DoD-CySP 2021-2022

The Department of Defense 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 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. An opportunity also exists for scholarship payback through mil itary 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 recieved. 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, Cybersecurity scholars will receive full-time conditional/permanent positions in Components of the DoD upon program completion.

Program and Application Documents for 02/2021

Flyer for the DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (CySP) .

Scholarship Benefits

  • Students selected in the Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) will receive the full cost of tuition, books, required fees (including h ealth care), and a stipend to cover room and board. The stipend levels are $25,000 for undergraduate students and $30,000 for graduate (Master's/PhD) students. Disabled students may receive additional allowances.
  • Additional years of scholarship awards are dependent upon satisfactory academic progress, internship performance, if applicable, and the availability of funds.
  • Returning students will be given first priority over new students to the program as long as they continue to meet the CySP requirements and appropriate funding is available.
  • Scholarship recipients who successfully complete the terms of an initial one or two year scholarship (for example, complete an undergraduate degree), may apply for a second scholarship of up to three years for completing an advanced degree, if the sponsoring agency agrees. When funding allows, students may be provided funding to attend one cybersecurity related conference - USA-based only. No foreign travel authorized.

For more information, please review the CySP Application Background attachment.

Note: This scholarship is only available to U.S. citizens!

How & When to Apply

Each applicant should provide the following:

  • Letter expressing interest in the DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship program that includes a statement that indicates an understanding of the commitment to the federal government after graduation.
  • Transcripts of all college work.
  • Standardized test scores (SAT, GRE)
  • Statement of purpose and description of goals in the field of computer security and information assurance.
  • Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members or employment managers familiar with the student’s background.
  • The Student Application.
  • Official acceptance into Florida State University.
  • Deadline for applying February 05, 2021.

For more information, or to submit your application please contact:

Requirements for Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for eligibility:

  • You must be a citizen of the United States.
  • You must have completed at a minimum the first two years of an undergraduate degree program and be eligible to, begin either the third or fourth years of an undergraduate degree program; or begin the first or second year of a masters degree program, pursue doctoral studies; or complete a graduate certificate program in information assurance.
  • You must be one of the following:
    • a full-time BS or MS student within two years of graduation at FSU.
    • a full-time Ph.D. student within three years of graduation at FSU with a degree in Computer Science
    • holder of an associate degree or Junior college student that has acquired sufficient credit hours to be within two years of graduation at FSU and have registered for a degree at FSU.
  • You must have at least a 3.2 undergraduate (3.5 graduate) GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • You must meet selection criteria for federal employment (you may be required to undergo a background investigation).

Assessment of Applications

Applications will be evaluated in the following three stages:

  • Verification – Upon receipt of an application, the Department of Computer Science will review it for completeness and to ensure that the applicant meets the minimum requirements for the program. The applicant will then be marked as “Insufficient Potential”, “Sufficient Potential”, “Average Potential”, “High Potential”, or “Superior Potential” based upon his or her transcript, GPA, Academic honors, distinctions or awards and letters of reference.
  • Classification – Upon completion of the application period, a panel of Information Security professors will objectively rate the applicants as “No Knowledge or Ability”, “Basic Knowledge or Ability”, “Intermediate Knowledge or Ability”, “Advanced Knowledge or Ability”, “Superior Knowledge or Ability” based on the selection criteria.
  • Ranking – The FSU Principal Investigator will rank the final list of applicants as one of: “Not Recommended”, “Recommended”, “Highly Recommended”, or “Most Highly Recommended”.

The final applicant list, including the applicants respective classification and ranking, will then be sent to The Department of Defense for final judgement.

Criteria for Selection

The criteria used to classify and rank applicants are:

  • Cumulative and Major Undergraduate GPA
  • Cumulative and Major Graduate GPA
  • Academic record (course content)
  • Standardized test scores
  • Evaluation of the student’s statement of purpose.
  • One (1) Letter of Reference from a current faculty member
  • One (1) Letter of Reference from a current or former faculty member or a current or former supervisor
  • Demonstrated leadership, participation in team activities, prior social service, and/or evidence of creative and independent thinking and/or acting
  • Knowledge of the techniques of the information technology and/or information security (assurance) discipline, including encryption, access control, physical security, training, threat analysis, and authentication
  • Knowledge of the human factors in the information technology and/or information security (assurance), including human computer interaction, design, training, sabotage, human error prevention and identification, personal use policies, and monitoring
  • Ability to identify and analyze problems, distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions, and provide solutions to individual and organizational problems
  • Ability to consider and respond appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations; is tactful, compassionate and sensitive, and treats others with respect
  • Ability to make clear and convincing oral presentations to individuals or groups; listens effectively and clarifies information as needed, facilitates an open exchange of ideas and fosters an atmosphere of open communication
  • Ability to express facts and ideas in writing in a clear, convincing and organized manner appropriate to the audience and occasion


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