This research focuses on the development of a standard digital forensics master’s curriculum. A current state analysis has been done of various master’s programs across the United States. Each of the courses were analyzed and compared against digital forensic domains from previous studies, including the Digital Forensic Certification Board’s (2009) KSA domains and Beebe and Clark’s (2006) knowledge domains. The courses were charted under their appropriate categories in an effort to identify the topics covered within each curriculum. Both a qualitative and frequency analysis were then completed to review the domains covered within each program. The results showed a wide variety of topics from school to school. Eight of the twelve master’s programs were more generalized and touched briefly on a majority of the domains, while the remaining programs emphasized more specific areas such as computer science, law, and criminal justice. Using the data gathered from the analyses in combination with the KSA and knowledge domains, a standard digital forensics curriculum has been identified as a starting point for future research. This model curriculum includes required courses, potential electives, and descriptions of each. Future research should further test whether this standard curriculum is generalizable to all programs within this field.


Digital Forensics, Standards, Curriculum Development

Date of this Version




Department Head

Lonnie D. Bentley

Graduate School ETD Form 9.pdf (84 kB)
Form 9

Form 20.pdf (94 kB)
Form 20

Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

Gary Bertoline

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Marcus Rogers

Committee Member 1

Marcus Rogers

Committee Member 2

Rick Mislan

Committee Member 3

Mark Pollitt