DoD Cyber Scholarship Program

Available Degree Programs / Paths and Academic Start Dates

For the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program for retention scholarship candidates, the following list of degree programs/paths are the only options through the DoD CySP.  The DoD CySP does not offer scholarships to attend a school of choice or to pay for degree programs currently in progress. The DoD CySP will not pay for “like” degrees.  Individuals who already hold a degree Cyber, Information Technology, Information Assurance, Computer Science, or any other related technical field may apply but need to apply for the next level higher.  Example:  An applicant currently has a Master’s in Computer Science they would be eligible to apply for a PhD/Doctorate but not another Master’s Program.  Additional information on the programs listed below can be found in follow-on sections of this document.

  • PhD:
    • Air Force Institute of Technology: (Full-time / In-Resident ONLY) (August 2024 or January 2025)
      • PhD in Computer Science
      • PhD in Electrical Engineering
      • PhD in Computer Engineering
  • Master’s:
    • Air Force Institute of Technology: (Full-time / In-Residence ONLY) (August 2024 or January 2025)
      • Master of Science in Cyber Operations
      • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
      • Master of Science in Computer Engineering
      • Master of Science in Computer Science
      • Master of Science in System Engineering (Cyber Systems)
  • National Defense University and Partner University Program — Leadership Development Programs (Partner Programs)
    • National Defense University (Full-time / In-Residence) (August 2024 or January 2025)
      • Cyber Leadership Development Program (Cyber LDP)
      • Chief Information Officer Leadership Development Program (CIO LDP)
  • Associate’s:
    • Eastern New Mexico University — Ruidoso Branch (Full-time / Part-time & In-Residence / Distance Learning) (August 2024 or January 2025)

      • Associate of Science — Information System Cybersecurity
    • Anne Arundel Community College (Distance Learning) (August 2024 or January 2025)
      • Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Associates degree
    • Rowan College at Burlington County (Distance Learning) (August 2024 or January 2025)
      • Associates of Applied Science in Cybersecurity
  • Other Programs:
      • Joint Cyber Analysis Course (JCAC) Partner Program (Active-Duty Military ONLY) (August or September 2024)
        • Utilizing pre-established NSA agreements graduates of the JCAC program may transfer credits into an undergraduate or graduate program.
        • JCAC is housed at the Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida.
        • DoD CySP Program Office cannot assist interested military service members with acceptance to the JCAC Program.

Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT)

AFIT offers Masters of Science (MS) degrees with majors in Cyber Operations, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science.  The Cyber Operations major provides an in-depth study of defensive and offensive theory, tools, and techniques associated with protection and exploitation of information-based systems.  The other majors stated above allow for specialization in information assurance (IA) through a subset of courses from the Cyber Operations degree program.  More information about these majors can be found at https://www.afit.edu/ENG/programs.cfm.  Doctoral degree opportunities in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science are also available.

AFIT also offers an MS degree in Systems Engineering with a domain specialization in Cyber Systems which provides students with the prerequisite capabilities necessary to efficiently design, analyze, deploy, protect, and exploit cyber systems (e.g., the combination of people, processes, and technology).  Focus areas include database development, cyber security, network defense, data analytics, and risk management.

All students are expected to start August 2024 or January 2025 due to course sequencing.  Other start dates are possible, but are handled on a case-by-case basis and would require a waiver.

MS in Cyber Operations, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Systems Engineering (Cyber Systems):

  • Full-time, in-residence only.  MS students must complete thesis research and a written thesis.
  • Requires 18 months for completion; an individual student’s program may need to begin earlier (June) if prerequisite knowledge is needed.

PhD in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Engineering:

  • Full-time, in-residence only. PhD students must complete a doctoral dissertation.
  • Requires three years to complete; an individual student’s program may be extended if prerequisite knowledge is needed.

AFIT Requirements. Listed below are the minimum eligibility requirements for participation in the CySP through AFIT.  These requirements will not be waived.

  • Civilian and military applicants may be of any grade.
  • Applicants pursuing an MS degree must have an appropriate bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.  Applicants pursuing a PhD must have an appropriate master’s degree and a 3.5 GPA.
  • Required GRE scores:
  • MS degree applicants: at or above 153 verbal/148 quantitative (for tests taken on or after August 1, 2011) or at or above 500 verbal/600 quantitative (for tests taken prior to August 1, 2011).
  • PhD applicants: at or above 156 verbal/151 quantitative (for tests taken on or after August 1, 2011) or 550 verbal/650 quantitative (for tests taken prior to August 1, 2011).

Questions concerning AFIT programs should be addressed to Dr. Barry Mullins at (937) 255-3636, ext. 7979; DSN 785-3636, ext. 7979, or via email at barry.mullins@afit.edu.  Alternate contact is Dr. Scott Graham at (937) 255-3636, ext. 4581; DSN 785-3636 ext. 4581, or via email at scott.graham@afit.edu.

Joint Cyber Analytics Course (JCAC)

The Joint Cyber Analysis Course (JCAC) is an intensive 126-day (26 week) Course of Instruction (COI) designed to prepare service members for the Cyberspace Mission.  The course covers a wide variety of topics from basic computer fundamentals to advanced cyber operations (CO) topics.  JCAC utilizes virtualized systems and networks to provide students with a hands-on experience that closely mimics CO scenarios that would occur in the mission.  JCAC graduates support Cyber Mission Force work roles

Uniformed military members who will graduate from JCAC or who have graduated in the past 4 years may apply to the DoD CySP and transfer JCAC credits to one of the following partner programs.

Capitol Technology UniversityPOC:  Dr. William Butler, whbutler@captechu.edu

  • BS – Cyber and Information Security
  • BS – Cyber Analytics
  • BS – Management of Cyber and Information Technology
  • MS – Cyber and Information Technology
  • MS – Cyber Analytics
  • DS – Cybersecurity

Dakota State UniversityPOC:  Dr. Josh Pauli, josh.pauli@dsu.edu

  • BS – Cyber Operations
  • MS – Applied Computer Science with Specialization in Cyber Operations

University of Maryland Global CampusPOC:  Dr. Loyce Pailen, loyce.pailen@umgc.edu

  • BS – Cybersecurity
  • BS – Computer Science
  • MS – Cybersecurity Technology

University of Texas at San AntonioPOC:  Prof. Glenn Dietrich, Glenn.Dietrich@utsa.edu

  • BBA – Cybersecurity
  • BS – Computer Science – concentration in computer security
  • BS – Computer Science – concentration in cyber operations
  • MS – IT concentration in Cybersecurity
  • MS – Management of Technology
  • PhD – Cyber Security (resident only)

University of West FloridaPOC:  Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, eelsheikh@uwf.edu

  • BS – Computing and Information Science – concentration in Cybersecurity

The DoD CySP is utilizing a partnership program between specific National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-Cs) and the JCAC program.  The DoD CySP cannot assist interested military service members with acceptance to the JCAC program.  Additional NCAE-Cs may be added in the future.

CySP Community College Program

The Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 115-91) required the DoD to establish a community college scholarship program within the CySP.  Permanent DoD civilian and uniformed employees seeking to enhance their cyber skills and knowledge may pursue an Associate degree at a community college or college/university offering 2-year degrees designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security (NCAE-C).

The following NCAE-C community colleges have elected to participate in this year’s DoD CySP retention program:

Eastern New Mexico University, Ruidoso Campus; Associate of Applied Science – Information Systems Cybersecurity

Anne Arundel Community College, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Associates degree

Rowan College at Burlington County, Associates of Applied Science in Cybersecurity

While it is possible that an applicant may be geographically co-located with a participating institution, it is more likely that academic studies will be completed via distance learning.

Students participating in this program will have up to four years to complete an Associate degree.  Ideal candidates will have earned previous academic credits that can be applied toward completing their degree.  Most programs offer experienced-based credits.  In addition, schools may offer credit for specific technical training received.  An excellent resource is the Military Occupational Specialty Crosswalk maintained by CyberWatch West: http://cyberwatchwest.org/index.php/faculty-141/mos-pathways.

All applicants are encouraged to discuss their specific interests and qualifications with the NCAE-C to determine the best fit for their academic needs.

The DoD CySP Program Office can assist the applicant with identifying an institution’s point of contact.

Any questions? Email AskCySP@nsa.gov