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Cybercrime and Digital Investigation

Master of Science

Online

Course Delivery

30

Total Credits

$23,520

Tuition

2 Years

Minimum Duration


Program Overview

The online Master of Science in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation from Michigan State University is ideal for those who would like to launch or advance a career investigating or responding to cybercrime in law enforcement, government and private industry.

The program includes six core courses and your choice of four elective courses that suit your career goals. An IT background is not required to succeed in this program and you can complete the program in as little as 2 years.

Program Outcomes

You'll graduate with an understanding of the diverse nature of cybercrime threats that affect individuals’ and organizations’ economic and physical safety. Additionally, you'll recognize the risks posed by nation-states and terrorist organizations in online spaces, whether to intellectual property, economic operations or national security.

Career Outlook

Potential employers will value your ability to assess cyber threats, understand their impact on various individual and organization targets, explain the limits of current legal and cybersecurity policy and practice and clearly communicate these concerns to diverse audiences. The master's in cybercrime and digital investigation allows you to pursue job titles such as a cybercrime investigator, security engineer, financial investigator, federal special agent, counter-intelligence officer and corporate cyber-fraud investigator.

A Top-Ranked Education

  • 32nd among Best Public Universities in America — U.S. News & World Report
  • A Top 100 Global University — Times Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report

 

Thomas Holt Headshot

Dr. Tom Holt

Professor and Director of School of Criminal Justice

Thomas J. Holt is the director of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Missouri Saint Louis. He is an internationally recognized expert in cybercrime, cyberterrorism and the police and policy response to these threats. His work focuses on all manner of cybercrime, with particular emphasis on computer hacking, data breaches, and online illicit market operations. He has published over 50 articles in various academic journals.

 

Course Information

CJ 801 - Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control (3 credits)

Experience an in-depth review of theoretical perspectives on crime and examine the link between these theories and crime prevention and control in the United States. You’ll gain a mastery of the major criminological theories and learn to apply them to criminal justice policy and real-life scenarios.

CJ 811 - Design Analysis in Criminal Justice Research (3 credits)

Acquire advanced knowledge of social science research methods and apply these skills to criminal justice research. You’ll explore various methodologies, design elements for data collection and sampling, and ethical issues involved in the research process. You’ll also be introduced to the basics of statistical analysis and learn to make evidence-based decisions about criminal justice policy and issues.

CJ 874 - Cybercrime, Deviance, and Virtual Society (3 credits)

Explain the four forms of cybercrime, cyber-terror, cyberwarfare and their impacts on individuals, organizations and government. Explain the legal frameworks used to prosecute cybercrimes at the state and federal level in the U.S., as well as comparative legal models used to criminalize these behaviors in other nations. Understand the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies responsible for policing cybercrime, as well as the role of private industry in affecting these offenses. Collect, query, manage and analyze data using applicable tools and techniques. Summarize and communicate information about cybercrime and cybersecurity threats to diverse audiences.

CJ 877 - Cyber Terror and Cyber Warfare (3 credits)

Examine the use of technology and the internet in the furtherance of terror and extremism across the globe. Understand the complex nature of this crime type, its links to physical offenses and its significance across a variety of disciplines including the social sciences and Information Systems. Discuss difficulties defining terrorism, its links to cybercrime and difficulties in measuring and combating these offenses. Talk about the use of cyberattacks by nation-states and the difficulties disentangling attacks by extremist groups, military groups and unaffiliated ideological actors. Examine different methods applied by terrorist groups, such as computer hacking, fraud and social media messaging campaigns. Address the development of security technologies used to defend against these attacks, as well as the laws used to investigate and prosecute these behaviors.

CJ 881 - Legislative and Policy Responses to Cybercrime (Capstone) (3 credits)

Examine the ways that the legal system in the U.S. and other nations have adapted in response to the threat of cybercrime and cyberwarfare. Consider the federal statutory, common and international laws involved, as well as the state laws that affect cyber criminality. Discuss the role of internet service providers and tech companies as both a target of and executor of regulatory powers over others. Understand the ways that laws have been created at both the state and federal level to combat cybercrimes, as well as the inherent challenges of developing legislation that may be flexible enough to be applied to the misuse of technologies that may not yet exist. Consider the growth of regulations around the use of social media and user-generated content and the ways that nations differ in their willingness to pursue action against certain forms of behavior online. Discuss cases that demonstrate both successes and failures in regulating online behaviors around the world.

CJ 882 - Analysis of Contemporary Cyberthreats (3 credits)

Learn to integrate and apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout the degree program to contemporary cybersecurity affecting individuals, industry and governments around the world. Focus on the activities of individuals, groups, organized crime, terrorists and nation-states alike. Focus on emergent forms of criminality, whether it is economically motivated or otherwise, as well as terror and warfare operations against nation-states, and assess novel strategies to mitigate these threats from both industry and law enforcement. Apply skills through the development of a research brief or examination of a cybersecurity threat to identify potential points of intervention through formal and informal means.

Electives

CJ 822 - Comparative Criminal Justice (3 credits)

Achieve a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system in the United States by exploring how similar systems operate in other countries. Through this comparative lens, you’ll examine common law, civil law, socialist law and Islamic law, then focus on the nature of policing, courts and corrections around the world.

CJ 823 - Globalization of Crime (3 credits)

Explore comparative criminology and its relevance in the context of the global world. Examining issues like human trafficking, firearm violence and money laundering, you’ll assess the challenges of applying criminology to understand crime, victimization and crime control in the global context.

CJ 872 - Open Source Information Analysis (3 credits)

Apply modern intelligence techniques to collect and analyze open-source information. You’ll complete this course with an ability to validate data sources, as well as knowledge of the history of open-source data collection and an understanding of the ethical issues surrounding collecting data from public sources.

CJ 875 - Digital Forensic Investigations (3 credits)

Focus on the field of digital forensics and its use to gather evidence and interpret information for criminal and civil litigation, as well as its use for intelligence gathering, research, policy enforcement and information security incident response. Specific topics will include legal aspects governing search and seizure, qualifying as an expert witness, the role of file systems and operating systems and basic tools for computer and mobile device acquisition, analysis and reporting.

CJ 876 - Digital Forensic Investigations (3 credits)

Examine the networked resources that support the internet and the basics of the OSI model, or Open Systems Interconnection Model. Detail the protocols used to structure and route packets across a layered network like the internet. Consider the role of each layer and the role of the application layer in engendering applications. Study the development of mobile phones, cloud-based storage and IoT devices and their potential impact on the internet and networked devices generally. Discuss the inherent flaws and vulnerabilities produced by the OSI model and the internet.

CJ 879 - Interpersonal Cybercrime (3 credits)

Examine the problem of cybercrimes with a focus on the use of technology in order to cause physical or emotional harm to another person or group in society. Explore the complex nature of this offense type and its relationship to traditional crimes in the real world, along with considerations of the policy implications and strategies needed to combat these problems from both a social science and Information System perspective. Discuss the rise of computer and cybercrime, as well as the difficulties in measuring and combating these offenses. Examine different offense types, including sexual offenses, child sexual exploitation, harassment, stalking and hate crimes. Address the development of security technologies used to defend against these attacks, as well as the laws used to investigate and prosecute these behaviors.

 

 

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • Previous work experience preferred (Résumé/CV)
  • TOEFL/IELTS if English is not your native language
  • A written personal statement detailing your professional interests and goals
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  • Complete a university graduate application 

Key Dates

Fall Semester

Application Deadline

July 15th

Spring Semester

Application Deadline

October 31st

Summer Semester

Application Deadline

March 31st

 

 

Tuition & Fees

 

In-State Tuition
Out-of-State Tuition
$23,520
$23,520

 

This program requires an additional $20.00 software fee per semester.

The university reserves the right to make changes in the types, structures, rates for fees, and tuition. Every effort will be made to give as much advance notice as possible.

Program Overview

The online Master of Science in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation from Michigan State University is ideal for those who would like to launch or advance a career investigating or responding to cybercrime in law enforcement, government and private industry.

The program includes six core courses and your choice of four elective courses that suit your career goals. An IT background is not required to succeed in this program and you can complete the program in as little as 2 years.

Program Outcomes

You'll graduate with an understanding of the diverse nature of cybercrime threats that affect individuals’ and organizations’ economic and physical safety. Additionally, you'll recognize the risks posed by nation-states and terrorist organizations in online spaces, whether to intellectual property, economic operations or national security.

Career Outlook

Potential employers will value your ability to assess cyber threats, understand their impact on various individual and organization targets, explain the limits of current legal and cybersecurity policy and practice and clearly communicate these concerns to diverse audiences. The master's in cybercrime and digital investigation allows you to pursue job titles such as a cybercrime investigator, security engineer, financial investigator, federal special agent, counter-intelligence officer and corporate cyber-fraud investigator.

A Top-Ranked Education

  • 32nd among Best Public Universities in America — U.S. News & World Report
  • A Top 100 Global University — Times Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report

 

Thomas Holt Headshot

Dr. Tom Holt

Professor and Director of School of Criminal Justice

Thomas J. Holt is the director of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Missouri Saint Louis. He is an internationally recognized expert in cybercrime, cyberterrorism and the police and policy response to these threats. His work focuses on all manner of cybercrime, with particular emphasis on computer hacking, data breaches, and online illicit market operations. He has published over 50 articles in various academic journals.

 

Course Information

CJ 801 - Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control (3 credits)

Experience an in-depth review of theoretical perspectives on crime and examine the link between these theories and crime prevention and control in the United States. You’ll gain a mastery of the major criminological theories and learn to apply them to criminal justice policy and real-life scenarios.

CJ 811 - Design Analysis in Criminal Justice Research (3 credits)

Acquire advanced knowledge of social science research methods and apply these skills to criminal justice research. You’ll explore various methodologies, design elements for data collection and sampling, and ethical issues involved in the research process. You’ll also be introduced to the basics of statistical analysis and learn to make evidence-based decisions about criminal justice policy and issues.

CJ 874 - Cybercrime, Deviance, and Virtual Society (3 credits)

Explain the four forms of cybercrime, cyber-terror, cyberwarfare and their impacts on individuals, organizations and government. Explain the legal frameworks used to prosecute cybercrimes at the state and federal level in the U.S., as well as comparative legal models used to criminalize these behaviors in other nations. Understand the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies responsible for policing cybercrime, as well as the role of private industry in affecting these offenses. Collect, query, manage and analyze data using applicable tools and techniques. Summarize and communicate information about cybercrime and cybersecurity threats to diverse audiences.

CJ 877 - Cyber Terror and Cyber Warfare (3 credits)

Examine the use of technology and the internet in the furtherance of terror and extremism across the globe. Understand the complex nature of this crime type, its links to physical offenses and its significance across a variety of disciplines including the social sciences and Information Systems. Discuss difficulties defining terrorism, its links to cybercrime and difficulties in measuring and combating these offenses. Talk about the use of cyberattacks by nation-states and the difficulties disentangling attacks by extremist groups, military groups and unaffiliated ideological actors. Examine different methods applied by terrorist groups, such as computer hacking, fraud and social media messaging campaigns. Address the development of security technologies used to defend against these attacks, as well as the laws used to investigate and prosecute these behaviors.

CJ 881 - Legislative and Policy Responses to Cybercrime (Capstone) (3 credits)

Examine the ways that the legal system in the U.S. and other nations have adapted in response to the threat of cybercrime and cyberwarfare. Consider the federal statutory, common and international laws involved, as well as the state laws that affect cyber criminality. Discuss the role of internet service providers and tech companies as both a target of and executor of regulatory powers over others. Understand the ways that laws have been created at both the state and federal level to combat cybercrimes, as well as the inherent challenges of developing legislation that may be flexible enough to be applied to the misuse of technologies that may not yet exist. Consider the growth of regulations around the use of social media and user-generated content and the ways that nations differ in their willingness to pursue action against certain forms of behavior online. Discuss cases that demonstrate both successes and failures in regulating online behaviors around the world.

CJ 882 - Analysis of Contemporary Cyberthreats (3 credits)

Learn to integrate and apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout the degree program to contemporary cybersecurity affecting individuals, industry and governments around the world. Focus on the activities of individuals, groups, organized crime, terrorists and nation-states alike. Focus on emergent forms of criminality, whether it is economically motivated or otherwise, as well as terror and warfare operations against nation-states, and assess novel strategies to mitigate these threats from both industry and law enforcement. Apply skills through the development of a research brief or examination of a cybersecurity threat to identify potential points of intervention through formal and informal means.

Electives

CJ 822 - Comparative Criminal Justice (3 credits)

Achieve a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system in the United States by exploring how similar systems operate in other countries. Through this comparative lens, you’ll examine common law, civil law, socialist law and Islamic law, then focus on the nature of policing, courts and corrections around the world.

CJ 823 - Globalization of Crime (3 credits)

Explore comparative criminology and its relevance in the context of the global world. Examining issues like human trafficking, firearm violence and money laundering, you’ll assess the challenges of applying criminology to understand crime, victimization and crime control in the global context.

CJ 872 - Open Source Information Analysis (3 credits)

Apply modern intelligence techniques to collect and analyze open-source information. You’ll complete this course with an ability to validate data sources, as well as knowledge of the history of open-source data collection and an understanding of the ethical issues surrounding collecting data from public sources.

CJ 875 - Digital Forensic Investigations (3 credits)

Focus on the field of digital forensics and its use to gather evidence and interpret information for criminal and civil litigation, as well as its use for intelligence gathering, research, policy enforcement and information security incident response. Specific topics will include legal aspects governing search and seizure, qualifying as an expert witness, the role of file systems and operating systems and basic tools for computer and mobile device acquisition, analysis and reporting.

CJ 876 - Digital Forensic Investigations (3 credits)

Examine the networked resources that support the internet and the basics of the OSI model, or Open Systems Interconnection Model. Detail the protocols used to structure and route packets across a layered network like the internet. Consider the role of each layer and the role of the application layer in engendering applications. Study the development of mobile phones, cloud-based storage and IoT devices and their potential impact on the internet and networked devices generally. Discuss the inherent flaws and vulnerabilities produced by the OSI model and the internet.

CJ 879 - Interpersonal Cybercrime (3 credits)

Examine the problem of cybercrimes with a focus on the use of technology in order to cause physical or emotional harm to another person or group in society. Explore the complex nature of this offense type and its relationship to traditional crimes in the real world, along with considerations of the policy implications and strategies needed to combat these problems from both a social science and Information System perspective. Discuss the rise of computer and cybercrime, as well as the difficulties in measuring and combating these offenses. Examine different offense types, including sexual offenses, child sexual exploitation, harassment, stalking and hate crimes. Address the development of security technologies used to defend against these attacks, as well as the laws used to investigate and prosecute these behaviors.

 

 

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • Previous work experience preferred (Résumé/CV)
  • TOEFL/IELTS if English is not your native language
  • A written personal statement detailing your professional interests and goals
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  • Complete a university graduate application 

Key Dates

Fall Semester

Application Deadline

July 15th

Spring Semester

Application Deadline

October 31st

Summer Semester

Application Deadline

March 31st

 

 

Tuition & Fees

 

In-State Tuition
Out-of-State Tuition
$23,520
$23,520

 

This program requires an additional $20.00 software fee per semester.

The university reserves the right to make changes in the types, structures, rates for fees, and tuition. Every effort will be made to give as much advance notice as possible.

The MSU Value Promise

You can be ensured a return on your investment at Michigan State University.

As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State University has advanced the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years.

MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.

MSU has been offering online degree programs for over 20 years. Our maturity is evident in the high quality of the learning experience enjoyed by our online students.

MSU provides programs and initiatives that support and enhance diversity. We will expand our campus and external partnerships to put in place inclusive recruitment and retention practices. We nurture and promote individuals’ varied experiences and perspectives, ensuring structures and processes make possible full participation by all members of our community.

MSU actively collaborates with campus and external partners to innovate across all dimensions of graduate education. We create and support networks that increase collaboration and improve educational opportunities for our online students.

MSU’s nationally recognized online programs foster student growth and well-being throughout their academic career. We will expand inclusive mentoring practices and accelerate improvement across units to implement evidence-based practices to ensure our students complete successfully.

Continuing education can be one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding experiences you undertake in your life. We hope you consider becoming a Spartan, to learn online and reach your career goals. With highly ranked online programs and exceptional professors, we educate students who advance the common good with uncommon will.