Department of Defense (DoD)
2023 Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP)
Applications Are No Longer Being Accepted
In 2001, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2001 (Public Law 106- 398) established the DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship (formally renamed as DoD Cyber Scholarship Program, DoD CySP in 2018). The law is enacted to promote the education, recruitment, and retention of rising junior and senior undergraduate and graduate/doctoral students in cybersecurity studies.
Rising junior and senior undergraduates, master’s and doctoral candidates, who are U.S. citizens and are at least 18 years of age are eligible for consideration for the program. Students in the second year of a two-year degree program, who are continuing to a partner university to pursue a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply. Students selected as CyberScholars 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 health care), and a stipend to cover room and board. The stipend levels are $27,000 for undergraduate students and $32,000 for graduate (Master’s/PhD) students. Awards will be made via a grant to the CAE. Disabled students may receive additional allowances.
The minimum eligibility requirements are the following:
1. Must be 18 years of age or older.
2. Must be a citizen of the United States or permanent residents admitted to the US prior to the award.
3. Must be enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in one of the identified CAE colleges or universities or enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) at an institution selected by a CAE as a collaborative partner for these purposes.
4. Must have ...
- completed (or by August 2023 will have completed) at a minimum:
- an associate degree; or
- the first two years of an undergraduate degree program; or
- a bachelor’s degree; or
- master's degree
- and be eligible to:
- 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
- pursue doctoral studies
5. 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 which includes cybersecurity functions such as system administration, cryptography, systems security, information assurance, web security, computer forensics, critical infrastructure protection, and relevant cyber-related academic disciplines with concentrations in cyber security. Refer to the full announcement for more details.
6. Must have the ability to obtain a security clearance such as allowing to undergo certain tests, including drug and polygraph tests, revealing extensive background information, financial circumstances, etc. Refer to the full announcement for details.
7. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.2 out of a 4.0 scale for undergraduates and a 3.5 out of 4.0 for graduate students.
Students selected to participate in the DoD CySP will be required to sign a written agreement obligating them to work for the DoD, as a civilian employee for one calendar year for each year of scholarship assistance. This agreement is provided to the selecting agency for their records to ensure compliance with the service commitment. Students will also be required to serve in internship positions, if timing permits, with the DoD organizations during the time they are receiving scholarship support until they complete the course of study provided for by the scholarship. These internships will be arranged by the DoD to occur during the summer or other breaks between school terms, as appropriate to the individual’s circumstances and the institution’s calendar. The internship does not count toward satisfying the period of obligated service incurred by accepting the CySP scholarship. Students will be required to formally accept or decline the scholarship within 15 days of notification. Non-acceptance by this date will mean the scholarship will be offered to the next available student.
Students will be required to complete a security investigation questionnaire to initiate the process for a background investigation in preparation for their internships, if applicable, and as a condition of future employment with the DoD. Drug tests or other suitability processing will occur as appropriate. Students will also be required to sign an agreement stating that they will accept assignments requiring travel or change of duty stations as interns or employees. Individuals who voluntarily terminate employment during intern appointments or before the end of the period of obligated service required by the terms of Chapter 112, title 10, United States Code, will be required to refund the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the educational assistance provided to them. Web pages have been provided in the Application Background and Application Package for review about security clearances to assist both the PIs and the students in understanding these requirements before they apply.
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.
Undergraduate scholarship recipients will be required to maintain a 3.2 out of 4.0 grade point average or the equivalent; graduate students will be required to maintain an overall 3.5 out of a 4.0 grade point average, or equivalent. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will constitute grounds for termination of financial assistance and termination of internship and/or employment appointment. Additionally, students who fail to complete the degree program satisfactorily or to fulfill the service commitment upon graduation shall be required to reimburse the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the financial (scholarship) assistance provided to them. CAE-Cs will be responsible for monitoring student progress and will notify the DoD CySP Program Manager should any student scholar fail to attain the minimum academic standards required for continuing scholarship support.
Except for small achievement awards, not to exceed $5,500 in an academic year, a student may not accept simultaneous remuneration from another scholarship or fellowship. The DoD CySP is a first-pay scholarship program.
Graduate programs may include a reasonable amount of teaching or similar activities that are, in the CAE-C’s opinion, contributory to the student’s academic progress; however, the development of students, not service to the CAE-C, will govern the assignment of these activities.
Additional information may be found at:
DOD CySP Scholarship Applicant Quick Start Guide
Please direct all inquiries to:
Dr. Guillermo Francia, III
Director, Research and Innovation
Center for Cybersecurity