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Sam Houston State University (Ph.D. in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science) For 2023

This is an interdisciplinary research degree in digital and forensic science. Courses often at Sam Houston State University attempt to cover a wide range of topics in order to assist students to improve their capacity to think critically, solve issues, and polish leadership abilities in their chosen field.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in computing science, computer engineering, or digital forensics are eligible for this Ph. D. program.

It equips students with the theoretical, conceptual, methodological, and computational knowledge required to comprehend the function of digital and cyber forensic science in post-technological society.

The activity of gathering, studying, and analyzing a digital device such as a desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, or digital camera in a criminal or civil investigation and reporting on digital data in a form that is legally allowed in a court of law is known as digital and cyber forensic.

Admission Requirements For Sam Houston State University

The Digital and Cyber Forensic Science Ph.D. program is a full-time, on-campus program. Admission to the program requires a large level of time commitment.

In the first two years of the program, students are accepted as part of a yearly cohort and have a set study plan.

Applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program in forensic science must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Graduate Admissions Application
  • Application Fee
  • Bachelor’s degree conferred by a regionally accredited institution in computer science, digital forensics, or a closely related field.
  • Official transcript(s) from degree-granting institution(s)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Program Application
  • Personal statement, not to exceed 1000 words
  • Three letters of recommendation. A minimum of two letters must be from faculty who are sufficiently acquainted with the student to comment on the potential for success in the doctoral program.
  • Current resume or vita
  • Official GRE scores. A minimum GRE score of 300 is required for acceptance into the program. The GRE score is calculated as Verbal * 0.5 + Quantitative * 1.5

In some instances, a personal interview may be requested.

Program Curriculum and Courses

The degree plan specifies that a minimum of eighty-five hours of graduate credit must be completed.

Students must enroll full-time and maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses to graduate. Students must complete 46 graduate credit hours of coursework and internship, submit a portfolio for assessment, and pass Comprehensive Examinations to move to candidacy.

The student may enroll in dissertation credits after the doctorate program committee deems that the portfolio, proposal, and comprehensive exams are adequate.

Students must complete a minimum of fifteen hours of dissertation credits and remain enrolled in DFSC 8370 Dissertation until they graduate.

Students must complete and defend a Ph.D. dissertation that is the result of unique academic research and is of sufficient publishable quality to contribute to the area of digital and cyber forensic science.

The Ph.D. in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science requires the completion of 85 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students complete:

Core Coursework52
Dissertation Research15
Total Hours85

The program is meant to provide a foundational education in digital and cyber forensic science, as well as specific electives and in-depth study in the field of interest.

The prerequisites are intended to be completed in four to five years of full-time study. It is further broken down thus:

Ph.D. in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science 
DFSC 5316File System Forensics3
DFSC 6410Cyber Forensics Principles4
DFSC 7106Seminar in Digital Forensics 14
DFSC 7300E-Discovery3
DFSC 7320Ethics for Digital Forensics3
DFSC 7330DF Laboratory Management3
DFSC 7340DF Tools & Techniques3
DFSC 7350Operating System Forensics3
DFSC 7352Network Forensic Analysis3
DFSC 7356Mobile Device Forensics3
DFSC 7358Live System & Memory Forensics3
DFSC 7360DF Research Methods3
DFSC 7362Computational Forensics3
DFSC 7364Scientific Communications3
DFSC 7600Internship6
FORS 5226Law And Forensic Sciences2
FORS 5337Fundamentals of Criminalistics3
STAT 7365Stat Mthd For Decision Making3
Select 4 of the following:12
COSC 5310Cryptography & Steganography 
DFSC 6310Cyber Warfare & Terrorism 
DFSC 7341DF Infrastructure 
DFSC 7351Cloud Computing Forensics 
DFSC 7353RAID & Remote System Forensics 
DFSC 7355Intrusion Forensic Analysis 
DFSC 7357Malware Forensic Analysis 
DFSC 7359Social Network Forensics 
DFSC 7365Commercial Tool Verification 
DFSC 8370Dissertation 215
Total Hours85
Course List

Digital forensics investigations may be used for a number of purposes. The most prevalent is testifying in criminal or civil court to support or refute a notion.

Murder, theft, and assault against the person are examples of alleged crimes that are established by legislation, enforced by the police, and punished by the state.

Civil cases, on the other hand, are concerned with protecting individuals’ rights and property (often associated with family disputes), but they may also be concerned with contractual disputes between commercial entities, in which a type of digital forensics known as electronic discovery (e-discovery) may be involved.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

The computer forensics business is expected to increase by 17% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State and municipal governments are projected to recruit more computer forensic science professionals to keep up with demand due to increased caseloads.

The marketable skills project of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is part of the state’s 60x30TX strategy and was created to assist students to convey their talents to employers.

Employers and graduate programs appreciate marketable talents that may be utilized in a variety of job or educational contexts, and they might include interpersonal, cognitive, and used skill areas.

The Ph.D. in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Solve complex cybersecurity-related problems.
  •  Apply theoretical principles to the development of digital forensics tools and techniques.
  •  Post-secondary teaching capability.
  • Technical communication ability.
  • Strong research-oriented capabilities.

In the business sector, forensics may be used in internal company investigations or penetration investigations (a specialist probe into the nature and extent of an unauthorized network intrusion).

A computer forensic analyst in the United States receives a typical pay of $72,929 per year, according to salary aggregator (2020), with the least ten percent earning $49,000 and the top ten percent earning $118,000.

The PayScale data is based on firsthand reports from 341 computer forensic experts.

Kevin James

Kevin James

I'm Kevin James, and I'm passionate about writing on Security and cybersecurity topics. Here, I'd like to share a bit more about myself. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity from Utica College, New York, which has been the foundation of my career in cybersecurity. As a writer, I have the privilege of sharing my insights and knowledge on a wide range of cybersecurity topics. You'll find my articles here at, covering the latest trends, threats, and solutions in the field.