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Graduate Certificate Programs: Cybersecurity Engineering (Core)

Designed for working IT and information security professionals who want to develop a technical base in cybersecurity skills, the Cybersecurity Engineering (Core) graduate certificate program features the 3 foundational courses — or the “Core” — of the master's degree curriculum and an elective course where you can begin developing advanced skills in a specific area of information security.

You’ll emerge with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to pursue our master's degree program or our more technical, job-specific graduate certificate programs.

Format Option: A 100% online option is available
Courses: 4
Capstone: 1
GIAC Certifications: 4
Credits: 13
Duration: 18-24 months
Total Program Cost: $24,700 USD


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Strengthen Your Technical Knowledge and Skills

Gain practical skills you can immediately apply at your job or in a new infosec role.

  • Learn the latest cybersecurity tactics to protect your organization
  • Keep your skills current for career growth and advancement
  • Earn professional GIAC certifications as you complete the program
  • Train on your schedule, to balance work and school
  • Get personalized support from a student advisor 

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED MONTHLY

The SANS.edu Advantage

Because cyber threats are constantly changing, our courses are continually updated for real-world relevance. But that's just the beginning.
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GIAC Certifications

Earn 4 industry-recognized GIAC cybersecurity certifications.

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100% Online Option Available

You have the option of completing the program through live or rewindable online courses.

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World-class Faculty

Learn the latest skills and techniques from the world's top cybersecurity practitioners.

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Pathway to a Master’s Degree

All credits earned in this program can transfer into our master’s degree program.

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SANS.edu Academic Pricing

Get SANS.edu academic pricing on SANS courses and GIAC certifications.

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Powerful Network

Make connections with some of the most talented students and teachers in the industry.

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Join an Online Info Session for Graduate Cybersecurity Programs

  • Explore our 9 highly technical, job-specific graduate certificate programs for working professionals. Tue, July 23 at 1 pm (ET). Register here.
  • Learn more about our cybersecurity master's degree and graduate certificate programs for working professionals. Have questions? We'll answer them. Thu, August 8, 12 pm (ET). Register here.
  • Get tips on crafting a strong application to our cybersecurity master’s degree program and information on the next steps in the admissions process. Tue, Aug 20, 12 pm (ET). Register here.
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SANS.edu Named One of the Top 10 Innovators in Cybersecurity Education 

The SANS Technology Institute has been recognized as a global leader in cybersecurity education by Help Net Security, joining the ranks of top institutions like Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Oxford.

“Beginning with the ‘Core’ graduate certificate program was the perfect on-ramp for me to study seriously with SANS.” - Tim Ashford, Security Governance Lead, Bridgewater Associates

Learn How To:

  • Use a broad range of current tools and technologies in the design and implementation of security solutions deployed across organizations.
  • Analyze network traffic to extract the observable characteristics of networks and network devices, thus providing a basis for defensive strategies.
  • Assemble tools and configure systems and networks to permit systems to foster resiliency and continuity of operations through attacks.
  • Understand important attacker techniques, engage in penetration testing within your organization, and respond to incidents associated with these activities within your organization.

Curriculum | 13 Credit Hours

In this hands-on program, you’ll complete 3 foundational courses — or the “Core” — of the master’s degree curriculum and choose an elective course to begin developing advanced skills in a specific area of information security. This is the curriculum order for this program.

Survey Courses | 3 credit hours

Students select one of the following:

  • SANS Course: SEC401: Security Essentials - Network, Endpoint, and Cloud
    Certification: GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

    3 Credit Hours

    ISE 5101 is the introductory, technically-oriented survey course in the information security engineering master's program. It establishes the foundations for designing, building, maintaining and assessing security functions at the end-user, network and enterprise levels of an organization. The faculty instruction, readings, lab exercises, and exam are coordinated to introduce and develop the core technical, management, and enterprise-level capabilities that will be developed throughout the information security engineering master's program.

  • SANS Course: SEC501: Advanced Security Essentials - Enterprise Defender
    Certification: GIAC Certified Enterprise Defender (GCED)

    3 Credit Hours

    ISE 6215 reinforces the theme that prevention is ideal, but detection is a must. Students will learn how to ensure that their organizations constantly improve their security posture to prevent as many attacks as possible. A key focus is on data protection, securing critical information no matter whether it resides on a server, in robust network architectures, or on a portable device.

    Despite an organization's best effort at preventing attacks and protecting its critical data, some attacks will still be successful. Therefore students will also learn how to detect attacks in a timely fashion through an in-depth understanding the traffic that flows on networks, scanning for indications of an attack. The course also includes instruction on performing penetration testing, vulnerability analysis, and forensics.

Core Courses | 7 credit hours


  • SANS Course: SEC504: Hacker Tools, Techniques, and Incident Handling
    Certification: GIAC Certified Incident Handler Certification (GCIH)

    3 Credit Hours

    By adopting the viewpoint of a hacker, ISE 5201 provides an in-depth focus into the critical activity of incident handling. Students are taught how to manage intrusions by first looking at the techniques used by attackers to exploit a system. Students learn responses to those techniques, which can be adopted within the framework of the incident handling process to handle attacks in an organized way. The faculty instruction, lab exercises, and exam are coordinated to develop and test a student's ability to utilize the core capabilities required for incident handling.

  • SANS Course: SEC503: Network Monitoring and Threat Detection In-Depth
    Certification: GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst Certification (GCIA)

    3 Credit Hours

    ISE 5401 delivers the technical knowledge, insight, and hands-on training you need to defend your network with confidence. You will learn about the underlying theory of TCP/IP and the most used application protocols, such as DNS and HTTP, so that you can intelligently examine network traffic for signs of an intrusion. You will get plenty of practice learning to master different open source tools like tcpdump, Wireshark, Snort, Bro, tshark, and SiLK. Daily hands-on exercises suitable for all experience levels reinforce the course book material so that you can transfer knowledge to execution.

  • 1 Credit Hour

    The Core Comprehensive Exam tests your mastery of the core technical skills required by top security consultants and individual practitioners. Through a series of exercises, you’ll demonstrate your ability to integrate the knowledge, skills, and techniques acquired in ISE 5101, ISE 5201, and ISE 5401 to address common challenges faced by technical leaders in the cybersecurity field.

Elective Course | 3 credit hours

  • 3 Credit Hours

    You can choose any 3-credit hour technical course from an approved list of elective courses.

Study with the best faculty in cybersecurity

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Take Your Next Step

Need more information? We’re happy to answer your questions. Join us for an info session, email info@sans.edu or call 301.241.7665.

Ready to apply? We look forward to learning about you and your career goals.

“Earning a graduate certificate from SANS is what really accelerated my career. The technical skills I learned in the program have given me the confidence to successfully lead my team and prepare them for new challenges.” - David Cox, Manager, Cyber Threat Management, EY

“After I passed my GCIH certification exam, I got a job offer for twice my current salary. I’m happy where I am, but it’s great to see recruiters going after GIAC certified professionals.” - Agnel D’Silva, IT Administrator, City of Danville, IL

Christopher Haller

SANS.edu Graduate Certificate Student Wins National Cyber League Championship

Christopher Haller beat out more than 6,000 competitors to earn the #1 individual player ranking in the Spring 2022 National Cyber League competition. See why he chose to pursue a graduate certificate at SANS.edu — and learn about his career path from the US Navy to his current role as Director of Professional Services at Centripetal Networks.

Course Delivery Options

Your mind has no borders. Why should your college? Our online and in-person course options are designed to fit your life and how you like to learn.

“You get a lot of personal attention to get through the program because of the student advisors. They are the foundation of the SANS.edu experience.” - Christopher Hurless, Systems Engineer, Northwestern University in Qatar

Join us for a free online info session to learn more.

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This Program is DoD 8140 Approved

If you're a Department of Defense (DoD) employee or contractor who wants to earn a career-focused cybersecurity degree or certificate, our DoD 8140 approved college programs can open new doors of opportunity.

US Department of Defense 8140 Cyber Workforce Qualification Program
DoD 8140 establishes baseline standards for qualifications that directly support operational needs and workforce readiness. All DoD personnel assigned to positions requiring the performance of cyberspace work are affected by DoD 8140.

  • Service members
  • DoD civilian employees (including non-appropriated fund employees)
  • Contractors
  • Foreign nationals
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Tuition

Total program cost: $24,700 USD

Tuition includes the cost of the course, textbooks, and certification tests that serve as mid-term or final exams for courses.

Get the Credit You Deserve
Students who have taken SANS training classes and have active GIAC certifications may be able to waive one course and GIAC certification into the program. See our waiver policy.



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Fund Your SANS.edu Program in Monthly Installments with No Interest

For students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents — and don’t use employer education benefits or veterans’ education benefits to fund their SANS.edu program — we offer a Tuition Payment Program (TPP) that enables eligible you to spread out the cost of your program in monthly installments with no interest.

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Finance your education, build new skills, and add value for your company — using your employer-sponsored education benefits.

If you want to get the best education in cybersecurity while you work, and your organization offers education benefits, let them help you take your next step. SANS.edu cybersecurity degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals, and your employee benefits package may help cover the cost of pursing your goals.

Questions?

We're happy to help. Email info@sans.edu or call 301.241.7665.

About the SANS Technology Institute

Founded in 2005, the SANS Technology Institute (SANS.edu) is the independent, regionally-accredited, VA-approved subsidiary of SANS, the world's largest and most trusted provider of cybersecurity training, certification, and research. Offering graduate and undergraduate programs at the cutting edge of cybersecurity, SANS.edu is strengthening the cyber workforce through a career-focused curriculum built on proven SANS courses and industry-recognized GIAC certifications.

The SANS Technology Institute is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801 - 267.284.5000), an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.