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Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics

Computer forensics is a branch of digital forensic science regarding legal evidence found in computers and digital media. Computer forensics examines digital media with the aim of identifying, preserving, recovering, analyzing and presenting facts and opinions about the information, which helps to prove innocence or guilt in court. The Graduate Certificate is composed of six graduate courses related to Digital Forensics, Network and Computer Security, and secure Data Communications.

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What is the Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics (GCDF)?

Computer forensics is a branch of digital forensic science regarding legal evidence found in computers and digital media. Computer forensics examines digital media with the aim of identifying, preserving, recovering, analyzing and presenting facts and opinions about the information, which helps to prove innocence or guilt in court. Sometimes called digital forensics, it specializes in the scientific analysis of computer communications and the data on computer storage devices, such as hard disks and CD-ROMs. The Graduate Certificate is composed of six graduate courses related to Digital Forensics, Network and Computer Security, and secure Data Communications.

What skills can be obtained with the Certificate?

  • Investigative skills to uncover evidence of illegal activities conducted via computer, such as credit-card fraud, intellectual-property theft, pedophilia, terrorism, and computer system intrusion (hacking). Illegal activities conducted via computer are generally referred to as “computer crimes” or “cyber crimes”.
  • Investigate and uncover evidence of crimes that weren’t directly committed via computer, but for which the accused might have stored evidence on computer data storage devices
  • Detect and close computer system security vulnerabilities through “Legal and Ethical” hacking

Benefits of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics

Through this certificate, participants such as IT and IS professionals gain vital security insight on obtaining and documenting digital information, determining the source of information compromises; and delivering expert testimony concerning digital crime related to data in computers, networks and hand-held devices. In addition, the program addresses recovery of corrupted, encrypted and hidden information, providing a comprehensive preparation for assisting in the prevention and prosecution of malicious information theft and other criminal activity. Design of effective network infrastructure and advanced digital investigation techniques, and new forensics strategies.

These are the skills that PUPR wants to offer graduate students in the Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics (GCDF) that will benefit both faculty and students.

Courses and Credits

  • E-Discovery and Digital Evidence 3 credits
  • Data Communication Networks 3 credits
  • Computer Security 3 credits
  • Network Security 3 credits
  • Computer Forensics 3 credits
  • Advanced Computer Forensics 3 credits

Total credits required to complete the Certificate are 18 credits. The student should complete the courses with a GPA of 2.80 or more to qualify for the Certificate.

Students that are enrolled in the Master in Computer Science or Master in Computer Engineering can take electives from the Certificate courses that also qualify for the Certificate.

Admission Criteria

To be admitted to the GCDF the student requires:

  • Calculus I or equivalent course.
  • A high-level programming language.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Math or related field of study.
  • GPA of 2.80 or more.

Faculty

The program will rely on both Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico faculty plus adjunct faculty, which are knowledgeable in the field of Computer Forensics. These faculty are qualified and have shown their interest in teaching in the Digital Forensics Certificate program.

These faculty dominate the theoretic aspects and bring to the classroom their expertise from their professional practice, giving students the advantage of obtaining skills that will help them excel in their work even before graduating.

Laboratories and Equipment

To maintain a level of excellence for which our University is well recognized, PUPR has invested funds acquired through various granting agencies such as the DoD, DHS, DE and others to increase infrastructure and upgrade the equipment available to students and faculty. PUPR has various laboratories including the exclusive Cyber Digital Forensics Investigation Laboratory (CDFIL).This lab is used for digital forensics investigation and contains two FRED SC (supercomputers). These are the first supercomputers available at a commercial level that have optimized massive parallel processing power with up to 1,900 processors.