Forensic Computer Examiner Certificate

Program Outline

Your certificate consists of a step-by-step process.

Here's how it works
Your first Instruction Set is sent immediately after your enrollment has been accepted. Other Instruction Sets will follow as you complete your exams, so you will always have training materials to work with.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Note: Graduates of this program also earn 18 college credits toward an A.S. degree in PC Maintenance Technology and 12 college credits toward an A.S. degree in Criminal Justice at Penn Foster College.

You will complete the following courses in the order indicated to earn your Forensic Computer Examiner Certificate:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: To provide students with enhanced knowledge in the area of computer forensics for job or career advancement.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Describe the functions of hardware devices that make up a computer system, including the motherboard, CPU, memory, and storage devices
  • Describe the basics of computer maintenance and troubleshooting, including working with mobile computing and external devices
  • Demonstrate effective business and technical writing skills, and recognize how to prepare business and technical documents
  • Explain the functions of a computer's operating system, including Windows, Linux, and Mac systems
  • Identify the processes and devices that allow computers to communicate with each other to form networks
  • Recognize the foundations of the Internet, including the servers, clients, and technologies that link them together, and explain web design, web configuration, and hosting environments
  • Explain how ethics and morality relate to the criminal justice system, and recognize ethical issues encountered by criminal justice professionals
  • Discuss various types of computer-based crime and the procedures used in criminal cases that involve computers
  • Describe the concepts and practices involved in computer forensics, including using forensics tools, handling evidence, writing reports, and giving testimony

PCM105 PC Hardware 1

This course defines and describes the elements and function of hardware devices that are part of a modern personal computer system.

Study Unit: Introduction to IT Careers
Study Unit: Hardware Basics
Study Unit: Firmware, Motherboards, Power Supplies, and Storage
Study Unit: Multimeter Operation Manual

Textbook: Mike Meyer’s CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs, 6th Edition

PCM106 PC Hardware 2

This course provides the student with more sophisticated techniques in PC repair, including external I/O devices, printers, mobile computing devices, purchasing and building PCs, troubleshooting, support, virus protection, data protection, and recovery.

Study Unit: Building a Computer System
Study Unit: Networking and the Internet
Study Unit: Portable and Mobile Computer Systems

ENG121 Business and Technical Writing

Writing styles; ABC method of organizing material; grammar (parts of speech, active and passive voice, complete sentences vs. sentence fragments; parallel construction); using action verbs; constructing paragraphs; writing memos, business letters, and emails; organizing material; conducting research; documenting sources; outlining; providing illustrations; writing reports; proposals, description, instructions, articles, and manuals.

Study Unit: Using Words Well
Study Unit: Writing Effective Communications
Study Unit: Organizing, Researching, and Illustrating Your Material
Study Unit: Writing the Report
Study Unit: Proposals and Special Projects

PCM107 PC Operating Systems

This course describes the use of software for virus protection, data protection and recovery, and gives a systematic overview of operating systems, including the Windows® systems and Apple® computers. Also included is a lab simulation, Configuring Windows® 7.

Study Unit: Operating Systems
Study Unit: Operating Systems Installation
Study Unit: Troubleshooting
Study Unit: Software and Networking
Study Unit: Computer Security
Study Unit: Operational Procedures

INT128 Network Protocols and Internetworking

This course covers topics related to how computers communicate with each other, how computers are grouped together to form networks, networking concepts and issues that are key to the successful implementation of computer networks, and the different networking implementation strategies and technologies currently available.

Textbook: Hands-On Networking Fundamentals

INT 125 Internet Server Environments

Explores the world of Internet server environments, while teaching industry terminology, domain name registration techniques, and characteristics of Web-hosting services. Examines Unix servers, Windows® 2000® servers, and tools that are used to remotely connect to these servers. Covers the many features and elements involved when working with the Internet server environment.

Study Unit: Introduction to Internet Server Environments
Study Unit: Remote Server Communication
Study Unit: Unix® Servers
Study Unit: Windows® 2000 Servers
Study Unit: Establishing a Domain Website

CJS105 Ethics in Criminal Justice

Begins the study of ethics from the larger issues of what constitutes morality and moral behavior; looks at how ethics develop; discusses the issues of ethics and specific aspects of criminal justice, including justice, law enforcement, courts, punishment and corrections and management; reviews the consideration of professionalism and of ethics for everyone in society.

Textbook: Ethics in Crime and Justice: Dilemmas and Decisions

CJS 255 Computer-Based Crime

Begins with a review of issues involving information, security, and the privacy of information; and proceeds to examine a broadening range of additional criminal threats, based upon actual cases; includes a consideration of cybercrime, systems abuse, and the hacker culture; looks to issues of prevention and information security, with an emphasis on the need to take immediate steps against this likely criminal activity.

Textbook: Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime

CSC275 Computer Forensics

This course teaches how to conduct a high-tech investigation, from acquiring digital evidence to reporting their findings. Coverage includes how to set up a forensics lab, how to acquire the necessary tools, and how to conduct an investigation and subsequent digital analysis. Featured in the textbook are free downloads of several forensics software programs for students to become familiar with the tools of the trade.

Study Guide: Computer Forensics
Textbook: Guide to Computer Forensics and Investigations


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Pentium is a trademark of Intel Corporation and its subsidiaries registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.