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Securing the World's Cyber Infrastructure

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DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship Program

The Center for Secure Information System and the Department of Information Sciences and Technology are now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP). The Department of Defense will provide students selected as Cyber Scholars with a full-ride scholarship including the following benefits:

  • Full cost of tuition and books
  • Required fees (including health care for PhD students)
  • A laptop, which the student can keep upon termination of the scholarship period
  • A stipend of $25,000 for undergraduate students and $30,000 for graduate (Master's/PhD) students
  • Internship opportunities and guaranteed employment with a DoD agency upon graduation

Students falling into one of the following categories may apply:

  • Juniors, Seniors pursuing a Bachelor's degree (Sophomores promoting to a Junior in Fall 2021 are eligible to apply)
  • Students in their first or second year of a Master's degree
  • Students pursuing doctoral degrees

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a citizen of the United States at the time of application
  • Must be enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) at George Mason University for the 2021-2022 academic year
  • 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
  • Must have a 3.2 GPA (undergraduate) or a 3.5 GPA (graduate), or an analogous rank based on a comparable scale
  • Must be able to obtain a security clearance (but not required to obtain security clearance before applying)
  • Must agree to work for the DoD, after graduation, as a civilian employee for one calendar year for each academic year for which financial assistance (scholarship) is received

To submit an application, students must compile all the required documents, in the order indicated below, into a single PDF file and e-mail it to Dr. Albanese (malbanes@gmu.edu), Dr. Rytikova (irytikov@gmu.edu), and Dr. Islam (kislam2@gmu.edu). The single PDF file must be named LASTNAME_FirstName_George_Mason_University.PDF, and must include:

  1. The completed DoD CySP New or Returning Student Application (fill out and sign Attachment D). The form must be electronically filled out. Hand-written applications will not be accepted. Students who are already receiving a DoD CySP scholarship during the 2020/2021 academic year are considered returning students and must use the Returning Student Application form. All others are are considered new students.
  2. Official Transcripts (scanned from an official hardcopy) from all colleges and universities attended. Returning students only need to provide transcripts from George Mason University.
  3. Resume (2 pages) including the following information and using the provided MS Word template.
    • Education: degrees, institution, location, date of graduation (or expected date of graduation), major/minor fields, GPA.
    • Experience: jobs, internships, and/or volunteer work, including: (i) name of company, position, and dates employed; (ii) at least three important tasks, accomplishments, or skills gained at each job; (iii) any clearance level held; (iv) number of hours per week worked.
    • Skills: computer systems, software, foreign languages, certifications, clearance levels held, any other relevant skill.
  4. Separate sheet highlighting recognitions, honors and awards. The document header should include the title “Recognitions, Honors and Awards” and the full applicant's name. Only new students need to submit this document (see instructions on page 5 of Attachment D: New Student Application).
  5. Two Letters of Reference from persons knowledgeable about the applicant's knowledge, abilities, and potential for successful learning. At least one of these letters must be from a current faculty member (or a most recent faculty member), and the second letter may be from either a current or former faculty member, or a current or former employer. See page 5 of the New Student Application for instructions about the required content of letters. Returning students are required to submit only one letter (see instructions on page 3 of the Returning Student Application). Students MUST ask letter writers to write their Letters of Reference on official letterhead and email them to Dr. Albanese (malbanes@gmu.edu) for the purpose of confirming their authenticity. Letters must be signed, but electronic signatures are acceptable.
  6. Competency Statement. Only new students need to submit this document (see instructions on page 6 of the New Student Application).

In addition to the above electronic documents, applicants must deliver original paper transcripts in their sealed envelopes to the Department of Information Science Technology, 5400 Nguyen Engineering Building, MS 1G8, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, either by mail (recommended) or in person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9am and 3pm (hours subject to change). The Department of Defense needs to verify that the transcripts are not counterfeit. We recommend that applicants obtain multiple copies of their transcripts. They can deliver a sealed copy to us, and use another copy to scan it for inclusion in the PDF document.

The deadline to submit applications is January 18, 2021, but we encourage students to submit their applications as early as possible to receive feedback from us and increase their chances of being selected for the scholarship.

For additional information, see the Attachment C: DoD CySP Application Background and Requirements.