Applying for a DoD Cyber Scholarship
The DoD Cyber Scholarship Program promotes the education, recruitment, and retention of rising second-year NCAE-C community college, junior and senior undergraduate, and graduate/doctoral students in cybersecurity studies. Read on to learn how to apply for a DoD cyber scholarship.
Only students at designated National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (Cyber Defense, Research, and Operations), hereinafter referred to as NCAE-Cs may apply for a DoD cyber scholarship.
Is your school and NCAE-C school? Review the list of schools here.
Note: Students must attend classes full-time. Allowances can be made to current Scholars nearing the end of their degree program to be part-time.
Online programs are allowed
Each NCAE-C school has designated a campus liaison, point of contact, or Principal Investigator (PI), for CySP management and administration. The above linked website provides a list of the current NCAE-C schools. You are responsible for identifying the appropriate PI for the DoD CySP on your campus.
Additional Information to Apply for a DoD Cyber Scholarship
- Students selected for the program will receive full scholarships.
- Students selected as DoD CySP Scholars will receive the full cost of tuition, books (from the institution/degree specific required book list, not books which are optional for the class), required fees (including institutionally provided health care), a one-time laptop/computer purchase, travel support to attend a cyber-related conference, and a stipend to cover room and board.
- The stipend levels are $22,000 for community college students, $27,000 for undergraduate students and $32,000 for graduate (Master’s/PhD) students.
- Awards will be made via grant to the NCAE-C school.
- Disabled students may receive additional allowances.
- There are not allowances for dependents.
- Scholarships require the student to agree to serve one year of service to the DoD, upon graduation, for each year or partial year of scholarship received, in addition to the internship identified below.
- An opportunity also exists for scholarship payback through military service.
- Individuals choosing to enlist or accept a commission to serve on active duty in one of the Military Services shall incur a service obligation of a minimum of 4 years on active duty in that Service upon graduation.
- The Military Services may establish a service obligation longer than 4 years, depending on the occupational specialty and type of enlistment or commissioning program selected. Traditional Guardsmen and Reserve Soldiers are eligible to apply.
- The military obligation trumps the DoD CySP obligation.
- During breaks in their academic studies, DoD CySP Scholars will receive progressive, hands-on experience through internships with their selecting DoD Agency.
- In return, scholars must agree to some restrictions and obligations regarding curriculum, GPA, and pre- and post- program employment.
- If all conditions are met, DoD CySP Scholars will receive full-time conditional/permanent positions in Components of the DoD upon program completion.
What are the eligibility requirements for the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program?
To be eligible for a DoD CySP opportunity, you must meet all of the following minimum requirements:
You must be
- 18 years of age or older
- a citizen of the United States at the time of application to the DoD Cyber Scholarship program.
- (note, if family members are not U.S. Citizens, some DoD Agencies may be unable to process the applicant (student) to the security clearance level required. Every effort will be made to assign eligible students at an Agency without such restrictions.)
- enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in one of the identified NCAE-C colleges or universities, or enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) at an institution selected by a NCAE-C as a collaborative partner. Click here to see a list of NCAE-C colleges and universities.
You must have
completed (or by August 2023 will have completed)
at a minimum:
- the first year of an associate’s degree; or
- first two years of an undergraduate degree program; or
- a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree
And be eligible to:
- begin a second year of an associate’s degree (with continuation to a 4-year degree program); or
- begin either the third or fourth year of an undergraduate degree program; or
- begin the first or second year of a Master’s degree program; or
- pursue doctoral studies
What course of study
or major must you be pursuing?
You must be pursuing a course of study and/or have a declared major in one of the scientific, technical, or managerial disciplines related to cyber or with a concentration in cybersecurity. For these purposes, the scientific, technical and managerial disciplines related to computer and network security and cybersecurity are:
Cybersecurity encompasses the scientific, technical, and management disciplines required to ensure computer and network security, including the following functions:
- System/network administration and operations
- Systems security engineering
- Information assurance systems and product acquisition
- Threat and vulnerability assessment, to include risk management
- Web security
- Operations of computer emergency response teams
- Computer forensics
- Defensive information operations
- Critical information infrastructure assurance
Relevant cyber-related academic disciplines, with concentrations in cyber security, would include, but are not limited to:
- Business Management
- Business Administration
- Computer Crime Investigations
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Forensics
- Computer Information Science
- Computer Information Systems
- Computer Programming
- Computer Science
- Computer Systems Analysis
- Critical Information Infrastructure Assurance
- Cyber Defense
- Cyber Operations
- Cyber Security
- Cyber Policy
- Database Administration
- Data Management
- Data Science
- Digital and Multimedia Forensics
- Electrical Engineering
- Electronics Engineering
- Information Assurance
- Systems and Product Acquisition
- Information Security (Assurance)
- Information Systems
- Information Technology
- IT Acquisition
- IT Program/Project Management
- IT Mathematics
- IT Network Administration and Operations
- IT Network Management
- Operation of Computer Emergency Response Teams
- Software Engineering
- Systems Security Engineering
- Threat and Vulnerability Assessment, to include Risk Management
- Web Security
Any other similar disciplines as approved by the DoD Chief Information Office (DoD CIO).
Will I need a security clearance?
Yes. You must have the ability to obtain a security clearance.
See the information below, which provides more information about fulfilling the necessary security requirements.
Failure to be able to obtain a security clearance is grounds for dismissal from the DoD CySP. You must be able to obtain the required security clearance for the position selected. You may be required to undergo certain tests, including drug and polygraph tests, to obtain and maintain a clearance. Before you may be awarded a scholarship or hired by DoD, you will be required to complete certain forms to initiate the security clearance process. Some of these forms will require that you reveal extensive information about your background, such as potentially sensitive information about your financial circumstances and any arrests and/or convictions for offenses of any kind. You must agree to all of these conditions of employment and you must complete these forms as a condition of financial assistance and appointment.
The current link to the National Background Investigations Bureau is provided below for your review and consideration in determining whether you will be eligible for a security clearance. They may not be all inclusive, however, it is highly recommended that you review and understand the requirements prior to signing up to participate in the DoD CySP. https://nbib.opm.gov/e-qip-background-investigations/
Are you uncertain of your suitability for a background investigation? Click here to take the Digital Clearance Readiness Assessment. It’s a private assessment to evaluate your readiness to undergo a background investigation that leads to a decision on your clearance. It is not associated with you or your account and is completely confidential. Only you will see your own results.
What is an acceptable application submission?
Apply for a DoD cyber scholarship by registering for an account online for the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program and complete the DoD CySP Student Application.
DO NOT INCLUDE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, COPIES OF PASSPORTS or DRIVERS LICENSE, BIRTH CERTIFICATES, or ANY OTHER TYPE OF PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION. HAND WRITTEN APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
For First-Time Students Who Apply for a DoD Cyber Scholarship
An acceptable application package for the DoD CySP consists of the following requirements:
- The DoD CySP Student Application completed, certified, and submitted online through the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program. The following items will be included in the application:
- Official (certified) Transcripts from all the institutions of higher learning you have attended. Electronic transcripts may be accepted as long as they are certified by the institution.
- Current resume (template provided with the application).
- List of Recognitions, Honors, and Awards.
- One (1) Letter of Reference from a current faculty member who is fully knowledgeable of your potential for successful learning, your knowledge, and your ability. See remainder of application package for instructions about the content of this Letter of Reference. Letters must be on University letterhead and contain the full name and contact information of the faculty member (phone, email, and address).
- One (1) additional Letter of Reference from either a current or former faculty member, or a current or former supervisor who is fully knowledgeable of your potential for successful learning, your knowledge, and your ability. See remainder of application package for instructions about the content of this Letter of Reference. Letters must be on official letterhead and contain the full name and contact information of the faculty member or current/former supervisor (phone, email, and address).
- Supplemental Competency Statement: Knowledge, Skills and Attributes: You will provide narrative responses that describe the level of your attainment of the knowledge and ability factors indicated below.
- Knowledge of the techniques of the cybersecurity discipline, including encryption, access control, physical security, training, threat analysis, and authentication.
- Knowledge of the human factors in cybersecurity, including human computer interaction, design, training, sabotage, human error prevention and identification, personal use policies, and monitoring.
- Ability to identify and analyze problems, distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions, and provide solutions to individual and organizational problems.
- Ability to consider and respond appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations; is tactful, compassionate and sensitive, and treats others with respect.
- Ability to make clear and convincing oral presentations to individuals or groups; listens effectively and clarifies information as needed; facilitates an open exchange of ideas and fosters an atmosphere of open communication.
- Ability to express facts and ideas in writing in clear, convincing and organized manners appropriate to the audience and occasion.
- Acknowledgement of the Supplemental Statement of General Academic and Employment Conditions (OF612). If you agree with the all of the academic and employment conditions required for your receipt of scholarship assistance and appointment under the DoD CySP, and wish to be considered for it, you must review and acknowledge the OF612 Supplemental Statement of General Academic and Employment Conditions, which is referenced multiple times in the application.
What if I am a current DoD CySP student and want to reapply to the program?
Current DoD CySP Scholars selected in 2021 or earlier will continue to complete the returning application via paper copy. Starting in 2023, current DoD CySP Scholars will complete a shorter application online to the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program. When you apply for a DoD cyber scholarship, the application will include the following:
- The DoD CySP Returning Scholar Application completed, certified, and submitted online to the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program.
- One (1) Letter of Reference from the current Principal Investigator or key faculty member who is fully knowledgeable of your potential for successful learning, your knowledge, and your ability, based upon this past year of effort.
- Official (certified) Transcripts from all the institutions of higher learning you have attended SINCE your last submission. You are required to maintain the appropriate grade point average to maintain your status in the program. NOTE: University POCs processing applications for submission may open the transcripts.
- Updated resume to include your summer internship activities. A template has been provided in the application.
How will I apply for a DoD cyberscholarship and submit my application?
First, you will need to create your account online with the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program to apply for a DoD cyber scholarship. You may do that below, or through links found throughout this site.
Once you have registered and logged into your account, you will find instructions for preparing and submitting an application for the DoD CySP, as well as the application itself and applicable materials. Please read all information and instructions for application preparation before you begin, as well as the on-screen instruction text. In addition to the application, there is an OF612 supplement. You must acknowledge the OF612 Supplemental Competency Statement as part of the application or your package will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered.
Please be aware that your NCAE-C school is required by the DoD to participate in the evaluation of your application for scholarship assistance under this program. Your NCAE-C school may fulfill its responsibilities to evaluate your application in a variety of ways:
- Your NCAE-C school might constitute a panel to review your application materials or conduct interviews with you or other applicants. Panels will be created based on institution policy.
- Your NCAE-C school may require that you obtain and submit information and/or materials in addition to those required in the application package.
- Any written information or material that your NCAE-C school requires shall become the NCAE-C Supplement to your OF612 and must be included in the final application package that your school transmits to the DoD in order for you to receive consideration.
Therefore, if you are interested in applying for this opportunity, you should check with the DoD CySP On-Campus Point of Contact for your school immediately to learn of any additional application requirements. Unsure if your school is an NCAE-C school? You can check the complete list here.
DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION TO THE DOD.
Once you apply for a DoD cyber scholarship, submit your application package online through the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program application process. It will be reviewed by the appropriate Point of Contact for your NCAE-C college or university. Create your account below. Or, if you already have an account, you can use the link below to log in.