Cyber Security Master's Degree

Cyber Security Master's Degree

Master of Science in
Information Security Engineering

Join the Next Generation of Cyber Security Leaders

Designed for working professionals in cyber security, IT and audit, the cyber security master's degree takes InfoSec careers to the highest levels — developing both hands-on technical skills and the ability to lead.

Apply by May 1 to start this summer.
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The SANS Technology Institute Advantage

99% of students surveyed in 2018 agreed that the program positively impacted their professional growth. Discover what's in it for you.

Career Acceleration

  • Earn up to 8 industry-recognized GIAC certifications throughout the program, validating your skills and adding immediate value for your employer.

Flexibility for Working Professionals

Faculty Expertise

Focus on Leadership

  • Prepare to lead through a career-focused curriculum that develops both technical expertise and management and communication skills.

Depth of Knowledge

  • Build your professional reputation by contributing to our collection of graduate student white papers published in the SANS Reading Room and industry journals.

A Strong Network

  • Join a network of professionals that Joshua Lewis, MSISE '18 and VP of Threat Intelligence & Incident Response at Umpqua Bank, calls "some of the most talented students and teachers in the industry."
"The ability to sway minds, demonstrate risk, obtain funding, change cultures, and justify painful decisions is just as important to the overall success of an information security program as technical brilliance. I pursued the MSISE out of delight in studying the technical side of things, but time and again the focus of the program on communication, presentation, and leadership has been on point and much needed."
Tim Collyer, MSISE '18 - Director of Information Security, Motorola Solutions

How do you learn best?

We want you to continue working while you are in the master's degree program so you can apply the cyber security concepts and hands-on technical skills you learn in class on the job. To help you balance work, school, and life, we offer a variety of course delivery options. But you won't be on your own; a dedicated student advisor will help you chart your course of study each step of the way.

Online Learning Options

  • OnDemand: Study at your own pace with content available 24/7. Revisit and rewind content anytime.
  • Simulcast: Live broadcasts of our intensive weeklong daytime courses enable you to save on travel and lodging expenses.
  • vLive: Live, interactive, scheduled webcast sessions are held two nights a week over a 6- to 8-week period.

Live In-person Classes

  • Immersive weeklong courses with hands-on labs are held throughout the country and across the globe.
  • These events provide opportunities to attend special presentations and network with other security professionals, faculty, and staff.

Although most coursework in the cyber security master's degree program can be completed online, there are 3 in-person requirements. These include a 24-hour Situation Response Practicum in which you'll join a team of students to respond to a major enterprise system threat, present your recommendations to a mock C-suite panel, and receive feedback from top SANS faculty.

Special Focus Areas

Customize your cyber security master's degree by choosing electives that deepen your expertise in one of our Special Focus Areas.

  • Cyber Defense Operations
  • Incident Response
  • Industrial Control Systems
  • Penetration Testing
  • Security Management

Built on SANS Reputation and History

A subsidiary of the SANS Institute, the world's largest and most trusted source for information security training, certification, and research, the SANS Technology Institute strives to offer the best cybersecurity master's degree program in the industry because we are serious about filling what MSISE student and U.S. Army Master Sgt. Amanda Draeger calls "a critical gap in people that are both highly technical and able to talk policy and strategy."

Setting the Highest Standards

SANS continually updates courses for real-world relevance and seeks student feedback to create an exceptional learning experience. This commitment to quality and relevance sets our programs apart from "traditional" master of science in cybersecurity programs. It's also why 100% of SANS Technology Institute graduate students surveyed in 2019 said they are likely to recommend the college to others.

Return on Investment

Rigorous, challenging, and rewarding, the cyber security master's degree program has produced graduates who hold high level information security positions in government, the US Military, and Fortune 500 companies. The dedication and success of our graduates is reflected in the bios of our most recent graduates.

Positions held by graduates from the MSISE class of 2018 include

  • Product Security Incident Response Lead, Salesforce
  • Lead Cyber Defender, The Hershey Company
  • Director of Perimeter Security, Visa
  • Global PCI DSS Compliance Practice Leader, IBM
  • Director of Information Security, Motorola Solutions
  • Security Architect in Global Information Security, Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Vice President of Incident Management, Deutsche Bank
  • Security Architect, Swift Financial
  • Cyber Adversarial Engineer, MITRE Corporation
  • Incident Response Engineer, LogRhythm Labs
  • Manager, Software Development Engineering, Cisco Systems
  • Telecommunications Officer, Canada's Department of National Defense

"Nothing pays dividends like practical experience. Many programs attempt it, but the SANS Technology Institute helps students use the latest cyber techniques to pursue objectives commonly encountered on the operations floor."
Matthew Toussain, MSISE '17 - Director, Spectrum Information Security

Master's Degree Quick Facts

Credits Required: 36 credits

Program Length: 3 to 5 years (while working full-time)

Program Components: 26 required credit hours, 9 elective credit hours (3 courses), and 1 credit hour for the program capstone, the GIAC Security Expert (GSE) certification. View a sample 3-year plan and the MSISE curriculum.

Admission Requirements: A minimum of 12 months working in information technology, security, or audit; a current job in the industry (or access to an organizational environment that allows you to apply the techniques you learn); and a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.8 GPA. See all requirements.

Preferred Admission Deadlines: The cyber security master's degree program offers four entry points each year. Applicants are notified of an admissions decision within 30 days of the Preferred Application Deadlines.

Tuition: Approximately $51,000 in total (travel or lodging for in-person courses is not included in the cost of tuition). Learn more about tuition.

Payment Options: The cyber security master's program is eligible for most corporate tuition reimbursement plans and VA Education Benefits. An interest-free payment plan is also available. View tuition payment options.

Waiver Policy: Students can waive up to 9 credit hours toward the cyber security master's degree. Past SANS training classes and GIAC certifications may enable a student to enter the degree program with advanced standing. View the waiver policy.

Accreditation: The SANS Technology Institute is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 267.284.5000), an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Take the Next Step

Learn more about what sets programs apart from the "traditional" higher education experience.