Why This Matters

  • PREPARE TO WORK IN 10 DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES

    With a master’s in computer forensics, you will have multiple job opportunities with a variety of employers, including law enforcement agencies; federal, state, and local governments; the military; consulting firms and more.

  • DEMAND FOR CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS UP 32%

    One of the fastest growing jobs within computer forensics is that of information security analysts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics that there will be 35,500 new jobs in this field in the U.S. within the next decade.

  • CYBERSECURITY IS A $170 BILLION INDUSTRY

    Preventing and investigating cybercrimes has become a huge global industry, which is estimated to be worth $200 billion by 2020. Individuals with a master’s in computer forensics will be well prepared to join this field.

Our Research

This list focuses on master’s-level programs in computer forensics. The most common type of degree students can earn in this subject is a Master of Science (MS).

All of the programs we reviewed can be completed online. A number of programs are also offered on-campus, or in a hybrid format. Some programs may allow students to complete coursework through a combination of in-person and online classes.

The majority of the programs on this list are offered by regionally accredited institutions. Regionally accredited schools are generally viewed as meeting the highest standards of quality for postsecondary education, and degrees and credits from regionally accredited schools are more widely recognized and transferable.

We evaluated each program based on its faculty, flexibility, cost, outcomes, and reputation. Then we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best online master’s in computer forensic programs are well-regarded, affordable, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 64 hours to write this article
  • 171 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 402 education programs we compared

The Top 15 Online Master’s in Computer Forensics Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Much like all occupations related to computers and the Internet, computer forensics is a relatively new field. As such, there are a limited number of programs, and many of them are still evolving in terms of skills and methods of teaching. Individuals who are entering this field should be adaptable, creative, and ready to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in this developing profession.

Due to the new nature of this field, finding qualified job candidates is still somewhat of a challenge for employers. You can distinguish yourself as a trained professional in computer forensics and cybersecurity by obtaining professional certifications, including the CHFI – Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator credential. Earning these credentials may require meeting certain educational standards, paying a fee, and passing an examination. You should consider the additional time and cost of professional certifications when pursuing this career.

Computer forensics exists at the intersection of criminal justice, law enforcement, information systems, and cybersecurity. Therefore, students interested in pursuing a career in this field have multiple options in terms of their educational path. Depending on your personal and professional interests, you may also want to investigate master’s degree programs in cybersecurity, crime scene investigation, or internet security.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Computer Forensics programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Because master’s in computer forensics programs teach advanced skills related to information technology and criminal investigations, many programs expect students to have a relevant educational or professional background. Be sure to look at a program’s eligibility requirements before applying, to make sure you have the necessary prerequisite coursework or professional experience to qualify for admissions.
  • How are courses delivered? In distance learning programs, classes are typically delivered either in a synchronous or asynchronous format. Students attend synchronous courses remotely at set times throughout the term. In asynchronous courses, students can access their lessons and assignments at any time. Consider your personal scheduling needs when selecting the type of delivery method that works best for you.

Once you’ve found the programs that interest you, research their application processes and admission requirements. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.

Financing your education is another important consideration. Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid deadlines. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.