SANS HBCU+ Cyber Academy

The SANS HBCU+ Cyber Academy was founded to provide talented Black American scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) with free access to industry-leading cybersecurity training and certifications. Through this program, SANS hopes to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cybersecurity workforce of today and the future.

The Application Process

Interested candidates should follow the application process below. After applying, candidates must earn an invitation to progress to each stage of the process.

  • Complete a web application form.
  • Your application will be reviewed, and an online assessment sent within three days.
  • Complete the online assessment within five days. (unless otherwise specified)
  • Submit supporting documents to complete your application.
  • Complete an interview questionnaire.
Feb 1 at 12:01 am ET – Applications Open
April 14 at 11:59pm ET - Applications Close
May 15 - Training Begins
February 9, 2024 – Program Completion

Eligibility Requirements

  • Black American scholars enrolled as junior, senior, or graduate students at an HBCU, PBI, MSI, or are an alumnus of one of the previous types of institutions who wants to transition into cyber security.
  •  Top-performing candidates from the Cyber FastTrack may be considered for the program.
  • Not currently employed in cybersecurity or have not been employed more than 1 year in the field
  • Passionate about Information Security/Cybersecurity and wants to pursue a career in the field
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident (Green Card holder) with work authorization and currently residing in the U.S.


Our cybersecurity courses are written and taught by the top experts in the field and focus on hands-on practical skills you will use in your new career. The GIAC certifications you’ll earn are ranked among the most valued certifications by cybersecurity professionals when selecting job candidates for interviews.

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

Time Commitment

The Academy is a fast-track, intensive program. All courses are taken online via SANS OnDemand and are self-paced. Students are required to complete each course and certification in twelve weeks. Students are expected to complete all coursework and certifications in eight to ten months, with around 10 hours of study per week. On average, it takes most SANS students 120 hours to prepare for one GIAC certification attempt.

"This experience has taught me skills and life lessons that helped me land my first dream job as a Security Engineer. Thank you, SANS, and The HBCU+ Academy mentors for this wonderful experience."
Danielle Mingo
"My experience in the SANS HBCU+ Cyber Academy unlocked my hidden potential with meaningful action. The opportunity with the cohort empowered me to face and overcome challenging goals."
Lundon Livingston
"The SANS HBCU+ Academy experience has greatly impacted my career. Some of the course information I was learning just as I was being oriented into my new position."
Derek Kurt Womble
"The SANS training, I received gave me the skills to confidently apply to cyber roles. Employers respect for my certifications helped me to find a 100 percent remote, well-paying, cybersecurity position."
Adrian Davis

    What if I'm not selected?