Computer Forensics and Security Management

Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

Program Contact Information

Dr. Jeffery Walker
Department of Justice Sciences
1201 University Blvd.
Suite 210
Birmingham, AL 35294-4562
jeffw@uab.edu

Program Information

The Master of Science in Computer Forensics and Security Management (MSCFSM) is an interdisciplinary program that prepares graduates for entry- and advanced-level positions in the field by developing in them the necessary skills crucial for success. The program also provides current practitioners the opportunity to obtain advanced-level training to facilitate career advancement. The program includes a set of core, required courses (including a field practicum) and the opportunity to select from two areas of specialization.

Admission Requirements

Students accepted into the program will have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or recognized university from abroad. Most of these students will have earned a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher and a combined score of 300 or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS and score 80 or higher on the TOEFL or 6.5 or higher on the IELTS. Applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree from UAB or those with 5 or more years’ experience in the field are exempted from taking the GRE.

Students seeking admission to the program who lack a background in computer science or information systems but who meet the remaining minimum requirements for admission may be admitted contingent on them completing a set of prerequisite courses (or their equivalents) that include:

RequirementsHours
CS 103Introduction to Computation4
CS 103LIntroduction to Computation Lab0
IS 204Introduction to Business Programming3

Degree Requirements

A total of 30 semester hours are required for the degree, consisting of 21 hours of required courses and 9 hours of electives taken in one of two tracks: Cybercrime Investigations or IT Audit/Fraud Examination.

RequirementsHours
Required Core Curriculum (21 hrs.)
CS 623Network Security3
CS 623LNetwork Security Laboratory0
CS 636Computer Security3
IS 613Information Security Management3
JS 530Ethics and Computer Forensics3
JS 502Introduction to Computer Forensics3
JS 675Law Evidence and Procedure3
JS 696Graduate Internship in Criminal Justice3
Select one of the following tracks:
Cybercrime Investigations (9 hrs.)
CS 654Malware Analysis3
CS 537Cybercrime and Forensics3
JS 515Investigating Online Crimes3
IT Audit/Fraud Examination (9 hrs.):
AC 572Forensic Accounting and Information Technology Auditing3
AC 573Fraud Examination3
LS 571Legal Elements of Fraud Investigation3

 A typical Plan of Study for a student in the program looks like this:

Cybercrime  Investigations Track

First Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHoursSummer TermHours
JS 5023JS 5303JS 5153
IS 6133CS 5373CS 6543
 CS 6363 
 6 9 6
Second Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours 
CS 6233JS 6963 
CS 623L0JS 6753 
 3 6
Total credit hours: 30

IT Audit/Fraud Examination Track

First Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
AC 5723AC 5733
IS 6133JS 5303
JS 5023 
 9 6
Second Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
CS 6233CS 6363
CS 623L0JS 6753
LS 5713JS 6963
 6 9
Total credit hours: 30

Courses

FS 565. Cold Case Analysis. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the methods used in analyzing unsolved cases, including innovative uses of technology, 3rd party investigators, and teams.

FS 567. Forensic Toxicology. 3 Hours.

Discussion of drugs and poisons found in biological evidence, including the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of drugs and poisons, evidence collection and handling, selection of the most appropriate evidence, and analytical methods of detection.

FS 572. Molecular Genetics for Forensic Scientists. 3 Hours.

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene structure and function. Independent project required.

FS 650. Advanced Questioned-Death Investigation. 3 Hours.

Examination of forensic pathology as used in local medical examiners’ offices.

FS 653. Advanced Investigation of Fires and Explosions. 3 Hours.

Introduction to arson investigation including overview of specific techniques used in case investigation.

FS 670. Elements of Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

Introduction to philosophical considerations and historic landmarks in the discipline; overview of major sub-disciplines in forensic science; examination of the ethics and expert witnesses and their role in forensic science.

FS 671. Conventional Criminalistics. 3 Hours.

Exploration of basic methodologies and approaches for identifying, collecting, and analyzing trace and pattern evidence, including an overview of microscopy.

FS 672. Advanced Conventional Criminalistics. 3 Hours.

Examination of advanced methods for the analysis of trace and pattern evidence.
Prerequisites: FS 671 [Min Grade: C]

FS 673. Forensic Drug Analysis. 3 Hours.

Exploration of the isolation, identification, and quantification of commonly abused drugs and common poisons; interpretation of findings and correlation with legal applications.

FS 674. Biological Methods in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

Examination of biological evidence in crime laboratory, including identification of bloodstains and semen stains, and DNA typing of blood, bloodstains, and other body fluids.
Prerequisites: FS 572 [Min Grade: C]

FS 676. Advanced Biological Methods in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

Discussion of current issues and trends in forensic DNA analysis, including advanced analysis of biological evidence samples.
Prerequisites: FS 674 [Min Grade: C]

FS 677. Advanced Drug Chem. & Toxicology. 3 Hours.

Discussion of relevant analyses conducted for drugs and poisons occurring in biological evidence; examination of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of detected substances.
Prerequisites: FS 567 [Min Grade: C]

FS 679. Seminar in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

Review of forensic science in the literature. Review, discussion, and presentation of forensic science student research.

FS 680. Graduate Internship in Forensic Science. 1-3 Hour.

Field experience in a forensic science laboratory.
Prerequisites: FS 698 [Min Grade: C] or FS 699 [Min Grade: C]

FS 686. Special Topics in Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

In-depth review of 3-4 topics in forensic science presented by practitioners in the field.

FS 698. Directed Research in Forensic Science (Non-Thesis). 1-3 Hour.

Independent study in a student's substantive area of interest under the direction of a faculty member.
Prerequisites: FS 679 [Min Grade: C]

FS 699. Thesis Research in Forensic Science. 1-3 Hour.

Independent study in a student's substantive area of interest under the direction of a faculty member Admission to candidacy and successful defense of thesis proposal.

FS 703. Laboratory Rotation III: Drug Analysis. 3 Hours.

FS 704. Laboratory Rotation II: Biological Methods. 3 Hours.

Faculty

Drexler, Steve, Adjunct Faculty; Conventional Criminalistics
Gardner, Elizabeth A., Associate Professor and Director, Master of Science in Forensic Science Program, 2007, B.S. (Penn State), PhD. (Michigan State), Drug Chemistry, Legal Highs, Gun Powder Residue, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Pharmaceutical Spam
Glass, Jay, Adjunct Faculty; Questioned Death Investigation
Harper, Curt, Instructor; Forensic Toxicology
Linville, Jason G., Teaching Assistant Professor, 2004, B.S. (Ohio), M.S., Ph.D. (UAB), Forensic Biology, Entomology, Forensic Science Education
Matteo, Dan, Adjunct Faculty; Forensic Drug Chemistry
Rector, Mitch, Adjunct Faculty; Conventional Criminalistics
Valencia, Karen, Instructor; Forensic Toxicology
Warner, Gary, Instructor and Director of Research in Computer Forensics, 2007, B.S. (UAB), Digital Forensics, Cybercrime and Security