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.

Application Requirements and Process

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

  • Have at least 12 months of professional work experience in information technology, information security, or audit.
  • Be employed or have current access to an organizational environment that allows you to apply the concepts and hands-on technical skills learned during the master's program.
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree from a recognized accredited college or university, or the international equivalent), with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8.
  • Applicants who have attended SANS training events in the past and/or hold current GIAC certifications or select industry-recognized certifications should review the Guide to Waivers.
All applicants must submit the following:

All application materials, with the exception of the application fee and official transcripts, will be submitted electronically. All applicants must submit the following:

A. Application Form

  • To log into the graduate application portal, you must create a SANS account at If you already have an account, please log into the graduate application using your SANS credentials.
  • The application can be found online at and you will be directed through each step. The application will not be reviewed for admission until all supporting documents arrive.

B. Current Resume

  • Please submit a current resume that highlights your related work experience in information security.

C. Have your official undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) transcript(s) sent to us.

Please have your college/university submit official transcripts directly to:

SANS Technology Institute
Attn: Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 124575
San Diego, CA 92112

(If submitting a transcript using FedEx or UPS, please contact to request the alternate mailing address)

For prospective students applying from outside of the United States: When presenting a non-US transcript for admissions, candidates must first have their transcripts evaluated by World Education Services before completing their application package.

D. Application Fee

  • Applicants must submit the non-refundable application fee of $35 online before an application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. You can submit your application fee online through our payment suite

E. Writing Sample (Cybersecurity Engineering (Core) program only)

  • If you seek to 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.

Requirements for International Students

  1. Transcripts
    Students who completed their undergraduate degrees outside of the United States must submit transcripts for evaluation to World Education Services (WES) before completing their application package.
  2. Non-native English Speakers
    • Admission to the master's degree programs at the SANS Technology Institute requires that applicants are not merely proficient, but fluent, in standard written and spoken English. Certain courses include long-form research papers -- written and graded in English -- and public, oral presentations at SANS conferences where the effective communication of often subtle technical and non-technical topics is critical to success. Generally, because we are not equipped to accommodate papers or presentations that are written in a foreign language, we typically dissuade non-native speakers from applying when they are notably shy of fluency. We wish that we were able to offer our programs in different languages, but our faculty is made up of primarily native English speakers, which precludes us from working with students who may in all other respects be a good match.
    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for applicants whose native language is not English. We require a minimum score requirement of 100 (Internet-based test) over-all with each of the sub-categories (Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing) preferred to be at a minimum of 25 each. The test scores must be sent to us directly by the testing agency.
    • IELTS can be used as a substitute for TOEFL. We require a minimum score requirement of 7.5 over-all with each of the sub-categories in IELTS preferred to be at a minimum of 7.5 each. IELTS scores must be sent to us directly by the testing agency.

Application Review and Admissions

The Admissions Committee will only begin evaluation of an application upon final receipt of all necessary components. Once an application is complete, the admissions committee typically takes 15 to 30 days to finalize a decision.

If the Admissions Committee votes to approve your application, you will receive a formal "Offer of Admission," and instructions to our New Student Orientation (NSO). You will have 60 days to complete NSO course requirements.

Upon matriculation, you will have 60 days to register for your first courses, and must register and pay for at least three credit hours in order to confirm your enrollment.