Admissions: Course Waivers


The SANS Technology Institute does not accept transfers of credit for coursework completed at other regionally accredited higher education institutions, except for our bachelor’s degree programs as outlined on the bachelor’s degree admissions page. The SANS Technology Institute does waive requirements for course elements or courses within its program of studies as a reflection of a student's previous attainment of substantially similar intended learning outcomes. Transfer credit requests are coordinated through the Office of Admissions, with final decisions made by the Assistant Director of the SANS Technology Institute.

Policy Regarding Course Waivers or Waived Course Requirements

Waivers may be granted for up to, but not more than, one-quarter of the total number of credit hours required by the program (the "25% limit"), and are subject to the requirements and fees as described below:

  • If prior work represents only part of the credits and requirements of a course, the incoming student will need to complete the remaining course requirements to receive full credit and a course grade.
  • All waivers are granted prior to a student's matriculation.
  • Course waivers receive no credit hours or grades awarded. Waivers are not figured into the calculation of a student's cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • All certifications must be active and current to receive waived or earned credit.
Previous SANS Institute Classes

SANS Institute training classes completed prior to matriculation can be granted a waiver subject to the requirement that the student completes any remaining SANS Technology Institute course requirements, such as the associated GIAC exam.

Current GIAC Certifications

Students who have taken and passed a GIAC exam may be granted a waiver for the associated graduate course. For example, a student who already holds the GCIH certification will place out of the graduate course, ISE 5201, which requires the GIAC GCIH as the course assessment.

All GIAC exams must be current and active in order to be granted waiver credit. GIAC renewal policies can be found online.

PMP® Certification

Students who hold a current PMP® from the Project Management Institute will be granted a waiver for the graduate course, ISE 5800: IT Security Project Management.

CISSP® Certification

Students who hold a current CISSP® from (ISC)2, may seek a partial waiver for ISE 5101: Enterprise Information Security. Students may elect to forgo taking the SANS Institute class, SEC 401, but must still pass the GIAC GSEC exam.

Transfer of Credit

Approved programs based on the same course instruction and exam requirements, that are taught by SANS Technology Institute faculty, are eligible for credit towards the master's programs. This is considered a transfer of credit, not a waiver of credit.

Participants in Government or Military Educational and Training Programs
  • Transfer credit from approved programs may be granted from a requirement to take a particular GIAC exam (and the required SANS Institute class associated with that exam).
  • Transfer credit receives earned credit, but is not included in the cumulative GPA.
  • All eligible coursework can be applied to the master's degree program or bachelor's degree program. This exception to the 25% limit does not extend to certificate programs.
  • Students can combine transfer credit and waiver credit. Waiver credit cannot exceed the 25% limit.