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SANS - ICMCP: Diversity Cyber Academy (DCA)

A United States Cyber Academy Program


SANS and International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) are partnering to create the SANS - ICMCP: Diversity Cyber Academy - DCA, combining efforts to increase the career opportunities for minorities and women in the cybersecurity field. The DCA is a 100% scholarship-based, four-to-six-month accelerated, immersive cybersecurity training program providing eligible candidates with advanced technical training, industry-recognized GIAC certifications and hands-on cyber defense and incident handling skills sought by employers.

Eligibility Requirements

DCA is an all-inclusive Academy focused on women and minorities of African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian Pacific, Asian Indian or sub-Saharan African backgrounds that are jobseekers and career changers, with a high aptitude and passion for cybersecurity and 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 currently not working in the information security field or with prior work experience from the information security field.
  • Priority will be given to career changers that are not currently working in an information technology (IT) related field.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident (Green card holder) with work authorization and currently residing in the U.S.

Note: Transitioning military service members, active members of the reserves forces, US Coast Guard members, and military veterans are encouraged to apply to the VetSuccess Immersion Academy instead. Applicants must be within six months of separation or less than five years out of the service.


Diversity Cyber Academy Q1 2020

  • Applications open: September 16, 2019
  • Deadline to apply: December 2, 2019
  • Training begins: February 2, 2020
  • Graduation: August 2020


Candidates meeting the Academy requirements will take the SANS CyberTalent Enhanced Assessment test and based on the result they may be invited to submit an application. Candidates invited to submit an application may advance to the next step for a personal interview. The Admission Committee will determine which candidates are accepted and will notify them of next steps.

Students will complete up to three SANS courses (two core courses and one elective) and industry-leading certifications.

Time Commitment for Students

The DCA is a fast-track, intensive program and students are expected to complete all coursework and certifications in 6 months depending on the academy schedule. On average, it takes most SANS students 80 hours to prepare for one GIAC certification attempt.

The first course for each cohort is the SEC401: SANS Security Essential Bootcamp style which will be taken in a live classroom environment, at the location listed for each particular academy. The course will run for 6 full days and all students are required to attend. The second and third courses are taken online via SANS OnDemand and are self-paced. Students are required to complete the course and the certification in 8 weeks.

The DCA will take 6 months to complete.

Course Set Up

All students will begin their academy program by attending SEC401 onsite for 6 full days at their preferred location i.e. the academy the student applied to.

DCA students attend SEC401 onsite for 6 days and continue to study SEC401 at home while preparing for the GIAC certification exam. Students who successfully pass the certification exam move on to SEC504 via SANS OnDemand and will have 8 weeks to complete the OnDemand course and certification exam. Students who opt-in to pursue a third course and certification will have 8 weeks to complete the course via SANS OnDemand as well.

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