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Securing the World's Cyber Infrastructure

Cyber Security

DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship Program

The Center for Secure Information System and the Department of Information Sciences and Technology are soliciting applications for the 2023-2024 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 $27,000 for undergraduate students and $32,000 for graduate (Master's abd 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 2023 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 2023-2024 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

Student Application Preparation Instructions

New Students and Returning Students who Applied Online in 2022

  • Students who are applying to CySP for the first time are considered New Recruitment Students and must use the new DoD CySP online application tool. Returning DoD CySP Scholars who applied through the tool in 2022 will log-in to their original account and upload the required documents.
  • Applications missing any required documents will automatically be disqualified.
  • Students who are currently receiving funds from another scholarship program or who have a service obligation upon graduation are not eligible to apply for the DoD CySP.
  • Anticipated Final Graduation Date is for the degree program you are applying for scholarship support. Any applications that indicates a graduation date of January through September of the current year will not be eligible.
  • Transcripts. An official transcript is the institution's certified statement of the student's academic record. The official paper transcript is printed on security sensitive paper and contains the intuition's seal as well as a signature of the institution's registrar. An official electronic transcript is a PDF secured by a digital signature, which is displayed at the top of the transcript; sometimes they will include a blue ribbon.
  • Students should not attach copies or pictures of social security cards, driver's licenses, passports, military identification, credit cards, degrees, certificates, and any other type of personally identifiable information.
  • Letters of Recommendation should be a PDF copy of the original version uploaded through the new application tool. Letters should be on official company/institution letterhead, include the contact information to confirm the letter is valid (full name, mailing address, phone number, email address) and must be signed by the author. Applicants should instruct the author to save the letter as a PDF with the file name CySP2023_STUDENT LAST NAME_George Mason University (e.g., CySP2023_SMITH_George Mason University). Recommendations written in the body of an email or emailed by the applicant will not be accepted. The author will email the letter directly to the DoD CySP Program Office at AskCySP@nsa.gov. One letter must be from a current faculty member who is fully knowledgeable of the applicant's potential for successful learning, knowledge, and ability. Applicants will provide the contact information for the author of the letter. New students must be submit two letters. The second letter can be from either a current or former faculty member, or a current or former supervisor. Returning students need to submit only one letter.
  • Traditional resumes will not be submitted. The new DoD CySP application tool will prompt students to fill in the required resume information. Students will be asked to provide the following:
    • 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.
  • Paper applications for new students will not be accepted.
  • Students are responsible for submitting a complete application through the new application tool by 11:59 PM EST on February 1, 2023. Students will not have access to the application on February 2, 2023.

Returning Students who Applied via Paper Forms in 2022

  • Current DoD CySP Scholars who used paper applications in 2022 and are reapplying for additional years of support will continue to use the paper copy application form provided by the DoD CySP Program Office.
  • The application will consist of
  • Current DoD CySP Scholars should save their application as a single PDF (no PDF portfolios) including all documents in the order specified above and provide it to Dr. Albanese (malbanes@gmu.edu) by February 1, 2023. Students should use the following naming structure to save their PDF: LASTNAME_FirstName_George_Mason_University_Returning.PDF. 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, (Attn. Dr. Albanese) either by mail or in person. 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.

We encourage students to submit their applications as early as possible and to contact us to receive feedback as they assemble their application materials.

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