Master of Science in Information Security Engineering


Program Description

Join the Next Generation of Cyber Security Leaders

Designed for working professionals in cybersecurity, information technology, and audit, the Master of Science in Information Security Engineering (MSISE) is a graduate degree program at the cutting edge of cybersecurity - rapidly advancing cybersecurity careers through hands-on technical and leadership content that makes an immediate impact on the job.

“SANS Technology Institute courses are fully aligned to what is happening in the industry," said student Karim Lalji, who is Managing Security Consultant at TELUS. "Course materials are continuously updated based on new developments in cybersecurity. It is rigorous, challenging, and relevant.”

Designed for Working Professionals

The M.S. in Information Security Engineering (MSISE) program enables you to earn your degree in 3 to 5 years while continuing to work full-time, studying online and at immersive live weeklong events held throughout the United States and across the globe.

Although most coursework in the master's degree program can be completed online, there are 3 in-person requirements.

Please note that the SANS Technology Institute’s programs are non-residential. At this time, the college does not issue I-20s or support F-1 student visas.

Minimum Program Requirements

  • Have at least 12 months of professional work experience in information technology, security or audit
  • Be employed or have current access to an organizational environment that allows you to apply the concepts and hands-on technical skills learned in the master's degree program
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university, or equivalent international education, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.80


Designed and taught by some of the world's top instructor-practitioners in cybersecurity, the 36-credit Master of Science in Information Security Engineering curriculum prepares working professionals for all aspects of an upper-level cybersecurity leadership position — whether for a commercial enterprise or a government or military entity. The Master of Science in Information Security Engineering is a non-thesis program.

Earn 8 GIAC Certifications

Most courses in the master's degree curriculum culminate with exam assessments for GIAC certifications. That means you will validate your skillset in critical, specialized areas of Information Security throughout the program and emerge with a set of industry-recognized certifications as well as a master's degree.

Required Courses and Capstone | 27 credit hours

The core of the master's degree curriculum is a carefully designed sequence of hands-on technical courses, management courses, leadership experiences, and integrated research and presentation opportunities, culminating in a capstone.

  • Technical, hands-on coursework gives you skills you can use immediately on the job.
  • Simulations like NetWars deepen your understanding of new and underlying technologies.
  • Management, policy development, and communications coursework and group projects simulate the organizational leadership roles you expect to take on.
  • Writing peer-reviewed white papers for possible publication in the SANS Reading Room and consideration for industry journals develops your credentials as a subject-matter expert.
  • Opportunities to present your research at SANS events help you build your professional reputation and network.

Elective Courses and Special Focus Areas | 9 credit hours

Students in the master's degree program select three technical electives and have the option of pursuing one of these five Special Focus Areas.

  • Cyber Defense Operations
  • Incident Response
  • Industrial Control Systems
  • Penetration Testing
  • Security Management

“You leave the program with a firm understanding of why the industry functions the way it does," said student Shawna Turner, Principal Solutions Architect at Nike. “You get a look under the hood. It’s not just about how to manipulate the technology. It is also about learning the ‘why.’ If you want to become a leader, you need to know the ‘why.’”

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

The SANS Technology Institute prepares the next generation of cybersecurity professionals for what they will face in the field. Our programs are distinguished by our world-class faculty; our emphasis ... Read More

The SANS Technology Institute prepares the next generation of cybersecurity professionals for what they will face in the field. Our programs are distinguished by our world-class faculty; our emphasis on hands-on learning in SANS courses that are continually updated for real-world relevance, most of which lead to industry-recognized GIAC certifications; our innovative in-person and online course delivery options; and the proven success of our alumni. Cybersecurity is all we teach and nobody does it better. Read less