Digital Forensics

Digital Forensics is the area of computer science concerned with the examination and analysis of computer hard drives, storage devices, cell phones, PDA’s, or any electronic device that may hold evidence which could be used in a court of law. The device could be as simple as a cell phone or as complex as a main server for a large corporation. The digital forensics analyst uncovers and preserves data for later use as legal evidence, and analyzes the data in light of a particular crime or criminal or civil investigation. This may involve determining how hackers or unauthorized persons gained access to information or computer systems as well as where and how they navigated within the system.

Digital forensics specialists recover files and emails or other electronic correspondence that have been deleted or erased. They also recover data after hardware or software failure, and develop means to harden computer, cyber, and data security against loss, corruption, sabotage, or external attack.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science Digital Forensics degree program covers a wide range of knowledge, including forensic accounting and the criminal justice aspects of forensics, but puts primary emphasis on deep knowledge of computer science subjects, such as data structures, algorithms, software engineering, database management, computer networks, web technology, operating systems, and security.

The tasks of a digital forensics specialist include:

  • Conduct computer forensic investigations and electronic discovery requests for various clients
  • On-site collection of data at client facilities
  • Verify, analyze, and transfer secure data sets from field investigators
  • Use off-the-shelf and proprietary data collection, analysis, and reporting tools
  • Develop security tools and methodologies to incorporate into current business practices and processes.

Students complete a minimum of 123 credits and earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Digital Forensics.

Students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science Digital Forensics program are advantaged by graduating from one of the few such computer science-heavy programs in the country.

Program Objectives

  1. Our graduates will be successfully employed in digital forensics–related fields or other career paths, including industrial, academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations, or will be successful graduate students in a program preparing them for such employment;
  2. Our graduates will lead and participate in culturally diverse teams, becoming global collaborators;
  3. Our graduates will continue professional development by obtaining continuing education credits, professional registration or certifications, or post-graduate study credits or degrees.

Program Outcomes

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline;
  2. An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution;
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  4. An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practices;
  5. An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity.

Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement

The minimum passing grade for a Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) course is 2.0. The minimum GPA for the program is 2.0. In addition, the DDC permits any approved course to satisfy up to three credit hours within three different categories. Please see the General Education Program: The Dearborn Discovery Core section for additional information.

Foundational Studies

Written and Oral Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course
  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits


Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

Concentration Requirements

In addition to completion of the Dearborn Discovery Core, the following courses are required to earn a BS degree in Digital Forensics from UM-Dearborn.

Behavioral/Social Science
POL 101Intro to American Government3
SOC 200Understanding Society3
CRJ 363Crim Justice Syst and Policy3
CRJ 465Deviant Behavior/Soc Disorganz3
CRJ 468Criminology3
CRJ 474Cyber Crimes3
CRJ 475Digital Evidence3
Business Courses
ACC 298Financial Accounting3
ACC 304Auditing&Forensic Examinations3
OB 354Behavior in Organization3
MATH 115Calculus I4
MATH 116Calculus II4
CIS 275Discrete Structures I4
MATH 217Intro to Matrix Algebra2-3
or MATH 227 Introduction to Linear Algebra
IMSE 317Eng Probability and Statistics3
Laboratory Science Sequence
Two courses, 8 credits, in one sequence from:8
Intro Org and Environ Biology
and Intro Molec & Cellular Biology
General Chemistry IA
and General Chemistry IIA
Gen Chemistry IB
and General Chemistry IIB
Physical Geology
and Historical Geology
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II
General Physics I
and General Physics II
Digital Forensics Core
Eight computer and information science courses are required of Digital Forensics concentrators:35
Computer Science I
Computer Science II
Computer Org and Assembly Lang
Data Struc and Algorithm Anlys
Software Engineering I
Database Mgmt Systems
Comp Networks and Dis Process
Web Technology
Operating Systems
Computer Science Senior Design Seminars
CIS 4951Design Seminar I2
CIS 4952Design Seminar II2
Digital Forensics Courses
CIS/ECE 387Digital Forensics I4
CIS/ECE 467Digital Forensics II4
Choose two courses from the following:6
Intro Computr & Ntwrk Security
Multimedia Forensics
Digi Content Protec
Total Credit Hours108-109