Do you want do crime scene searches of computers? Solve cases by examining digital evidence? Protect computer systems from hackers and malware? Then the Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics is for you. Digital Forensics is one of the fastest growing employment opportunities. Some estimates say over 100,000 jobs will be available for cybersecurity/digital forensics personnel in the next 10 years. If you want to learn how to conduct cyber security operations and investigations, then this program is a perfect fit.

The bachelor of science in digital forensics (BSDF) is an interdisciplinary degree program, combing course work in criminal justice and computer science. The focus of the program is an understanding of the procedures and processes necessary to discover, recover, analyze, and present information that has been stored on digital devices, including mainframe and personal computers, cellular telephones, tablets, gaming, and other devices. Students graduating with the BSDF degree will be prepared to fill entry- and advanced-level positions with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; with many different companies (finance, computer, retail) that need cybersecurity experts; and public and private sector non-profit companies. Students completing the program will also be prepared to pursue graduate studies (master’s and doctoral-level) in computer science, criminal justice, information systems, and information technology, or pursue law school.

Program Requirements

The goal of the BSDF required courses is to provide graduates with the tools they need in computer programming and operations to work effectively within a computer environment, and also the skills needed to understand the behavior of those who may be a threat to computer systems and/or engage in cybercrime. Additionally, graduates will have an understanding of the legal systems and processes necessary to gather digital evidence and support a computer investigation in court if necessary.

Note to Students: The following course requirements and descriptions are temporary pending full inclusion in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

The BSDF requires 40 hours in the major beyond the University of College core requirements (each course is 3 credit hours):

  • JS 331: Criminal Procedure
  • JS 402: Introduction to Computer Forensics
  • JS 410: Criminal Justice Ethics
  • JS 415: Investigating Online Crimes
  • JS 437: Digital Media Forensics
  • JS 497/498/499: Internship in Criminal Justice
  • CS 103: Introduction to Computation
  • CS 203: Object-Oriented Programming
  • CS 250: Discrete Structures
  • CS 330: Computer Organization and Assembly Language
  • CS 334: Networking
  • CS 423: Network Security
  • CS 457: Penetration Testing/Vulnerability

All students graduating with the BSDF will be required to complete an internship. These internships will place students in a law enforcement or intelligence agency at the federal, state, or local level; or in a cybersecurity related position within a business industry such as banking (Regions, Wells Fargo), finance (Visa, Deloitte), computers (Facebook, Google), or retail (Walmart, Target). Students will gain practical experience in their future employment, and will be able to test the skills they developed in the program.

A grade of C or better is required in all courses. Students must have a 2.3 cumulative GPA prior to applying for their Internship. Students must take general electives to reach the 120 semester hour requirement.