Program Overview

A Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics is a university-issued graduate degree. It involves acceptance to the University of Rhode Island graduate program, graded course work, and typically a paper or project. It is designed for professionals who wish to obtain a focused graduate degree, but cannot commit to a full master's degree. The Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics is designed to be done completely online so that professionals may fulfill the requirements for this degree from anywhere. Digital Forensics is the application of forensic science techniques to the acquisition and analysis of evidence that exists in digital form, e.g. evidence found in files on hard drives, in emails, and in network activity. The challenges state and local law enforcement face investigating and prosecuting electronic crime and the lack of electronic crime investigation and digital evidence examination resources available to criminal justice agencies have been well documented.

The University of Rhode Island can help students embark on a law enforcement or private sector career as a Forensic Computer Analyst, Technology Security Specialist, Database Analyst, Computer Network Forensic Analyst, and Security Engineer. The Graduate Certificate program is not an entry level program, and is not recommended for students who do not have a strong background in working with computers. The program assumes that students have an understanding of computers and how they work. However, it does not assume that students know anything about Digital Forensics, and the program is designed to teach students everything they need to know about performing digital forensics investigations from the ground up. All courses in the 'Mandatory Core' must be taken towards completion of the certificate program. These courses must be taken after completion of the Starting Core Course, but can be taken in any order. Students can choose to take these courses before, after, or in conjunction with courses from the Concentration Courses.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Certificate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education


    While the program provides students with step-by-step guidance on how to perform tasks specific to digital forensics, it does not provide students with step-by-step guidance on how to perform basic to intermediary computer tasks such as: downloading and installing computer applications, data transfer across multiple devices and/or computers, navigating and understanding how Window's works, burning .iso files to CDs and DVDs, etc. Student's who are not comfortable performing these types of operations, will likely struggle in the program.

    Additionally, students should have an overall idea of computers and how they work. It is strongly recommended that students take time to brush up on some of the basic 'A+' level concepts before beginning the program.

    School Overview

    University of Rhode Island is the principal public research university in the state of Rhode Island and is located in the city of Kingston. Kingston is the main campus but there are also campuses in Feinstein Providence, Narragansett Bay, and 30 minutes from Providence at a campus called W. Alton Jones. The school was established in 1892. The University of Rhode Island, the state's current Land, Sea and Urban Grant public research institution, had humble beginnings as the state's Agricultural Experiment Station.

    Students can earn degrees at all leveal from the following colleges:

    • College of Arts and Sciences
    • College of Business Administration
    • Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies
    • College of Engineering
    • College of the Environment and Life Sciences
    • College of Health Sciences
    • College of Nursing
    • College of Pharmacy
    • Graduate School of Oceanography
    • University College for Academic Success

    URI's Online Learning department offers several fully online programs and over 100 online courses, from introductory to advanced levels, in a wide variety of subjects and majors taught by URI’s world class faculty. 


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