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 information technology and information security, the cyber security master's degree takes InfoSec careers to the highest levels — developing both hands-on technical skills and the ability to lead.

A 100% online option is available.

Apply by August 1 to start this fall.
Learn more.

Join Us for a Free Online Info Session

Overview of Graduate Programs
Tuesday, September 28, 11:00 am (ET)
Register here.

Cloud Security Graduate Certificate
Featuring SANS Fellow Frank Kim and SANS Instructor Ryan Nicholson
Thursday, September 30, 6:30 pm (ET)
Register here.

The SANS Technology Institute Advantage

99% of students surveyed in 2020 agreed that the program positively impacted their professional growth. Discover what's in it for you.

Career Acceleration

  • Earn 9 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 research 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."
  • "SANS courses are fully aligned to what is happening in the industry. Course materials are continuously updated based on new developments in cybersecurity. It is rigorous, challenging, and relevant."

    Karim Lalji
    Managing Security Consultant, TELUS

  • "You leave the program with a firm understanding of why the industry functions the way it does. You get a look under the hood. It's not just about how to manipulate the technology. It is also about learning the 'why.' If you want to become a leader, you need to know the 'why.'"

    Shawna Turner
    Principal Solutions Architect, Nike

  • "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
    Director of Information Security, Motorola Solutions

  • "I receive compliments from senior leadership when I present – all directly related to feedback I received from my SANS faculty research advisors. When advertises that the program changes careers, this is a concrete example – it's the best graduate program on the planet."

    Jim Horwath
    Director of Security Engineering, Guardian Life

Online or In Person

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: Our most flexible option gives you 24/7 access to online courses recorded by top cybersecurity practitioners.
  • Live Online: Live, interactive, scheduled webcast sessions enable you to save on travel and lodging expenses.

You have the option of completing the cybersecurity master's degree program 100% online.

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.

Special Focus Areas

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

  • Cloud Security
  • 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 graduate 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.

Shawna Turner

Success Stories

Shawna Turner earned a master's from while working full time at Nike.

Discover how this former theater tech transformed herself into a cybersecurity subject matter expert.

Read Shawna's story and other profiles here.

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. To learn more about why students chose our program and how the master’s degree impacted their career, read our student profiles.

Positions held by recent graduates 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) entrance exam (Part 1). View a sample academic 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 $49,500 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.

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Take the Next Step

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


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Email or call (301) 241-7665.