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    James Madison University
   
 
  Nov 21, 2017
 
 
    
2017-18 Graduate Catalog

Computer Science, Digital Forensics, M.S.


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Admission Criteria

Admission to the program is competitive. Preference is given to students with undergraduate preparation in computer science or professional experience in computing. Strong students from other disciplines are also encouraged to apply. Students judged able to complete the program but lacking background in computing can be admitted with a conditional requirement to complete a preparatory course sequence in computer science. The Master of Science program in computer science is not currently accepting students for its concentration in digital forensics and its five-year concentration in digital forensics.

Mission

The graduate program in computer science prepares highly skilled professionals with advanced expertise in creating and maintaining secure and reliable computing systems. Two different concentrations are available: information security and digital forensics. Both concentrations lead to the M.S. degree in computer science and include courses in core areas of computer science.

Digital Forensics

Our program offers quality education in digital forensics from a computer science perspective through a systems-oriented curriculum that provides the skills and knowledge needed to support digital investigations. The curriculum is highly system-oriented, where students gain deep insights into how operating systems, networks and computer programs function and how those systems relate to forensics and security in general.

Director: Dr. Florian Buchholz

The digital forensics concentration combines core computer science concepts with an in-depth, technical study of digital forensics. The curriculum is highly system-oriented, where students gain deep insights into how operating systems, networks and computer programs function and how those systems relate to forensics and security in general. Coupled with these technical computer science topics, a core digital forensics component addresses the forensic process, relevant laws and analysis techniques, as well as report writing. Students with exceptional undergraduate preparation may choose electives in place of selected required courses with prior approval of the concentration director. For electives, students may also choose independent studies, reading and research courses, or special courses offered by faculty on topics of interest.

Students completing this concentration will also receive the Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals certificate (NSTISSI No. 4011).

This concentration is available on campus only.

Digital Forensics Concentration Requirements


Total: 30 Credit Hours


Thesis Route


Total: 36 Credit Hours


Non-Thesis Route


  • Approved electives 6 Credit Hours

Total: 36 Credit Hours


Five-Year Concentration in Digital Forensics


Director: Dr. Florian Buchholz

This concentration allows students to complete both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in computer science in five years by combining the first year of graduate studies with the senior year of undergraduate studies. The curriculum requires 30 credit hours of graduate courses, of which 21 hours are required courses and nine hours are electives or thesis credit. Substitutions for required courses may be made with permission of the concentration director.

Students completing this concentration will also receive the Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals certificate (NSTISSI No. 4011).

Admission requirements include nine undergraduate CS courses that are normally taken by CS undergraduate majors and that may also be taken by JMU undergraduates who minor in CS, as an extension of regular minor requirements. Applicants must also be on track to have completed at least 99 credit hours by the end of junior year (ideally 105 credit hours). Course selection for the junior-senior years should be done in consultation with the concentration director.

In comparison to the traditional concentration in digital forensics, this concentration requires the same 600-level courses, and all but two of the same 500-level courses.

Five-Year Digital Forensics Concentration Requirements


Total: 24 Credit Hours


Thesis Route


Total: 30 Credit Hours


Non-Thesis Route


  • Approved electives 6 Credit Hours

Total: 30 Credit Hours


Additional Information


These undergraduate courses are required for admission to this concentration:

CS 159. Advanced Computer Programming
CS 227/327. Discrete Structures I and II
CS 240. Algorithms and Data Structures
CS 345. Software Engineering
CS 361. Computer Systems II
CS 430. Programming Languages
A 400-level CS systems elective

The department strongly encourages that CS 452. Analysis of Algorithms be taken by undergraduates intending to apply for this concentration.

CS 457. Information Security should not be taken by undergraduates intending to apply for this concentration. 

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