Requirements and Eligibility

To be eligible for the DoD Scholarship opportunity described in this announcement, you must meet all of the following minimum requirements:

a) You must be 18 years of age or older.
b) You must be a citizen of the United States at the time of application. 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.
c) You must be enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in one of the identified CAE colleges or universities listed in this announcement (Penn State is one of these institutions), or enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) at an institution selected by a CAE as a collaborative partner for these purposes.
d) You must have completed (or by August 2020 will have completed) at a minimum the first two years of an undergraduate degree program and be eligible to (a) begin either the third or fourth year of an undergraduate degree program; (b) begin the first or second year of a Master’s degree program; or (c) pursue doctoral studies.
Undergraduate Students must have a 3.2 GPA.  Graduate Students must have a 3.5 GPA. Students must maintain the minimum GPAs while in the program.
e) 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 cybersecurity or with a concentration in cyber security. For these purposes, the scientific, technical and managerial disciplines related to computer and network security and cybersecurity are:

  • Biometrics
  • Business:
    • Management
    • Administration
    • Process Analysis
  • Computer:
    • Crime Investigations
    • Engineering
    • Forensics
    • Information Science
    • Information Systems
    • Programming
    • Science
    • Systems Analysis
    • Critical Information Infrastructure Assurance
  • Cyber:
    • Operations
    • Security
    • Policy
  • Cryptography
  • Database Administration
  • Data Management
  • Digital and Multimedia Forensics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Information Assurance:
    • Systems and Product Acquisition
    • Training, Education and Management
    • Information Security
    • Information Systems
  • Information Technology:
    • Acquisition
    • Program/Project Management
  • Mathematics
  • Network Administration and Operations
  • Network Management
  • Operation of Computer Emergency Response Teams
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems Security Engineering
  • Threat and Vulnerability Assessment, to include Risk Management
  • Web Security
  • And other similar disciplines as approved by the DoD Chief Information Office (DoD CIO).

f) Ability to obtain a security clearance. See the web page 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.

  • Current web pages from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) are provided below. These are provided 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.