SANS Technology Institute Designated as a Center of Academic Excellence by the NSA

BETHESDA, MD, June 20, 2022 - The SANS Technology Institute (, one of the largest cybersecurity programs in the United States and the only college focused exclusively on cybersecurity, has been designated by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) from the National Security Agency (NSA) as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) through 2027.

The designation was announced soon after the Sentinels topped the leaderboard in every category at the Spring 2022 National Cyber League competition, earning the top spots for #1 individual player, #1 team, and #1 cyber power ranking.

“The CAE-CD designation is a testament to the quality of our cybersecurity faculty and programs,” said SANS Technology Institute president Ed Skoudis. “Our graduates are helping to meet the urgent cybersecurity needs of the U.S. government, industry, academia, and research, and we are proud to be part of a select group of cyber programs to have received this important designation.”

“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure,” Karen Leuschner, the National CAE Program Manager for the NSA, wrote in a letter informing of its designation. “The National Cyber Strategy, September 2018, addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.”

About National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Program

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by NSA’s National Cryptologic School. Federal partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).

NCAE-C program aims to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that:

  • Establishes standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence
  • Includes competency development among students and faculty
  • Values community outreach and leadership in professional development
  • Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines
  • Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education

Academic institutions may choose from three designations. The Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) designation received by the SANS Technology Institute is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions offering cybersecurity degrees and/or certificates at the associate, bachelor’s and graduate levels.

The designation process is a combination of elements related to the institution focused on outputs for determining academic achievement. This combination assures that the institution meets the desired characteristics of a CAE institution, and that the academic delivery to students is producing the qualified workforce needed by the nation.

About the SANS Technology Institute

The SANS Technology Institute (, America’s premier college for cybersecurity, offers career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by:

  • A world-class faculty of highly skilled information security practitioners
  • Hands-on cybersecurity courses that are continually updated for real-world relevance
  • Industry-recognized GIAC certifications earned in each of its programs
  • Innovative online and in-person course delivery options, including 100% online options for all programs
  • The proven success of its alumni master’s degree students conduct leading-edge cybersecurity research that enhances the state of the art in the practice of information security. The college is also home to the Internet Storm Center, the world’s leading global cyber threat detection network, where students in the bachelor’s degree program gain hands-on experience as Apprentice Handlers.

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. Learn more at