Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (CySP) at Penn State

The application for the recruitment for 2024-2025 academic season is due on February 1, 2024. Check the details in the application page.

Cybersecurity is considered so important to our national defense that a formal DoD Scholarship program was established by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2001 (Public Law 106- 398). The purpose is to promote the education, recruitment, and retention of rising junior and senior undergraduate and graduate/doctoral students in cybersecurity studies.

The DoD is seeking rising junior and senior (third and fourth year) undergraduate and graduate/doctoral students who are interested in full-ride scholarships for concentrated studies in cybersecurity.

Students selected as Cybersecurity/Information Assurance Scholars will receive:

  • 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)
  • a stipend to cover room and board. The stipend levels are $29,000 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate (Master’s/PhD) students.

Students selected for the program will receive full scholarships. This requires the student to agree to serve one year of service to the DoD, upon graduation, for each year of scholarship received, in addition to the internship identified below. These positions are with the Department of Defense as government civilians. Upon graduation, you may be appointed under this program as a GS-7, GS-9, or GS-11 based on your qualifications, and the needs and conditions of the appointing defense component.

Note: 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. Scholarship payback for this group is two-years of service for each year of scholarship received.

During breaks in their academic studies, Information Assurance Scholars will receive progressive, hands-on experience in information security internships. In return, scholars must agree to some restrictions and obligations regarding curriculum, GPA, and pre- and post- program employment. If all conditions are met, Information Assurance Scholars will receive full-time conditional/permanent positions in Components of the DoD upon program completion.

Students in the program are required to re-apply each year for continued funding.