What makes a SANS Technology Institute degree different?

The Master of Science degree programs in Information Security Engineering and Management provide a comprehensive array of courses that allow students to gain technical mastery of technologies and processes that set apart the leading security practitioners in the field. Equally important are the additional courses and special programs the degree offers that enables students to master communications, project management, teaching, mentoring and persuasive skills. We help you develop your reputation in the industry by ensuring your work is published though our online repositories including the SANS Reading Room and the information security policy project. The degree candidates will have the opportunity to study with a faculty, many of whom have written the books that other security programs use to direct their courses. Many of the faculty hold PhD and Masters degrees from institutions like MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard Business School and other leading schools.

SANS faculty and curriculum leads designed the post-baccalaureate certificate programs with two distinct and different audiences in mind. The SANS Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Engineering (Core) targets information professionals who are unable to engage in the full master's program but who would still benefit from taking all three of the technical graduate courses at the core of the Information Security Engineering master's program. For individuals who already have an established technical base (including those who might already have a master's degree) but seek to deepen their capabilities in a particular area, we offer other certificate programs that start with the same view on how offense informs defense, but then quickly diverge into materially different course progressions leading to a SANS graduate certificate in Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking, or a second graduate certificate in Incident Response.

The SANS Technology Institute hopes to prepare the next generation of security managers for what they will face. Two growing trends will shape cyber security in the future : increasing interest by organized crime that is accompanying the growth of e-commerce and e-government, and the increasing impact of cyber methods of warfare. These forces will contribute to an already massive and continually growing need for thousands of new technical cyber security managers with cyber security degrees.

SANS Institute Background

SANS Institute is the most trusted and by far the largest source for information security training and certification in the world. It also develops, maintains, and makes available at no cost, the largest collection of research documents about various aspects of information security, and it operates the Internet's early warning system - Internet Storm Center. The SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Its programs now reach more than 165,000 security professionals, auditors, system administrators, network administrators, chief information security officers, and CIOs who share the lessons they are learning and jointly find solutions to the challenges they face. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners in government agencies, corporations, and universities around the world who invest hundreds of hours each year in research and teaching to help the entire information security community. With online and live training SANS is ideally suited to help you earn your Masters degree in Information Security.

Distinctive Attributes

  • Students have to be willing to work very hard and work competently
  • Students learn from an incredibly rich set of coursework written by the leaders in information security and truly achieve the expert level of practice
  • Students are prepared for leadership by building skills in oral and written communication
  • Students in this intense program form lifelong relationships with equally skilled peers
  • After graduation, students are encouraged to remain active in the college community to develop new relationships and keep their skills sharp

Value Proposition

If you look closely at a number of graduate programs for information security, you will realize security is just one more thing that institution offers. The Department Chair is also the Dean of the Business School or some similar split responsibility. The faculty do not have "street creds." We offer a program our auditors called "laser focused." Information Assurance is our craft and our driving passion. The SANS Technology Institute provides security professionals who have shown themselves dedicated to excellence with the knowledge and skills needed to improve the security of information throughout the world. The students and faculty form a community of practitioners that will last long past graduation. Please take a few minutes to visit the research section of our website. Those are the actual student papers, publications, and presentations our students have completed. We teach research, leadership and strong technical communication skills by modeling these core competencies consistently. Our program is not for everyone, it requires a significant investment of time and a certain level of ability. However, any competing program also takes an investment of time, the question is; what are you left when you complete the program? Many of our graduates become SANS instructors, SANS courseware authors, GIAC exam developers, researchers and incident handlers with the Internet Storm Center. That is who we are; this is our value proposition. Thank you for considering The SANS Technology Institute.

Relationship of SANS / GIAC

SANS Institute, GIAC, and the The SANS Technology Institute each operates under a trade name, has its own mission, and its own board of directors.

The mission of The SANS Institute is to foster original research in information security using a community oriented consensus approach and codify the results of that work into high quality educational material, and then teach the knowledge with excellence.

The mission of GIAC is to assess and prove the student has mastered the material and has the knowledge to accomplish tasks in a specific skill knowledge domain such as intrusion detection, or perimeter protection.

The SANS Technology Institute was founded in 2006 as an independent subsidiary of the SANS Institute and as a sister company to GIAC. The SANS Technology Institute has it own independent board, staff, and faculty, and focuses exclusively on graduate level education programs designed to develop and advance the careers of information security professionals. Graduate programs are built on SANS classes taught by our faculty (all SANS Certified Instructors) and GIAC exams that validate their learning, augmented by simulations, research projects, and exercises the deepen a student's knowledge and improve their communication, organizational, and project oversight skills.

If you are looking for schedules related to when classes are taught, please visit The SANS Institute home page. You will notice there are a variety of delivery methods offered to take classes; Conferences, OnDemand, Mentor Program, Self Study etc. If you are seeking information related to testing, GIAC Silver, or GIAC Gold, please visit the GIAC Certification home page. If you would like information about The SANS Technology Institute Master's programs, please visit The SANS Technology Institute.

Contact Us


The SANS Technology Institute is governed by a Board of Directors, Administrators, and Committees. Read More


The SANS Technology Institute is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and authorized by the Maryland Higher Education Commission Read More