SANS Cyber Diversity Academy

SANS and Cyversity joined efforts in 2018 to increase career opportunities in the cybersecurity field for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities as well as for women. Together, we are working to solve the skills gap by growing the number of qualified cybersecurity professionals who are capable of and ready to protect vital data and infrastructure. Please contact us with any questions at immersionacademy@sans.org A United States Cyber Academy program.

2022 Academy Schedule

April 11th, 2022 – Application Window Opens
May 13th, 2022 – Application Window Closes
July 18th, 2022 - Training Begins
January 2023 – 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 within five days (unless otherwise specified). 
  • Submit supporting documents to complete your application. 
  • Participate in a phone interview.
  • 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.

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: cyberseek.org)
average starting salary of our graduates.

Eligibility Requirements

SANS Cyber Diversity 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 a US citizen or a permanent legal resident (Green card holder) 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.

Learning Path

Via our SANS OnDemand modality, students will take:

SEC401 and GSEC certification exam attempt must be completed in eight weeks. Students who successfully pass the certification exam move on to the next course.
Students also will have eight weeks to complete the SEC504 OnDemand training course and GCIH certification exam attempt. Qualified students will be invited to move on to an optional third course.
Students who choose to pursue an elective third course and certification will have eight weeks to complete the OnDemand course and successfully pass the certification attempt.
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 six months.

For questions about the SANS Cyber Immersion Academies, applications, or process please contact academies@sans.org.

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 six 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.