Computer Forensics & Security

The Computer Forensics and Security (CFS) major is perfect for people who want to use technology to solve crimes or want to ensure that computer equipment is well secured and protected against hacker attacks. Since 9/11, there is a much increased need for people in the security fields. For this major, students take computer, criminal justice, forensics, and security courses.

What You Will Learn

  • This program has two related emphases providing a balance between system/network protection and forensic analysis. The curriculum stresses technical skill development in the fields of computer and network security as well as computer forensics, teaching students how to properly collect and maintain evidence.
  • Students will learn how to follow applicable laws, the proper way to interact with law enforcement and government agencies, and how to effectively investigate computer and network breaches.

Program of Study

A University of Dubuque CFS program stresses theory and skill development in the technical areas of web development, PC internals, networking, computer programming, computer forensics techniques, operating systems, servers, database management, information security, and penetration techniques. Students take several CFS electives to develop strengths in their particular areas of interest. In addition, students take criminal justice courses in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedures and forensics. Students can easily take a few additional criminal justice classes to earn a Criminal Justice minor. 


What Our Students Do

Students work with current hardware and software, in many cases hands-on, to learn modern technology skills and criminal justice practices. Students also learn from participation outside the classroom. Students can join the computer club, partake in job shadow opportunities, attend conferences, help with STEM festivals, compete in computer-related contests, and participate in meaningful internships. 

Where Our Graduates Go

DFS graduates obtain careers as risk advisors, security consultants, digital forensics specialists, digital forensics examiners, and networking and security specialists. Their potential employers include; law enforcement, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, military branches, law firms, private investigators, information security companies, or companies with in-house security staff.

News from the Department

J-term 2017 Class: Forensics in Italy
Professor Mark Woodhouse will be leading a Forensics in Italy course during J-term 2017. This course will examine law enforcement philosophies and practices in European countries with a special emphasis on forensics and cyber-forensics as practiced by the five law enforcement agencies in Italy. Students will be meeting with the carabinieri (provincial police) in Florence. Students will also examine law enforcement within the Vatican and the cooperation between the Vatican police and the Swiss Guard. And of course there will be gelato tasting while in Italy!

Computer Forensics & Security - Program of Study

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
WVS 101: World View I (3)
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)
BAC 120: Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
BIO 125: Population, Resources and Environment (3) or other Stewardship course
CIS 103: Computer Applications in Business (3)

J-Term
Required (3)

Spring Semester
WVS 201: World View II (3)
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
UDMA 112: Algebra (3) or other Math course
CIS 202: Intro to Computer Information Systems (3)
CIS 213: Networking I (3)


Year Two

Fall Semester
RES 104: Research Writing (3)
SOC 112: Contemporary Social Problems (3) or SOC 111: Sociology (3)
CIS 205: Web Publishing (3)
CIS 207: PC Internals (3)
CIS 215: Programming I (4)

J-Term
CIS Elective 1 (3)

Spring Semester
BIO 110: Human Biology and Lab (4) or other Science Lab Course
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys or other Christian Religion class (3)
CIS 248: Computer Forensic Techniques (3)
CIS 284: Operating Systems (3)
SCJ 110: Intro to Criminal Justice (3)


Year Three

Fall Semester
ART 111: Survey of Western Art (3) or other Aesthetics B course
CIS 332: Database Systems I (3)
CIS 338: Security I (3)
CIS Elective 2 (3)
SCJ 211: Criminal Law (3)
CIS Topics Class (1)

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (3) or other Christian Religion class
CIS 340: Network Forensics (3)
CIS 438: Security II (3)
CIS Elective 3 (3)
SCJ 212: Criminal Procedure (3)
CIS Topics Class (1)


Year Four

Fall Semester
ENG 112/260: Literature (3)
CIS 310: Servers (3)
CIS 360: Penetration Techniques (3)
SCJ 316: Forensics (3)
CIS 495: Information Policy (1)
CIS Topics Class (1)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
CIS Elective 4 (3)
General Elective (3)
General Elective (3)
CIS Topics Class (1)
CCS 101: Cross Cultural Studies (1)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)

Teresa Nickeson
Teresa Nickeson
Computer Studies and Mathematics Department Chair, Associate Professor

MBA, University of Dubuque
BS, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Office Phone: 563.589.3183
E-mail: tnickeson@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 218 Dunlap Technology Center
Fax: 563.589.3410
Biography - Click Here

24 years of information technology industry experience, McGraw-Hill, from programming intern to VP, Sales and Marketing Applications for McGraw-Hill Education.

Two years as a CIS and Accounting adjunct at Scott Community College in Bettendorf, IA.

Two years teaching CIS, Accounting and Business classes for Axia Community College (a division of Phoenix Online).

Full -time CIS instructor at University of Dubuque since 2007.


Hythem Abdalla
Hythem Abdalla
Adjunct Professor

PhD; Engineering Science
MS, Alneelain University; Computer Science
BS, Alneelain University; Mathematics and Computer Science

E-mail: habdalla@dbq.edu 

Jennifer Benson
Jennifer Benson
Assistant Professor

MAT, Webster University - St. Louis



Office Phone: 563.589.3272
E-mail: jbenson@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 300 Smith Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Corissa Goertzen
Corissa Goertzen
Assistant Professor of Mathematics

PhD, University of Iowa
MA, University of South Dakota
BA, Wartburg College

Office Phone: 563.589.3413
E-mail: cgoertzen@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 225 Dunlap Technology Center

Andrew Haas
Adjunct Instructor


Alina Klein
Alina Klein
Assistant Professor of Economics and Mathematics

PhD, West Virginia University
BS, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania



Office Phone: 563.589.3376
E-mail: aklein@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 228 Dunlap Technology Center
Biography - Click Here

Alina Klein earned a B.S. in Economics at the Academy of Economics in Bucharest, Romania, in 2003, then a Ph.D. in Economics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV, in 2010. Before joining UD, she worked as Assistant Professor of Economics at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA. Alina has publications in the International Economics and International Finance fields.


Rudy Klein
Rudy Klein
Assistant Professor of Economics and Mathematics

BS, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
PhD, West Virginia University

Office Phone: 563.589.3681
E-mail: Rklein@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 219 Dunlap Technology Center
Biography - Click Here

Rudy Klein received his Ph.D. in economics from West Virginia University (WVU) and B.S. in economics from the Academy of Economic Studies, in Bucharest, Romania. Before joining the University of Dubuque, he worked as a graduate teaching assistant at WVU, where he taught both online and traditional courses. Afterwards, he moved to Virginia and taught economics courses at Lynchburg College and Sweet Briar College. 


Duncan Marshall
Duncan Marshall
Adjunct Professor of Computer Information Systems


E-mail: dmarshall@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 112 Dunlap Technology Center

Ann Mauss
Ann Mauss
Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems

MBA, Northern Illinois University

Office Phone: 563.589.3612
E-mail: amauss@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 217 Dunlap Technology Center
Biography - Click Here

I have just started teaching as an adjunct at UD, however, I am in my 17th year teaching at Loras College.,  At Loras, I have been developing and teaching curriculum in Management Information Systems and Computer Science.  I have taught various courses within Computing and Information technology areas, some of which are of: Computing Basics,  Intro to Programming, Visual Basic Programming, Network Management, Database Management, Project Management, and Systems Engineering. 

When I am not teaching, I enjoy my time off with my husband and two sons at our home about 10 miles south of Dubuque.


David McElroy
David McElroy
Adjunct Professor

MBA, Loras College
BS, Loras College

E-mail: dmcelroy@dbq.edu 
Biography - Click Here

David has been an EDI Specialist with McKesson Health Solutions in Dubuque since July 2012.  Previously,  he was  the Supervisor of Client File Management for Securian Financial Group in Saint Paul, MN.  McElroy has developed production applications in Java, Python, Groovy, C#, PL/1 and PERL.  He has extensive experience with Windows Server, Linux, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, DB2, TIBCO BusinessWorks, TIBCO Foresight and MySQL.


Dawn Nelson
Dawn Nelson
Teaching Specialist Faculty

MS, Western Illinois University; Instructional Design & Technology
BA, Ashford University; Business Administration



Office Phone: 563.589.3462
E-mail: dnelson@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 219 Jackaline Dunlap Technology Center
Biography - Click Here

Dawn Nelson is an adjunct professor teaching Intro to Computers and Computer Applications in Business. She is on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays. Nelson is from Delmar, Iowa and has three children all in college. She enjoys spending time on the river and camping with friends. She loves teaching and working with students. Nelson especially likes helping students succeed with class struggles and/or just to listen and be a supportive ear.


Richard (Dick) Smith
Richard (Dick) Smith
Associate Professor of Mathematics

MA, Loras College
BS, Loras College

Office Phone: 563.589.3276
E-mail: dsmith@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 226D Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Lori Welsh
Lori Welsh
Adjunct Professor

MBA, University of Dubuque
BA, Clarke College

E-mail: lwelsh@dbq.edu 
Office Location: Jackaline Dunlap Technology Center

Roseanne Wolf
Roseanne Wolf
Assistant Professor of Mathematics

PhD, University of Iowa
MS, University of Iowa
BS, Buena Vista University

Office Phone: 563.589.3716
E-mail: rwolf@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 214 Dunlap Technology Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Gregory Mark Woodhouse
Gregory Mark Woodhouse
Assistant Professor, CIS

MSCTE, Nova Southeastern University
BSEE, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Office Phone: 563.589.3233
E-mail: gwoodhouse@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 226 Dunlap Technology Center
Fax: 563.589.3410
Biography - Click Here

20+ years of teaching experience, Conference Speaker, Commercial Pilot, Multi-engine, Instrument Ratings, Chief Firearms Instructor, Proficient Defense Training Chaplain with Dubuque Police Department and Sheriff's Office Advisor, UD Computer Club Advisor, UD RC Pilots Club


Careers in Computer Forensics & Security

The University of Dubuque's Computer Forensics & Security (CFS) program combines computer, criminal justice and security courses to prepare students to help solve crimes using technology and protect computers and networks from intrusion. For example, data residing on electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones is often useful in criminal and civil investigations and needs to be recovered. Some of these devices are damaged by abuse, user errors, or intentional acts of sabotage. In other cases, private information such as deleted text messages, account logins, passwords, and Internet browsing history needs to be accessed. Consequently, demand is high for people with the skills to extract information from digital devices while assuring the integrity of such data and preserving its evidentiary value. Since 9/11, demand is especially high for professionals who can secure computers and networks to protect them from intrusion by hackers.

BS Opportunities

The Computer Forensics & Security program prepares graduates for careers as risk advisors, security consultants, computer forensics specialists, computer forensics examiners, and networking and security specialists.

Post-graduate Opportunities

Students who successfully complete the CFS program will be prepared to test for a number of computer forensics and security certification exams. In addition, UD readies students for graduate school. An advanced technology degree opens doors for research, teaching, and more technical industry positions.

Digital Forensics & Security

Computer Forensics & Security (CFS) was a new degree program at the University of Dubuque in the fall of 2013. Our first CFS graduate crossed the stage in May 2015! Beginning in the fall of 2016, security was added to the major.