Group of programmers developing new software on desktop computers in an office.

Master of Science 

Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity

Program of Study

programofstudy

This program includes 30-33 credits of coursework over two semesters followed by a 3-6-credit summer internship or thesis in which you solve real-world problems. 

You can complete this master’s degree through full-time or part-time study. Evening classes are available to all students enrolled in the program.

Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity students working in a computer lab
School of Business Tracks
Cybersecurity

This track covers computer hardware and operating systems, cybersecurity 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


Potential employers include:

  • Crowe, LLC
  • GreyCastle Security
  • Kroll
  • RSM US, LLP
  • Security Risk Advisors
  • BlueCross
  • GE Healthcare
  • United Health
  • General Electric (GE)
  • Naval Nuclear Laboratory
  • NYISO
  • Central Hudson Gas & Electric
  • Con Edison
  • Schneider Electric


Additional Program Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Zina Lawrence at [email protected].


Cybersecurity Scholarship

Up to 20 full-time students who begin the MS in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity program in the fall of 2022 will be eligible for a $5,000 competitive scholarship, nearly half the cost of the master’s program, through a grant from the National Security Agency.

All students who submit a scholarship application and successfully complete five program courses with an overall GPA of 3.0/B or higher will be considered. Recipients will be selected prior to the start of the program, contingent on meeting the grade requirement.

Scholarship winners will be announced in January 2023.

See the scholarship application for details. For more information, contact [email protected].

Cyber Operations

This track prepares you for proactive threat hunting and offensive/defensive operations. You will learn how to identify adversary motivations, actively identify network surveillance and advanced persistent threats, exploit adversary vulnerabilities, respond to nation state attacks, and understand the national/international legal parameters relevant to cyberattacks.

By the end of the program, you will be well equipped to work in intelligence agencies, security operation centers and consulting firms.


Core Courses
  • Advanced Networking
  • Cyberlaw and Ethics
  • Hacking for Penetration Testers
  • Reverse Engineering Malware
  • Cyber Threat Hunting
  • SCADA Vulnerability Exploitation
  • Introduction to Information and Cyber Security
  • Mathematical Methods for Information Security
Thesis/Internship Course
  • 6 credits in an internship or thesis
Electives

Choose two:

  • Open Source Intelligence and Social Network Analysis (OSINT and SNA)
  • Memory Forensics and Analysis
  • International Cyber Conflicts
  • Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) Forensics
  • Multimedia Forensic;
  • Computer Forensics


Potential employers include:

  • FireEye
  • Rapid7
  • Unit 42 (Palo Alto Networks)


Additional Program Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Zina Lawrence at [email protected].

Digital Forensics

This track covers the collection, preservation and analysis of data found in electronic devices. You will also learn the concepts of handling digital forensics cases and managing a forensics lab. This track requires a background in the area of digital forensics, programming, data analysis, networking and databases from prior coursework or work experience.

By the end of the program, you will be well equipped to work in forensics laboratories, police agencies, forensics consulting firms and federal law enforcement agencies. 

Core Courses
  • Data Analytics for Cyber Security OR Business Analytics and Data Mining
  • System Administration and Operating System Concepts
  • Mobile Forensics
  • Memory Forensics and Analysis
  • Multimedia Forensics
  • Digital Forensics & Quality Lab Management
  • Computer Forensics
  • Introduction to Information and Cyber Security
Thesis/Internship Course
  • 6 credits in an internship or thesis
Electives

Choose two:

  • Database Security and Forensics
  • Open Source Intelligence and Social Network Analysis (OSINT and SNA)
  • Cyberlaw and Ethics
  • Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) Forensics
  • Cloud Security & Forensics
  • Incident Handling


Potential employers include:

  • Basis Technology
  • FTI Consulting
  • Pfizer
  • SONY
  • TransPerfect
  • United Nations
  • Verisk
  • Albany District Attorney


Additional Program Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Zina Lawrence at [email protected].

College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity Tracks
Risk, Policy & Compliance

This track covers policy and risk management, with a focus on how cyber incidents and cybersecurity programs impact the security of organizations and government. It also incorporates a focus on homeland security.

By the end of the program, you will be equipped for occupations such as security manager, IT project manager, emergency management director, document control/management specialist or cybersecurity analyst.

 

Core Courses (27 credits)

  • Advanced Networking and Security OR Advanced Networking  
  • Information Security and Privacy OR Introduction to Information and Cybersecurity
  • Human Aspects of Cybersecurity OR Psychology of Security
  • Principles and Practices of Cybersecurity
  • Information Security Compliance Auditing
  • Computer and Network Security
  • IT and Homeland Security
  • Cybersecurity Risk and Policy
  • Cybersecurity: Long Term Planning and Risk Management


Cybersecurity Tool (3 credits)

Choose ONE:

  • Hacking for Penetration Testers
  • Computer Forensics
  • Incident Handling
  • Fundamentals of Information Technology (3 one-credit modules)


Electives (3 credits)

Choose ONE:

  • Cyberlaw & Ethics
  • Cyber Threat Hunting
  • Cyber Physical Systems Security
  • Cybersecurity Policy, Law and Institutions
  • Cyber Threats and Intelligence
  • Prevention and Protection Strategies in Cybersecurity
  • Cybersecurity Practicum


Thesis Project or Internship (3 credits)


Additional Program Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Health Security & Privacy

This track prepares you to apply security analytics, risk assessment and policy management to protecting health information.

By the end of the program, you will be equipped for occupations such as health information security director, health IT project manager or cybersecurity analyst for medical records.


Core Courses (27 credits)

  • Advanced Networking and Security OR Advanced Networking
  • Cyber Physical Systems Security
  • Information Security and Privacy OR Introduction to Information and Cybersecurity
  • Principles and Practices of Cybersecurity
  • Information Security Compliance Auditing
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Cybersecurity Risk and Policy
  • Health Information Technology
  • Topics in Health Policy & Mgt: Health Analytics


Cybersecurity Tool (3 credits)

Choose ONE:

  • Hacking for Penetration Testers
  • Computer Forensics
  • Incident Handling
  • Fundamentals of Information Technology (3 one-credit modules)


Electives (3 credits)

Choose ONE:

  • Human Aspects of Cybersecurity OR Psychology of Security
  • Cyber Threat Hunting
  • Cybersecurity Policy, Law and Institutions
  • Prevention and Protection Strategies in Cybersecurity
  • Cybersecurity Practicum


Thesis Project or Internship (3 credits)


Additional Program Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Career Paths

career

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, medical facilities, health insurance companies and communication networks.

A student working on a computer in the UAlbany Digital Forensics Lab

Why should I enroll in this program?

enroll

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, informatics, 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.

Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity students working in a computer lab
Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity

UAlbany is a designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program at the National Security Agency (NSA). This designation recognizes our superior standards and abilities to educate the future cyber workforce.

Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Community logo

International Students

This degree is designated as a STEM program. International students maintaining F-1 status are allowed to apply for up to 12 months of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) following completion/graduation from their degree program. Currently, this degree program is also designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as an eligible degree for the F-1 STEM OPT work authorization extension; students who secure qualifying employment may be eligible to apply for the STEM OPT extension for a cumulative total of up to 36 months of F-1 OPT work authorization.

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

If you’re a current UAlbany undergraduate student with at least a 3.2 GPA, you can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework as early as your junior year. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you can complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately.

Contact your undergraduate advisor to see if you’re eligible and learn about your combined graduate program options.

Commencement stock photo
Admissions Requirements
Deadlines
  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: December 15
  • Summer: May 1

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, which offers two tracks--Risk, Policy & Compliance and Health Security & Privacy– may offer students the opportunity to apply for a graduate assistantship. The School of Business, which offers three tracks–Cybersecurity, Cyber Operations and Digital Forensics--does not offer departmental assistantship consideration for its tracks. 

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Official GMAT or GRE scores*

*The GMAT and GRE will be waived as a requirement for admission to the Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity program through Fall 2023.

Special Notes

The Risk, Policy & Compliance, and Health Security & Privacy tracks are interdisciplinary and cross-cutting, focusing not only on technical aspects of cybersecurity, but also on risk management, policy, legal compliance, communications, etc.:  students with a wide variety of backgrounds, experience and undergraduate majors -- not just in STEM fields – will benefit and are encouraged to apply.  The Cybersecurity, Cyber Operations and Digital Forensics tracks require undergraduate degrees in computer security, information assurance, digital forensics, cyber security, computer science, information science, computer engineering, business, or MIS/Information Technology Management.  

If you are a UAlbany undergraduate student in the BS Informatics program or the BS Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (Cybersecurity Risk Management concentration) you can apply for the accelerated bachelor’s-master’s option in the Risk, Policy & Compliance and Health Security & Privacy concentrations of the MS Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity to complete your combined program in only five years. You can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework while still enrolled as an undergraduate student. 

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.

admissions
Student Learning Objectives
Master of Science
  • Demonstrate comprehension of top five foundational concepts in information technology, including programming, operating systems, cryptography, databases and networking.
  • Report ideas in written, oral, web and interactive formats to diverse audiences.
  • Have operational knowledge of cybersecurity tools in the domains of anti-virus, anti-malware, network defense, intrusion detection and encryption.
  • Conduct security risk analysis and audits aimed at both assessment and mitigation of risks.
  • Collect and analyze forensic data in order to establish timelines and artifacts across a range of digital devices and formats.
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