Two University of North Georgia juniors and one graduate student recently received scholarships through the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program, providing their education at no cost and promising an internship and job upon graduation.

The program seeks to identify, recruit and retain top talent from universities designated as Centers of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense, Operations or Research. Scholars agree to work for their sponsoring DoD Component post graduation as civilian employees.


The Department of Defense offers full-ride scholarships to rising junior and senior undergraduate and graduate/doctoral cybersecurity students in their third and fourth years (third and fourth year respectively) of study, both undergraduate and graduate/doctoral. These scholarships include tuition, books, required fees and a room and board stipend as well as an internship opportunity at one of their approved DoD agencies within one summer after graduating; additionally it covers background checks, medical exams, security clearance fees as well as providing an advisor or mentor who will guide through these processes.

At first, scholars must attend classes full-time; however, allowances can be made for current scholars nearing completion of their degree programs who would like to shift into part-time attendance. All applicants must be US citizens and possess an outstanding academic record with at least 3.2 or 3.5 GPA for undergraduate students (4.0 for graduate students) from an institution designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity; additionally they must possess or be applying for security clearance as they enter or pursue master’s or PhD studies simultaneously at the time they apply.

DoD CySP scholars must sign an agreement committing them to working as civilian employees for one year for every year of scholarship support received, in addition to undertaking an unpaid internship with a DoD agency during summer breaks or other breaks between semesters. Failing to honor this service commitment may result in dismissal from the program.

DoD CySP funding lasts for five years. Applicants should not assume they will be selected, and continue applying to other financial aid sources such as federal grants and loans as well. Furthermore, no remuneration should be accepted while applying to DoD CySP.

Candidates applying to DoD CySP must attend an information session and submit an application through Avue Digital Services’s DoD CySP portal. During this information session, there will be numerous presentations and Q&A sessions regarding how best to prepare for an interview process.


The Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students studying cybersecurity-related fields. This scholarship program seeks to both recruit talented individuals as well as retain current DoD civilian and military personnel with sufficient skills necessary for meeting DoD cyber requirements and protecting our nation against threats posed by information systems and networks.

This program is offered at universities designated as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, Operations or Research and open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Recipients have an obligation to work for DoD as civilian employees upon graduation; scholarship funding will renew for another year for each funding source received under this scholarship program.

DoD CySP scholars are selected through a competitive review process conducted by reviewing DoD agencies. Agencies decide which students they wish to hire upon graduation based on demonstrated leadership, team activities participation and prior social service experiences as measures of their worthiness for selection.

Students wishing to apply for this program must submit an application package via the online portal provided, which includes a DoD Scholarship Program New Student Application, any supplemental materials listed within it and supporting documentation. Each submission will then be reviewed by an On-Campus Point of Contact from each NCAE-C school; incomplete or missing applications will not be selected for inclusion in this program.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by their university in May or early June and these scholarships will cover tuition costs, books that are part of an institution/degree-specific required book list (not optional books for classes), required fees (such as health care premiums), one-time laptop/computer purchases, travel support to attend cyber related conferences and room and board stipends at both undergraduate and graduate (Masters/PhD) student levels (up to $27,000 and 32,000 respectively).

DoD CySP will also offer each scholar financial benefits and internship positions with DoD organizations; these may take place during summer vacation or other breaks between school terms.


The Department of Defense is seeking top cybersecurity talent to combat growing threats to its information systems and networks. To do so, they’ve established the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP). This undergraduate- and graduate-level scholarship seeks to recruit and retain some of the nation’s finest cyber talent by offering full scholarships with benefits including tuition coverage, health care benefits, book allowance and laptop allowance – plus internships with them during breaks between semesters for real world experience that builds marketable skillsets.

This program is administered by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security. Students apply via their online portal and are selected by the Department of Defense. Furthermore, mentoring opportunities for scholars are also provided and it ensures their scholars develop the necessary skills needed for advancement within their respective fields.

Scholarship recipients must commit to working for the Department of Defense post-graduation (pending security clearance approval) for one year for every year they received scholarship support – this requirement forms part of their scholarship agreement and appears on their official transcript.

CySP provides scholarship support to DoD civilians, military officers and enlisted personnel pursuing Master’s and Doctoral degrees related to cybersecurity studies. Retention scholarships are awarded to DoD-sponsored civilians enrolled at schools designated as Cyber Centers of Academic Excellence or two-year community college programs who complete two year community college programs – these students must reapply annually in order to maintain eligibility.

An ideal candidate will possess an intense interest in cyber security and information assurance, be a strong team player, be dedicated to the mission of the Department of Defense, and have demonstrated potential as leaders. Additional qualifications may include excellent written and oral communication skills; prior military or public service experience, high grade point average, as well as being cleared to work on classified projects.

DoD Cyber Scholarship applications must be received by February 1. Interested students should consult their DoD CySP On-Campus Point of Contact at their NCAE-C school to determine what application package must be submitted. In order to apply online through DoD CySP’s application system, an account must first be created before reading and filling out all parts of an application.

Service Commitment

DoD Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) seeks the brightest cybersecurity students to join its ranks. Accredited National Centers of Academic Excellence provide opportunities for CySP scholars from National Centers to identify talented, high-achieving individuals interested in cybersecurity careers who wish to submit applications; it is one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious scholarship programs; once accepted into CySP scholarship they gain hands-on experience through information security internships before fulfilling a year of service commitment upon graduating from CySP scholarship status.

This program is open to rising junior and senior undergraduate, graduate/doctoral and international cybersecurity studies students attending universities that have been designated by DoD as CAE-Cs (Cybersecurity Academic Excellence Centers). All applicants must be citizens of the United States.

Students will also receive a stipend that covers tuition, books (from an institution/degree specific required book list; not optional books for classes), fees such as health care coverage and up to $1,500 towards purchasing a laptop computer. Furthermore, each student will have access to a mentor who will stay in contact with them throughout their program and help facilitate entry into internships and eventually DoD employment opportunities.

Students receiving scholarship support must fulfill a post-graduation service obligation for at least one academic year as civilian employees for every academic year they received support, with security clearance. Internships do not count towards this post-graduate service requirement.

DoD is looking for students with diverse interests and skills. Applicants should be able to communicate effectively both verbally and written as well as demonstrate teamwork and leadership capabilities. Furthermore, applicants should possess critical thinking abilities which allow them to address complex problems in an efficient manner and adapt quickly to changing requirements.

Applicant are required to fill out certain forms that involve disclosing personal information about themselves, such as past criminal convictions, financial information and health and social history. Failing to obtain a security clearance could result in the cancellation of the scholarship award; concurrent employment with DoD or another organization is strictly forbidden although volunteering for related activities could still be possible.

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