Course Waivers and Transfer of Credit Requests
We do waive requirements for course elements or courses within a program of study if a student shows they have attained substantially similar intended learning outcomes. See below for details on eligible waivers from previously completed SANS courses, GIAC exams, PMP or CISSP.
Transfer and waiver credit requests are coordinated through the Office of Admissions, with final decisions made by the Assistant Director of the SANS Technology Institute.
Students will be informed of all eligible waivers, transfer credit and credits earned in their New Student Orientation (NSO) appointment.
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 a 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. All waivers are granted prior to a student's matriculation. Students may not take courses outside SANS.edu for credit in their program after they matriculate.
Current GIAC Certifications
Students who have taken and passed a GIAC exam may be granted a waiver for the associated SANS Technology Institute course. For example, a graduate student who already holds the GCIH certification will place out of the 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. All waivers are granted prior to a student's matriculation. Students may not take courses outside SANS.edu for credit in their program after they matriculate.
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.
Students who hold a current CISSP® from (ISC)2, may seek a partial waiver for SEC 401. Students may choose to take and pass the GIAC GSEC exam to earn the full waiver for either:
- ISE 5101: Enterprise Information Security
- ACS 3401: Security Essentials
- BACS 3401: Security Essentials
Waiver Limit Exceptions
Participants in Government of Military Education and Training Programs
Approved programs (based on the same course instruction and exam requirements and taught by SANS Technology Institute faculty) are eligible for credit exceptions towards the master's or bachelor’s program. This exception to the 25% limit does not apply to any certificate program, only degree programs.
- Credit from approved programs may be granted a waiver for the associated SANS Technology Institute course (and the required SANS Institute class associated with that exam).
- Eligible credit and waivers are not included in the cumulative GPA.
- All certifications must be active and current to be eligible for credit.