Admissions: Certificates


Graduate Certificates - Guide to Admissions


Thank you for your interest in the SANS Technology Institute's post-baccalaureate certificate programs. This page leads you through the required steps in the process, and is substantially the same as the downloadable "Graduate Certificate Programs - Guide to Admissions" document.

Required steps in the application process

Before you complete the application materials, please confirm you meet the criteria required of all applicants:

  • You have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent).
  • You have at least 12 months of professional work experience in information technology, information security, or audit.

The following are the required steps to complete your application to enroll in a graduate certificate program of the SANS Technology Institute:

  1. Fill out the Graduate Certificate Program - Application Form in which you will note which post-baccalaureate certificate you seek. Note that you may not seek waivers for more than 25% of the credit hours associated with a graduate certificate program.
  2. Update your resume to include your current position.
  3. If you seek enroll in the Cybersecurity Engineering Core graduate certificate program, write a single-page, single-spaced, typed "Outcomes Statement" Essay describing how the certificate program will fit within your career development. We will evaluate your "Outcomes Statement" primarily to evaluate the quality of your writing, relative to the requirements in the Cybersecurity Engineering Core program for two 15-20 page research project/papers.
  4. Submit the above items to
  5. Request that your college/university submit official transcripts* directly to:
    SANS Technology Institute
    Attn: Graduate Admissions
    PO Box 124575
    San Diego, CA 92112
    Schools may also submit transcripts electronically to
  6. (Optional) If you do not have a SANS portal account, please create one at

*International Students must first have their transcripts evaluated by World Education Services.

After you submit your completed application

You will receive a notification via email when we establish that your application is complete. Typically, we will be able to inform you of your admissions status within 30 days.

If the application is approved, you will receive a formal "Offer of Admission" via email, requiring your signature and return. This "Offer of Admission" will require that you pay tuition for your first course within 90 days, unless you request and are granted a specific exception.

If your application is denied, you will receive a notification via email with a brief explanation for the denial. Denials to the graduate certificate programs are typically the result of the evaluation of an applicant's written essay, but are also sometimes due to the submission of insufficient prior academic or job experience.

Waivers for Previous SANS/GIAC Accomplishments

If you have passed a GIAC certification in the last three years, you will qualify for a waiver of both that exam and the associated SANS class in any given graduate certificate program. For example, if you have passed the GIAC GCIH exam in the past three years and you enroll in the Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking certificate program, you would qualify for a waiver from having to re-take both SANS SEC 504 and the GCIH exam as part of ISE 5200, but would need to complete the NetWars Continuous requirement. Thereafter, you could earn the certificate by taking the three additional graduate courses.

Because students must earn no less than 25% of the credits associated with a graduate certificate program directly from the SANS Technology Institute, the SANS Technology Institute can offer matriculated students a waiver for no more than one certification exam. Unfortunately, even if a student had previously taken the incorporated SANS classes and GIAC certifications in the past, we cannot grant you the graduate certificate from the SANS Technology Institute, and graduate certificates cannot be award retroactively.