that amount to eight in total. That provides an extensive list of classes to choose from when seeking out electives to combine with the core classes that are required. There is also a host of digital forensic courses that include more on network defense, computer forensic tools and Security procedures. The program combines theoretical concepts with technical procedures to provide a comprehensive educational experience. There is a lot of individualized instruction as the faculty to student ratio is 8:1. The computer majors are also the most popular offering at the University of Potomac, which has allowed for an expanded course list.
Bachelor of Science in Cyber & Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $605
- Two-month course sessions make this program capable of being completed art a more rapid pace
- The core classes deal directly with digital forensics as it is one of the more detailed curriculums in this area of study
This program deals with a lot of detail when it comes to digital forensics. It requires the completion of 120 credits which includes 34 general education courses. The courses are comprised of 8-week sessions which allow students to finish up quicker than the typical pace of a four-year bachelor’s degree. The core requirements of cyber-specific classes that must be taken total 48. Students have the option of choosing other electives from a long list of courses. There are also criminal justice elements infused with the core classes for this major. Regent is a Christian university that uses a religious approach by setting elevated standards for student conduct. It was recently voted the top online university in the state of Virginia where it is located. However, enrollment is open to students from all over the United States.
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with Concentration in Computer Forensic Investigation
Cost Per Credit: $295
- A different approach that is geared more towards students looking to pursue a career using digital forensics as an investigator or part of investigation team
- Low-cost option that will help to minimize student debt as one of the more affordable digital forensics programs
The program at Grantham focuses a lot of its course content on retrieving data from devices that have been damaged. This could lead to an exciting career path in the realm of cybersecurity and investigations. Grantham allows students to begin this program on a monthly basis, which is different from traditional semester formats. It can also be fast-tracked to speed up graduation times. There is also a lot of financial aid options to choose from, which can reduce the already low cost of tuition. There is also a substantial tuition discount for members of the U.S. military. One of the top selling points of this program is the criminal justice aspect that lends a blend of disciplines to the major. It is also revered for its low tuition cost.
Master of Science in Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $495
- Small faculty to student ratio provides the opportunity for a lot of individual interaction with instructors.
- Fast graduation times with shortened courses are a benefit to adult learners and working professionals.
The pace of a degree can be accelerated because of the design of the Stratford academic calendar. Classes can be completed in five to ten weeks while this program could be completed in as little as 15 months. The cost is also a benefit as Stratford’s tuition is considered low for a private university education. Students in this program also have the option to take cooperative education courses which offer real-world experience. The program consists of 12 courses, with a very concentrated emphasis on digital forensics. The low faculty to student ratio of 8:1is an added benefit for students who may require individual attention. Online student reviews of Stratford are very favorable as graduates continually endorse their experience at Stratford.
Master of Science in Computer Science with a Digital Forensics Concentration
Cost Per Credit: $810
- Small class size offers an ideal learning situation with interactive online sessions.
- Ranked highly by numerous services as Lewis’ online programs have developed an excellent reputation and that applies particularly to Computer Science programs.
This program consists of 33 credits, with each course equaling three credits. The entire curriculum is made of six digital forensics concentration courses, three electives, one core research course and a master’s thesis which accounts for three credits. Lewis University checks in as the No.20 Midwest regional college, according to U.S. News & World Report. The rankings for Schools.com recently placed Lewis as the No.3 university in the state of Illinois. The acceptance rate is 58% and the 13:1 faculty to student ratio leaves graduate students with plenty of opportunity for one-on-one attention from their instructors.
University of Central Florida
Master of Science in Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $372 (in-state) $1,151 (out-of-state)
- UCF is a prominent forensic science research facility that has allowed its Digital Forensics program to become one of the premier graduate programs in the country.
- Pre screening allows for the UCF admissions to accept the most qualified candidates into this program.
This program requires the completion of 30 credits and is offered through UCF’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. The tuition cost is extremely low for Florida residents as it is one of the more prominent online master’s degrees in the field of Digital Forensics. UCF is also home to the National Center for Forensic Science which is a research center that has been making valuable contributions to this field for decades. This center benefits students because of the caliber of faculty that is drawn to UCF. Students can take advantage of learning from some of the more accomplished faculty members, which heightens the overall educational experience. The selective nature of the admissions process for this program also makes for some of the top graduating classes anywhere in the country.
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice: Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $775
- Tuition discounts for working professionals can significantly cut the overall cost of this master’s degree.
- One of the more in-depth master’s programs that falls under the criminal justice distinction.
The program at DeSales incorporates a wealth of criminal justice elements to its curriculum as the coursework if slightly different than other online master’s programs. DeSales offers financial aid options and discounts on its graduate classes for part-time students. This particular program also offers a 20% discount in tuition for those currently working in the criminal justice field.
Located in the state of Pennsylvania, DeSales has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is a private, catholic university and its tuition is lower than comparable universities with those same distinctions. DeSales has a low faculty to student ratio of 14:1. The online graduate programs cater to working professionals and that has resulted in numerous benefits and offerings.
University of Rhode Island
Professional Science Masters in Cybersecurity with Concentration in Digital Forensics
Cost Per Credit: $855
- Public university that is well known throughout the country and its online offerings make for a convenient and quality option for working professionals.
- Number of financial aid and grant options available to help lower the cost of tuition.
This program requires the completion of five core classes and then allows students to choose four more. Students can elect to specialize their graduate experience with the additional digital forensics courses which equate to a specialized degree in that focus area. There is also the option for students to complete a graduate certificate in digital forensics, although that curriculum is not as extensive as the master’s track. URI is a respected academic institution as graduates carry a quality credential into the work environment. This program is part of URI’s Department of Computer Science and Statistics, which provides a multidisciplinary approach to its curriculum, as well as a wide array of student resources.