Digital Investigations Proficiency Certificate


Over the past few decades, technology has become an essential tool permeating all areas of criminal justice, including law enforcement, courts, probation, and parole. Technology enables criminal justice professionals to increase the accuracy of criminal trials, reduce the traditional prison population, as well as increase the safety of communities. The Digital Investigations Proficiency Certificate exposes students to relevant technologies that will enable them to succeed in entry-level criminal justice positions. The Digital InvestigationsCertificate can be completed by taking major courses and selecting electives that exist in the Criminal Justice program.

The Digital Investigations Proficiency Certificate provides students the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills in digital investigation, including fundamentals of crime scene investigation, chain of custody, and constitutional concerns relating to admissibility of evidence at trial. Students learn how to recover digital evidence in a legally defensible manner in criminal investigations. The hands-on work completed in these classes engages students and exposes them to criminal justice as practiced in the twenty-first century. Throughout these classes, students work with faculty experienced in the field and participate in hands-on problem solving activities related to real-life scenarios. 

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Digital Investigations proficiency certificate, students will be able to:

  • Conduct the acquisition and processing of digital media
  • Employ appropriate chain-of-custody protocols to ensure that evidence obtained will be admissible in court
  • Demonstrate the ways in which social networking technology is used as a tool in the commission of crime, as well as in the apprehension of criminal offenders
  • Evaluate the competing ethical issues of privacy and security in the criminal justice context.
  • Utilize digital technology to collaborate within and outside of agencies and to investigate criminal activity.

Program Entry Requirements:

This certificate is open to interested students. Students are required to satisfy placement at the time of admission. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as part of the certificate when applicable. 

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

Successful completion of the program requires a "C" grade or better in each of the courses listed.

Course Sequence:

Course Number Prerequisites Credits
JUS 101 - Survey of Criminal Justice   3 credits
JUS 131 - Technology in Criminal Justic  JUS 101, which may be taken concurrently 3 credits
JUS 221 - Criminal Investigation  JUS 101 3 credits
JUS 261 - Criminal Evidence and Procedure JUS 101 3 credits
DF 101 - Introduction to Digital Forensics JUS 101 or PLS 101 3 credits
DF 201 - Digital Forensics II DF 101 3 credits

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.