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Digital Forensics

Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate in Digital Forensics teaches you the innovative tools and leading industry methods for collecting and scientifically analyzing digital devices and data associated with cybercrime. You’ll examine the requirements for supporting legal proceedings in criminal and civil forensics, rules for presenting evidence, and how to maintain a chain of custody for evidence integrity. The process of forensics investigation can destroy the very evidence it is seeking to assimilate. The window of opportunity for collecting evidence can be a few seconds or minutes depending on the sophistication of the perpetrator.

This online certificate is intended for graduate students who want to expand their knowledge of digital forensics without committing to a degree program.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Note: This program has specific admission requirements. Please view the requirements below to be sure you qualify to apply for this program.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Evaluate data security, integrity, and exposure from multifunctional devices.
  • Analyze various digital forensics models and examine the inherent challenges in the processes for seizing electronic evidence.
  • Analyze concealment and cloaking techniques and technologies such as cryptography, steganography, and data hiding and investigate corresponding legislation and mitigation techniques.
  • Assess and mitigate potential exposures and the risks of the chain of custody and examine the methodologies to mitigate the potentially narrow window of opportunity for collecting digital evidence.
  • Investigate models to examine the financial and societal impact of technology related crime.
  • Appraise the principles, practices, and inherent challenges of the e-discovery process and assess the tools, techniques, and procedures to legally seize and forensically evaluate digital crime scenes.

Degree at a Glance

Admission Requirements

All APU graduate programs require you to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

For this program, you must provide an official transcript of your previously-completed bachelor's or master's degree and have ONE of the following:

  • Associate or bachelor's degree in information technology or a related field (ex: computer science, information systems, database development, etc.)
  • 2 years of work experience in the specific sub-field for this certificate - to be documented in your resume or your Joint Services Transcript (JST) and DD214
  • Completion of one of our undergraduate IT certificates
  • Completion of 6 upper-level (300-400) undergraduate credits in IT-related courses
  • Completion of an IT-related minor or concentration during your undergraduate program
  • Certification from CompTIA A+ (2010 – Present) or a combination of the following (must have two) CompTIA Network +, CompTIA Project +, CompTIA Security+ (all 2010-Present)
  • A valid and current Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute
  • Completion of CISSP certification (valid up until the expiration date)

Notes:

  • If the IT-specific requirements are not noted in the official bachelor's or master's transcript, you must provide official copies of your undergraduate transcripts that show the appropriate coursework.
  • The verification of the 2-years work experience needs to be sent to the university from your current/previous employer on company letterhead.
  • Preadmission courses completed at the undergraduate level must be graded C or better; B or better at the graduate level.

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An APU admissions representative will contact you via email or phone to assist you with the enrollment process, review your documentation, and to notify you when you have been admitted into the program and may register for courses.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.

School of Science, Education and Math


School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

This program resides in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) where more than 57 degree and certificate programs are available for students to find their area of interest ranging from space studies to environmental studies to IT and cybersecurity. American Public University is one of the few online colleges where you can work fully online to earn science and math bachelor’s degrees. Two of our bachelor’s programs (Natural Science and BSEE) are set up with full lab kits that are mailed to you to use at home. You won’t sacrifice hands-on experience with our online science programs! In addition, many of our STEM professors work to innovate their classroom, including Danny Welsch who uses video for you to learn from his virtual field trips.

The APU STEM program directors work with industry advisory councils to ensure that our students are prepared for the real world. APU also works with industry certifying bodies to ensure that our courseware meets the requirements of agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) and the DoD Directive 8570.1M Information Assurance Management (IAM).

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and other life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.

We encourage you to browse the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math webpage to learn more about our what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you