Group of programmers developing new software on desktop PC's in the office

Master of Science 

Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity

Program of Study

This program includes 30 credits of coursework over two semesters followed by a 6-credit summer internship or thesis in which you solve real-world problems. 

You can complete this master’s degree full-time in 12 months or part-time over a longer period. Evening classes are available to all students enrolled in the program.

Choose from one of three specialization options: digital forensics, cyber defense, or cyber operations.

See Graduate Bulletin for Details.

man working on computer security
Specializations
Digital Forensics Track

This track covers computer hardware systems and file formats; forensic operations and quality standards, mobile devices and internet of things systems, memory collection and preservation techniques, data analysis, and forensic tool testing and validation.

By the end of the program, you’ll know how to extract data from digital devices, accurately analyze data to support criminal investigations, sanitize data for privacy protection, and protect systems against threats. 

 

Fall Courses

  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • System Administration and Operating System Concepts
  • Cyber Threats and Defense
  • Computer Forensics
  • Open Source Intelligence and Social Network Analysis
  • Database Security and Forensics

 

Spring Courses

  • Digital Forensics Lab Management
  • Memory Forensics and Analysis
  • Mobile Forensics
  • Multimedia Forensics
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Security and Forensics
  • Cloud Security and Forensics
  • Cyber Law and Ethics
  • Cyber Incident Analysis

 

Summer Courses

  • Internship/Thesis
Cyber Defense Track

This track covers computer hardware and operating systems, cyber security threats and controls, network monitoring, vulnerability scanning, anomaly and intrusion detection, incident response methods, and machine learning and artificial intelligence in cyber defense.

By the end of the program, you’ll know how to set up a monitoring system and analyze network traffic, identify system threats, analyze cybersecurity incidents, reverse engineer malware, manage risks, and develop regulation-compliant security policies.


Fall Courses

  • Advanced Data Analysis    
  • System Administration and Operating System Concepts    
  • Cyber Threats and Defense    
  • Computer Forensics    
  • Open Source Intelligence and Social Network Analysis    
  • Database Security and Forensics 

 

Spring Courses

  • Information Security Analysis    
  • Cyber Incident Analysis    
  • Security Implementation    
  • Hacking for Penetration Testers (TBH2)
  • SCADA Security and Forensics    
  • Cloud Security and Forensics    
  • Cyber Law and Ethics    
  • Cyber Incident Analysis

 

Summer Courses

  • Internship/Thesis
Cyber Operations Track

This track covers security techniques and architecture, intrusion detection systems and firewalls, threat analysis, algorithm design, penetration testing, symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, digital signatures, cryptographic key management, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) programming.

By the end of the program, you’ll know how to test information system defenses, identify and mitigate malicious activity, secure embedded systems from unauthorized access, protect data with cryptographic protocols, attack operating systems via Linux, and gather information about perpetrators using open source intelligence.

 

Fall Courses

  • Advanced Networking 
  • Cyber Threats and Defense 
  • Reverse Engineering Malware 
  • Mathematic Models for Information Security 
  • Open Source Intelligence and Social Network Analysis
  • SCADA Security and Forensics 
  • Computer Forensics 


Spring Courses

  • Cyber Threat Hunting 
  • SCADA Vulnerability Exploitation 
  • Cyber Law and Ethics 
  • Hacking for Penetration Testers (TBH2)
  • International Cyber Conflicts 
  • Memory Forensics and Analysis 
  • Multimedia Forensics

 

Summer Courses

  • Internship/Thesis

Career Paths

Virtually every enterprise in operation today relies on computer systems and digital networks to stay in business. 

This means that millions of trained cybersecurity and digital forensics experts are needed to set up and maintain protected information systems across all industries and in global corporations, small companies, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state, and local government offices. 

Because national security depends on corporations and governments preventing criminal access to large-scale industrial and critical infrastructure systems, graduates of this program enjoy many employment opportunities in public utilities companies, nuclear power plants, water distribution departments, and communication networks.

    Sample Employers

    • Center for Internet Security 
    • Ernst and Young
    • General Electric 
    • Rational Enterprises 
    • Albany Medical Center 
    • GreyCastle 
    • PricewaterhouseCoopers
    • Forensics Analytics of Complex Energy & Transportation Systems
    • UAlbany Information and Technology Services

    Why should I enroll in this program?

    Many students completing their undergraduate studies at UAlbany and other colleges and universities see the value in earning this specialized master’s before they join the workforce.

    The program is especially attractive to recent graduates with degrees in emergency preparedness, homeland security, cybersecurity, applied engineering, mathematics, and computer science. 

    If you’re earning your bachelor’s in digital forensics at UAlbany, you’ll have an even greater advantage in the job market with this graduate degree on your resume. 

    If you’re an early- or mid-career working professional wanting to advance your career, you can finish the program part-time by registering for evening classes.

    Not ready to commit to a master's program? Get ahead by completing the five-course graduate certificate in information security, and then apply your credits to the master’s program when you’re ready.

    man working on computer code
    Admissions Requirements
    Deadlines

    Departmental Assistantship Consideration

    • Fall: Not Available
    • Spring: Not Available
    • Summer: Not Available


     No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

    • Fall: Rolling
    • Spring: Not Available
    • Summer: Not Available
    Required Application Materials
    • Transcripts from all schools attended
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Resume
    • Personal Statement
    • Official GMAT or GRE scores
       All other listed admission criteria remain applicable. An additional requirement for admitted students is that all incoming students must successfully complete pre-semester orientations that cover foundational concepts.

    *Effective immediately, the University at Albany School of Business will waive the GMAT requirement for all applicants seeking Fall 2020 admission into full-time master’s degree programs, including MBA, MS-Accounting, and MS-Digital Forensics/Cyber.

     

    Special Notes

    Must have undergraduate degrees in computer security, information assurance, digital forensic, cyber security, computer science, information science, computer engineering, business, or MIS/Information Technology Management. 

    This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If you have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of your intended academic program.

    Student Learning Objectives
    Master of Science
    1. Students will demonstrate comprehension of top five foundational concepts in information technology, including programming, operating systems, cryptography, databases, and networking.
    2. Students will be able to report ideas in written, oral, web, and interactive formats to diverse audiences.
    3. Students will have operational knowledge of cybersecurity tools in the domains of anti-virus, anti-malware, network defense, intrusion detection, and encryption.
    4. Students will be able to conduct security risk analysis and audits aimed at both assessment and mitigation of risks.
    5. Students will be able to collect and analyze forensic data in order to establish timelines and artifacts across a range of digital devices and formats.
    6. Students will be able to prepare digital forensics incident response policies for businesses and governmental agencies.