The Best Colleges for Computer Forensics in 2021
Computer forensics experts are responsible for finding information that can be used to track down criminals, improve security features, and provide evidence in court cases. A degree in computer forensics will allow you to pursue several career paths. Computer forensics skills can be used in software development, law enforcement, and network administration.
If you want to become a computer forensic analyst, you should know that lots of colleges offer degrees in computer forensics, some of which are blended with information technology programs. You might also have the option to choose online or on-campus study. This guide will cover all you need to know about the best schools for computer forensics in 2021.
Top 10 Computer Forensics Schools in 2021 at a Glance
For this guide, we have selected ten schools with computer forensics programs. The table below lists these schools along with their tuition costs and locations. The information in this table was obtained from the university websites. The tuition costs are subject to change.
|School and Degrees||State||Tuition||Notes|
Master of Science in Computer Science,
Specialization in Cyber Security
|(MA)||$56,560 per year||All students|
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Forensics
|(VT)||$250 per credit
$318 per credit
|Members of the military
All other students
|City University of New York | John Jay College of
Master of Science in
Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity
|(NY)||$470 per credit
$5,545 per semester
$855 per credit
|George Mason University
MS in Digital Forensics
|(VA)||$663 per credit
$1,431 per credit
|George Washington University
Master of Science in Cybersecurity in
|(DC)||$1,995 per credit||All students|
|Johns Hopkins University
Master of Science in Security Informatics
|(MD)||$58,720 per year||All students|
Master of Science in Computer and
|(IN)||$9,718 per year
$18,802 per year
|University of Alabama at Birmingham
Master of Science in Cyber-Security (MSSec)
|(AL)||$450 per credit
$1,066 per credit
|University of Maryland Global
Master of Science in Digital Forensics and
|(MD)||$694 per credit||All students|
|University of South Florida
Master of Science in Cybersecurity,
Concentration in Digital Forensics
|(FL)||$348 per credit
$772 per credit
Online vs In-Person Computer Forensics Degrees
Many schools provide options to study online or in person. Computer forensics online programs offer flexibility for students who are working professionals. They can attend classes from the comfort of their homes. Students can have a healthy balance of work and study. Online learning also tends to reduce the overall cost of schooling.
While online computer forensics degree programs are ideal for some, others may prefer in-person training. One advantage of in-person classes is networking. It is easier to connect with your peers when you see them face-to-face and work with them on projects. Networking is important for the future of the tech industry.
Choosing the Best School for You
Choosing a good school to get a computer forensics degree can be difficult. There are so many schools with this degree program. There are a few things to take note of before choosing a program.
It is always important to consider the cost of tuition for a specific program. While you want to get the best education possible, you don’t want to go into debt that can take years to pay off. This is why it is ideal to choose a program that is affordable. Some schools offer scholarships to reduce the cost.
This is an important consideration to make before choosing a school. Accreditation means an institution has been vetted by the educational authorities and it meets the required standards. If you enroll in an unaccredited university, you might not be able to apply for graduate computer science degree programs at accredited institutions.
Transferring to another school after an unaccredited university may be difficult as well. Also, potential employers might not recognize a degree from such schools. Lastly, you may not be able to get federal grants to help pay for your tuition.
Another consideration is the availability of scholarships. College is expensive. Luckily, some schools offer scholarships to reduce the cost of tuition. If you want to use a scholarship, be sure to check which ones are available at the school you are interested in. These scholarships may be offered for academic success, athletics, or on the basis of need.
There are so many ways faculty members can support students. A good school should offer more than just teaching. Its faculty should also be more involved in their studies. Find out if the instructors provide regular feedback to their students on their performance during the semester.
Also, check if the classes are interactive to ensure that students keep up with their coursework. You may also find it helpful if the faculty offers career advice. It could come in handy for you when you need to find a job.
The Best Computer Forensics Schools in 2021
Computer forensics is a niche discipline, so degree programs in computer forensics are fairly uncommon. All of the schools listed here include just one program, either a Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s Degree in Computer Forensics. Some prepare you for roles in law enforcement, while others get you ready for career opportunities in the private sector.
Students in BU’s computer forensics master’s program are trained to work in the field. Some of the topics covered include data information and security, cryptographic methods, privacy, network security, anonymity, system security, and software safety. The program also zooms out to take a broader look at safe software, architectures, and languages.
BU Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Computer Science, Specialization in Cyber Security
This bachelor’s program is available online for part-time students and working professionals. It is a condensed program offered in a seven-week format. The core curriculum is 63 credits. Students can take other electives related to the main course to get an extra certificate in cyber security, computer forensics, digital investigation, or forensic accounting.
Champlain College Computer Forensics Programs
- Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Forensics
City University of New York | John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which is part of the CUNY system, offers a master’s program for advanced students who want to focus on a mixture of forensic science and the criminal justice system. It is made up of evening classes.
Some of the main topics include forensic management of digital evidence, network security, and high-technology crime. The program is open to students without a bachelor’s degree. However, before a person can enroll in the program, they need to have studied computer science fundamentals in graduate courses as well as in undergraduate programs.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity
George Mason University
GMU has a unique MS in Digitial Forensics that includes cyber analysis. It prepares students for different careers in branches of government, law enforcement, and corporate sector industries like banking and finance.
This program combines real-world practice with academic education. The training covers the analysis of digital evidence, legal and ethical issues, and intrusion forensics.
GMU Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Digital Forensics
George Washington University
The prestigious GW offers a master’s degree program for people who want to specialize in computer forensics and cyber security. The program covers the design and analysis of computer architecture. Students explore software algorithms and paradigms to become information security analysts or pursue other careers related to network security.
The program also allows students to customize their degree with different courses. Some include computer system architecture, advanced software paradigms, design and analysis of algorithms, operating system security, and management of information.
GW Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Cybersecurity in Computer Science
Johns Hopkins University
JHU is another prestigious university that gives master’s students the skills to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data. Students in this program also learn to restore and preserve systems. Risk management skills are taught to help students anticipate and prevent cyber threats.
The program contains courses in cyber security, applied machine learning, security engineering, vulnerability analysis, and reverse engineering. Students are required to choose either technology and research or policy and management as their area of concentration.
JHU Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Security Informatics
This master’s program is offered by Purdue, one of the best colleges for information technology in the country. Students enrolled here can choose from different concentrations. Some include cyber forensics, information security, and homeland security. The master’s degree program is available online and can be completed in two years or less.
Purdue Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Computer and Information Technology
University of Alabama at Birmingham
In UAB’s specialty MSSec degree, master’s students will learn about information technology, information security management, computer forensics, and ethics. Students can choose whichever specialization appeals to their career goals.
The master’s program is ideal for current employees in both the private and public sectors, who will receive advanced training in different fields. Some of these fields include forensic accounting, computer forensics, and information security management.
UAB Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Cyber-Security (MSSec)
University of Maryland Global
The online computer forensics master’s program from the University of Maryland helps students develop the problem-solving and investigative skills needed in the field. They also learn to analyze complex data scenarios, contribute to crucial team deliveries, examine data for evidentiary artifacts, and present detailed forensic reports.
Students who graduate from this program can apply their skills and work in business, government, or law enforcement. They learn to detect data breaches and reduce cyber attacks. The program also covers the evaluation of evidence in digital crime and the identification of responsible parties.
University of Maryland Global Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation
University of South Florida
USF offers a cyber security master’s degree with a digital forensics concentration. Students enrolled here can get the skills needed to investigate different kinds of cyber crime. The curriculum also covers how to analyze networks that have been compromised or used for illegal purposes. It teaches students how to find, collect, save, and present digital evidence.
USF Computer Forensics Programs
- Master of Science in Cybersecurity, Concentration in Digital Forensics
What Can You Do With a
Computer Forensics Degree?
A degree in computer forensics prepares you to handle network breaches or conduct forensic investigations on behalf of an organization. Most of the roles for this job are in law enforcement, both state and federal. However, some of the open roles are in crime laboratories, corporations, and large municipalities.
A computer forensics degree also qualifies you for some of the best IT careers. You can become an information security analyst, an IT manager, or a cyber security engineer.
How Much Can I Expect to Earn With a Degree in Computer Forensics?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for an information security analyst is $103,590. As one of the most common career paths for computer forensic experts, this occupation serves as a proxy for the value of a computer forensics degree.
BLS estimates that job opportunities for information security analysts will grow 31 percent between 2019 and 2029. As you specialize or earn a master’s degree, your chances of getting a high-paying job in computer forensics go up even more.
Top Computer Forensics Degree Careers
|Profession||Minimum Education||Approx. Average Salary|
|Information Security Manager||Bachelor’s degree||$117,817|
|Cyber Security Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$97,027|
|Information Security Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$95,161|
|IT Security Consultant||Bachelor’s degree||$85,505|
|Information Security Specialist||Bachelor’s degree||$76,923|
|Forensic Computer Analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$74,896|
|Information Security Analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$73,033|
|Computer Systems Analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$70,606|
Does It Matter What College I Go to for Computer Forensics?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which college you attend. Some tech fields may not require a degree, but you need a degree to be a computer forensics expert.
Employers expect you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field or a similar area like cyber security. The degree will give you the foundation of computer and investigative skills needed to succeed in the industry.
Should You Pursue a Degree in Computer Forensics?
If you have a flair for investigation and cyber security, you should pursue a degree in computer forensics. The profession has a lot of career paths and industries that you can work in. This degree provides graduates with skills that can be both lucrative in the monetary sense and rewarding in the sense of vocational fulfillment.