Tactical Computer Operations, Graduate Certificate

Tactical computer operations is a discipline involving the offensive side of computer and forensics operations. Expertise in this field includes the ability to understand and work at the operating system kernel level, understand and work with shared libraries and application program interfaces, manipulation of network traffic at the frame level, network stack redirection, anti-forensic obfuscation, penetration engineering, and reverse engineering.

Graduate certificates may be pursued independently or in conjunction with a graduate degree program. Additional specifications may apply.

Admission Requirements

Students applying to this certificate must hold a bachelor's degree in either computer science or computer engineering.  Prospective students without these specific degrees will need to have a technical bachelor's degree and show academic competence in the areas of: C (C++, C#, Objective C), Assembler, discrete mathematics, and computer networking.  An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale) is required.  The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required.

Certificate Requirements (15 credits)

The graduate certificate may only be pursued on a part-time basis.

  • CS 571 - Operating Systems (3 credits)
  • ECE 511 - Microprocessors (3 credits)
  • CFRS 761 - Malware Reverse Engineering (3 credits)
  • Two courses from the following list:
    • CFRS 767 - Penetration Testing in Computer Forensics (3 credits)
    • CFRS 769 - Anti-Forensics (3 credits)
    • CFRS 773 - Mobile Application Forensics and Analysis (3 credits)
    • CFRS 775 - Kernel Forensics and Analysis (3 credits)
    • ECE 646 - Cryptography and Computer Network Security (3 credits)
    • ISA 564 - Security Laboratory (3 credits)
    • ISA 656 - Network Security (3 credits)
    • ISA 681 - Secure Software Design (3 credits)
    • ISA 763 - Security Protocol Analysis (3 credits)


Students who enroll in a certificate program will receive state-of-the art scientific and practical information in cutting-edge areas. All courses are taught by our distinguished faculty with years of experience in their respective fields or research and practice. As graduate student at Mason you will have access to the vast resources of our library and the open lab facilities in the Volgenau School.

Graduate certificates may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis.

This information is being provided here for your planning purposes only. For official catalog information, please refer instead to the official George Mason University Catalog Website at http://catalog.gmu.edu.