Online M.S. in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation

Help Fight Cybercrime With Skills in Digital Investigation.

Advancing justice since 1935.

The fully online M.S. in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation from Michigan State University gives you an understanding of cybersecurity and digital investigation skills that allow you to help curb cybercrime. MSU’s program is ideal for those without computer science/IT backgrounds who would like to launch or advance a career investigating or responding to cybercrime in law enforcement, government and private industry. If you have a technical background, you can elevate your salary potential, seek opportunities for advancement or pursue a career switch.

In as few as two years, you can complete your online master’s degree and graduate as you benefit from MSU’s partnerships with the Department of Homeland Security, the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, the MSU Police and more. You will also build an understanding of the diverse nature of cybercrime threats that affect individuals’ and organizations’ economic and physical safety.

Immerse yourself in a curriculum informed by the Department of Justice, and learn from world-renowned faculty who played an instrumental role in the origin and development of the field.

30 Credit Hours

100% Online

#38 Most Innovative Schools1

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Cyber Certificate Option

In as little as a year, you can earn a 15-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security alongside your degree. This program gives you an introduction to cybercrime and digital forensic investigation in a fully online format. With this certificate, you could apply your expertise in many fields, including digital forensics, law enforcement investigations, cybersecurity or intelligence analysis, whether in the government or the private sector.

Gain Contemporary Cybercriminology Skills

At MSU, you’ll gain a unique perspective focused on the human aspects of cybercrime, including the offenders, victims and threat response community. You’ll learn to recognize the risks posed by nation-states and terrorist organizations in online spaces, whether to intellectual property, economic operations or national security. The 30-credit-hour, 10-course online master’s degree also provides you with an understanding of the legal frameworks used to prosecute cybercrimes at the state and federal levels.

Courses you may take in this program include:

Achieve a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system in the United States by exploring how similar systems operate in other countries. Through this comparative lens, you’ll examine common law, civil law, socialist law and Islamic law, then focus on the nature of policing, courts and corrections around the world.

Apply modern intelligence techniques to collect and analyze open-source information. You’ll complete this course with an ability to validate data sources, as well as knowledge of the history of open-source data collection and an understanding of the ethical issues surrounding collecting data from public sources.

Focus on the field of digital forensics and its use to gather evidence and interpret information for criminal and civil litigation, as well as its use for intelligence gathering, research, policy enforcement and information security incident response. Specific topics will include legal aspects governing search and seizure, qualifying as an expert witness, the role of file systems and operating systems and basic tools for computer and mobile device acquisition, analysis and reporting. Collect, query, manage and analyze data using applicable tools and techniques.

Explain the four forms of cybercrime, cyber-terror, cyberwarfare and their impacts on individuals, organizations and government. Explain the legal frameworks used to prosecute cybercrimes at the state and federal level in the U.S., as well as comparative legal models used to criminalize these behaviors in other nations. Understand the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies responsible for policing cybercrime, as well as the role of private industry in affecting these offenses. Summarize and communicate information about cybercrime and cybersecurity threats to diverse audiences.

Online Programs That Provide Flexibility for Success.

As an online student with MSU, you receive the same high-quality education as an on-campus student. You gain access to all that the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice has to offer. With easy-to-use technology, rich multimedia and engaged faculty, MSU’s online programs are a great way to learn while maintaining your personal and professional commitments. We provide 24/7 technology support and full access to MSU’s extensive libraries and electronic resource collections.

Fill an Immediate Need for Cybercriminology Professionals

According to the FBI, a wide array of internet scams affecting victims across the globe accounted for $10.3 billion in losses in 2022 – an increase of 49% over 2021.2 It’s easy to see why cybercrime specialists and investigators are in demand.

MSU’s online master’s degree in cybercrime and digital investigation could lead to a career in a number of high-demand areas, including cybercrime investigator, financial investigator, counter-intelligence officer, federal agent, cyber-fraud investigator and more. You might also work in private security or policing.

Average Annual Salaries 2024

  1. Information Security Analyst: $112,0003
  2. Special Agent (FBI, DEA, DHS): $89,9344
  3. Detective or Criminal Investigator: $86,2805
  4. Intelligence Analyst: $77,3456
  5. Fraud Investigator: $67,7197

Why MSU Online?

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  1. U.S. News & World Report. “Most Innovative Schools.” U.S. News and World Report College Rankings Guide. Retrieved April 9, 2022, from
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Internet Crime Complaint Center Releases 2022 Statistics.” Mar. 22, 2023. Retrieved Jan. 25, 2024, from
  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Information Security Analysts.” Sept. 6, 2023. Retrieved Jan. 24, 2024 from
  4. PayScale. “Average Special Agent (Federal) Salary.” Retrieved Jan. 24, 2024 from
  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Police and Detectives.” Sept. 6, 2023. Retrieved Jan. 24, 2024 from
  6. PayScale. “Intelligence Analysts.” Retrieved Jan. 24, 2024 from
  7. PayScale. “Average Fraud Investigator Salary.” Retrieved Jan. 24, 2024 from
  8. U.S. News & World Report. “Michigan State University Rankings,” 2023 U.S. News & World Report College Rankings Guide. Retrieved Jan. 25, 2024 from