Cyber Forensics

Cyber Forensics Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice: Cyber Forensics Concentration

About the cyber forensics degree concentration

Cyber crimes know no borders, and today’s criminal justice professionals must be equipped to properly investigate these cases.

Cyber crimes know no borders, and today’s criminal justice professionals must be equipped to properly investigate these cases.

PennWest California’s B.S. in Criminal Justice: Cyber Forensics degree focuses squarely on the rapidly evolving field of digital forensics.

In required concentration courses and targeted electives, you’ll study the technologies, laws and procedures associated with identifying, collecting, analyzing and presenting digital forensic evidence.

You’ll also have opportunities to achieve industry-recognized certifications through PennWest California’s partnership with CompTIA: The IT Industry Association, earning credentials that can enhance your career.

Get hands-on training in computer forensics.

This program includes advanced, hands-on training in cyber security, computer forensics and cybercrime investigation techniques. You’ll learn to:

  • Use best practices in conducting efficient, high-quality forensics investigations.
  • Acquire digital evidence through a fundamental understanding of computer operating systems, file systems and cutting-edge computer forensic tools.
  • Undelete files, restore social media data, discover online search terms, track and trace email, identify encryption techniques and investigate cellular phone records.
  • Follow the law and ensure a proper chain of custody as you collect, preserve, analyze and present digital evidence.

The program also introduces you to industry trends, so you’re ready to respond to new threats as they emerge.

Program Highlights: Cyber Forensics Degree

Solid foundation: The cyber crime concentration builds on PennWest California’s B.S. in Criminal Justice program. Unrivaled in Pennsylvania, the core curriculum provides a comprehensive, methodical review of major justice functions and operations based on the six content areas identified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences: administration of justice, corrections, criminological theory, law adjudication, law enforcement, and research and analytic methods.

Specialized learning: The cyber forensics concentration provides specialized education and builds hands-on skills for students with an interest in computer forensics and cyber crimes. The hybrid program includes on-campus and online coursework. Faculty who teach cyber forensics courses have real-world job experience and contribute professional services pro bono to support law enforcement.

Learn more about applying

Average total cost of cybercrime for an organization, according to the ninth annual 'Cost of Cybercrime' study (2019).
Most Affordable 
Ranked the Most Affordable Bachelor’s Program in Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Science for 2020-21 in Pennsylvania by


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Degree Benefits

Students in the cyber forensics concentration build a foundation of knowledge and skills in criminal justice, with specialized learning in digital crime, cybercrime investigations and computer forensics. PennWest California’s partnership with CompTIA opens doors to additional certifications that can enhance career opportunities. Experienced faculty provide a real-world perspective, and the University’s Career and Professional Development Center helps students connect with potential employers through networking events, on-campus recruiting, job and internship fairs, and more. 

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Graduate Outcomes

The cyber forensics degree concentration prepares criminal justice graduates for careers as computer forensics examiners, cyber security analysts and related occupations. These individuals investigate cybercrimes, including information theft and attacks on computer networks, industrial controls and data integrity. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, so the need for cyber forensics professionals is expanding. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 28% growth in demand for computer forensic examiners between 2016 and 2026, an increase of more than 28,000 jobs.

Criminal Justice (B.S.) Cyber Forensics Concentration
Cyber Forensics Degree photo representation.

What is cyber forensics?

Cybersecurity focuses on preventing crimes. When security breaches occur, experts in cyber forensics (also called computer forensics) lead the criminal justice response. These skilled professionals identify and collect digital evidence, including computer files, social media data, emails and phone records. Maintaining a proper chain of custody, they analyze the evidence and present the results of their investigation.

Cyber forensics degree professor Raymond Hsieh.

Who teaches cyber forensic courses?

All courses in this hybrid (mixed on-campus and online) program are taught by highly qualified, full-time faculty members who bring top academic credentials and years of professional experience to the classroom. For example, Dr. Raymond Hsieh has consulted pro bono on the high-profile case of the so-called Smiley Face Killer, and law enforcement professionals have traveled from as far as Taiwan to learn about digital evidence from him.

Cyber Forensics Degree Courses


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
Any Social Science Course
General Education Options
  • Any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • Any Technological Literacy Course
  • Any General Education Courses (two courses)
Required Major Courses 33
JUS 101  Intro to Criminal Justice Studies 3
JUS 102  Intro to Law Enforcement 3
JUS 103  Correctional Systems 3
JUS 331  Juvenile Justice 3
JUS 361  Court Systems 3
JUS 375  Criminal Law 3
JUS 376  Criminal Procedure 3
JUS 466  Leadership and Ethics in Criminal Justice 3
JUS 495  Research Methods in Criminal Justice 3
JUS 496  Criminological Theory 3
JUS 499  Seminar in Criminal Justice Studies 3
Concentration Courses 12
JUS 105  Introduction to Forensic Science 3
JUS 397  Law and Evidence 3
JUS 487  Computer Forensics 3
JUS 488  Cyber Crime Investigation 3
Related Electives 9
Select nine credits from the following:
  • JUS 201  Criminal Investigation (3 credits)
  • JUS 220  High Tech Crime Investigation (3 credits)
  • JUS 380  Crime Scene Imaging (3 credits)
  • JUS 399  Selected Topics (3 credits)
  • JUS 405  Cyber Security (3 credits)
  • JUS 425  Advanced Criminal Investigation and Law (3 credits)
  • JUS 485  Forensic Law (3 credits)
  • JUS 498  Internship (3 to 9 credits)
Additional Electives 25 or 26
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): JUS 499 Seminar in Justice Studies
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): Any two JUS approved Writing-Intensive Menu courses
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course

Program Notes: 42 credits (or 14 courses) of upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses are REQUIRED. Any related electives not listed must be approved by adviser.

Minors and Concentrations

  • Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Science