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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2011-08-05

Digital Forensics MS



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

The Digital Forensics MS degree is comprised of 30 hours of study beyond the bachelor's degree with required, intensive specialization in topics related to digital forensics. The degree program prepares students, including working professionals, who will pursue the degree on a part-time basis to gain the knowledge and skills required to work as an examiner in the field. The program may also be taken by those who have an interest in scientific applications and research in the field, and who would like to continue to a doctoral degree program or law school after completion.

The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree and offers both a thesis option (6 credit hours) or an opportunity to complete an internship (6 credit hours)  in the fileld. At least one half of the credit hours must be at the 6000 level.

Articulation

Undergraduate articulation courses may be required for students with BS and/or MS degrees in fields other than a computer-related field. The articulation courses will be determined by the graduate program director. Students without a computer-related degree must be versed in basic computing and networking knowledge and skills, including computer (PC) hardware, computer operating systems, and computer networking. Appropriate job- or training-related experience may be a suitable substitution, the suitability of which will be determined by the admissions committee. Courses taken to correct deficiencies cannot be used to satisfy minimum degree requirements. Some advanced elective courses require a programming background, specifically in C and C++, computer architecture, and parallel programming.

Curriculum

The Digital Forensics MS degree is comprised of 30 hours of study beyond the bachelor's degree with required, intensive specialization in topics related to digital forensics. The degree program prepares students, including working professionals, who will pursue the degree on a part-time basis to gain the knowledge and skills required to work as an examiner in the field. The program may also be taken by those who have an interest in scientific applications and research in the field, and who would like to continue to a doctoral degree program or law school after completion.

The program offers both a thesis option (6 credit hours) or an opportunity to complete two additional courses (6 credit hours) selected from the Restricted Electives. At least one half of the credit hours must be at the 6000 level.

Articulation

Undergraduate articulation courses may be required for students with BS and/or MS degrees in fields other than a computer-related field. The articulation courses will be determined by the graduate program director. Students without a computer-related degree must be versed in basic computing and networking knowledge and skills, including computer (PC) hardware, computer operating systems, and computer networking. Appropriate job- or training-related experience may be a suitable substitution, the suitability of which will be determined by the admissions committee. Courses taken to correct deficiencies cannot be used to satisfy minimum degree requirements. Some advanced elective courses require a programming background, specifically in C and C++, computer architecture, and parallel programming.

Required Courses—12 Credit Hours

  • CGS 5131 Computer Forensics I: Seizure and Examination of Computer Systems (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 5504 Topics in Forensic Science (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6207 The Practice of Digital Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CNT 6418 Computer Forensics II: Network Security, Intrusion Detection and Forensic Analysis (3 credit hours)

Restricted Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

Computing 

Select two courses.

  • CAP 6133 Advanced Topics in Computer Security and Computer Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CNT 6519 Wireless Security and Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CAP 6135 Malware and Software Vulnerability Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6386 OS and File System Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6395 Incident Response Technologies (3 credit hours)
  • EEE 6347 Trustworthy Hardware (3 credit hours)

Criminal Justice and Electronic Discovery 

Select one course.

  • CCJ 5015 Nature of Crime (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 5456 The Administration of Justice (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 6074 Investigative and Intelligence Analysis: Theory & Methods (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 6704 Research Methods in Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 6706 Quantitative Methods and Computer Utilization in Criminal Justice or ESI 5219 Engineering Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • CJE 6688 Cybercrime and Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)
  • CJL 6568 Law and Social Control (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6206 Electronic Discovery for Digital Forensics Professionals (3 credit hours)

Note:  Students can take additional Criminal Justice courses as they fit into a student's research interest and approved Program of Study.

Forensic Science and Legal Studies  

Select one course.

  • CHS 5596 Forensic Expert in the Courtroom (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 5518 The Forensic Collection and Examination of Digital Evidence (3 credit hours)
  • PLA 5587 Current Issues in Cyberlaw (3 credit hours)

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

  • CAP 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all thesis defense announcements are approved by the student's adviser and posted on the college's website and on the Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date. 

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

Students not interested in a thesis can instead enroll in two formal courses (6 credit hours) to fulfill the degree requirements.

  • Take two electives (total of 6 credit hours) from the list of Restricted Electives above

Equipment Fee

Students in the Digital Forensics MS program pay an $82 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $41 per semester.


Thesis Requirements

The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all thesis defense announcements are approved by the student's advisor and posted on the college's website and on the Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date.

University Thesis Requirements

A thesis is optional for this program; the following information is intended for those choosing to complete a thesis.

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for thesis formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

Students must format their thesis according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Thesis Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the thesis process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu

Financial Support

Financial support is a major concern for graduate students, especially since many rely on financial support from the university to pursue graduate study. In combination, the college, the university, and the department provide financial assistance to graduate students in several ways:

  1. Fellowships and Scholarships - Available to academically outstanding students.

  2. Graduate Teaching Assistantships – GTAs are available for grading, recitation instruction, or laboratory teaching.

  3. Graduate Research Assistantships – GRAs (for participating in sponsored faculty directed research) are available depending on the current funding levels of the faculty.

Graduate students may also receive financial assistance through loans. For more information, see UCF Financial Information, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The UCF Student Financial Assistance section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Funding Requirements 

  • All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their Plan of Study, as well as over all courses taken since entering the program. They must not receive more than two grades below B (3.0), and those must be balanced to maintain the 3.0 overall. Students on assistantship agreements are expected to work 10 to 20 hours per week on their assigned tasks (whether it be grading, teaching, or research), while they are maintaining satisfactory progress in completing their academic courses. Note that satisfactory progress for a supported student is not the same as maintaining the minimum grades, or just barely performing at research. Financial support is a privilege not a right.

  • Students must meet their obligations and maintain satisfactory work as defined by their supervisor to continue to receive financial support. Also, students must register for the proper number of credit hours in a timely manner to allow the processing of tuition remission.

  • The duration of financial support may vary from one semester to another.

  • Mandatory training requirements must be met for a student to be hired in the position of Graduate Teaching Associate, Assistant or Grader. The training, offered by UCF’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, covers course design, learning theories, ethics, and other topics relevant to preparing GTAs for their responsibilities. See www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/Graduate_Teaching/ for training requirements and registration instructions.

  • Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187). Additional information including how to register for the test can be accessed through the Graduate Teaching section of the College of Graduate Studies student website.

  • International students are expected to be here as full-time students, and may not work off campus except under certain strict conditions. For information about the types of employment available to international students and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Services Center’s website: www.intl.ucf.edu> Students > Employment.

Graduate Student Associations

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Development

Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL)

FCTL promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. To that end, they offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.
  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information www.fctl.ucf.edu > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.  

Graduate Research Forum

The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information www.graduate.ucf.edu/ResearchForum or researchweek@ucf.edu.  

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. 

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.

Other

For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php.

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.

Forms

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).

Explanation:

The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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