SANS to offer grad degrees

Information security experts will soon have a new alma mater to call home: the SANS Institute.

The organization announced this week that it will offer graduate-level degrees in Information Security Engineering and Information Security Management beginning in two months.

SANS said it is now accepting applications for the programs, which were approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission on Nov. 16.

The Bethesda, Md., organization said the Information Security Engineering degree is intended for individuals who will become security managers, technical directors or assistant chief information officers for security.

The Information Security Management degree is, the company said, best for students who aim to become chief information security officers.

While the courses will include some residential studies, such as three week-long institutes, the majority of studies will be comprised of online classes, SANS said.

The $28,000 program will not be a cakewalk, the company said in a statement posted on its website.

"These degree programs are extremely challenging. Students are expected to achieve a level of mastery far beyond what is demanded in many other security courses," the company said. "Entry into the program requires at least a 3.0 GPA from an accredited college and a strong endorsement from the employer indicating that the candidate is expected to take on the mantle of security leadership in the future. The students' research projects will involve current, real-world problems."

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