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Best 20 Masters in Computer Forensic in 2021

March 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

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The need for cyber security and professional in computer forensics has never been greater.  As national and business security are becoming increasingly more important, so is preparing the next generation of professionals to mitigate cyber attacks, investigate and analyze digital breaches and the ability to prevent future attacks.  The following schools offer accredited programs in computer forensics and cybersecurity.  The schools have been ranked according to a matrix using information such as cost, faculty to student ratio, graduation rate, and delivery method of the program.  

1. University of the Cumberlands

If you have a degree in computer science, information systems, information technology, or other related field and have the desire to gain technical skills and knowledge to help fight cybercrime then the online master’s degree in digital forensics is the right degree path for you.  This online degree will prepare students to recover and investigate data lost or stolen in digital crimes, fraud, or other abuse.  Students learn from an elite group at the University of the Cumberlands knowing it has been named as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. 

At A Glance

  • Location: Williamsburg, Kentucky
  • Tuition: $315 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

2. Boston University

Boston University has been educating students in IT and cybersecurity since its earliest years dating back to 1979.  As a pioneer in this field students know that Boston University will provide a comprehensive approach in their graduate work in computer forensics. It is also no surprise that Boston University has been ranked as having one of the best online grad computer information technology programs by the U.S. News and World Report.  This degree can be pursued on campus, in a blended format, or entirely online.  Students learn from exceptional faculty that have driven the research and programs within the industry.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tuition: $56,854 Per Year
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

3. Purdue University

If you are ready to make valuable contributions to the ever-increasing field of computer and information technology then a Master of Science in Computer and Information Technology from Purdue University is where to start.  With many areas of concentration, students can choose what direction they plan to take their education and career including a specialization in Information Security, Cyberforensics, and Homeland Security.  Purdue offers world-class computing resources and research laboratories that will engage students and provide unique hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to participate in meaningful research alongside expert faculty.   

At A Glance

  • Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Tuition: $4,996 Per Semester (Resident) $14,397 Per Semester (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

4. George Washington University

As the need for technical cybersecurity has increased drastically, the need to train up-and-coming professionals and researchers has also increased sharply over recent years.  George Washington University is home to the only graduate computer forensics degree in Washington D.C. and one of the few in the nation.  Participants will take courses in security, applied cryptography, and have access to attend many cybersecurity seminars.  Students will need to complete 30 credit hours to complete their degree.  There is an option to take additional courses or take the thesis option.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Tuition: $1,145 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Some Courses
  • Graduation Rate: 83.9%

5. John Hopkins University

One of the best research institutions on the East coast, John Hopkins University is one of the best institutions for computer science among other professional fields.  Students enrolled in the Cybersecurity informatics degree will need to choose a track for their program.  Courses that will be taken include Modern Cryptography and Privacy in Computing Ethical Hacking Network Security.  Students earning this degree will be engaged in courses and with faculty from both the Information Network Institute and the College of Engineering at CMU.  Those seeking a degree to advance careers in network forensics and digital investigations will find this degree to provide them with the knowledge and skills to reach those goals.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tuition: $57,010
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 6 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 92.4%

6. University of San Diego

If you are a professional that has an undergraduate in cybersecurity or a related field and has gained experience in roles such as cybersecurity, information technology, information systems, or computer science then the Master of Science in Cyber Security from the University of San Diego would be a degree to earn.  This degree has an emphasis not only on Cyber Security Operations but also on leadership.  Students not only learn theoretical tactics and tactical perspectives of those that would attack computer and digital systems they learn how to become lifelong learners to stay abreast of threats to systems.  The leadership taught and the “big picture” understanding sets it apart from other cybersecurity programs.  

At A Glance

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Tuition: $28,476
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

7. University of Central Florida

If protecting your organization or business from digital and cyber crimes is a goal then earning a degree in Digital Forensics would be a valuable investment to make.  This field has grown ever more important and sought after by government agencies, corporate businesses, and international organizations.  The University of Central Florida makes it possible for students to earn a Master’s in Digital Forensics online or on campus.  Participants will gain knowledge and hands-on experiential skills in analyzing computers and digital information to determine if something has fallen to an illegal attack or other illegal conduct.  The program is offered online with perhaps one visit to campus required prior to graduation.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tuition: $369 Per Credit Hour (Resident) $1,195 Per Credit Hour (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 30 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 74.7%

8. University of Arizona

If you are looking for an excellent program that has the seal of approval from the likes of The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency, and the Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity then the University of Arizona is the place to study to earn your Master of Science in Cybersecurity.   Students have the opportunity to earn the Department of MIS’s Enterprise Security Certificate.  This degree program is designed for working professionals that have a degree in computer science, information technology, information systems, or other similar fields. Graduates are able to prevent, evaluate, and analyze systems security-related risks.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Tuition: $516 Per Credit hour (Resident) $666 Per Credit Hour (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

9. Eastern Illinois University

The Master Degree in Cybersecurity at Eastern Illinois University is designed with working professionals in mind. It is a mostly online program that is for those that have an undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, Information systems, and other related fields.  This program will build students’ knowledge of hardware systems, networking systems, network defense, systems security, and much more. Graduates are well prepared with knowledge of techniques and skills to protect against cyber attacks as well as the skills to mitigate and analyze cyber-attacks.  Though most of the coursework is completed online there are a couple of times students will need to attend campus to gain in-person hands-on instruction and skills to verify they can perform the tasks in cybersecurity.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Charleston, Illinois
  • Tuition: $302 Per Credit Hour (Resident) $372 Per Credit Hour (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 56.6%

10. Champlain College

If you are looking to be part of the latest emerging technology in computer forensics then earning your degree at Champlain College is a step in the right direction.  The online Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics utilized a cutting-edge curriculum that develops students into scientists as they learn forensic skills within digital networks and information systems.  Champlain College is also a national leader in educating students in digital forensics and is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  This degree program is available entirely online.     

At A Glance

  • Location: Burlington, Vermont
  • Tuition: $795 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

11. Carnegie Mellon University

As society comes to depend more fully on technology in nearly every aspect of their lives, cybersecurity has never been more important than now.  Carnegie Mellon University is a top-tier institution for education in computer forensics.  As a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Cyber Defense Education,  Information Assurance Cyber Defense Research, and Cyber Operations Carnegie Mellon University leads out in computer forensics.  Students can earn advanced degrees in computer forensics as they learn from the minds of globally accredited faculty that are part of CyLab, many even have opportunities to participate in CyLab research.      

At A Glance

  • Location: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Tuition: $50,320 Per Year
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 90%

12. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

With cyber-crimes increasing the need for professionals in this highly specialized industry is increasing as well.  Having an advanced degree and understanding of computer forensics and cybersecurity is an evolving and highly regarded field in the global job market.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a unique program that offers a two-year degree, pays no tuition, and works with the government for 2 years following graduation.  Students of this program will also receive a generous stipend through the Illinois Cybersecurity Scholarships Program. UNdergraduates and graduates can apply to this program the year before they plan to attend.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Urbana-Champaign
  • Tuition: $13,176 (Resident)  $28,464 (Non-Resident) 
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

13. University of Alabama Birmingham

Those seeking a career and degree that is interdisciplinary and innovative will find a degree in cybersecurity to be a fulfilling choice.  The University of Alabama Birmingham offers this interdisciplinary degree that involves problem-solving, critical thinking, and understanding of computer architecture, hardware, and software as well as investigative forensics.  This degree advances professionals’ knowledge and skill for investigating and preventing cyberattacks on national security and the nation’s economic system.  Students of this degree can also apply for Cyber Corps Scholarship.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tuition: $450 Per Credit Hour (Resident)  $1,066 (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

14. Robert Morris University

At Robert Morris University students take an interdisciplinary approach to Cyber Forensics in the martyr degree program.  This program blends knowledge and skills from technology, business, organizational behavior, and law.  Utilizing this knowledge students are then able to detect cyber attacks and properly respond to them as well as analyze and gather evidence with the latest techniques.  Students also learn how to prevent attacks from happening and protecting information systems from further attacks.  Courses that students participate in include cyberlaw, mobile forensics, and digital evidence analysis.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tuition: $29,400
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 60% 

15. Mississippi College

If you are wanting a career in information technology that really helps society in numerous ways that most don’t consider, earning an advanced degree in Cyber Security and Information Assurance benefits everyone that uses technology in any way.  Mississippi College provides a competitive program that is designed for technical professionals that already hold an undergraduate degree in computer science, informational technology, and related fields.  Graduates are prepared with the knowledge and skills to protect, mitigate and investigate when digital crimes across infrastructure, military, government, and other organizations do occur.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Clinton, Mississippi
  • Tuition:  $625 to $725 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

16. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

The need for secure digital infrastructure for governments has never been more important than now.  An estimated $100 billion is lost to cybercrime in global businesses.  As new threats to information systems grow, so does the need for trained, knowledgeable, and skilled technicians that understand and know how to mitigate such threats.  Students of the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Master’s degree in Information Security and Assurance gain knowledge from expert faculty as they focus on business and organization security in the information age.  Students can earn this degree online, it is necessary for them to have an undergraduate and experience in computer science, information technology, information systems, or other related fields.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Tuition: $623 Per Credit Hour (Resident)  $743 Per Credit  Hour (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 45%

17. DeSales University

As attacks on digital security become more common, the need for highly trained and critical thinking professionals has never been greater.  These professionals help investigate cyberattacks, learn how to mitigate future attacks and provide timely evidence when attacks do occur.  DeSales University is a private institution that offers a comprehensive Master of Science in Cyber Security.  This degree program is designed specifically for trained professionals that are currently employed in the field.  This is an entirely online program that allows students to meet other obligations while they earn an advanced degree.  With multiple start dates throughout the year, students can begin when it fits their schedule.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Center Valley, Pennsylvania
  • Tuition: $855 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

18. Rochester Institute of Technology

Earning a degree in cybersecurity is more than just another computer science degree it is gaining the knowledge and skills to protect and defend information systems through hardware and software systems.  The program at Rochester Institute of Technology focuses on giving students the knowledge and skills of how to build security and survivability into computing systems in an ethical manner.  Participants develop a strong foundation in theoretical and practical principles in secure computing.  Graduates are quickly able to secure jobs in the computing security industry, in research, and even in academia.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Rochester, New York
  • Tuition: $50,136 
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

19. George Mason University

A growing need for professionals that know how to ethically gather digital information in forensics for investigative purposes is increasing and George Mason University has a program directed specifically in this field.  As a unique interdisciplinary field that blends computer engineering, computer science, information technology, law, and ethics, students will be prepared for careers in law enforcement, government, and beyond.  Courses include digital media forensics, network forensics, legal and ethical issues, forensic artifact extraction, and more.  Students can choose a concentration or choose 12 electives of their choice.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Tuition: $16,175 (Resident)  $38,239 (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

20. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida offers a master’s degree in cybersecurity with an emphasis in digital forensics.  Applicants do not have to have an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity but it is very helpful for students of this program to have working knowledge and experience in operating system concepts, computer architecture, hardware and software, and storage media.  Students will gain knowledge and skill to investigate computer, cyber, and other electronic crimes.  Students will learn how to analyze systems that have been attacked and how to prevent systems from such crimes. The degree will require 15 credit hours to be completed as well as a 3-hour practicum where they gain valuable skills.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Tampa, Florida
  • Tuition: $7,840 (Resident)  $15,864 (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 23 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Online: No
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

Points Methodology

  • Cost: Entire Program Under $15,000    Points:  5
  • Entire Program Between $15k and $25K  Points: 3
  • Entire Program Above $25k  Points:  21
  • Faculty to Student Ratio:  10 to 1 and Below   Points:  5
  • Between 10 and 20 to 1 Points:  3
  • Above 20 to 1  Points:  1
  • Graduation Rate:  Above 75%  Points:  5
  • Between 60% and 75%  Points:  3
  • Under 60%  Points:  1
  • Extra Point for Programs Offered Online
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