Dec 10, 2019  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Media Forensics Emphasis, Recording Arts MS

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►  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program. 

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Recording Arts emphasis is media forensics prepares students from various backgrounds for work in the field of forensic audio, video and image analysis, utilizing the state-of-the-art methods and technology necessary to fight crime in the digital age. Housed in the National Center for Media Forensics (NCMF), this program is unique in providing a hybrid format (online and onsite) graduate education in forensic multimedia analysis.

Students from related disciplines (media production, electrical engineering, forensics, computer science, etc.) are encouraged to apply, as this program enhances scientific inquiry while guiding students through a two-year cohort curriculum. The hybrid delivery format affords students the ability to work full-time while completing most of the program online with additional onsite study at the NCMF and its partner institutions. Classes are comprised of online self-guided lectures, interactive learning, discussion boards, reading responses and scheduled video conferencing. Onsite course work provides students with hands-on and practical experiences which augment and enrich the curriculum. Additionally, experiential learning activities include visits to regional crime labs and scientific conferences to understand the application of forensic media technology and laboratory procedures.

Courses lead students through three areas of study: foundational knowledge, core analyses and capstone experiences, which fully prepare students for research in forensic science and expert witness testimony. Digital media evidence acquisition through computer forensics applications is emphasized in an environment that fosters creativity and individual skills. The research thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing is conducted under the advisement of the director and associate director of the NCMF with input from forensic professionals from around the world. The thesis is a topic of exploration throughout the program and serves to enhance a graduate’s area of specialty as they prepare for work in private forensic practice, corporate research and development, academic research and teaching, or crime labs at the local, state and federal levels.

Note: The application process and requirements for the Master of Science in Recording Arts emphasis in media forensics (MSRA-MF) differ from those listed for the recording arts (MSRA) program .

MSRA Media Forensics Application

Admission to the MSRA-MF program is competitive. Admission decisions are made by committee and are based on the entirety of the applicant’s submitted materials. Admission to the program is contingent upon:

  • Formal documentation of an earned bachelor’s degree in a related field. (International students must document an equivalent.) Undergraduate degrees from other disciplines will be considered with proper support from application components.
  • Successful completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Revised General Test.
  • For international students, submission of proof of English Language Proficiency. Please contact the Office of International Admissions website for more information.
  • Strength of application components as they relate to:
    • Scientific competency
    • Writing skills
    • Desire to work in the field of forensic media analysis
    • Strength of academic/professional background
    • Strength of references through letters of recommendation

Application Components

The application deadline is April 1. The program accepts students in the fall only. Required application components include:

  • Graduate Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Entrance Examinations: GRE (and TOEFL/IELTS or other evidence of English proficiency, if applicable)
  • Official Transcripts
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Two (2) Technical Writing Samples

Applications that do not include all of the requirements or that include partial components are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

International applicants are encouraged to visit the Office of International Admissions website for detailed information.

Refer to the National Center for Media Forensics MSRA-MF program website for detailed information and updates regarding the application process and requirements.


The MSRA-MF program comprises 33 semester hours of credit:  29 hours are required courses and 4 hours are thesis. All courses must be completed with a grade of B- (2.7) or better and students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Grades of C+ (2.3) or lower, or a cumulative GPA below 3.0, will result in the student’s dismissal from the program. Students are admitted to the program in the fall as a cohort and must follow the curriculum in sequence.

Curriculum and application requirements are subject to change. Refer to the National Center for Media Forensics MSRA-MF program website for up-to-date information regarding curriculum and application requirements.

Program Sequence

Fall - Year 1

MSRA 5014 - Research Practices in Media Forensics  

MSRA 5124 - Forensic Science and Litigation  

Spring - Year 1

MSRA 5054 - Experiential Lab  

MSRA 5114 - Foundations in Media Forensics  

MSRA 5144 - MATLAB Foundations  

Summer - Year 1

MSRA 5134 - Computer Forensics  

MSRA 5244 - Mobile Phone Forensics  

Fall - Year 2

MSRA 5054 - Experiential Lab  

MSRA 5214 - Forensic Audio Analysis  

MSRA 5254 - MATLAB for Forensic Audio Analysis  

Spring - Year 2

MSRA 5054 - Experiential Lab  

MSRA 5224 - Forensic Video and Image Analysis  

MSRA 5264 - MATLAB for Forensic Video and Image Analysis  

Summer - Year 2

MSRA 5314 - Report Writing and Court Testimony  

Summer - Year 2 (or later)

MSRA 6954 - Research Thesis in Media Forensics  

Total: 33 Hours

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