SANS Diversity Cyber Academy

Facing the cybersecurity challenge, SANS Diversity Cyber Academy offers cybersecurity training scholarships for minorities and women. Our accelerated pathway is free, empowering you to make an immediate impact post-certification. Experience inclusive training, and achieve cybersecurity mastery within a year.

Academy Schedule

November 1 - Application Window Opens
November 30 – Application Window Closes
February 2024 – Training Begins
October, 2024 – Program Completion
Man writing code on a computer

How the application process works

Interested candidates should follow the application process below.

  • Complete a web application form. 
  • Your application will be reviewed, and an online assessment sent within three days. 
  • Complete the online assessment before application close
  • Submit supporting documents to complete your application. 
  • Complete an interview questionnaire.
  • All candidates receive notification of acceptance or denial, the notification timeframe is dependent on the volume of applications.
  • The application process is a competitive process. You must be invited to each of the stages listed above.
  • All applicants will lose access to the online assessment upon application close at 10 am ET on November 30.

Numbers at a Glance

Graduates land new jobs in cybersecurity with a 90% success rate within 6 months of program completion.
job openings in cybersecurity are unfilled (Source:
average starting salary of our graduates.
Woman using a laptop


SANS Diversity Cyber Academy is an all-inclusive program focused on women and minorities of Black, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Asian Pacific, Asian Indian, or sub-Saharan backgrounds, who are career changers with a high aptitude and passion for cybersecurity. 

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Seniors in college; preferably (not required) pursuing a degree in a Computer/IT-related field or technical STEM discipline

  • College graduates and career changers not working in the information security field nor with prior work experience in the information security field
  • Applicants must be US citizens or permanent legal residents (Green card holders) with work authorization and currently living in the US.
  • Note: Transitioning military service members, active members of the reserve forces, US Coast Guard members, and military veterans are encouraged to apply to the VetSuccess Academy instead. Applicants must be within six months of separation.


Via our SANS OnDemand modality, students will take:

The first course you take will be SEC275 Foundations & GFACT Certification
The second course you will take is SEC401 Security Essentials & GSEC Certification
The third and final course you will take is SEC504 Incident Handling & GCIH Certification
Application and Academy Roadmap

Step by Step Information on the Application Process

Learn more about the application process and how the academy helps launch your new cybersecurity career in less than a year.

For questions about the SANS Cyber Academy, applications, or process please contact

Time Commitment for Students

The CDA is a fast-track, intensive program, and students are expected the time required to complete the program will vary by student. Students are given two months to complete the training modules for each course and pass the corresponding GIAC Certification exam. Each student will complete two required courses before moving on to an optional third advanced course. Altogether, the full program will take students no longer than nine months to complete.

On average, it takes most SANS students 100 hours to prepare for one GIAC certification attempt.

All courses are taken online via SANS OnDemand and are self-paced. Students are required to complete each course and certification in eight weeks depending on the particular academy's schedule.

SANS Cyber Immersion Academy was the best way to accelerate my cyber career and get my foot in the door. The resources provided and personnel exceed my expectation. They were very professional and easy to work with.
Irving Rangel
Cyber Analyst - COLSA
SANS Academy allowed me to gain knowledge in a new career area I couldn't have afforded myself. Also, its (SANS Cyber Academy) receptions with employers landed me my first job in cyber security.
Amy Riley
Mid Cyber Security Engineer - Iron Vine Security
The Cyber Workforce MD program gave me added clout of having sought-after certifications that are highly respected in the industry. Also, they fulfill DoD benchmarks for highly desirable positions.
James Schultz
Cyber Engineer - CACI
I can say with absolute confidence that I couldn’t have made the career switch if I hadn’t taken SANS courses. Taking the courses provided me the knowledge necessary to land a job in cybersecurity.
Hanan Saleh
Detection and Response Analyst - Rapid7

    Employer Partners

    Meet, interview, and potentially hire academy graduates

    Non-Profit Partners

    Engage in ways ranging from funding and executing their own academy, to helping expand the impact of existing SANS programs with additional resources.