How It Works
The SANS Technology Institute has no fixed semesters or academic terms. We admit students throughout the year to provide maximum flexibility.
- Apply by the 15th of any month for a graduate certificate program or by Feb 1, May 1, Aug 1 or Nov 1 for the master’s degree program
- Receive a decision 30 days later
- Start courses within a month of admission
Ready to apply? Here’s how.Follow these steps to apply to a graduate program at SANS.edu.
Make sure you meet the minimum program requirements.
- Have at least 12 months of professional work experience in information security or information technology
- Be employed or have current access to an organizational environment that allows you to apply the concepts and hands-on technical skills learned in our graduate programs.
- If you are currently unemployed or not employed in the field, we may be able to consider waiving this requirement on a case-by-case basis. Please send the admissions team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss your situation with you
- Have earned a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university, or equivalent international education, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.80
Complete your application form.
You can find the application form online at application.sans.edu/apply.
- If you don’t have a SANS account, follow the instructions to create one to access the application. Keep track of your password for future use of the SANS portal.
- Your application will be reviewed for admission after all supporting documents described below are submitted.
Have your school(s) send us official transcripts.
Submit official transcripts for all schools where a degree was conferred. To ensure you can meet your intended application deadline, we strongly recommend you start this process immediately.
All transcript submissions must be official, which means they must be sent directly from your prior school(s) to SANS.edu with no student contact involved.
Request to have your official transcripts emailed directly to email@example.com.
If electronic delivery is not an option, please mail official, sealed copies to:
SANS Technology Institute
2093 Philadelphia Pike #4606
Claymont, DE 19703
IMPORTANT: If transcripts will be submitted from a college or university outside of the United States, please first review the requirements for international students.
Upload your application materials.
For applicants to all graduate programs, upload your resume.
Upload your resume online at application.sans.edu/apply. Highlight your current experience and showcase your career history. Provide details on your responsibilities in your current role and previous roles to help understand your experience in information technology/information security. Make sure to include all industry certifications and your educational background.
If you are applying to the master's degree program, you must also do the following:
Ask for a letter of recommendation.
- An employer recommendation is required to provide a candid viewpoint of an applicant’s personal characteristics, performance and experience, strengths, capabilities, and professional promise. The optimal recommendation is written by someone who has supervised your work, served as a mentor, or worked closely with you, and has been in a position to observe your performance. Through the application portal, you'll submit an electronic request and your recommender will receive an email with a form to complete.
Write your Goals and Outcomes Statement.
- Applicants to the master’s programs are required to submit one short essay. This essay will enable us to evaluate the match between your goals and skills and the type of graduate we seek to develop: a person who wants to design and implement security defenses in their organization, and has the technical proficiency, along with the team management, communication and persuasion skills, to be effective. More details can be found in the application overview PDF.
Submit your video presentation.
- The video presentation requirement is designed to give the admissions committee insight into the applicant’s oral presentation skills, especially the applicant’s ability to communicate powerfully and convincingly. Please prepare and record a 3- to 5-minute video on one of the following prompts: Option One: What is something that you do well? Tell us about a skillset you possess (technical or nontechnical). Create a video that is somewhat educational. This can be a tutorial or a how-to video. Option Two: Summarize and expand upon (without reading) your Goals and Outcomes Statement. More details can be found in the application overview PDF.
Take our aptitude assessment.
All applicants to the SANS Technology Institute are required to complete a 2-hour online assessment which covers areas such as networking and operating systems, and measures general information security aptitude.
You can find a link to complete the aptitude assessment in the application portal after you submit your application form.
PRO TIP: We recommend taking the assessment when you have the full 2 hours to devote to it without being interrupted, since you will have only 1 attempt.
IMPORTANT: If you have previously completed an aptitude assessment with SANS as part of a prior application to SANS.edu or to a SANS Immersion Academy, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit your application fee.
Pay the non-refundable application fee of $35 for graduate certificate programs and $100 for the master’s degree program through our payment suite.
NOTE: To access the payment suite, you will need to log on with the SANS password you used to start your application.
SANS.edu accepts students throughout the year to provide maximum flexibility. You’ll receive an admissions decision a month after you apply. You can start your graduate program a month after being admitted.
Master’s Degree: February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1
Graduate Certificate Programs: The 15th of any month
Join Us for an Online Info Session
- Discover the Graduate Certificate program in Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking at a special info session featuring current student Eric Pursley, a Cyber Warfare Operator for the Air National Guard. Tue, Sept 27 at 3 pm (ET). Register here.
- Get insider tips on Crafting a Strong Master’s Degree Application on Tue, Oct 4 at 2 pm (ET), then apply by Nov 1 to start in Jan or Feb 2023. Register here.
- Learn more about the SANS.edu cyber security graduate programs. Have questions? We’ll answer them. Sat, Oct 8 at 1 pm (ET). Register here.
Next Steps for Admitted Students
If you are admitted, you will receive a formal Offer of Admission and be asked to confirm your enrollment in the SANS Technology Institute.
New Student Orientation
We'll provide instructions for attending the mandatory New Student Orientation (NSO), where you’ll be introduced to our programs, resources and communications tools. You’ll also meet your student advisor, who will discuss your goals and give you personalized support throughout your studies at SANS.edu.
You'll need to complete New Student Orientation before you can register for your first course.