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Women's Academy

A United States Cyber Academy program

To help fill the skills gap, the SANS Institute created the SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy, an intensive, accelerated training program that provides SANS world class training and GIAC certifications to quickly and effectively launch careers in cybersecurity. SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academies are 100% scholarship-based and no cost to participants.

  • Location: Various
  • Admissions: All interested applicants meeting the eligibility requirements must request the CTE assessment no later than Wednesday, August 17, 2018.
  • Class Begins: October 2018
  • Graduation: April 2019

All applicants must also meet the following requirements:

  • Senior in college; preferably pursuing a degree in a Computer/IT-related field or technical STEM discipline.
  • College graduate and career changers currently not working in the information security field or with prior work experience from the information security field.
  • Must be a U.S. citizens or a permanent legal resident (Green card holder) currently residing in the U.S.
  • Graduates currently pursuing or having achieved a Master's or PhD in information security are not eligible to apply.
  • Agree to program requirements and restrictions described in the Academy/Participant MOU.

If you meet the requirements, please follow the steps below to apply for admission.

Interested candidates will follow the application process below:

  • Candidate completes a web application form
  • The application will be reviewed and an assessment test sent within three days.
  • Candidates must complete the assessment test within five days, unless otherwise specified
  • Test results are reviewed once a week and candidates will receive an invitation to submit supporting documents including a resume and formal transcripts to complete their application
  • Qualified candidates will be invited to a phone interview
  • Following the interview, and if the Admissions Committee approves your application, you will receive a formal "Offer of Admission" no later than September 4th, 2018.
  • Applicants accepted into the program commits to the program scheduled, its targeted dates for course completion as outlined on the website under the program section, and the verbiage in the MOU.
  • All candidates will be informed of their application status within four weeks of the application deadline

Click here for a list of Current Immersion Academies and the admission requirements.

How the Program Works

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 of next steps.

Students will complete up to three SANS courses and industry-leading certifications.

Time Commitment for Students

The Academy is a fast-track, intensive program and students are expected to complete all coursework and certifications in four to six 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 six 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 5 to 8 weeks depending on the particular academy's schedule.

The Women's Academy generally takes six months to complete. Most academies start with six days of onsite training.

Course Set Up

Students will begin their academy program by attending SEC401 live for six full days unless otherwise indicated or approved by SANS.

Women's Academy students continue to study SEC401 at home for an additional seven weeks after the six days onsite, preparing for the GIAC certification exam. Students who successfully passes the certification exam move on to SEC504 via SANS OnDemand and have eight weeks to complete the course and certification exam. Students who opt-in to pursue a third course and certification will have eight weeks to complete the course via SANS OnDemand as well.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are excited about this program and meet the basic requirements above, we invite you to review our Current Academies page to see which Academies are of interest. Please review the qualifications for each Academy as there may be different or advanced requirements for each.

If you have questions, please contact us at