Behind-the-Screen Crime Solving

Cell phone vulnerabilities. Data breaches. Cyber jihadism. Domestic extremists on social media. As our technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, so do the digital crimes on computers and mobile devices. Technical forensic computing professionals are highly sought after by private companies, law enforcement and government agencies.

The online BS in Professional Technology Studies with a Computer Forensics concentration provides students with a strong, broad-based knowledge of information technology and a working understanding of the criminal justice system and cybercrime. Students will gain hands-on experience solving cybercrime in virtual labs and have opportunities to develop security plans for computer networks. Our faculty bring their extensive experience to the online learning environment to give students insight into real-world problems and solutions that major companies develop and utilize.


Pace University’s Seidenberg School is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

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Curriculum

Depending upon eligibility for transfer credit and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits, which can be awarded for life/work experience, current and aspiring business professionals can complete the BS in Professional Technology Studies with a concentration in Computer Forensics part-time in three years, taking two courses per semester.

Total degree requirements: 120 credits

Transfer credits: 56-64 credits

Degree completion requirement: 56-64 credits

IT Foundation (20 credits)

CIT 211 Introduction to Computer Systems (4 credits)

This course introduces the basic components of a computer, how they are organized, and how they work together under the control of an operating system. Course activities include hands-on hardware labs, online research of hardware topics, and discussion of hardware design. This course will introduce the student to basic microcomputer hardware components and will familiarize the student with methods of troubleshooting strategies and maintaining computers. Students will examine theoretical concepts underlying hardware functions, preventative maintenance techniques, safety precautions, system procurement, and upgrades. There will also be some discussion of networking and software as it pertains to hardware functionality.

CIT 221 Global Networking Technology (4 credits)

This course explores the fundamentals of business telecommunications including, transmission media, synchronous and asynchronous communication, and packet transmission concepts. Data communications protocols are introduced and local area and wide area network technology is explored. The role of telecommunications in organizations and the global impact of networking are emphasized in case studies throughout the course. Hardware topics and hands-on labs will provide a foundation for network certification.

CIT 231 Web Authoring and Digital Media (4 credits)

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the Internet, Web Page design and authoring, Web site management, and multimedia for the Web. Topics include XHTML, CSS, HTML editors, Web graphics, multimedia, basic Web page design concepts, Web 2.0 design, standards-based Web design, and accessibility issues. Students will prepare Web pages incorporating text, digitized images, animations, JavaScript, and sound, using a graphics program, an HTML editor, and XHTML.

CIT 241 Database Management (4 credits)

This course deals with the logical and physical organization of databases within and across organizations. Areas to be included are database management, database management systems, security and integrity controls, ethics and privacy concerns, data description languages, conceptual data modeling and database implementation methods.

CIT 251 Computer Security Overview (4 credits)

This course gives a broad overview of Information Assurance. The course has two parts: Lecture/discussion related to information security basics and a laboratory component in which students learn technology related security. Course materials include topics such as types of attacks, hacker techniques, legal and privacy issues, security policy, information security best practices and so on. Students also learn security technologies related to three areas: operating systems, networks and the Web, and e-commerce. The course has a strong laboratory component in which students experiment with various practical computer security tools.
Career Focus Courses (20 credits)

CIT 361 Forensic Investigation, Acquisition, and Analysis of Digital Evidence (4 credits)

With much of our personal information now being recorded digitally, the field of computer forensics has grown exponentially. This course will provide students with a strong foundation in the principles of computer forensics. Students will learn how the field has evolved over time and why digital investigations have become more pervasive. A keen understanding of file systems, including operating systems and registries, is vital to understanding the evidence that a suspect leaves behind, and therefore provides the core of this course. The ultimate objective is to use digital evidence to prove control, ownership and intent to successfully prosecute a case. Students will gain practical experience with professional digital imaging tools, such as Helix, X-Ways and FTK, which are used to extract, filter and analyze digital evidence. The course will include forensic imaging techniques for both Windows and Apple computers.

CIT 363 Computer Forensics, Cyber Law, and Evidence Admissibility (4 credits)

Every computer forensics examiner must understand the interactions of people with hardware and software. Additionally, knowledge of the law is imperative to the successful conviction of a criminal. This course will detail the legal aspects of computer forensics investigations and evidence admissibility. Students will gain an understanding of the legal documentation required for gaining access to a suspect’s information, such as letters of preservations and warrants; also included will be evidence custody and chain of custody forms. Finally, students will experience the intricacies of investigative report writing. A series of case studies will be incorporated into the course to explore reasons why some computer forensics investigations have been highly successful and the pitfalls that caused others to fail.

CIT 365 Mobile Device Forensics (4 credits)

Computer forensics investigators no longer simply rely on traditional computers as sources of evidence. Incriminating evidence can be found on cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, cameras and even game systems. This course will introduce students to mobile forensic file systems. Students will learn methods of evidence extraction from the mobile devices and how these devices should be handled and analyzed. Lab sessions will provide students with hands-on analysis of phones, flash memory and SIM cards. Students will also learn about recovering deleted SMS text messages, and call logs. An introduction to CDMA and GSM networks will also be provided. This practical experience will be supplemented with exposure to the use of digital images and video investigations. This course will teach students how to find photo metadata, identify whether images have been edited, reconstruct damaged image files and subsequently how to use these files as admissible evidence.

CRJ 242 Crime and Public Policy (3 credits)

This course is a comprehensive examination of the causes of crime and its solutions. The first part of the course explores and critiques criminological theories from a variety of perspectives. In the latter part of the course, students study and critique a wide range of public policies designed to prevent and combat crime.

CRJ 346A Terrorism & Society (4 credits)

This course is designed to inform students about the terrorist networks operating in our society today. This study will include information about who the terrorists are and how they are recruited. The course study will also include some of the psychological impulses that cause individuals to commit outrages and how they are funded.
Online Seminar (1 credit)

AIT 103 Online Seminar

This two-week course is designed to prepare students to effectively participate in an asynchronous learning environment. You will receive an introduction to Blackboard, the software Pace University uses to deliver courses for this online program, and will learn essential Internet concepts. There are usually several sections of this course available prior to the start of each semester, and you must successfully complete one of these sessions before regular classes begin.
Required Courses (16 credits)*

AIT 107 Computer Applications for Telecommunications (4 credits)

This is an introductory course that provides a basic orientation to computer hardware and implementation of software applications in telecommunications. Students will use various software packages to create documents, spreadsheets, graphs, and databases and will use the knowledge gained to solve problems and transfer information via electronic media.

MAT 102 Mathematics for Life (4 credits) or MAT 125 Technical Math (4 credits)

MAT 102: Investigation and application of appropriate mathematical subject matter drawn from algebra, combinatorics and probability, logic, statistics, financial mathematics and geometry.

MAT 125: This course in technical mathematics covers topics in algebra and geometry. Topics include: functions and their graphs, trigonometry, base conversion, logarithms, and binary sequences. A brief review of numbers and basic algebra will lead to a further and more detailed exploration of the aforementioned topics.

ENG 110IP Composition (4 credits)

This course will emphasize critical reading, writing, and thinking. Students will learn to approach the writing, revising, and editing of well-organized and coherent analytical essays as a series of tasks and will learn to develop strategies for effectively accomplishing each stage of the writing process. In addition, students will learn basic research skills, including methods of documentation and the use of library and Internet resources.

ENG 120 Critical Writing (4 credits)

This course will emphasize the development of argument and analysis as students work with a variety of literary and non-fiction texts. Students will learn more advanced research skills, including methods of documentation, the use of library and Internet resources and the synthesis and integration of primary and secondary sources into their own essays.
Arts & Science Electives (45 credits)*

Some electives may include:

PSY 201 Psychology of Business and Industry (4 credits)

The psychological principles and techniques involved in the management of personnel in business and industry. The topics included are hiring techniques, job analysis, training performance appraisal, communications, fatigue, safety, morale and industrial leadership.

PSY 243 Applied Social Psychology (3 credits)

This course in an introduction to the social psychology as it is applied to a broad range of fields. Students will explore the array of applications of social psychology to a number of areas that can lead to career paths of their choice. Topics include: educational, business, consumer, health & wellness, sports, criminal justice & law, environmental, media psychologies, and diversity issues.

PHI 121 Ethics in the Workplace (3 credits)

This course offers a survey of some of the key issues that face the whole range of corporate stakeholders, from shareholders to the general public. We begin with two classical ethical theories, utilitarianism and deontological ethical theory, and with the relationship between justice and the market system. We continue with ethical issues involving the relationship between the employee and the company, such as whistle-blowing; discrimination, affirmative action, sexual harassment; issues involving the consumer and employee protection, such as product and occupational safety; and finally issues of the relationship between the corporation and society, such as corporate responsibility.

HIS 113W Wealth and American Culture (4 credits)

An analysis of the accumulation and utilization of legendary American fortunes, with emphasis upon post- Civil War industrial fortunes: Gilded Age lifestyles: impact of the World Wars and Great Depression of the twentieth century: dot.com fortunes of the late twentieth century: paths to wealth in the twenty-first century; philanthropy.

PSY 260 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (4 credits)

One important goal of higher education is to develop one’s critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. This course is designed to achieve two major goals, one academic, and the other, practical. The academic goal is to explore the psychology of human thinking and problem solving, whereas the practical goal is to help you understand the processes and styles of you own thinking, enhance your critical thinking abilities, and practice your problem-solving skills needed for career and academic success. To fulfill the academic goal, the course introduces exciting research and theories in cognitive psychology related with critical thinking and problem solving, such as memory, emotion, language, reasoning, decision-making, creativity, thinking styles, as well as individual differences in various kinds of human intelligence. To accomplish the practical goal, this course brings you opportunities to examine your own thinking processes, organize and challenge your own mind, and practice your critiquing and evaluating skills to others.

SPA 154S Perspectives on America: The Experience of Latina Writers (4 credits)

This course will examine the lives of Latinas in the United States, primarily women of all races and ethnicities with Latin American and Caribbean nationality and/or ancestry who live in North America. We will focus on the contemporary lives of a variety of women throughout the United States. An interweaving theme throughout this course is identity. We will also touch on the following topics: history memory and personal narratives. Throughout the course, we will also explore the differences and similarities of Latina across class, race, sexuality, nation, history, citizenship and ethnicity.
General/Open Electives (20 credits)*

*Students should meet with their advisor to discuss electives. If you cannot transfer at least 60 credits into the program, you may need to take additional arts and sciences courses with Pace to graduate. These electives are not proscribed; others can be selected by the student with advisement.

Sample Course Schedule

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Fall
AIT 103 — Introduction to Online Learning (1)
AIT 107 — Computer Applications (4)
MAT 102 — MATHEMATICS FOR LIFE (4)
CIT 251 — Computer Security Overview (4)
CRJ 242 — Crime and Public Policy (3)
Arts & Science Elective
CIT 365 — MOBILE DEVICE FORENSICS (4)
Elective
Spring
CIT 211 — Introduction to Computer Systems (4)
Elective
CIT 361 — FORENSIC INVESTIGATION, ACQUISITION & ANALYSIS OF DIGITAL EVIDENCE (4)
CIT 231 — WEB AUTHORING AND DIGITAL MEDIA (4)
CRJ 346A — Terrorism and Society (4)
CIT 241 — DATABASE MANAGEMENT (4)
Summer
CIT 221 — Global Networking Technology (4)
Elective
CIT 363 — COMPUTER FORENSICS, CYBER LAW, AND EVIDENCE ADMISSIBILITY (4)
Elective

Note: Students typically take two courses per semester. Students interested in three courses should speak to their advisor.