Applying for CyberCorps® Scholarships
The application process for the 2022/2023 academic year is open! The application deadline is February 17, 2023.
To apply for consideration, fill out the online application. (If you wish to work on your answers offline first, the form questions may be found here). Applicants should also request each of two or three references to enter or upload a recommendation online.
Following the close of the application period, a committee will evaluate the applications and invite a subset of applicants to participate in online or in-person interviews. The SFS program advisors and current SFS scholars will partipate in each interview. Applicants are personally notified of the outcome.
The criteria for selection includes the student’s academic record, evidence of interest in cybersecurity, a record of service, strong references, and a willingness to accept the obligations of the program.
(Note: The CyberCorps® Scholarships for Service Program is very similar to but distinct from the DoD CySP program. This year we are not accepting separate applications for CySP.)
CyberCorps® Scholarships for Service @ NC State
The Scholarship for Service (SFS) program provides funding for students who wish to specialize in cybersecurity in their studies and career. Students awarded a scholarship will incur a service obligation to local, state, or federal government upon graduation from N.C. State. The goal of the CyberCorps® program is to expand and strengthen the workforce charged with safeguarding our government agencies from cyberattacks, and protecting the security and privacy of the public.
Benefits for Students
The NC State Computer Science Department offers a very strong education in cybersecurity at both the undergraduate levels (see below). Graduates have outstanding opportunities for rewarding, challenging careers that make a difference.
The SFS scholarship is one of the most generous levels of support available to students at NC State. All tuition and education-related fees are covered, as are the costs of student health insurance, a laptop computer, books, travel to professional conferences and meetings, and security certifications. In addition, a living stipend of $25,000 for undergraduates, or $34,000 for graduate students, is paid to each scholar for each year they are in the program.
Students in the program enjoy the camaraderie of a small group within a large program. We meet frequently and provide advice, resources, and experiences unique to this program. SFS scholars help one another and work together in courses and on projects. The SFS advisors at NC State meet regularly with SFS scholars, both as a group and individually. Additionally, they engage in service and outreach to promote a wider understanding of cybersecurity, and to provide assistance to organizations.
In the summer between the first and second academic years of SFS support, students have paid internships with a government agency of their choice. Following graduation, students enter full-time employment with a government agency at the local, tribal, state, or federal level. A great deal of assistance is provided to SFS scholars to find suitable internships and post-graduation employment that fits their skills and preferences. This assistance is provided by the SFS advisors, a careers counselor in the Computer Science Department, and the Office of Personnel Management. Part of this process is a two-day in-person cybersecurity careers fair in Washington DC, for which all travel expenses are paid.
To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and be a full-time student pursuing a bachelors or masters degree in Computer Science, with specialization in Cybersecurity. The ability to receive a security clearance will be an important consideration.
Bachelors students will be expected to enroll in the new Cybersecurity Concentration. Masters students will be expected to enroll in the Track in Cybersecurity.
Students who are not yet enrolled at NC State, or not yet majoring in Computer Science / Cybersecurity, but who have applied for admission in either of these programs are welcome to apply for the CyberCorps Scholarship. In this case, please let us know you have applied for admission and we will coordinate your scholarship consideration with the admissions process.
SFS Scholar Obligations
SFS scholars must be in remain in good academic standing in the program, and participate fully in all required activities. This includes the government internship in cybersecurity between the first and second years, and government service following graduation at an approved government agency, for a period equal to the length of the scholarship. Most positions with the federal government will require the student to apply for a security clearance before or during employment.
Why NC State?
The Computer Science Department of NC State has been an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity since the inception of the program. This requires our program to meet the demanding standards of the National Security Agency.
There is an extensive set of courses in cybersecurity available for participants in this program. Fulfilling the requirements of the Cybersecurity Concentration for undergraduates, or the Track in Cybersecurity for graduate students, will guarantee both a breadth and depth in your cybersecurity education.
Supplementary experiences for SFS scholars include meetings with distinguished visitors, outreach to students in middle and high school, consulting with government organizations, and access to special tutorials. Students are encouraged to study for professional certifications in cybersecurity while in school, with costs to be paid by the scholarship. SFS scholars are also encouraged to join the student cybersecurity club at NC State, Hackpack, and participate in national competitions as part of that group.
The security faculty at NC State are renowned for their expertise, and their contributions to the cutting edge of research in this fast-moving field. They have jointly formed the Wolfpack Security and Privacy Research (WSPR) lab at NC State to collaborate on problems of major size, and to share significant resources. SFS scholars are invited to be part of this lab.
Current and Past Students
Five undergraduate students were selected as the first group of SFS scholars at NC State, starting Fall 2020. Another cohort of three students (one undergraduate and two masters students) was selected beginning Fall 2021, and five additional scholars were first enrolled in Fall of 2022.
Scholars have participated in or accepted internships and full-time employment with (so far) the Department of Energy, the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the US Air Force (Space Force), US Navy (Surface Warfare Center), the USPS, the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University, the Federal Reserve, Livermore National Laboratory, plus other government agencies.
Check out a video about the SFS program from our first Cohort of SFS Scholars!
For More Information
The advisors for the SFS program at NC State are Dr. Sarah Heckman and Dr. Douglas Reeves. All can be reached by mailing email@example.com. A personal reply will be sent.
OPM maintains a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the program, and a web page with more information is at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Information about SFS.