MS in Intelligence Studies

Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program

Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program Announcement

I.  Scholarship Program Description

     The DoD 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 and other cyber-related disciplines. This requires the student to agree to serve one year of service to the DoD, upon graduation, for each year or partial year of scholarship received, in addition to an internship.

     Students selected as CyberScholars will receive the full cost of tuition, books (from the institution/degree specific required book list, not books which are optional for the class), required fees (including health 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

II. 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. For questions, please email Dr. Randy Borum ( with “DoD CySP Query” in the subject line.

III. If Selected for the Program

Understanding of obligations if you accept the scholarship:

1. Sign a written agreement obligating you to work for the Department of Defense, as a civilian employee for one calendar year for each year of scholarship assistance (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 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. Scholarship payback for Traditional Guardsmen or Reserve Soldiers group is two-years of service for each year of scholarship received).

2. Serve in internship positions, if timing permits, with DoD organizations during the time you are receiving scholarship support.

3. Agree to a security/background investigation (for internships and future DoD employment). Drug tests or other suitability processing will occur as appropriate.

4. Maintain good academic standing: 3.2 out of 4.0 GPA (undergraduates); 3.5 out of a 4.0 GPA (graduates). 

IV. Requirements for Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for eligibility:

  • You must be a citizen of the United States (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).
  • 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 master’s degree program, pursue doctoral studies; or complete a graduate certificate program in 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 cybersecurity.
  • You must be one of the following:
    • a full-time BS or MS student within two years of graduation at USF.
    • a full-time Ph.D. student within three years of graduation at USF with a degree in 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 cybersecurity .
    • holder of an associate degree or Junior college student that has acquired sufficient credit hours to be within two years of graduation at USF and have registered for a degree at USF.
  • 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, and be able to obtain a security clearance.

For purposes of this application, the scientific, technical and managerial disciplines related to computer and network security and cybersecurity are those listed in the DoD CySP Attachment C. 

V. When and How to Apply

The deadline to have all application materials to the USF Principal Investigator is February 18, 2019.  An acceptable application package for the CySP consists of the following requirements: 

  • A CySP Student Application
  • Separate sheet highlighting recognitions, honors and awards
  • Resume
  • Letter expressing interest in the DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship Program, including a statement affirming that the applicant understands the commitment to the Department of Defense after graduation.
  • Statement of purpose and description of goals in the field of cybersecurity
  • Official (certified) Transcripts all college work.
  • Two Letters of Reference:
  • 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.
  • Supplemental Academic Sufficiency Statement (Supplement to Form OF612)
  • Supplemental Competency Statement: Knowledge, Skills and Attributes (Supplement to Form OF612)Signature of the
  • Supplemental Statement of General Academic and Employment Conditions (Supplement to Form OF612)

Submit your completed application, with all materials collated into a single PDF file, to the following by Noon on February 18, 2019

Dr. Randy Borum
University of South Florida
School of Information
CIS 1040
4202 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33620

VI.  Assessment of Applications

Applications will be evaluated in the following three stages:

  • Verification – Upon receipt of an application, the Principal Investigator will review it for completeness and to ensure that the applicant meets the minimum requirements for the program. Those applications not meeting the minimum requirements will automatically receive a final ranking of “Not Recommended” for the CySP.
  • Ranking – After the application deadline, the Principal Investigator and USF faculty will objectively rate the applicants as “Not Recommended”, “Recommended”, or “Highly Recommended” based on the selection criteria.

The ranking will be carried out in accordance with the CySP requirements for “Academic Sufficiency” and “Knowledge and Ability” determination procedures listed in the CySP Attachment C. The final applicant list, including the applicants’ respective rankings, will then be sent to the Department of Defense, which will select the scholarship recipients.

VII. Criteria for Selection

The factors used to 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

VIII. Program Documents for 2019-2020

Application Background & Requirements
Student Application